Council Highlights
Mar. 17, 2020

The Congregational Council met by phone on March 17, with all 10 members, Pastor Sarah and Deacon Heather in attendance. Pastor Sarah gave the opening prayer.

Pastor Sarah reported that the office is closed due to the pandemic, and staff members are working remotely at least until April 1. She had emailed that news that to all disciples earlier in the day. This is in the spirit of protecting disciples and the community, and helping to flatten the pandemic curve. All staff members are reachable by voice mail and email. You can phone the church; the phone greeting will tell you how to reach all staff.

Custodian Jesus Alana is working in the building . He has ordered some new cleaning materials and is sanitizing door handles and other common surfaces. He is also taking the opportunity to work on some projects such as cleaning and varnishing the hand rails.

Our new administrative assistant, Allie, is set up to work remotely, and Deacon Heather is spending time with her daily while she is digging in and figuring things out. Feedback from disciples who have interacted with her is excellent.

Pastor Sarah noted the remarkable ways that people are imagining to be creative and supportive of the community during this crisis. Our video worship service which was posted Sunday was very well received, and worship is still a foothold in the midst of chaos. She noted that other pastors she follows are making videos from home and then piecing together a worship offering, rather than gathering even a handful of people to record a service.

A temporary organist/musician, Ollie, is starting on March 29 to work with us through end of May and will participate in a planning meeting March 26. He will play the organ and will play keyboards for the contemporary service. A search for a permanent music director has not yet started. The executive team of the council will proceed to appoint leaders for the search team, and that team will work on the job description for music director—essential skills and roles versus nice-to-have. 

Temporary youth director (and daughter of the congregation) Andrea Guzel is starting April 1 with a plan that she will be in the role through August 1. She will be laying the groundwork for the fall.

We do not yet have a position description ready for youth director; there was brief discussion of looking at that role in combination with children’s and family ministry, but no conclusions have been reached. The exact requirements for open positions may  also depend in part on the skills and interests of the associate pastor we call.

Weekly giving YTD through February is $42,000 ahead of budget.  Celebrate and give God thanks!

There was some discussion of Lent, Holy Week and Easter services, noting that we may need a time to grieve as well as a time to celebrate. Without knowing the duration of the crisis, we did not reach any conclusions.

The associate pastor call committee met with the synod representative. Our Ministry Site Profile is approved. The team expects to begin receiving batches of 3 candidates within the next week. It was recommended by the Synod, and the council has agreed, to commit to fund the associate pastor position for a minimum of three years, subject to individual performance reviews. Even though the logistics of interviewing candidates may be difficult in the near future, the call team will need to be resourceful and nimble to respond to each wave of three candidates quickly so they can move on if necessary during the best season for receiving candidates.

The meeting closed in prayer.