WESLEY MEMORIAL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
Council minutes December 20, 2022
PRESENT: Pastor Matt Seaton, David Sandridge, Sue Lewis, Rocky Shoemaker, Carolyn Ball, Rick Hamilton, Maury Early, John Olsson, Jenette Parker, Juliana Piacentini, Sandy Staggers
OPENING: Carolyn opened the meeting with prayer.
MINUTES: the November minutes were approved.
STAFF REPORTS: Staff provided written reports below.
Director of Christian Discipleship Report – Rosie Snow
- attendance continues to be good, around 5-10 children & babies per week
- 15 children participated in the Christmas pageant and I received a fair amount of feedback from parents about their kids' positive experiences. Once I get permission from all the parents, a video of the pageant will live on the website
- we will begin a short curriculum on spiritual disciplines in January, and I am also looking for a longer Bible stories-based curriculum for after that (any suggestions?)
- I am organizing a safe sanctuary training for early 2023, and we have a parent consent form for photos ready to go
- thanks in large part to Carolyn Ball and other volunteers, the nursery room has been painted, decluttered, and all toys cleaned-thank you!!
- Upcoming: planning for VBS for Summer 2023
- Sunday Morning Forum has concluded for the year. About 1/3 of the schedule for 2023 has been confirmed, another 1/3 is unconfirmed, and another 1/3 is open.
- We are discussing how to re-vitalize SMF (how to make it larger, more generationally diverse, and more socially enriching) and first up is clearing out & painting the room to make it a nicer place to be.
- Our Monday night bible study is concluded for the year. There were four people regularly attending.
Next year we will be reading Julian of Norwich's Divine Revelations, and I'm going to send out a survey on that this week.
- I will send out info to the January Open Table Fellowship groups this week
- The Trans Defense group continues to meet and provide support for members in the form of transportation and meal trains when necessary.
- I am planning on beginning a once-a-month game night starting in 2023
Office Manager – Monica McCormack
- A letter went out to regular church attendees who have not pledged before along with a pledge card and a stamped self-addressed envelope. We have gotten some new pledges from that campaign. All pledges received have been entered into a 2023 General Fund Campaign in Simple Church.
- End of year Giving Statements went out last week so everyone knows where they are in their giving and to give them time to submit any more payments by the end of 2022.
- All the parking spaces except for #19 in the very corner by The Wesley Foundation are rented for 2023. Parking Agreements for 2023 with the new monthly price were sent out in October for renters to sign and return. They are dribbling back into the office.
- Volunteers for Livestream – We need at least one more volunteer to help run the livestream on Sunday mornings. If you would like to volunteer or can recommend someone, please let me know asap.
- A SignUp Genius was set up for volunteers to “man the office” M, T, W, and F of each week from 10-2pm. I am working with David to come up with a list of menial tasks that can be done during those hours.
- Thank you cards were sent out for all Memorial Donations received for Bev Hemmer.
- Postcards were mailed to every member of the church with the Christmas schedule. A social media blast went out on Facebook. Attendance has been up each Sunday especially for the Children’s Christmas Pageant.
- My deadlines for newsletter, bulletin and council reports are mostly being ignored. I will be sending out an email in January resetting deadlines so I’m not chasing people down during the week.
- Prayer Group read a wonderful book as a daily meditation during Advent called Fully Human/Fully Divine. Rocky led us in some beautiful Guided Meditations.
- A meal train was set up for a member of our Trans Defense Group who had surgery this week.
- Flowers from Jean Lowry’s funeral were delivered to Carolyn Newsome at home. She was delighted with them and we had a nice cup of tea and a chat.
FINANCE/TREASURER REPORT: David reviewed the written report.
- Our emergency fund of $90,000 has been established in a money market fund at Carter Bank & Trust.
-Reconciling Ministries network requested a donation which is a line item in the budget at $1000.
-UMCOR money has gone out.
-All money donated for Afghan immigrants has gone out.
-Apportionments have not all been paid. $20,000 was paid earlier this year. Our apportionments were set at $62,000. After discussion, council approved payment of $32,000 which is 83% of our assessed apportionments.
-A stewardship campaign update was provided by Pastor Matt. Pledges for 2023 total $232,960.
TRUSTEES: Carolyn provided the written report below.
* The children's room has been completed and to be used the Sunday of 12/18. Thanks to Martha Sikes and Rocky Schumaker for assisting with washing the toys.
*The tenant at the Moosetrap is in the process of moving out. She states she will be paying December as the last month’s rent. She had been informed previously that she would not be held to her lease if she wanted to move out early in preparation for Maria’s family moving in.
This will be delayed until windows and painting done per the recommendation of the Environmental consultant, Joel Loving.
*Tom Miller has been helpful and consistent in working around the church grounds and helping with small repairs. We have spent a couple hours Wednesday mornings but will move to Saturday afternoons after the holidays so we can work in the storage room. We need hours to work there when the preschool is not open. I will add to weekly news for others to help as able.
*The contract has been signed and the down payment made to Window Depot for the replacement windows for the Moosetrap.
* Pastor Matt and Lacy were able to do a walkthrough of the Starnes Property.
* Carolyn Ball attended the online briefing regarding grants to nonprofits (and hopefully churches) for making their facilities more efficient. A recording and the resources from the event are available if anyone wants to listen/ read it.
SPRC: Sue provided the written report below.
SPRC met on 12/6/22 via Zoom. The main topic was to address the Joint Pastor/SPRC Appointment Preference form due to the District on Jan. 3. The committee and pastor both agreed that we wish to have Matt Seaton re-appointed to Wesley Memorial as of June 2023.
We also met on 12/15 to finalize budget items for Linda and Cameron, based on recent adjustments to their hours. The job description for Monica was discussed, and Matt and Sue will meet with Monica this week to discuss and finalize.
Year-end “bonuses” were discussed, and will be provided, based on availability of funds and Council approval. There was discussion about how to do this based on IRS rules concerning taxes if designated as income. After discussion, Council approved a net bonus of $800.00 for the staff, specific amounts determined by SPRC, to be taken from Memorial funds. It also approved using any undesignated amounts that come in from offerings on the 12/24 and 12/25 services (including any mailed in before 12/31) to be added to the $800. net previously approved (specific amounts to be determined by SPRC and the
NURTURE: no report.
WITNESS: no report.
PACEM will be February 11, 2023 through February 24. There are 4 nights of meals that are open and the rest are taken. There is a need for 2 volunteers from the church each night from 5:30 pm till 9:30 pm to make coffee, assist meal providers and PACEM staff. Maury will ask for those volunteers. There will be a sign-up sheet for needed supplies as in past years. There is currently $800 in the PACEM account, of which $500 will be paid to the janitor for increased
cleaning services during PACEM.
MINISTER’S REPORT: Pastor Matt
Pastor Matt reviewed the new persons who will join the council in January 2023 as follows:
-Council Chair: Andrea Zimmerman
-Lay Leader: Sherry Lambert
-SPRC Chair: John Olsson. Laura Quass will join SPRC as a new member.
-Finance Chair: Sue Lewis
-Trustees: Carolyn remains chair. New trustee members are Victoria Hamilton and Aiden Workman.
-Lay leader to Annual Conference: Willow Drinkwater
-Treasurer: David Sandridge
-Health Church Team Leader: John Olsson
-Nominations Chair: Andrea Zimmerman.
Pastor Matt thanked all those who are rotating off council. He then reported on church affairs for 2022.
-There were 128 people at church the Sunday of the children’s pageant. Pastor Matt reports that annual conference sets a “hope for average attendance “ number for each church. Our “hope for average attendance” number is 69 persons. Our actual average attendance number for the last quarter is 85, with 8 of those being children.
-2023 pledges increased 29% from 2022 pledges.
-WMUMC provided school supplies for Buckingham, supplies for Afghan immigrants including computers, and support for Maria and her children to live in safety.
-There were 2 baptisms and 5 new members.
-Open table fellowship was established.
-WMUMC has worked closely with the new director of the Wesley Foundation.
-There have been many improvements to our buildings and grounds. The nursery has been cleaned and painted. The Heivly room was updated and is being used by 3 AA groups. The Moosetrap heating system was replaced with an electric one. Many lights have been switched to LEDs. The room in the fellowship hall was painted and made into an office for IMPACT.
-the 2022 budget was less than planned for and there were no staff raises, and some staff reductions in salary and hours.
-Several members passed away.
-Many building maintenance issues remain to be addressed.
-Maria’s family will need support and a plan for the future.
-Pastor Matt has withdrawn from his PHD program and will be in search of another PHD program. He notes that God has clearly been with us through this year’s joys and sorrows, and he looks forward to continued ministry at WMUMC.
CLOSING: Rick closed the meeting with prayer.