Council Minutes - August 16, 2022

Updated: Nov 17

WESLEY MEMORIAL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

Council minutes August 16, 2022


PRESENT: Pastor Matt Seaton, Rick Hamilton, John Olsson, Cameron Pampus, Monica McCormack, Rocky Shoemaker, Maury Early, Carolyn Ball, Jenette Parker, Sue Lewis, Juliana Piacentini, Matt Zimmerman, Rosie Snow, Sandy Staggers


OPENING: Rick opened the meeting with prayer.


MINUTES: the July minutes were approved.


STAFF REPORTS: Cameron notes he hopes to bring more people into the choir. He also hopes to incorporate children into the music program.


Rosie submitted the written report below.

Overview:

There have been a few disruptions and changes to my position at Wesley, namely my maternity leave, and now the recent abrupt change to my position from full to half time. Below are reports from some of the areas of ministry where my work has been concentrated. I am pleased to share that after years of hard work from myself, the other Wesley staff and pastor/s, and the congregation, during a years-long pandemic that has devastated many churches, the congregation is growing. To emphasize that, there are about 35 people who have started

regularly attending worship or small groups in the past year, including 5 new families, and 10 new children. 

Children and Families:

Starting in January, when worship was regularly in person again after years of starting and stopping, providing Sunday school, and developing relationships with families became a top priority. To this end I have:

- recruited weekly volunteers from the congregation since January

- acquired, promoted, and modified the Honoring God’s Diversity curriculum

- integrated our garden space into that curriculum 

- practiced regular outreach to regular, new, and peripheral families by checking in, and directly invited neighborhood families to worship and special events such as our easter egg-dying event and July cookout

- been intentional about mentioning our values of unconditional love & inclusion at every opportunity

There are now 8 families with 15 children ages 0-10 who regularly attend or are planning to regularly attend Wesley. Good work everyone!

Projects moving forward:

- invite new parents/guardians to small groups to help them get connected 

- plan Christmas Pageant for December 2022

- add another volunteer or hired childcare person for Sunday School

- begin thinking about Vacation Bible School for Summer 2023

LGBTQIA

Wesley’s active inclusion of LGBTQIA+ is a #1 reason that new people are regularly attending church/small groups. I can think of eight people off the top of my head for whom that is true. About 13 people are actively involved in our reconciling work. My work has focused on:


- facilitating our weekly Trans Defense group and recruiting more allies to join

- working with others to organize a meal train and other support for a member in need

- initiating a working group with other inclusive churches and student groups in Cville that will do collective outreach to students

Projects moving forward:

- expanding our trans defense group and work, including more fundraising and advocacy

- Juliana will be taking up the coalition work as that is no longer in my job description

Christian Education

I have done work in several small groups focused on Christian Education, including:

-  recruiting and scheduling teachers for the winter/spring semester of the Sunday Morning Forum, and promoting each class

- leading the Wednesday evening Bible study until I went on maternity leave and it paused for the summer

- Organizing a parent group in the winter - however we didn’t have enough regular attendance at that point to keep it going

Projects moving forward:

- recruiting and scheduling for the fall semester of Sunday Morning Forum 

- organizing our Dinners for 8 program

- teaching another evening Bible Study

Young Adults

There are about 30 people between the ages of 18-40 active in the congregation. We have tried but not been very successful in creating a regular small group just for people in that age range. Part of this is because of peoples’ schedules, and part is because the people in this range fall into lots of distinct buckets: parents, undergrads, grad students, etc. 

Project moving forward:

- directly invite young adults to a) join small groups such as the evening bible study and dinners for 8, and b) take part as worship leaders, church leaders, and volunteers

Garden

I organized a garden workday in March before my maternity leave that was well attended. Since I returned; I have integrated the garden into our other ministries/missions thusly:

- weekly donations of produce to International Neighbors (until I started having to use up my PTO and no longer had time in my schedule)

- Salad Sundays in July

- bringing Sunday school into the garden and using it to help the children learn Christian values

Maria continues to use the gardens and campus to grow food. I also have a friend in the neighborhood whose father, a recent immigrant from Moldova, has been using the garden a lot.

Project moving forward:

This will no longer be part of my job description, so we need a lay person to lead our garden efforts. Devon Earle thought this would be very interesting to Wesley Foundation students.


Monica submitted the written report below.

I have been on vacation for three weeks since the last council meeting. Since my return on August 7th I have focused on football parking and learning the lay of the parking lot and who parks where and who wants to move closer to friends. We have raised the fee for football parking by $25 per space. I created

a spreadsheet to keep track of each parker and the monies received.

A new small group catalog is being designed and will go to print sometime this week. The goal is to have them ready for the Welcome Picnic for students. I ordered a new banner to put out by the walkway in front of the church. We have had a great response to people signing up to bring snacks or give money

for donuts. We are still in need of a few volunteers to sit out front under the tents to greet students.

The Welcome Picnic on August 28th will have a Bounce Castle again as it was a huge success with the children in July. Perhaps some students will enjoy jumping in the castle as well. John Olsson has donated two 10x10 tents to the church to be used for the picnic and other events. People are signing up to provide side dishes and desserts, and Maury is handling the chicken and paper products. We will have a swag table with handouts for the students. The Wesley Foundation will be joining us for this event.

Quarterly statements were sent out when I returned from vacation. I have received two calls with issues with the statement so am still working out glitches on the 20/20 Vision pledges, but they are less than before so moving in the right direction.

There is exciting movement in the Trans Defense Group with two new allies joining us on Sunday afternoons, and planning for a fund raiser in November (possibly at the Paramount) to raise money to support trans people in our community. We are talking about what we can do leading up to the election

to let trans people know that they are loved by God. Rosie provides excellent leadership.

Pastor Matt has worked hard to move the central camera for live streaming from the middle of the church to the back wall. This gives a much better view of almost the whole sanctuary so people watching us online can see more of the congregation. Also, the camera angle of the podium is much better from the back wall.


FINANCE/TREASURER: David submitted a written report which was reviewed by Sue Lewis and Pastor Matt. Pastor Matt submitted 3 proposals to council for consideration.

Proposal #1-to create an emergency fund with 3 months’ worth of expenses, about $90,000. Pastor Matt detailed the distribution of monies into this emergency account. It would only be used for emergencies or unforeseen expenses. David would need to consult council for approval prior to spending this fund. It would then become high priority to replenish the fund. This proposal was

approved by council.

Proposal #2-eliminate a line item labeled 2019 unreconciled charges. This proposal was approved by council.

Proposal #3-to move in and out funds, excluding ministry funds, to the UMC Foundation of the Virginia Conference account. This proposal was approved by council.

Pastor Matt noted that narrative budget requests should be submitted by committee chairs by September 30, 2022. Jenette is assisting with budget planning. Pastor Matt’s goal is to have a narrative budget plan available to give to each member of the congregation by October 23, 2022, which will be

the beginning of the stewardship campaign.


TRUSTEES: Carolyn submitted the written report below.

* We have received initial drawings from the landscape architect, Jessica Primm, for landscaping/hardscaping the area adjacent to the Thomson Rd entrance to our building. This plan also addresses drainage and the sinking of the sidewalk to that main entrance. Pastor Matt will present the drawings.

* We continue to wait for Lynch roofing to do the roof replacement over the nursery room in the education building. This needs to be done to address the water seeping through the north wall. They will also be removing the sponge “guards” and cleaning out the gutters. Carolyn has checked in intermittently and hopeful work will be scheduled in the next few weeks.

* We are awaiting estimates for asbestos removal from the lower chancel room, the asbestos adhesive spots which were behind the bulletin board in the nursery and the attic of the Moosetrap. While the asbestos contractor was in the building, he noted the flooring at the north Emmet St entrance next to Pastor Matt’s office and in the bathroom is also asbestos. It is cracked at the threshold area to Matt’s

office. The flooring contractor had suggested old flooring would likely need to be removed before new flooring installed due to the cracking which was likely to recur. We have kept the nursery “closed” until the work gets done although it has been deemed to be safe as far as the asbestos adhesive is concerned as it is not friable material and airborne.

* We are awaiting a part for our unusually branded toilet next to the choir room. Plumber Bob Newsome is doing the work and has fixed the problem on 2 of these other toilets. He is recommending gradually changing out these toilets due to difficulty getting parts.

* A and J Heating and Air is working up proposal for Moosetrap. Keith from that company was requesting looking at the possibility of the asbestos removal to be able to possibly use the attic as the lay out of the home makes placement of the units for mini-splits difficult.

Discussion of the landscaping project was postponed until the September meeting; at which time it is hoped there will be drawings of the plans for council to review.


SPRC: Sue submitted the written report below.

The SPRC met on July 26 via zoom to discuss the job description for Rosie Snow, Director of Discipleship.

Since the funding for that position has been reduced due to less income from Vision 2020, the offer to Rosie was for half/time beginning 9/1/2022. The congregation has received notice of the change, and Rosie was pleased to adjust her hours to allow for more family time. We will meet next on 9/13 to continue work on staff job descriptions.

It was noted that SPRC will need to budget for the nursery worker position since it is now filled.


NURTURE: Rocky did not submit written report.

Rocky will cover pastoral needs while Pastor Matt is away next week. Nurture is planning to visit Methodists at University Village. Nurture should be notified of members admitted to long term facilities. The Virginia Interfaith Center has sent information for churches to use in non-partisan voter registration and election participation drives. Sue is the congregational liaison to this body. She will ask

for volunteers to help with voter registration and to encourage participation in the next election.


WITNESS: Juliana

Juliana has met with Devon from the Wesley Foundation to discuss programming and integration of the Wesley Foundation with the church. There is a monthly group meeting of grad students planned at the Dairy Market with grad students from Westminster Presbyterian and University Baptist Churches.

Juliana hopes to increase involvement of the church at community events, such as by having a table at the Back-to-School Block party at Common Grounds.


OUTREACH: Maury submitted the written report below.

We need to decide whether we think we can host 25 men from PACEM in just our fellowship hall. Now that IMPACT rents, that side room is no longer available for use. We would need to be able to host, with social distancing, 25 mats, 25 chairs, and tables for eating. I don’t know where we would offer TV. This

is not as simple as yes, we would like to. Is it physically doable?

Buckingham School Supplies were delivered 8.15.2022 to Buckingham Primary School along with a $350 check for monetary donations so far. Additional monetary donations will be sent in a second check.

Discussion of PACEM followed. It was noted that the Healthy Church Team met yesterday, and discussed approving the use of the fellowship hall for PACEM, as long as there are adequate air filtration/ventilation devices, and as long as it does not interfere with Maria’s use of the kitchen. It was noted that PACEM plans to bring Hepa filters. Maury reports that the guests eat on their mats in

facilities where there is not enough space to accommodate mats and tables. It was approved by council to host PACEM from February 11 2023 until February 24 2023.


MINISTER’S REPORT: Pastor Matt

Pastor Matt asked the council members to discuss where we would like to see Wesley Memorial in a year from now. The following ideas were mentioned:

1) A full sanctuary

2) Many children present

3) The presence of families or persons who don’t generally feel at home in a church

4) Increased volunteerism, with shared responsibilities for events/programs

5) A stronger presence in the community with a reputation that is known

6) Increased presence of college students and activities for them

7) A constant presence in the education building with heavy utilization of our physical space

8) Increased liberty for Maria and Marcelino

9) The Trans group including more people as a refuge or safe space.

10) Participation of all in age and need appropriate faith development opportunities

CLOSING: Matt closed the meeting with prayer.

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