WESLEY MEMORIAL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
Council minutes November 15, 2022
PRESENT: Pastor Matt Seaton, David Sandridge, Rick Hamilton, Jenette Parker, Sue Lewis, Juliana Piacentini, Maury Early, Matt Zimmerman, Carolyn Ball, John Olsson, Sandy Staggers OPENING: Pastor Matt opened the meeting with prayer. MINUTES: the October minutes were approved. STAFF REPORTS: Cameron submitted the written report below. I'm thankful for Linda's support and care of the choir during my absence. It is wonderful to be back and to see the choir growing. I plan to resume handbells in January when students return from winter break. Things are going great in my return. I look forward to the start of advent, and the continued growth of the ministries at Wesley.
Rosie submitted the written report below. Children - attendance has been around 4-8 kids, 2 babies per week - we completed the "Honoring God's Diversity" curriculum, did a few weeks of bible stories and related games, and now are reading Christmas Bible stories followed by preparation for the Christmas pageant - I have noticed children becoming more comfortable in Sunday School and forming bonds with one another. My daughter has started talking about God with me, initiating conversations and asking questions, since Sunday School has become more focused on Christian education. I hope other children are as well! - almost all our regular families will participate in the pageant, and a few less regular/new families have expressed interest - I will finish implementing the new Safe Sanctuary protocol this week - I will prepare curriculum for 2023 in December, and begin some research on Summer 2023 VBS - Upcoming: Church Greening 12/3, Christmas Pageant 12/11, Christmas Carols Open Table Fellowship - Groups continue to meet, although there is some drop-off as we draw closer to the holidays - Scheduling has a been a challenge - Will resume in January Sunday Morning Forum - Attendance is usually around 10 people, though the last two classes on Christianity and Folk Magic were closer to 20 - I will be working on the Spring Schedule in after next week's planning session Other - The Monday evening Bible Study has been small but lovely, and I just heard from two people who are interested in joining remotely, one of whom is in New York - The Trans Defense group continues to meet and provide support for members in the form of transportation and meal trains when necessary. - I completed the videos for the Narrative Budget report last month - I prepared for and officiated Bev Hemmer's memorial- Last night I led a time of prayer/community after the tragedy that occurred Sunday night Monica McCormack – Communications and Administration provided the written report below. 1. Preparations for Advent are underway – banners for Christmas Eve have been ordered, postcard with Advent schedule is in draft form and will be finalized, printed and mailed after Thanksgiving. Advent devotional booklets are out by the entrances to the church for people to take, and the prayer group have their copies of the devotional we will be studying together over Advent. We will use the same candles for the Advent wreath as we used last year. Working on social media graphics for Facebook. The Advent schedule will also be on the Home page of the website. 2. QuickBooks online is fast and efficient and thanks to Pastor Matt for setting it up and sticking with QuickBooks until the e-filing of State and Federal with holdings and quarterly tax returns were worked out. I am hopeful that the annual return and W-2s will go smoothly and that everything transferred over to the online version successfully and seamlessly. 3. I am working on putting together a team of volunteers to run the livestream on Sundays when I start my new hours in January. My goal is to have 4 volunteers scheduled somewhat like the ushers/greeters and readers are set up where they can switch with each other if one is not able to cover their Sunday. So far, I have two volunteers, but one is a UVA student so unavailable during school breaks and the holidays. I have a volunteer for the Christmas Eve service at 4pm. If you know of anyone who might be good at running the livestream, please let me know. 4. The rate for monthly parking will increase to $70 per month beginning in January. I have mailed out a new Parking Agreement to all parkers. We lost only one parker due to the price increase. Two spots are currently open – one renter retired – and I am working on filling those two spots. 5. The pledges are coming in. Once all the pledges are in, I will set up the 2023 Pledge Campaign in SimpleChurch. 6. The Trans Defense Group helped one of the trans moms when she had surgery two weeks ago by providing a ride to the hospital and staying with her until she was wheeled into surgery, picking up and delivering medication, providing a ride to her post op appointment, and providing emotional and spiritual support. There were no questions regarding the staff reports. TREASURER/FINANCE: David provided a written report. -David is evaluating banking institutions for interest rates for the emergency fund. - He notes for the next council meeting, the balance sheet will be up to the date of the meeting. -It is noted that Maria’s children have an attorney to assist them. There will be legal fees to be paid. A benefactor in town who has donated to the sanctuary fund in the past has donated again. The total legal fee is $18,000, with a $6000 discount. Money donated to the sanctuary fund accumulates there, and the church writes the check to the attorney. Arrangements with the attorney are made by Maria. She uses the sanctuary fund at her discretion. -There will be a memorial fund set up in the name of Bev Hemmer. -Pastor Matt summarized the stewardship campaign. At this time, 20 households have pledged for 2023, with 6 of those being households that are new to pledging. More pledges may come in, or people may give without making a pledge. TRUSTEES: Carolyn provided the written report below. * Radiator leak in church office bathroom repaired. Exorbitant bill negotiated. * Preschool drywall repair and nursery painting done 11/11. We did not contract the cabinets to be painted in case there is a volunteer...? * Replacement window estimates being obtained for Moosetrap from Window Depot and Pella. Any preferences folks have for grids in windows and pattern of grids? * Tom Miller and Carolyn Ball working outside on leaf removal and plan Wednesday morning work sessions for weeding/pruning/ clutter removal. * Consultation with Joel Loving, Environmental Health consultant was extremely informative and helpful. OK to rehang bulletin board in nursery, may seal tiles in lower chancel room and install “floating” floor over sealed floor, may cover entryway and bathroom floor next to pastor’s office, place hazard sign in Moosetrap attic and close off original attic entrance and leave asbestos undisturbed. He expressed more concern about Moosetrap windows and paint and recommends doing testing of soil around house and other possible testing for lead after windows replaced and painting done. His visit was pro bono. * List of priorities and duties of Trustees being compiled and available to those interested. Discussion followed. -The radiator bill was negotiated down to $500. - There were no volunteers to paint the nursery so it was professionally done. Cabinets were not painted and volunteers are needed to paint those cabinets. -There are waits for either window company to do windows in the Moosetrap. Either will require a 50% deposit prior to beginning. Carolyn and David will evaluate the estimates and timing. -Mr. Loving reports the lead paint should be addressed before any children live in the Moosetrap. SPRC: Sue provided the written report below. SPRC did not meet as a group this past month. We continued to work on staffing and budget issues and have accepted Monica’s agreement with her reduced hours (at the same rate) for the upcoming year. She will not be taking over the bookkeeping function and will have fewer days in the office. Due to an increase in her group health insurance, we investigated, and she will be joining the Virginia Conference’s Health plan, which will result in decreased costs to her and to the church as we contribute 60% of the premium. We continue to work on Cameron’s job description. NURTURE: Rocky provided the written report below. Nurture completed the flood bucket campaign with a total of 7 completed buckets, which were delivered to the Hub at Culpeper UMC by Tom and Debbie Miller and Jerry and Rocky Shoemaker. Many thanks to all those who donated funds for the supplies, plus the very active family and Sr. volunteers who stuffed and lidded those buckets! Special Nurture thanks this month to: 1. Maury, for her steadfast assistance to Carolyn Walker and Carol Hansen 2. Carolyn Ball for her faithful ministry with Chris. 3. Monica for her caring outreach to Carolyn Newsome, plus the members of our Trans Defense team. Proposed Worship schedule for Thanksgiving/ Advent: The Thanksgiving altar will gradually become more abundant leading to Thanksgiving, and remain in place through the Sunday after Thanksgiving. (Matt, do you want anything particular for King of Kings?) In addition, the Advent candles will be displayed on Sunday, Nov 27. Sat. Dec. 3 will be a greening of the church fellowship following the special music rehearsal for December 4, 2022. TBD: Timelines for both the rehearsal and the greening. Should the greening be particularly emphasized as a family affair, or as a general church announcement? Sunday Dec 6 will start the holiday trim, leading through Christmas to Epiphany. WITNESS: Juliana did not submit a written report. Juliana will be looking into ways to provide support to persons who do not feel safe going home for the holidays. She will talk with Devon. Pastor Matt has been working with Susan Gross to find Thanksgiving meals for those persons. He expressed an idea to begin a fund for those who come out and are rejected by their families or communities. OUTREACH: Maury provided the written report below. -Thanksgiving Community Feast project-we are contributing 20 grocery bags of food, money for purchasing turkeys, and some volunteers to help in the community project organized annually by Ebenezer Baptist church. Fluvanna Women’s Correctional Center-We are donating hygiene bags, cards, pencils, stamps, etc. All items are to be at the church by Nov. 20. The IMPACT research to action meeting is Thursday Nov. 17 at Crozet UMC, 6:30 -8:30 PM. We hope to have at least 3 folks to attend. We can coordinate carpooling if desired. PACEM-We will host from Feb 11 - 24, 2023. St. Mark’s Lutheran has already volunteered to provide one week of the dinner meals. MINISTER’S REPORT: Pastor Matt thanked those who have given witness during the stewardship campaign. He is especially grateful for Ella who spoke about the students who came on 2 occasions. He asked for folks to come for the prayer vigil on November 17 from 5 till 8 pm. HEALTHY CHURCH TEAM: John provided the proposal below. Many people in the United States have some protection, or immunity, against COVID-19 due to vaccination, previous infection, or both. This immunity, combined with the availability of tests and treatments, has greatly reduced the risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19 for many people. Therefore, we make the following recommendations to keep our members and visitors safe and disease free: General: 1. Members/visitors with any illness symptoms (runny nose, cough, stomach upset, diarrhea, rash, or fever) should stay home and not come to church 2. Follow recommended isolation measures per CDC if you do get COVID. 3. We encourage all members to be fully vaccinated, not only to COVID, but also influenza and for children all childhood vaccines, including COVID and influenza. 4. Use hand sanitizer on entry to church and when departing. 5. N-95 type masks will be available at points of entry to church for all those who desire them. Determine your personal risk: 1. CDC has created low, medium, and high-risk measures to indicate community levels of COVID with these color codes: 2. When community levels are green, wearing a mask is optional, though individuals may choose to wear a mask as a personal choice given their own assessment of their health risk. In addition, those who have increased health risks (see in following section) may wish to wear N-95 type masks when attending church or church activities indoors in consultation with their physician. 3. When community levels are yellow, because our church is poorly ventilated and the HVAC system has no capacity for using HEPA filters, ALL members, including those who have increased health risks (see in following section) should wear N-95 type masks when attending church or church activities indoors. 4. When community levels are orange, ALL members should wear N-95 type masks when attending church or church activities indoors. Congregational singing should be limited. 5. We will include an indication of the community risk level (green, yellow, orange) in the weekly newsletter and on signage at all entry ways into the church and buildings. 6. Medical conditions with increased risk for COVID-related complications (in alphabetical order, not severity): a. Age over 65 b. Cancer c. Chronic lung disease d. Chronic liver disease e. Dementia f. Diabetes g. Disabilities h. Cystic fibrosis i. Heart conditions j. Immune system compromise (on chemotherapy or close contact on chemotherapy) k. Mental illness l. Overweight m. Pregnancy n. Sickle cell disease o. Smoker p. Transplant recipient and on immune suppressing drugs q. History of stroke Summary We ask each member and visitor to take personal responsibility and do the following: 1. Vaccinate, use hand sanitizer. 2. Take note of the community level of COVID and follow the current recommendations. 3. Assess your own health risk and account for that as you review the community level of COVID. These precautions are designed to prevent the spread of COVID from you and to you – our decisions affect everyone, not just ourselves. 4. Wearing a mask is never a bad choice and we should all respect everyone’s right to wear one and be cautious. John proposes that we communicate to the congregation both through the newsletter and by posting information. He will refine the proposal and resubmit it to the council by email. CLOSING: Pastor Matt closed the meeting with prayer.