Church Council Minutes – 10.27.22

CUMC Church Council  Meeting

Oct 27, 2022  6:30pm


In Person: Dave, Marilyn, Rita, Doug, Gina, Barb,  Dale, Candis, Kim W, Dana B, Pastor Erik, Sheila G., Julie P., Bonnie

Remote: Mary Beth Holly, John Holly

Dave opened with a devotion focused on reducing hurry, taking time to be still to listen to God.

The group shared joys and concerns- then Dave opened in prayer.

Attendees shared ways they are involved in the church:  Senior fellowship trip to Sound of Music in December, Shawl Ministry, Sassafras group-local mission oriented- monthly mission/dinner/fellowship, making directional signage to direct attendees between buildings, music ministry, baby pantry, contributing where led, giving tree, generosity campaign, Christmas musical preparation, finance team, youth group ministry, grief share, and more!

Invite to Grief Share: Surviving the Holidays Nov 4th 6pm-8pm in library

Team Reports

  1. Finance: In line with our end of year budget needs- no concerns with finance at CUMC, strong attendance, keeping up with the budget.

Budget process: solicited wish list items for 2023- finance committee is meeting on Nov 3rd to look at FY23 budget- asking council to set some priorities for 2023. Recommending use of pledge cards. We have been understaffed this year- and that has freed up some funds for other ministries. Knowing total cost of things that are picked up by church members (as in kind donations) is important to budget planning.

  1. Trustees: Fire Marshall inspection completed , God’s Helping Hands is very busy helping to implement changes required to meet code.  We have to be careful not to collect things in our empty closets/shelves, etc.  Doorways with EXIT signs can not have anything blocking them. Screen in fellowship hall is low-hanging and hard to raise- may need alternative replacement.  

Working on a facility use guidelines agreement. Set fee schedule for non-church activities, expectations for use, how to enforce (before/after photos), etc.  Trustees are asking council to read through and make comments/suggestions as needed for approval. 

Add guidelines for parking lot requests, consider including outdoor chapel area. 

Asking to put the policy in place during the interim until officially approved. Council approved interim use and will review.

Need to order 2 replacement windows (Classroom 3 does not have an operational window for emergency egress)

  1. SPRC: Annual pastoral evaluation, using 2022 goals, will finish evaluation and provide feedback to Pastor Erik.  

Continuing partnership with Wilson, establish social justice outreaching ministry, elevate and promote corporate spiritual life, continuing collaborations between ministries (i.e. Messy Church), create culture of generosity and hospitality.  Use Vitality team to get out in community

Leadership development/training

50th anniversary coming up next year (Nov-Dec 2023)

Compensation package:  Budgeted for a 5% increase in Pastor’s salary (cash compensation and housing allowance). Health flex church portion went up slightly, Pension plan pieces determined by formulas (based on cash compensation amount). We set the expected expenses for reimbursement. Unspent money is not paid out. Total: $121,036 (benefits from conference aiding this) Goes into effect July 1, 2023. This will be voted on at Nov 6th church conference.

  1. Nominations report: (Erik, pastor and chair of LLDC) See 2023 Lay Leadership report- Administry teams will be approved by vote during church conference on Nov 6th

New Ministry Teams to highlight:  Justice Ministry, Women’s Ministry & Outreach, Vitality Ministry Team

Dave highlighted that its great to see new names in leadership positions.

  1. Racial Justice initiatives

The church council approved the signing by Pastor Stan of the agreement from NE Jurisdiction (includes our conference) committing to being an anti-racist church.  Recommendation made that we post the agreement on Realm- can also be found on our church’s website (

What actions are we taking, besides putting words on a banner?

Form a team of a few people to look through the agreement and identify some areas in the commitment to focus on some actions we (the church membership) need to take.

Church council received 2 full pages of suggestions for new banner, plus many scriptures that were sent. Some of those received are given below:

  • “Thought about new statement is something we can put tangible action behind, not just a sign on the corner”
  • “We believe Black Lives Matter” is a stronger statement than “Love thy neighbor”  
  • Church recognizes that there is systemic racism 
  • Jesus didn’t make exceptions and we don’t either
  • Believe BLM banner has ‘run its course’- was excited at first but have come to understand how divisive it is.  
  • Online attendance only due to fear of violent retaliation against church.
  • Together we are one.  Open hearts, open minds, open doors
  • “United in Diversity”
  • One body in Christ
  • Bold statement of gospel message: God loves you no matter what and so do we
  • One sign suggestion given during the meeting was “Jesus was a person of color.”

Dave asked the group a question:  Is our purpose in having a sign at the corner the same as what it was? 

It was suggested that before we decide on a new banner that we have a conversation about why the sign is there and for whom it is for. 

  • How does it feel for a person of color to see the sign put up by a predominantly white church congregation?
  • Will the words we choose have an impact on the audience we want to reach?
  • Was the sign put up to support the outer community or was it just for us at CUMC, i.e. to state our beliefs.
  • Internally we want to say that we are on the path to dismantle systemic racism
  • Externally how do we want people to view our gospel?
  • Consider this: There is a difference in choosing words FOR other people than using words PROVIDED BY other people
    • “Black Lives Matter” was a cry of a people experiencing oppression- we used their words, therefore we do not understand the meaning because we haven’t experienced what they have experienced.

The council meeting ran past its scheduled end time of 8pm by about 45 minutes to have this discussion.  Since we did not have enough time to make a decision on the banner it was noted that it was very important that we communicate to the church how and when we plan to decide on a new banner, and what actions we will take during this time, i.e. will the sign be removed while we decide? 

It was suggested that the sign not be removed without putting something in its place to indicate that we still have work to do and that the sign removal is not in anyway a sign of us backing down from our stance against racism.  “Stay Tuned…” was suggested.