Council Meeting Recap: February 2015

office-419965_1280In an effort to improve our transparency and communication as your Council, we are sharing a recap of last week’s Council meeting. The minutes will be posted after they are approved at next month’s meeting, but here are some highlights in the meantime.

After assembling in God’s name and acknowledging a quorum, we reviewed, edited and approved the minutes from our January meeting.

We elected our new Executive Leadership Team. Serving as president for 2015 is Misti Peppler. Christian Kern will continue his role as vice president. Former president, Dave Byerly, will serve as secretary.

Also serving on the ELT is our treasurer, Ben Dieterich, who was elected by the congregation at the January Congregational Meeting.

We welcomed our newest member, Justin Shimko.

If you don’t remember or haven’t met our continuing members, Diane Betten, Angie Cooper, Jay Kapp and Linda Khoury, be sure to check out their bios as well.

We reviewed our 2015 focus areas.

  • Mission and Vision – assessment and realignment
  • New hires/administration and staffing
  • Stewardship Team – organizational realignment/focus
  • Preschool – continue following the action plan outlined at the end of last year
  • Capital campaign
  • Establish a Volunteer Coordinator
  • Update our member database

In Pastor Tim’s monthly report he confirmed that two members of our congregation, Carol Mergl and Jenn Henderson, will be attending Stephen Ministry training in Dallas in July. They will come back ready to train other leaders. The LMC Stephen Ministry Team is targeted to be up and running in late 2015.

He highlighted several areas of growth over the last six weeks.

  • One Stop Wednesdays
  • Lenten services
    • Over 50 people in attendance
  • Adult education/small groups
    • Over 30 people in various groups studying two different books
    • An average of 10 people have met for brunch the last three months in conjunction with Urban Acacia
    • Philosopher’s Club has grown to the point of considering a split into two groups
  • The Great Conversation – 27 Catechumenates this session
  • Easter Vigil baptisms scheduled – 5
  • Meetings with visitors – 5
  • Pastoral visits – 3
  • Eucharistic minister visits – 4

He will also be continuing and adding various writing, editing and leadership opportunities within the ELCA.

We reviewed, edited and approved the job description for the new Director of Communications and Administration. The position will be posted shortly with a targeted start date of May 1.

The Vetting Team recommended KAIROS as their top choice of three possible firms to lead us forward in the next few years as we reshape our mission & vision and possibly work on a capital campaign. We expect to approve this recommendation in the next couple of weeks. The next steps will be to begin work on the mission and vision and determine the feasibility of a capital campaign here and now. We discussed pulling together the Visioning Team from interested members of the congregation by the end of March. This team will work directly with KAIROS.

Ben gave the Treasure’s Report. He stated that there were no unusual expenses in January and that giving was up somewhat from last year.

During the Property Report we learned that the ceiling in third floor Sunday School area will be painted in the next couple of weeks. Following the painting, carpeting is to be installed in that area, the sacristy and Pastor Tim’s office. Once carpeted, the sacristy renovation will be complete. As soon as the weather cooperates, repairs will be made on the flat roof over the northeast stairwell. We will be requesting that the office move be completed by May 1 to accommodate the new Director of Communications and Administration start date.

In other business, we discussed how and where to share documents such as the compiled cottage meeting notes, our constitution and job descriptions. More information on that will be coming to you soon!

We gave thanks to God and departed in God’s name.

Hopefully this gives you a little glimpse into our process and keeps you informed as to what we are talking about right now. As always, let us know if you have any questions or concerns. We are here to work for you!


Council Introductions: Justin Shimko

Wedding PhotoMy story is typical of many others. I was born into a Lutheran family, specifically the Missouri Synod, and did not question that aspect of it for many years. It was after my time in college and moving away from Oklahoma to Washington, DC, that my identity and my spiritual journey veered off course. However, these last few years have explained why that happened: having a community.

When Heidi and I started looking for a church to call home, we branched out of our comfort zones: LCMS for me and the Catholic Church for her. We found Luther Memorial and almost immediately recognized how unique this place was in the city. We really felt welcome here and challenged. Challenged in a way to make us think harder about our faith lives and how we were using it to help the world around us.

Today, Heidi has been working to build and grow the Wellness Initiative, providing alternative medical care to those who normally could not afford it, while I take time away from my career in political communications to give my time and talent in any way I can find it, especially when I am able to play my violin for the congregation during the Christmas and Easter holidays.

We have found the missing piece in our lives through Luther Memorial and could not be happier to be a part of this special and growing community.