Church Council Minutes – 9.20.21

CUMC Council Meeting September 20, 2021
Attendees: Barb Julian, Danny & Eleanor Dalton, Erik Alsgaard, Mary Beth Holly, Charlie Moore, Candis Turner Milbourne, Janet & Marvin Riggs, Janet Armstrong, Ron & Rita Boller, Margaret (Peggy) Elliot, Marilyn McKee, David Lanzer, Emily St. Louis, Gina Perantoni, Steve Hendershot, Gary Todd, Stephen ?, Barbara ?
Meeting began at 6:08pm
Dave led the group in a devotion:
Discussed excerpts from “The Big Church Leadership Mistake 2021” (
Mistake: “Far too easy to step back into the past the moment you step into your church building”, the “rush to get back to ‘normal’”
“Thinking you don’t have to change is the fastest path to irrelevance”
“Change is hard” “Don’t waste the progress that started during the pandemic”
Things we will miss if we focus on past (below are 2 out of 5 mentioned by the author):
Pivoting – future belongs to agile leaders who adapt and change
Question to the group: What positive changes have you personally experienced as a result of the pandemic?
Could “travel” anywhere to learn/experience new things- enabled by online attendance
Working from home, loss of commute
Reunions with family were more meaningful. We take seeing each other regularly for granted.
Reduced activities to run off to
Young fathers have been at home more and able to interact with family more
Question to group: What positive changes have we experienced due to being forced to change due to pandemic?
Combined two services into one
Combining style of services to focus on what worship is
Increased participation in activities and events
Increasing interaction with community
We were able to welcome Wilson UMC to our church
Impact of COVID on CDC has resulted in clarifying relationship between Church and CDC
Benefitted greatly from our conference providing guidance and additional financial support
We were able to continue to support our staff payroll

Focus on being agile and open to changes that may be necessary down the line.
Pastor Erik offered a prayer at 6:33pm
Steve Hendershot gave an update on Scouting:
Boy Scouts have liability insurance (initially bought to pay to victims of abuse but has been extended to the groups, i.e churches that charter boy scout groups)
Pack 115- Elementary cub scouts
Troop 115 – Middle/HS age boys

In 2019, girls were admitted into the BSA organization. CUMC now has troop 214 for girls.
In 2020, the BSA filed for bankruptcy due to overwhelming number of victim claims. Allowed them to re-organize and also compensate victims thru another source (class action settlement)

New settlement was not very favorable to charter organizations (i.e. no liability insurance extended from BSA)

In Sept 2021, the Methodist church said they didn’t believe that they could continue to support scouting under the new terms. BWC recommended that churches not renew their charters with current scouting units under the newly defined circumstances. CUMC currently supports over 100 scouts across 3 troops.

Re-chartering occurs every year, the charter is renewed. Current Charter expires Dec 31, 2021. A lot of paperwork is involved, including collection of registration fees from the families. Action requires a decision from the church.

Recently a leak of the updated settlement was released. The terms of this updated agreement were slightly more favorable. There are levels 1) participating organization- settlement would absorb some costs (cover claims Jan 1976- Feb 2020) 2) contributing organization- pay into it to cover claims prior to Jan 1976. 3) opt-out, pay our own liability insurance/cover future claims on our own. UM Conference has not yet come up with updated guidance.

Pastor Erik asked Steve H. to send the new proposed settlement terms to him and also Dave. Terms have not yet been approved by judge. Steve agreed to send it along.

Pastor Erik is in favor of supporting scouts as best we can, but need to follow guidance of the Bishop. Expect that National Methodist Men organization will likely provide a recommendation.

We are awaiting more information/guidance at this time before making a decision.

Option? Hold Harmless agreement related to building use sent from our church insurance agent.
Could possibly use this if we don’t charter, but enter in facility use agreement with scouting groups.

Mary Beth Holly – significant increase in attendance in July/Aug (101, up 32% compared to this time last year) Giving has rebounded some. In august we are still predicting net loss of about $30k for the year. YTD we have a net loss of about $9k. (net loss from member giving not bottom line)

What is the new normal- plan to take a look at last 4 years and analyze what our budget will look like. Look forward to Kent Mallard “Counting your blessings” stewardship program.

Barb Julian- We have had issues around vaccinations in the CDC. CDC was asked to develop a policy that addresses CDC and church staff, that mandated vaccinations for our teachers. All have had at least the 1st shot by the established deadline. The negative feedback wasn’t so much about the policy but the speed at which it was rolled out.

People have been stepping forward during re-organization and staffing changes to keep our special programs alive. SPRC and the church should be very grateful to all those who have stepped up into service in worship, children’s ministry, outreach, music ministry, etc.

Combined position for communication/administry would be professional/full time with benefits position. If we grow, we could develop this position into a supervisory position and add an admin assistant. Posting has been up for 2 weeks without much activity in targeted groups. Position description is posted on the website.

Director of the CDC position. We have been working with an acting director since January. Important to move forward with posting, but have the challenge of uncertainty. Timing?

The churches main goals for ministry/disciple-making in this next year are:
Get to know the individuals, staff, key leaders, key influencers, groups and congregation to develop strategic vision while working alongside one another to increasingly become mature as Christ’s church and doing life together.
Promote congregational formation and spiritual growth using disciplines and tools, such as Sunday education, growth groups, the Readiness 360 results to strengthen and deepen commitments for making disciples for the transformation of the world, especially to the lost, last and least.
Establish and creatively engage in relationship building with with Wilson Memorial UMC in authentic and collaborative ways, such as opportunities for prayer, worship, shared spaces, events. Extend this out-facing focus into the community and local community churches.
Communicate clearly, often and in a variety of ways to ensure individuals and groups know they matter, have a voice and are being listened to so that relationship of trust and care are being nurtured.
These goals were discerned from work of the church together leading up to Pastor Erik’s coming and collaboration for the future
Charge conference- SPRC has 2 responsibilities 1) congregational report- what are the goals- we will be using 4 goals above in that report 2) pastor’s compensation report- SPRC is recommending an increase of $4400 for next year (starts July 1 2022). SPRC and finance have discussed this recommendation. Many factors contribute to this: relationship with Wilson, COVID challenges, current staffing shortage, transition, loss of major player (Sharon Drew), etc.
4) CDC Board meeting- business manager is predicting we will end the year “in the black”. Vera and Beth are doing an amazing job as acting directors.
5) Updates regarding Wilson- a covenant between the 2 churches is being developed. Will be brought to the group soon for review/discussion
Wilson has been running a food pantry (1st and 3rd Wednesdays)- receive food from AA food bank, they pack it and give it out. Need volunteers to help to pick up/pack/hand out.
Wilson is planning to place a banner in front of the church (right side of sanctuary)- don’t be surprised to see it.
Our food bank (Christian Caring Council with Seton Parish) needs donations as well.
Note to add these needs to the Community Connection this week
6) Pastor Erik addressed the group. He is proud to be our pastor (has he told us lately?) We have a strong laity/leadership. Wants to thank everyone for their gift of leadership, ministry, and discipleship. Very impressed with the depth of the leadership. We continue to be flexible combining into 1 service, blending 2 music styles, wearing masks.
We have some issues to work out, i.e. boy scouts. Black Lives Matter banner is a prominent issue of what this church stands for. Continues to be a topic of conversation, some don’t like the banner b/c they feel it supports an organization. It is a sign that we stand in solidarity with our brothers/sisters in Christ who have experience rampant discrimination for 400+ years. We are simply saying that people who are black are seen by us. Can we as a church educate ourselves about racism and what it takes to be anti-racist? We say “black lives matter” b/c for many years they didn’t.
We offered a study called “White Awake” and no one signed up for it (10 week commitment).
Grateful for those who have come to him to discuss replacing the black lives matter banner b/c they are willing to sit down and have a conversation about a tough issue.
Other tough choices coming down the line (i.e LGBTQIA). Thank you for staying at the table to have these conversations. I’m willing to meet you at your home or out for a cup of coffee. Look forward to your questions and conversation.
Barb closed in prayer at 7:50pm.