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Council Minutes - February 28, 2023

WESLEY MEMORIAL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

Council minutes, February 28, 2023

PRESENT: Pastor Matt Seaton, Andrea Zimmerman, David Sandridge, Carolyn Ball, John Olsson, Sue Lewis, Willow Drinkwater, Rocky Shoemaker, Monica McCormack, Rosie Snow, Cameron Pampus, Sherry Lambert, Juliana Piacentini, Maury Early, Sandy Staggers.

OPENING: David led devotion and prayer.

STAFF REPORTS: Monica provided the written report below:

VEC – we still have not heard back from the Virginia Employment Commission regarding a VEC number so we can file our State and Federal Withholdings online. Quickbooks is requiring a VEC number to be able to file our taxes online. I have called many times but only get a recording and have never talked to a person. I have also emailed but never got a return email. The form was mailed in early December. State and Federal withholdings are being paid manually for now.

Bulletins – We are now printing our bulletins in the office and no longer using Shane Thomas at ALC Copies.

Parking – all spots are filed. We are using spots 15 and 16 (tenant spots for Moosetrap) as daily parking while the cottage is being painted. We are charging $10 per day to park in these spots.

Newsletter – I have changed the newsletter starting at the beginning of the year and am including after all of Wesley’s news, news and features from UMCom, Three Notch’d District, Equality Virginia, Virginia Interfaith Power and Light, and other sources that pertain to the ministries at Wesley Memorial. There is also a section for the Wesley Foundation, and ending with a reflection. I have received positive feedback and am open to any suggestions and additions. The deadline to add to the newsletter is end of the day on Tuesdays (Wed morning at the latest).

Bookkeeping – Taking over entering Sunday Deposits and On Line Giving from Simple Church to Quickbooks is going well.

Hybrid – working from home is also going well. I have a good rhythm going. I do miss seeing everyone more often. I am saving a lot in gas, which is helping to offset the cut in income and am grateful for the opportunity to work from home three days a week.

Monica requested that people be sure to let her know of things going on at the church, or with communications, as she is now not in the office every day.

Rosie provided the written report below:

Children

- Sunday School attendance is around 7-9 children lately

- the "Spiritual Disciplines" curriculum is going well

- the next few Sundays I will also work with the children on a short Palm Sunday theatrical parade

- received $2.4k grant for VBS and have sent out a survey for parents/caregivers/volunteers to fill out to help start planning

- we have Sunday School volunteers through Easter

- a virtual safe sanctuary training will be held March 14th, 6:30pm


Small Groups

- Sunday Morning Forum attendance has been between 10-25 people, depending on the class, which isn't bad for small groups at Wesley!

- I am working with Rick and Sue to schedule the rest of the spring, and the fall semesters for SMF

- Trans Defense continues to meet, 6 regularly attend

- The Julian of Norwich study ended, and today we are starting a Lenten study, meeting on Mondays at 7pm on zoom. Seven people regularly attend this class (it has grown!)

- no one has RSVP'd for the game nights yet. I don't know the status of the young adult group but it seems like a lot of young adults have starting attending Wesley recently

- Open Table Fellowship has ended

Rosie notes the curriculum for VBS has not been chosen yet. She would like to have something on Creation Care. Dates for VBS are not yet set. Rosie will check with the preschool when she sets her dates to be sure there is no conflict re: use of the playground, etc.

Cameron reports it is very helpful to have a consistent substitute organist/pianist when Linda is off. Bell choir has resumed and volunteers are needed.


REVIEW OF GOALS-Andrea reviewed the written report below.

o Review of Simplified, Accountable Structure (SAS)

 Videos expire in a few days. Watch if you can. Can also speed up, listen

on phone while folding laundry or jogging on the treadmill, etc.

 Meetings to be strategic and not primarily for reporting, which will allow

for more meaningful discussion and meetings. "We have never done it

this way" or "how did this happen?"...the SAS was not clarified well,

COVID happened, change in pastors twice. 

 New agenda combining our previous with the recommended structure

 Someone share early short devotion or what recently learning and prayer.

Will rotate

 Consent Calendar–”do we need to pull anything for separate

consideration?”, vote on minutes and reports all at one time

 The Council functions together. Form work teams for short term projects.

This will help alleviate some of the pressures on some teams, balance the

responsibility, and involve members of the congregation outside of

Council.

 SPRC doesn’t need to be separate, confidential. If there is a matter for

discussion relating specifically to SPRC or Trustees or Finance etc., the

designated chair of the committee then runs that particular portion of the

meeting. For example, John, as SPRC chair, would run the executive

closed-door meeting when it comes to discussing staff and pastor related

stuff. 

 The video notes that the treasurer is not on the Council and the board is

responsible for how the money is spent, but that the Treasurer carries it

out. We are not making any changes at this time and it may be helpful for

the treasurer to continue to attend for other reasons (knows a lot of what

is going on with sanctuary, music, some other ministries). We can revisit

at a later date whether the treasurer would remain on committee.

 Recommended to have congregational town hall and listening sessions.

We have not had one of these in a long time and may benefit from doing


so. It also would help us get some buy-in for ad hoc project team

members.

 Adding Care concerns that we’re aware of and need visit from pastor or

anything else. This can be information from Rocky with Nurture or also

includes attendance, newcomers, how to share or connect

 SPRC could have assigned person to staff member sometimes but not to

meet without the pastor to have healthy relationship and conversation and

not triangulate. This includes performance evaluations.

 Leadership Covenant to incorporate Wesley’s vision, leader

responsibilities; Draft soon to discuss for March meeting.


o Discussion followed. Pastor Matt notes there is a book available on the SAS if

persons would prefer to read instead of the videos. It was noted that in the new

format, all ministry team reports and minutes will be voted on for approval at the

same time. If needed, items will be pulled out for separate consideration. Pastor

Matt will come up with a template for ministry team reports that will include a

section in the report for items that are for information to the council/leadership

group, and a section for items that will need action or approval of the council.

Everyone will need to familiarize themselves with team reports and minutes prior

to the meetings.

o Since council/leadership team will function together, SPRC will only be meeting

on ad hoc basis. Most issues will be managed at council.

o We will plan to continue with the church treasurer functioning as council member.

o It was considered to have a separate building maintenance team in addition to

trustees. In addition to building maintenance, trustees have responsibilities for

legal issues such as liability insurance, and contracts for cleaning and security

services.

o Andrea is working on a draft of the leadership covenant for the March meeting.


APPROVAL OF REPORT PACKET AND CONSENT CALENDAR ITEMS:

Reports were provided as below-

Nurture report-Rocky

The Prayer Group would like to encourage any folks who can join us in person or by zoom, at 10:00 Wednesdays when we gather to raise prayers on behalf of our Wesley community, our UMC, and all of God's creation. We particularly need more voices from our younger generations, even if you can only send us prayer requests. It helps to raise our prayers across all ages.

Along this line, we give thanks to Andrea and Monica, who have shared the prayers of many from Wesley and our greater community.

The Worship committee has met with Pastor Matt to plan and resource the altar visuals for the weeks through Easter. Starting with a wilderness theme on Ash Wednesday, the altar will gradually bloom to full flower glory by Easter Sunday. We have also discussed plan for Easter brunch with Health Church.

There will be a change in the brand and shape of the gluten, nut and sesame- free crackers we offer for Communion. The brand we first used has been discontinued. The new ones will be triangle shaped pita crackers by Simple Mills.

Sherry, Rocky, and Rosie have been discussing plans for a summer VBS. We welcome input and assistance from any and all of Wesley.

Outreach report-Maury

PACEM

We completed our 2 weeks of hosting up to 25 guests nightly, typically up to 10 women and 15 men.

Between supplies, set up, take down, visitation and meals, we had 47 Wesley participants, 18 of whom participated in multiple ways and multiple times. We also had help from 35 folks from other churches, including Aldersgate UMC, Beautiful Gate Ministry, Crozet UMC, and St. Mark’s Lutheran.

IMPACT

We have two important meetings coming up:

This Thursday March 2, rally at 6:30Pm at Church of the Incarnation and on zoom

Tuesday March 21, Nehemiah Action, 6:30PM, Martin Luther King Jr performing arts center and on Zoom, Wesley Memorial attendance goal of 50, issues of affordable housing, care for creation, and after school care for preschoolers.

SPRC Report-John

The SPRC Committee met on Monday, February 20. It is apparent with the new SAS guidelines for church organizations that a separate SPRC is no longer required - the work of the SPRC will be carried out by the Church Council and ad hoc committees created by the Church Council as needed.

We did address job descriptions of two staff members. The job description for the Minister of Music was modified. The working agreement for Organist/Pianist was modified; it was noted that this didn't fit the format for other job descriptions. Final modifications will be made by John Olsson in consultation with Pastor Seaton with final approval being made through email consultation and final versions brought to Church Council in March.

Given that SPRC is now an ad hoc committee, there is no set date for our next meeting.

Trustees-Carolyn

*Gutters cleaned by WA Lynch

*Plumbing issues fixed by Pat Crowley-Mr. Faucet

-dripping faucet in Maria’s bathroom

-kitchen sink spray hose split/leak and disconnection of broken coffeemaker and icemaker

* Urinal running continuously repaired by WEBrown during PACEM

*No Dogs sign on playground after preschool had toys destroyed by dog

* One oven in the kitchen to get new temperature sensor. Oven not heating and will be repaired by Davis Appliance

* Conversation with Maria regarding housing scheduled for 2/26

* Issues made apparent during preparation and use of building for PACEM which will need to be addressed - outlets not functioning at end of Epworth Hall–fluorescent bulbs out and likely time to convert to LED - leak in the ceiling of the ramp corridor under breezeway during heavy rain

*The tenant has moved all of her belongings out of the Moosetrap and left in acceptable condition- deposit returned. We request approval of proposal to paint exterior by CertaPro for $5174.00. A second estimate was obtained as well which was considerably higher.

Ministry team reports and February minutes were approved by council, with discussion of specific trustee issues to follow.

Meeting with Maria took place on 2/26 with an interpreter present. She and her family will plan to move into the Moosetrap. Windows still need to be completed prior to their moving. John made a motion to accept the estimate of CertaPro to paint the outside, and to take money from memorial funds. Motion was seconded by Juliana and approved by council.


MINISTER’S REPORT-Pastor Matt.

Pastor Matt requested an ad hoc team be assembled to ready the property at 1913 Thomson Rd into the parsonage. Willow volunteered to join this team. Pastor Matt will ask 1-2 others. Carolyn notes this team will need to get together and work quickly so as not to delay Matt and Lacey’s move in.

PASTORAL AND CONGREGATIONAL CARE CONCERNS: none were noted.

CLOSING: Rocky closed the meeting with prayer.

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