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Council Minutes

Wesley Memorial UMC Church Council August 17, 2021

PRESENT: Pastor Matt Seaton, David Sandridge, Maury Early, Carolyn Ball, Rick Hamilton, Juliana Piacentini, Matt Zimmerman, Sue Lewis, Sherry Lambert, Sarah Malpass, Wayne Malbon, Sandy Staggers

OPENING: Carolyn Ball opened the meeting with prayer.

MINUTES: the July meeting minutes were approved without changes.


The Lentsch estate gave an undesignated gift of $100,000. Pastor Matt created a spread sheet of possible use ideas for review. There was discussion of several items. Pastor Matt has already gotten a bid on upgrading the AV system. Council approved moving forward with the upgrade of AV system up to $15,000. Pastor Matt will send out the details of the bid and council members are asked to get back to him within 48 hrs. The remainder of the possible use items will be finalized at the council retreat which is currently not scheduled.

TRUSTEES-Carolyn Ball

* Annual elevator inspection occurred following repair earlier in the month. Elevator inspection now up to date.

* There was a toilet running at Moosetrap which ran up a $150 water bill. Plumber went out on 8/13 and repaired.

* Janitorial services have returned to twice weekly on Monday and Friday mornings.

* Mud dauber nest removed from Pastor Matt's office.

SPR-Sherry Lambert

The SPRC met Monday, August 16 to begin work on a Staff Handbook for Wesley Memorial. We are using examples from several other churches, as well as resources from the Conference. We will meet again in September to review our first draft. We are also writing letters of support/encouragement to each of the staff members to open at their retreat, which will be held this Saturday, at Casa Alma.


Rosie Snow joined the meeting to review. Project Overview: After helping cultivate the Wesley Gardens through the spring and summer season, we propose using the remainder of the UMCOR Earthkeeper’s grant to convert the rectangular portion of lawn off Thomson (see image A) into a small food forest. This would entail cardboard and wood chip mulching the lawn, and adding a limited selection of perennial, fruit-bearing trees and shrubs. The goal is to increase food production on our campus, make our campus more resilient to effects of climate change like drought and flooding, make the space more inviting to passersby, and create an additional place for small groups or individual prayer. Food forests (image B) are integrated plant communities with various vertical and horizontal plants and root layers that provide edible products. Food forests function long-term to increase water retention and infiltration, protect the soils and heavy rainfalls, establish windbreaks, increase soil fertility, and provide foods and medicines. Once established, food forests selfmaintain.

Rosie reports the preschool is aware of and supports the proposal. Plants have been ordered as grant money expired in July, and will plants will be available in early September. Discussion followed regarding the need for volunteers to maintain the forest , and evaluating other areas of the property for the plantings. There was no final decision.


PCRT has not met since the last council meeting. Charlottesville currently is in the “substantial/high threshold” category for Covid transmission. At this category the CDC recommendation is for all to wear masks for inside gatherings regardless of vaccination status. We will continue to follow this recommendation. As of meeting date, cases are at 15 per 100,000 people. If cases reach 25 per 100,000 people there may be changes made in our plans. Fellowship will continue to take place outside. If there is inclement weather fellowship will be on the breezeway. If weather is nice it will take place in the front of the church lot on Emmet Street. The conference has not provided guidance on the serving of food at church.

NURTURE-no report

WITNESS-Juliana Piacentini

YAWM Updates

  • Rosie was planning on handing out flyers on Sunday, August 15 with information about Wesley to the Young Adults to hang in various businesses around Charlottesville in preparation for the students' return to Grounds.

  • Juliana reached out to the Young Adults to encourage them to attend the snack-pack organizing party at the Wesley Foundation this Sunday, August 22.

  • There will be a YAWM fellowship event on Thursday, August 26 at 6:30 pm in IX Art Park.

  • Juliana and Rosie are continuing to revive the Childcare Ministry during worship.

    • We need to establish a volunteer rotation.

      • The flow of having the children the Aldersgate Room during worship with the door open to the Sanctuary only necessitates one volunteer per week.

      • Current volunteers:

        • Rosie

        • Ryan

        • Rocky

        • Renita (when she returns)

        • Juliana (when she is in Charlottesville more regularly in the fall)

      • We would like to have additional volunteers.

        • We will bring this before the congregation to recruit different members to help.

        • Rosie and Juliana have more ideas about people to ask.

    • Rocky suggested having a meeting to brainstorm activities for the children.

  • Rosie is planning to organize a fall Bible Study, which Juliana will help facilitate.

    • This will be themed "Tricky Bits"

    • We will start meeting the week of September 15 (the same week that daytime Bible Study will resume), though location is TBD

    • A scheduling poll will be sent out next week to decide which day of the week the sessions will occur.

  • We have been receiving more traction on Instagram - recently, many students & student groups have been following our account

OUTREACH-Maury Early

IMPACT-House meeting Sept 19 at church after the service (affordable housing, childcare, care for creation questions). Annual assembly of network members Oct. 26 ( to pin down topic for research concentration for IMPACT 2021-2022 year). Maury notes the care for creation questions are very broad and encompass many topics. Discussion among the congregation as to topics of concern will follow.

PACEM-Need for sign ups for servers at dinners at Premier circle, sign up Genius Premier Circle Meal Service Sign-Up Genius link. Request for dropping off fruit items at Premier Circle office for guests as breakfast and snacks. Donation of money are accepted.

Maria-city market each Saturday August and September, need helpers for questions, making change, and interpreter support. Use of Kitchen as commercial Kitchen: will need separate refrigerator

FCCW-we received a request to rejoin providing Christmas gifts to the residents of FCCW. We will plan to participate as a congregation. As before requests are very specific. Donations of money will also be accepted. Hygiene Items (place in a gallon zip lock bag) 1. One individually wrapped toothbrush (must be in original container) 2. One tube of toothpaste, 6 oz. (must be in original container) 3. One deodorant stick, 2.6 oz. - no spray or roll-on (as close to 2.6 oz. as possible but no larger) 4. One bottle of shampoo, 15 oz. (as close to 15 oz. as possible but no larger) 5. One bottle of lotion, 15 oz. (as close to 15 oz. as possible but no larger) Greeting Cards and Stationery Items 1. Christmas and Hanukkah cards and greeting cards for all occasions. All cards are sorted by a local team of volunteers after they're received. Please try to avoid purchasing cards that contain aluminum foil on the card or envelope flap. 2. Stationery items - writing paper of any size and envelopes either 3 5/8 x 6 ½" or 4 1/8 x 9 ½" 3. Forever postage stamps - used to send donation acknowledgment letters. Please place them in a separate zip lock bag) 4. Wooden pencils (unsharpened)


Rick will send out a proposal for the council retreat with possible dates and proposed agenda. This will be finalized by September 1. Rick also asked that persons contact him with ideas about the Food Forest proposal.


Matt reports that he has been contacted by several individuals with concerns about the safety of transgender persons in society. How can we let the community know that Wesley is a safe space? Spanish hymnals have been made available and Pastor Matt prints out his sermon in Spanish. A staff retreat is scheduled for August 21 at Casa Alma. Charge conference will be on October 18 at Aldersgate. Committee chairs should begin preparing reports and considering budget plans.

CLOSING-Pastor Matt closed the meeting with prayer.

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