Bethlehem Lutheran Church
Council Meeting Minutes 
Date: January 16, 2024

Present: Cheryl Martines, John Volkening, Brian Ferguson, Bonnie Hare, Kelly Jirschele, Rob Blount, Steve McIntire, Paul Dayton
Absent: None
Staff: Pastor Krista Zimmerman, Deacon Heather Feltman
Guests: Amy Blackmore, David Lincoln
Meeting called to order at: 6:30 PM
Meeting closed at: 8:35 PM 
Council Reporter: Paul Dayton 

Opening Prayer: John Volkening
Devotion: Pastor Krista Zimmerman: Efficiency from “A Rhythm of Prayer” book 

Agenda Item #1: Welcome Amy Blackmore
Discussion:  Amy was asked to fill the vacant Council at large portion and accepted.
Action Taken: Vote
Motion: Move to accept Amy Blackmore to fill the open Council at Large position through May, effective immediately.
Made By: John Volkening Second: Kelly Jirschele Result:  Motion passed 9/0 

Agenda Item #2: Revised Worship and Education Schedule: 12 Sundays
All members were asked to advise their top three priorities with respect to Worship and Education. Then continue the discussion on the Worship and Education Schedule.
Discussion: Distilled summary presented: 

  • It is time to re-instate two services; one with Contemporary music & format and one with traditional music and format 
  • The change to two services is a trial, essentially for 12 Sundays; we need to solicit feedback and records notes / observations along the way so adjustments can be made 
  • Key goals of a change are: 1) provide two distinct services, 2) obtain feedback for Fall planning, 3) honor youth time, 4) use Fellowship Hall 
  • The trial will grant us opportunity to develop both Contemporary  and Traditional formats independently 
  • There remains some concern re attendance, but the hope is that providing two formats and times will be attractive to both existing members and potential new members; it is hoped that having two services will help grow BLC. 
  • The early time is unpopular, the 9:30 remains the “sweet” spot, a 10:45 slot seems appropriate, perhaps we should move 9:30 to 9:15 to allow more prep and transition time between the services 
  • There is a strong desire for a return to Fellowship Hall; using Fellowship Hall as is will provide concrete experience to the Congregation as to physical and audio deficits; however the expense to make it a quality space to worship is too high given our current fiscal situation (~$160K). 
  •  Use of the Sanctuary for both services will forgo the need to upgrade Fellowship Hall until we are fiscally in a position to do it properly, enhance continued Fellowship of disciples from both services as each group enters and leaves worship. 
  • It is important to minimize changes to the youth education as they need to understand their importance to the congregation and are already unsettled from recent changes. Keep their schedule intact. 
  • Rostered Leaders are ready and willing to adjust schedule to whatever decision we reach; they are also prepared to bring the 9:30 Contemporary service to 50 minutes and create more time that way between services for music / other prep and transition. 

Conclusion: Proceed with change to two services.
Action Taken: Vote
Motion: Move to change, in February 2024, to two Worship Services; a Contemporary Style Service will be at 9:15AM in the Sanctuary and a Traditional Style Service will be at 10:45AM in the Sanctuary. Further there will be two Adult Education sessions concurrent with the two Worship Services. Finally, the Youth Education, including Confirmation, will be at 10:45AM.
Made By: Paul Dayton Second: Rob Blount Result:  Discussion 1st, then amendment to motion, then vote on amended motion.
Discussion: on start time of Praise Service 

  • allows more time for choir and for baptisms, communion, setup 
  • families ½ hr between may be a slight issue (prepare teachers and families) 

– teachers / mentors also coming from worship and need time 

 – can also use time to get them together and them break out into groups 

  • time for rostered leaders to drop in 
  • 30 minutes difference; families drop off right away and need to have people to handle them 
  • all are assuming that kids will actually be at the 9:15 service; but not seeing children in worship prior to sunday school 
  • rostered leaders keep tight schedule (tight on time); David also helps with this 
  • Contemporary may be less than an hour 
  • need to observe what happens in trial period 
  • enlist kids to help out in between 
  • overall change – less is more; reason to keep 9:30 time slot; people are tired of this discussion; almost all other churches in area start at 9:30 

Action Taken: Vote
Motion: Move to amend the existing motion on Worship Service and Education to change the 9:15AM Contemporary Service and the concurrent Adult Education to 9:30AM.
Made By: Amy Blackmore Second: Cheryl Martines Result: Motion passed 9/0/1
Next we agreed to vote on the Amended motion which now reads
Motion: Move to change, in February 2024, to two Worship Services; a Contemporary Style Service will be at 9:30AM in the Sanctuary and a Traditional Style Service will be at 10:45AM in the Sanctuary. Further there will be two Adult Education sessions concurrent with the two Worship Services. Finally, the Youth Education, including Confirmation, will be at 10:45AM.
Made By: Paul Dayton Second: Rob Blount Result:  Motion passed 9/1/0
Note: Timing and method of disclosure of this decision will be reviewed at the Council Exec meeting of January 18, 2024. 

Agenda Item #3: Constitution update
Discussion:  
Online forum was held on January 10th.Communication will go into the Weekly and the next Council Corner on January 19 and January 26. We will vote on revision of phase one at the Annual Meeting on Sunday January 28.
Action Taken: None required

Agenda Item #4: Annual Meeting
Discussion:  
The 1st forum on Sunday 1/14 had good attendance. Questions centered around our mission of invite and nurture vs. budget numbers. One concern was the reduction in contribution to the Synod. There will be two additional forums, Wednesday 1/17 on zoom, and Sunday 1/21 at 10:45.
Action Taken: None required

Agenda Item #5: MSP Review
Discussion: Two parts (documents) that have been revised. Feedback given – 
The 7 reflections were will worded and the time the team has put into this is appreciated.
There was concern as to the accuracy of the numbers in the MSP, the references, the clarity of the MSP goals, observation that emphasis on youth and family should be expanded, need to clearly note that RIC process started prior to Pr. Paisley leaving, we should omit reference to “transition”, and the skill set with respect to “Administration” should be reviewed and clarified.
Conclusion: Deacon Heather will review and adjust the numbers as needed; John will make suggested revision and re-submit to Council Exec, then Full Council. 
Action Taken: Tabled 

Agenda Item #6: consent agenda & rostered leader report
Discussion:  None
Action Taken: Vote
Motion: Move to approve the 1/9 Council Minutes and the Rostered Leader report
Made By: Steve McIntire Second: John Volkening Result: passed 9/0/1 

Agenda Item #5: Adjourn meeting 
Action Taken:  Vote
Motion: Motion to adjourn” 
Made By:  Steve McIntire Second: Kelly Jirschele Result: Passed 10/0/0 

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Addendum: Monday January 22 – MSP Review – all electronic via e-mail:
Referring to the documents submitted by John Volkening on January 22, 2024 at 5:43 AM:
Final MSP 2024
Seven Reflections

Motion: “I move that we approve the updated MSP documents as attached.”
Made by: Pastor Krista Zimmerman
Second: Paul Dayton
Motion passed 10/0