Bethlehem Lutheran Church

Council Meeting Minutes

15th, Feb., 2022

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

Absent: Chad Carlson, Pete Elza, Pastor Paisley Le Roy

Staff: Pastor Sarah Rhode, Deacon Heather Feltman

Meeting called to order at: 6:30 PM via zoom

Meeting closed at: 8:50 PM

Council Reporter: Cheryl Martines

Open Forum: Kelly Jirshele opened the meeting with a blessing of love.

Agenda Item #1: Goal Setting Process 2022

Discussion: This agenda item was tabled at the December meeting. The rostered leaders were to review the wording of the submitted congregational goals and report back to the whole council. The discernment needed for this is difficult to accomplish during a zoom meeting.

Conclusion: Revisit in March during an in-person meeting.

Action Taken: ❏ Tabled


Agenda Item #2: Launching New Teams

Discussion: At the annual meeting last month, the rostered leaders introduced forming new teams of disciples for 2022. Initial topics were reviewed (i.e., worship, building fund, social justice) for team formation. Council members are to email the rostered leaders with names of any interested disciples willing to serve. New topics were offered – youth team and mental health component. DH gave an update of the FRVI group who have begun to meet. The perimeter of each team and initial invites could take place by the end of March. Time frame of involvement on these teams may extend into the summer months with a recommended launch of action to go into the fall programs.

Action Taken: None

Agenda Item #3: Reconnection Hour

Discussion: With in-person worship beginning in March, reconnection hour format will continue between Sunday worship services. The discussion centered around possible topics as disciples will again return to the building. A review of what occurred in the fall session served as a prompt to continue some of the 2021 topics (refugee relief, race, fears/joys of reconnecting, caring). New topics of suicide prevention, sustainability, and gender ID were offered.

Action Taken: None

Agenda Item #4: 2022 Budget Challenges

Discussion: How do we engage the congregation into these discussions before the end of 2022 when decisions have to be made?

DH – format the conversations around people, not dollars and cents; hybrid of zoom and in-person meetings; each month can tell a story of how BLC is doing and serve as a guide; continue quarterly reporting

JV – be creative; use trivia to make it fun; involve the finance committee

CM – look ahead more than one year; possible 5-year goal; more frequent reporting to the congregation

RB – can’t wait until November for this communication

PS – need to be mission-minded

Action Taken: None


Agenda Item #5: COVID-19 Safety Protocol for March

Discussion: The safety discussion began with the weekend worship services. PS reviewed the ELCA guidelines which allow for each congregation to ultimately decide. Rostered leaders are recommending the continuation of wearing masks. Council members weighed in –

JV – mask in church

SM – agree; follow that guidance and hold us to a higher standard

KJ – mask indoors for large groups until there is vaccine for everyone

RB – What are the indicators we are using? Need to revisit again

CM – decide on a time frame – 2-month or weeks?

CC – stay masked

PS – social distance seating in sanctuary lifted


Consideration continued for groups meeting in the building during the month of March 2022.


Conclusion: Masks required to enter the building. Food and drink allowed. No capacity limits. Groups are to discern location and social distancing. Masks should be worn while inside the building.


Agenda Item #6: Rostered Leaders Report

Discussion: Live streaming installation continues. In-person worship will begin on Ash Wednesday with the theme “Full to the Brim.” Received $13,000 towards the matching 1:1 campaign.

Agenda Item #7: Consent agenda

Action Taken: Vote

Motion: To approve the financials from December/January; approve minutes from December/January

Made By: Judy Hanson

Second: John Volkening

Result: carries

Agenda Item #8: Adjourn Council Meeting

Action Taken: Vote

Motion: “Motion to adjourn”

Made By: John Volkening

Second: Rob Bount

Result: adjourn meeting 8:50 PM