Council Minutes - November 16, 2021

WESLEY MEMORIAL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

COUNCIL November 16, 2021


PRESENT: Pastor Matt Seaton, David Sandridge, Roger McDonald, Carolyn Ball, Rosie Snow, Sherry Lambert, Sue Lewis, Juliana Piacentini, Maury Early, Rocky Shoemaker, Sandy Staggers


OPENING: David opened the meeting with prayer.


MINUTES: The October minutes were approved.


GARDEN PROJECT: Rosie reviewed her report on the garden project as an update on the ministry.

The cost estimate for 2022 of $500 falls under Rosies’ budget line.

Garden Report

2021 Recap: During spring and summer this past year we had two garden leaders who led weekly garden workdays. Church members attended sometimes, but laity engagement was pretty low especially while the church was closed. All of the beds produced vegetables, as well as additional areas where María

gardened. The garden leaders inoculated over a dozen logs with mushrooms, which should start yielding this winter and continue for several years. They also helped select perennial shrubs which have been planted around our campus. The garden beds were mostly used/harvested by María, the garden leaders,

the preschool, and people who live in the neighborhood. There were few pests this year than the previous year, but we can produce a lot more vegetables by focusing on the vegetables that have done the best the past few years.

Research: According to a survey sent to interested members of the congregation, about seven people are willing to volunteer regularly. Most would prefer a monthly garden workday, with several also wanting to drop by for garden work in their spare time. I spoke with the program director at Bread and

Roses, and their (much larger) project runs on the labor of only about 5

regular volunteers. They also have monthly garden workdays where regular volunteers are usually joined by a few other congregants, and sometimes the UVA service fraternity (who have helped us in the past, too).

Plan for Spring 2022: Based on research, past experience, and the size of our gardens and volunteer base, I recommend the following:

- Weatherize several beds to be able to grow vegetables in winter (we have a volunteer willing to set this up in the next month).

- Starting in March, adopt a weekly-produce-box model, giving weekly boxes of produce away to folks in the community (especially students) who don’t have access to fresh vegetables. Start with five boxes, and if the garden is producing more, increase the number. This allows flexibility as far as what/how much is in each box, and it allows us to grow individual relationships.

- Monthly community workdays starting in March

- 1-2 volunteers per week to fill the boxes

- Regular volunteers also encouraged to stop by to garden in their free time - María will continue to grow food for herself in her two beds

- I will work on recruiting a volunteer to coordinate these efforts in my place while I am on maternity leave (April & May most likely)

Cost: The garden shouldn’t require many costs from this point out. Cost of seeds is minimal. We may need to pick up more garden tools at times. The biggest potential project is setting up one or more rain barrels - multiple people have already offered to donate rain barrels.


POWER TEAM: Rosie reports the power team is still evaluating possible solar panels. The team is working from an energy audit done in 2018. The team is considering whether to first try to lower our energy consumption/expenditures by methods such as insulation of the attic and switching to LED lights.

David suggested the windows also be evaluated as there is no insulation in the window tracks and the windows are all single pane. Rosie will investigate an energy audit for the Moosetrap.


TREASURER/ FINANCE: David reviewed the report. The stewardship campaign is completed and pledges are still coming in. The conference recommended that each church develop and fund a “moving expenses” fund. An amount of $3000-4000 has been suggested in the past. It was approved by the council to create a moving expenses fund as a line item on the budget sheet, with $4000 being added from the Lentzsh gift fund. Budget will be voted on at the December meeting.


TRUSTEES: Carolyn

Carolyn reviewed the report. Carolyn and Pastor Matt met with a landscape architect to look at possible improvements for accessibility and safety in the grassy area on the Thomson Road side. The architect would plan to repair the sidewalk, level the area so it is more accessible, and address drainage as that

would keep the area from further sinking. The trustees’ budget does not include funding for this. It was approved by council that the trustees can work with the architect to develop a plan to improve this area.

It was approved that $10,000 will be held as a line item to begin the project.

The fire extinguishers were inspected on 10/27 which is done annually. No problems found.

* REBoggs came to check boiler and thermostat with no problems except for programming. Temperatures have been set subsequently for 63 degrees for the sanctuary except for Sundays. The basement is set to 60 degrees except for Wednesday evenings for the AA meeting. If you know of special meetings or events which are happening at the church, let Roger McDonald know plenty of time in advance so that he can reset the thermostats.

* The ADA door has been successfully installed and has required a little tweaking so that it closes well. It is imperative that anyone locking up knows to turn off the power to the door closure apparatus. There is an on/off switch which must be turned off or the power of the motor could damage our wood door and

window if someone pushes the button to open the door and it is locked but switched on. There is some carpentry still to be completed to hide power cord, but door is fully operational. Thanks to Sue Lewis who arranged most of this.

* Carolyn Ball and Pastor Matt Seaton are going to meet with a landscape architect Jessica Primm on 11/16 to look at the space next to Thomson Road entrance to consult about how to make the space as accessible with possible benches and leveling out the area to make it as safe as possible. Moore

Masonry is aware of this consult and will be given the go ahead to fix sidewalk pending the consult. It is possible there may be additional modifications suggested which could be incorporated into the masonry work.

* The plants which Rosie Snow purchased with the Earthkeepers grant have been planted (except one).

*Signs have been ordered for the parking lot for additional visitor parking and a large sign to be more noticeable regarding the lot being reserved and that cars will be towed. There is ongoing difficulty with reserved parking spaces being used by others. If you come to the church during the week, the spaces

directly in front of the sanctuary where there are the handicapped spaces, is where you should park.

Those spaces are not reserved. Roger McDonald is helping to install the signs when they are ready.

* We are moving forward with getting the church kitchen certified so that Maria's catering is being done according to health department guidelines. The kitchen is not required to be certified for the market.

Maria has completed the course work and will be taking the exam for the ServSafe Manager's course so that she can be the official person managing the kitchen. There will be an additional commercial refrigerator purchased from a grant Rosie secured as she will need a separate fridge. The warmer will be

moved elsewhere.

* There has been a task force, "The Power Team", which has been looking at the possibility of solar panels for our facilities. The LEAP assessment and report from a few years ago has been revisited along with looking at energy efficiency and insulation. An estimate was obtained from Weatherseal and it is still being assessed how much value we would get from adding insulation to the sanctuary as only about half of the space is accessible to insulate. The education building estimate is ~$6000 and would provide considerable benefit by the assessment. An assessment of our HVAC systems will be done on 11/23

which will be both educational and give us an idea of the life of our existing systems and ways they can be used more efficiently. Christine Alencar has led the power team.


SPR: Sherry reviewed the report.

1. Assigned each member a staff person to check in with before the end of December. This is a chance to see how each staff person is doing and let him/her know that staff evaluations have been moved to the spring.

   Staff/SPRC pairings are:

   Sarah/Cameron

   Wayne/Rosie

   Sherry/Linda

   Sue or Matt/Monica - Sue will be in touch with Matt about this.

2. We finished putting together the Employee Policy Manual. Next step is to share it with the Church Council and ask for their approval. Sherry will send it to Council.

3. Contracts for employees will be put together based on the information in the handbook. This will be taken on by the new SPRC in 2022.

4. Next Meeting: Monday, Dec. 6, at 7:00. This should be a brief meeting to fill out the Clergy Appointment form.

The employee manual is completed. There is one change in employee PTO, as employees in their first 5 years will receive 20 days PTO, and employees of 5-10 years will receive 25 days PTO. Council approved the manual with those changes. Staff will now review and sign it off.


POST COVID: Pastor Matt

Pastor Matt reports we now have 3 air purifiers with heap filters for use in rooms where small groups meet, such as the adult forum, choir room and aldersgate rooms.


NURTURE: Rocky

Nurture is working on establishing the food bank for needy UVA students. They are hoping to get a list of specific needs, with a plan to focus each month on a specific need. Rocky hopes to have this for communion Sunday in December. Prayer group remains on zoom but meets regularly as does the Vintage group. Visitation is ongoing.


WITNESS: Juliana

Juliana reviewed the report

• Facebook unpublished our original Facebook page, so Monica created a new one – “Wesley Memorial

UM Church”

• This week is Trans Awareness Week, so Juliana hopes to share some related content on our social

media accounts


• Juliana and Monica met to brainstorm a Wesley NOW catalog focused on our ministries. More work

will be done on this in the coming weeks with the hopes of launching this catalog after the New Year.

• Juliana & Rosie are working on a new YAWM format in which there is a specific monthly fellowship

event for the Young Adults


OUTREACH: Maury reviewed the report.

Maria: We need to send the Sign Up link again for helping Maria on Saturdays at City Market. She needs help for all Saturdays 11/20 through 12/18. Also, Maria is doing the Wesley Foundation student meal tonight at 6  with some help from Council members. 

PACEM: We have the opportunity to help with preparing dinner meals for up to 20 men in congregate care at local churches. Wesley Memorial folks have signed up for Nov 28 and Nov 29 for the dinner meal while the men are at the Unitarian Church. At this point Nov 26 and 27 are not subscribed. In December, the guests are housed at First Methodist and there are dates available for sign up there, Dec 5, 26,27,28,29, 30. 

IMPACT: the new issue chosen for the upcoming IMPACT year is transportation. The research to action

Zoom meeting is this Thursday 6:30 PM to learn more about the continuing work for Affordable Housing, Early childhood education, and the new transportation issue. Interested folks are encouraged to attend. 


NOMINATIONS: Pastor Matt reports these were approved at charge conference and are resent now for information to be aware of changes in council membership.

Committee on Nominations Report

Worksheet for 2022

(Year in parenthesis indicates term expiring on December 31 of that year.) Church Council

Church Council Chairperson: Rick Hamilton (2022)

Lay Leader: Matt Zimmerman (2022)

Recording Secretary: Sandy Staggers (2023)

Staff-Parish Relations Chair: Sue Lewis

SPRC: Sue Lewis (2024)

SPRC: Sarah Malpass (2023)

SPRC: Jennette Parker (2024)

Finance Chair: Alan Drinkwater (2022)

Trustees Chair: Elected by Trustees

Trustee: Gabe Allencar (2022)

Trustee: Roger McDonald (2023)

Trustee: Carolyn Ball (2024)

Lay Member to Annual Conference: Matt Zimmerman (2022)

Alt. Lay Member to AC: Margret O’Bryant (2022)

District Lay Member to District Conference: Sue Lewis

Treasurer: David Sandridge (2022)

Witness Chair: Juliana Piacentini (2023)

Outreach Chair: Maury Early (2023)

Nurture Chair: Rocky Shoemaker (2023)

Pastor: Matt Seaton

Minister of Music: Cameron Pampus

Organist: Linda Hanson

Christian Discipleship: Rosie Snow

Communications and Admin. Assistant: Monica McCormack


Committee on Nominations

Chairperson: Matt Seaton

Lay Leader: Matt Zimmerman

Class of 2022 Juliana Piacentini

Class of 2023 John Olsson

Class of 2024 Sherry Lambert


MINISTER’S REPORT: Pastor Matt notes the church is in a rebuilding phase since Covid, with both staff and ministries.


CLOSING: Pastor Matt closed with prayer.

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