Bethlehem Lutheran Church

Council Meeting Minutes

17th, MAY, 2022

Present: Craig Collins, Rob Blount, Cheryl Martines, Judy Hanson, John Volkening, Steve McIntire, Kelly Jirschele, Bonnie Hare

Absent: Chad Carlson, Pete Elza, Pastor Sarah Rohde, Megan Baxter

Staff: Deacon Heather Feltman, Pastor Paisley Le Roy, Pong Sayasane

Meeting called to order at: 6:40 PM via zoom

Meeting closed at: 8:50 PM

Council Reporter: Cheryl Martines

Opening Prayer: Rob Blount

Devotion: Tribute to Judy Hanson – Thank you for your affirming leadership and service on the church council for the past 4 years, especially during the pandemic. Appreciative testimonials were shared.

Agenda Item #1: Congregation Meeting Feedback

Discussion: Looking for general themes and take-aways from the annual meeting discussion of aspirations and goals.

SM – Disciples were understanding and spoke to who we are at BLC. Need to be better ambassadors. Exec team existence?

JH/DH – Exploratory comments. How do we let people know what we do?

BH – Talk of children and young families. How /When will they come back?

RB – Down year for confirmation classes; liked connection hour – thinking short term concern for summer programs.

PP – Discussed attendance numbers – include those who are not in person.

CM – Traditional group – too much change is uncomfortable. Need to reinvent activities and connection methods.

CC – Random thoughts – be more intentional to newcomers.


Themes: Lacking in connection -need to invest time; youth program support; welcoming church; volunteerism challenge (read Judy Hanson’s article to define more action)

Take-aways: Look at who attended the meeting and who is in worship (60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s) vs. group who is hesitant to come back (20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s). Fellowship in summer can have value to continue this discussion. Are we engaging the live-streaming disciples – can we use the comments option?

Action Taken: None

Agenda Item #2: BLC Preschool Report

Discussion: Director Pong Sayasane

We have an atmosphere of excitement with the spring weather and upcoming carnival. The summer enrollment is at 50 families which will carry over to the fall – opened a third classroom. Staff is good to go. Fall waitlist exists with our 18-20/classroom – 3 classes full day. Half day has break even numbers and room to grow. Staffing will remain the same; substitutes will be a challenge. The vibe of the staff is upbeat.

Pending projects – kitchen getting new freezer and stove; installing washer and dryer (on-site laundry); replacing classroom tables.

Looking at wage comparisons, we have a narrow range ($16.50 – $20.50) Work needs to be done on the pay scale and steps as we continue to raise salaries to be competitive. Tuition is mid-range price similar to home day care. We expect a 3% increase for fall.

Celebrate Pong’s 25 years of service at BLC preschool. Spiritual definition of 25 is grace. Thank you. Bringing a cake to you soon.

Action Taken: None

Agenda Item #3: Strategic Ministry Teams

Discussion: Brief review of the progress was given.

DH – “ Beyond Building ($)/Expansive Church” – still working on a name! Please review the agenda documents as an introduction to the June council meeting presentation.

PP – Faith Formation – Review the “Sticky Faith” document as the basis for this long-term strategy of lay leadership. Actual implementation targeted for 2023-2024 program year. Discussion will be at the July council meeting.

DH – Social Justice/FRVI (advocacy) – new team name? Looking to coordinate subgroups of FRVI; World Relief; Food insecurity.

Action Taken: None

Agenda Item #4: BLC Constitution Review

Discussion: In the by-laws of our church constitution, a review needs to take place every 10 years. Most (60-70%) of the constitution is required by being an ELCA church, using their language recommendations. The rest (30%) is our committee structure last written in 2000. A churchwide assembly will take place this summer to develop a model constitution. We could follow the model and add changes without the required 2 congregational meetings to adopt the new language.

Questions remain – Is our committee structure OK? Will the ELCA model address our concern for updates/review? Or just leave it?

Conclusion: Put on the fall agenda for council review. If interested, contact Craig Collins.

Action Taken: None

Agenda Item #5: Rostered Leaders Report

Action Taken: None


Agenda Item #6: Consent Agenda

Discussion: DH reviewed the good news from the first quarter financials.

Action Taken: Vote

Motion: To accept the minutes and financial statements from April.

Made By: Rob Blount

Second: Judy Hanson

Result: carries

Agenda Item #7: Adjourn Council Meeting Discussion: Question regarding COVID – Action Taken: ✓ Vote

Motion: “Motion to adjourn”

Made By: Kelly Jirschel

Second: Steve McIntire

Result: carries – 8:45 PM



A new meeting was called to order with the newly elected Council members.


Agenda Item #8: New Council Executive Committee


Discussion: Craig Collins presented the nominees for the exec team.


Action Taken: Vote


Motion: To appoint the following council members to the executive committee effective at the conclusion of this meeting: Rob Blount, President; Cheryl Martines, Vice President; Craig Collins, Secretary; Steve McIntire, Treasurer.

Made By: John Volkening

Second: Kelly Jirschele

Result: passed


Agenda Item #9: Adjourn Council Meeting


Discussion: Rob thanked all for their time.


Action Taken: Vote


Motion: “Motion to adjourn:

Made By: Kelly Jirschele

Second: Steve McIntire

Result: carries – 8:50 PM