Connecting with Council
Bethlehem’s Congregational Council serves the Congregation by providing leadership and setting the vision for our community. Council understands that it is important to receive feedback and listen to our community. There are a number of opportunities to engage with Council:
Coffee with Council – During the programming season, Council will host an Education Hour approximately once per month. During these sessions, Council will provide updates on what is happening around Bethlehem. Some sessions will focus on a single theme (e.g. Building or Call Committee updates, Budget review) while others may be general information. Disciples will have time at the end of the session to ask questions of Council members.
Email – Council members have their email addresses posted on BLC website. In addition, we have established a single email address that will reach all BLC Council members (Council@bethlehemluth.org). If you have any concerns or questions about what Council is doing, please feel free to email Council. One of the Council members will follow-up with you.
Meetings with Ministry teams and Circles – Council understands the importance of our Ministry teams and Circles to Bethlehem’s mission. Council would like to have an opportunity to attend your meetings and be available to team members to answer questions and hear feedback. Please email Council with information on your meetings so that a Council member can join the meeting.
In person – All Council members are available to speak with disciples. Please feel free to approach any Council member when you see them at Church. If you would like to schedule a longer discussion with a specific Council member, please email the Council member directly.
Council Meeting – Council meetings are typically held on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at BLC. All meetings are open to the public. Visitors will be given an opportunity to address Council during an open Q&A session at the beginning of the meeting. During the remainder of the meeting, visitors are welcome to observe the Council meeting, but please allow Council to conduct regularly scheduled business. On occasion Council will enter Executive Session for the purposes of conducting business around personnel and compensation. During Executive Session, visitors will be asked to leave as these are confidential discussions.
Council also welcomes Ministries and Circles to update Council on what their teams are doing. Anyone may request a 10 minutes place on the Council’s agenda for a presentation or discussion. Please email the Council Secretary by the 1st Tuesday of each month to be added to the next regularly scheduled Council meeting. While every effort will be made to accommodate your request at the next scheduled Council meeting, the presentation may have to be scheduled for a future meeting based on time constraints.
Council Meeting Visitor Policy
Thank you for joining us at our Bethlehem Congregational Council meeting. Receiving staff reports and conducting the business of our Congregation are the primary focuses of Council meetings. Visitors are welcome to observe the meeting; we ask that you respect the work and time commitment of Council members by following a few rules during the meeting.
- A 15 minutes open discussion time will be allocated near the beginning of the meeting for visitors to address Council.
- Comments and questions will be limited to 2 minutes per speaker. No one will be recognized a 2nd time until all visitors are given an opportunity to speak.
- While speakers may ask questions of Council, answers to these questions may not be available at the meeting. If necessary, a Council or Staff member will follow-up with the speaker after the meeting with additional information.
- At the end of the 15 minutes the meeting chair will close the discussion time. If all speakers have been recognized before the 15-minute period has ended, the meeting chair will close the discussion time.
- During the business part of the agenda, we request that visitors listen, but not engage with Council members or other observers.
- If Council needs to discuss any Personnel issue, we will move into Executive Session. During Executive Session, visitors will be asked to leave the room.