CUMC Council Meeting Minutes Feb 28, 2022
Attendees: Dave Lanzer, Mary Beth Holly, Bonnie Kegan, Nancy Kripner, Ginny & Todd Andrews, Dale Dodd, Hilary Ann Golden, Erik Alsgaard, Ron Boller, Rita Boller, Marilyn McKee, Candis Turner Milbourne, Bruce J, Robin Lee, Barb Julian, Gina Perantoni, Emily St. Louis, Kim Wilhelm, Doug Sauer, Sara Blight, Ben Falls, Charlie Moore, Carol Moore, Barb Julian, Dana Buckwalter, Teri Gregory
Mary Beth opened with a devotion on diversity, shared personal story on feeling different.
- Budget report: Slight increase in attendance even with Omicron variant. Member giving is slightly under our budget estimate, but this is normal for this time of year.
- SPRC report: New CDC director starting on 21st of March: Crystal Spalding; Working hard on position description for director of Christian Formation- prepping to advertise for this, hope to fill by April 2022
- Trustees: Update on repairs to the roof (due to condensation issue): investigations with roof company have been completed, hope to repair roof end of March/early April by adding vents on the side opposite the parking lot.
Spring clean-up dates: March 26th and April 2nd (?) Boy scouts spreading mulch.
- Lay Leader: Prayer rooms will end in May after 1 year; part of a larger project on church vitality (permeability to the community). 18 months ago we did a 360 readiness survey which gave us a list of things to improve on as a church.
- CDC Update: New director starts on 21st of March.
- Pastor’s report: LLDC has been identifying people for certain leadership roles and ways to train possible leaders to prepare them to serve. Shared link: https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/spiritual-gifts-inventory/en to assess individual spiritual gifts. LLDC all completed this assessment.
Pastor Erik’s identified gifts: Wisdom, shepherding, teaching
Would like to roll out this assessment to all leaders in church. Are people serving in roles compatible with their gifts? Lays the groundwork for defining our vision and mission.
Palm Sunday teaser- April 10th– gather at Checkers on Davidsonville and process to church. Target time: 10am.
Adhoc committee starting up soon to foster relationship with Wilson, currently includes Dave Lanzer, Candis Turner Milbourne, and John Holly.
Bible study Sunday nights at 5pm (in person only)- 7 words by Susan Raab. Adult Sunday school and Good Book club also covering this resource.
Pastor thanked Ginny for helping with home visits Mary Kurfess had to step back from the caring ministry.
Pastor took a few moments to pray for Ernie Clayton and Charlie Eyet
- Nomination of Sharon Munns to serve on SPRC (effective immediately) was brought forward by the chair of LLDC voted on by council members. Dave asked for discussion on the nomination. All attending members in favor, none opposed.
- Wilson has been making a voluntary contribution to the mission and ministry of CUMC. This is not meant to be a rent payment. Would like to spend/invest these funds in a way that grows the relationship between the two congregations. $6750 total (as of Feb 28, 2021).
Discussion on possible uses of the funds:
- Joint mission venture in the community
- Consider Arundel House of Hope (related to winter relief which Wilson participated in)
- People’s suppers, share a meal, have cross-cultural conversation (guided conversation starters) (conference initiative)- possibly beyond just Wilson and CUMC, include community.
- Events similar to the Salt-n-Light concert
Suggestion that we include Wilson members in this conversation to benefit from their experience with community outreach.
Concern about budget raised. Can funds be used to offset possible budget shortfalls? Or support systems that need improvement, such as A/V. We have a healthy reserve balance from last year.
Book of Discipline 2551.1.b: relationship in multi-ethnic/language settings. Covenant relationship should not require that another Methodist church pay rent….or support the budget of the church…other than appropriate normal operating costs (use of sanctuary- water, heat, etc)
When we start to join in collaborative experiences with Wilson, we may grow participation which would have a positive impact on the budget.
- Discussion about Black Lives Matter banner
Dave set ground rules for the conversation to be respectful of all opinions/discussion, and remain civil and loving with each other.
Dave gave background on the decision for displaying the banner. Black Lives Matter was an important witness for our church. BWC movement “We Rise United” initiative- bringing awareness to the problem of racism, educating others, etc, https://cumc.net/anti-racism/
Main idea: We care that black lives have been marginalized, and believe that they matter.
We still receive questions about why we are “supporting a Marxist organization”. The banner is not supporting the organization but simply the sentiment that “Black Lives Matter”.
This still seems to be the one conversation that divides the congregation. Some members object to the banner b/c of the possible perception that we are supporting BLM (the political organization)
Church name “community” was chosen to support the community. We include everyone.
Opinion stated that people miss the message we intend with the banner.
Focus seems to be on “perception”- we should perhaps consider that we are focused on perception of people who don’t know who we are.
If we said “Black People Matter” would it make a difference in people’s perception?
Some people have left the church due to this “perception” that we support the BLM organization.
We received much more support than we did negative feedback.
The banner is our way of elevating and supporting a community that has been affected by racism.
Black Lives Matter is used in our church conference materials on racism.
Opinion stated that sign has been up long enough, it is a divisive sign and should come down. Let’s put signs up that we love everyone, and not be exclusive.
Others responded that they view sign as inclusive and loving. The need for the sign isn’t diminishing anytime soon.
Sign is compassionate. Expresses compassion to a group of people who have been marginalized.
Lesson from Jonah’s story in bible. He was angry about the wrong things. Are we angry about the wrong things?
Christianity at times is uncomfortable and difficult.
What kind of questions do we want to ask? Challenge long held beliefs and norms.
Intention to continue conversations about the main issue racism, not centered around the banner.
Hilary closed meeting in prayer.