Council Meeting Recap: October 2016


In an effort to improve our transparency and communication as your Council, we are sharing a recap of last month’s Council meeting. The full minutes will be available after they are approved, but here are some highlights in the meantime.

We opened the meeting with a reading from John. The reading launched a discussion on truth, perception and our role as council members. We talked a great deal about what we already do, what we may need to do better and what we may need to begin doing in the areas of communication and clarity.

We approved the minutes from September, which had been reviewed and edited via email prior to the meeting.

We spent some time setting dates for meetings and events over the next few months.

  • Tuesday, November 22 – Council meeting
  • Tuesday, December 20 – Council meeting
  • Friday, December 30 – annual reports due to Heather
  • Sunday, January 8 – pre-congregational meeting between services
  • Sunday, January 15 – pre-congregational meeting between services
  • Tuesday, January 17 – Council meeting
  • Sunday, January 22 – congregational meeting
  • Saturday, February 11 – Leadership Summit

The Council will host the coffee hour after the Celebration for Windows service on  November 13. We will set up before the service, serve during and clean up after coffee hour.  

Angie Cooper gave an HR update. She shared the recommendation of the hiring team for the sexton position. Council voted unanimously to approve. She gave a brief recap of staff reviews completed in October. It was a positive process which has set the stage for future reviews. We will be reviewing salaries, hours and job descriptions as well as drafting covenant letters for all staff members.

We briefly discussed and unanimously approved the personnel policy. The policy had previously been reviewed, edited and discussed in length, and has now been reviewed by legal counsel. The section addressing sick time will be reviewed again and, if necessary, edited before next summer.

Treasurer, Ben Dieterich, was unable to attend the meeting, but we reviewed his previously emailed report. We ended September in the black, but are still down overall.

Pastor Martha discussed some highlights from her previously emailed report. We talked about the annual reports that we would be providing for the congregational meeting in January. We discussed the kinds of things to include and who should be putting together these reports and that some, but not all, may be given orally at the meeting. We also spoke at length about Briana’s departure and the group of people that came together recently to discuss her situation. It has become apparent that this is a very raw, very vulnerable place for our congregation. We talked about healing processes going forward, what we have learned and how we can apply it in the future.

We closed the meeting by giving thanks and praise in our ministry with a prayer by Pastor Martha and went out in God’s name, sharing the Peace.  

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: Audrey Downes

20161103_142554Audrey Downes is a lifelong member of Luther Memorial Church. She is currently an Assisting Minister, Healing Minister and Eucharistic Minister, a member of the Hand Bell Choir and WELCA and serves on the Investment Team. Audrey is also involved in the Drama Ministry program and helps with the Front Garden. She previously served many terms on the Church Council and was a Sunday School teacher. Audrey looks forward to serving again, engaging with our members and welcoming a new pastor to LMC.

Note: Audrey was elected as part of a slate of three at the October Congregational Meeting. She will serve on LMC’s Council for a two year term beginning in January. She will spend the next three months shadowing the current Council before her term begins.

Council Introductions: Toietta Dixon

14711616_10154173056778425_3189089082586526525_o-head-1Toietta and her husband, Michael, celebrated their 30th anniversary in August of this year. They have one child, Noah (18), who is a high school senior. Though she grew up in the Missionary Baptist church, Toietta converted to the ELCA when Noah was two, so that the Dixons could worship as a family. At other churches, she has been on the Council, headed the Worship & Music Committee, been a member of the Endowment Committee, taught the High School Sunday School class (along with Michael), and served as a Stephen Minister, as well as a variety of other volunteer services.

The Dixons began worshipping at Luther Memorial full time in September 2014, when they moved from northwest Connecticut to Chicago, and participated in the Great Conversation in the spring of 2015. At LMC, Toietta has facilitated a number of adult small groups, sings in the Chancel Choir, and is a Stephen Minister. She is eager to continue to serve in accordance with God’s calling.

Note: Toietta was elected as part of a slate of three at the October Congregational Meeting. She will serve on LMC’s Council for a two year term beginning in January. She will spend the next three months shadowing the current Council before her term begins.