Council Meeting Recap: March 2017

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 in God’s name with a scripture reading from John and a discussion and reflection with Council and Staff.

LMC Staff was present to discuss communication and expectations going forward. We talked about protocol and needs for information going both from Staff to Council and Council to Staff.

We scheduled the Staff/Council Retreat for June 3, 2017 and put together the planning team of Angie Cooper, Deaconess Claire Schoepp, Don Erickson & Toietta Dixon.

We discussed the copier in the office which has been frequently breaking down lately, we are spending a lot on maintenance & repair. Heather is to get three quotes on leasing & buying options and report back to Council.

We approved the February minutes.

We discussed the website domain transfer. The old site no longer links to new site. Christian Kern and Jeff Conway will fix this. It takes some time for Google to redirect to a new site when searching.

Update on fencing, by Jay Kapp. Heather Vanderberg, Jay Kapp & Dan Ruzic met with Clint from fencing. LMC is attempting to schedule improvements to Fellowship Hall as much as possible to minimize the impact upon fencing’s summer schedule.

Jay presented a proposal for the elevator phone line answering service agreement. Council approved.

We discussed the Leadership Summit and survey results. The Leadership Summit was generally well received. There was significant interest in newly forming teams.

Suggested improvements included:

  • Need printed agenda
  • Need child care
  • Not enough time for small groups
  • Perhaps less content in favor of more time for discussion and consideration of the selected topic.

Jay gave the Property report. The kitchen is projected to be complete mid to late May, but timing is heavily dependent upon availability of City inspectors. Regarding the Fellowship Hall, we don’t know what’s under the floor, this will determine much of the timing. The current intent is to remove flooring Memorial Day weekend. The team is thinking ahead to what happens in the nursery during basement renovation to best minimize disruption.

Ben Dieterich shared the Treasurer’s report. He will provide quarterly updates to congregation

Justin Shimko gave an update on the LMC Scholarship. When a member from an ELCA church attends an ELCA university, the university matches scholarships given by the church. We have given scholarships in the past, when students have written and requested them. The team is exploring options for funding and working on putting a process in place for future scholarships.

Next, was the Faith & Justice Team report by Justin Shimko. There is new interest in this team stemming from Leadership Summit. The team is currently working with Dieter Schulte on the peace vigil. They are also exploring the possibility of setting up a fund and coordinating with area churches to support vulnerable area families by ensuring care of children if parents are deported. The team will be meeting again after Easter.

Audrey Downes gave the Welcoming Team report. The team has scheduled a meeting and will be getting the meeting date & place to Heather.

In the Congregational Care Team report, by Toietta Dixon, we learned that the team protocol is almost complete. Also, there are more people interested in this team after the Leadership Summit.

Stewardship Team report, by Nicole VanderDoes. She shared several upcoming events.

  • Thursday 7pm Tiny Lounge
  • April service project with Sole Hope
  • April 23 volunteer recognition Sunday-reception between services
  • May 20 work day-spring cleaning at church
  • June 17 Greater Chicago Food Depository

Diane Betten reported that the Call Team will be meeting with their top candidate shortly.

We closed with the Lord’s Prayer and went out 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!

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Council Meeting Recap: February 2017

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.

The meeting was opened in God’s name with a reading and discussion of a passage from Matthew.

We approved the January meeting minutes and a budget allocation for the Call Team to cover travel expenses for a pastor candidate.

During the Communications Team report we learned that the new website is up and running at www.lmcchicago.org. Christian Kern is working to get the old site pointed to the new one.

Next, we discussed planning for Leadership Summit:

  • Date: March 25, 2017
  • Time: 9:00-noon, followed by lunch
  • Invitation to be sent out the week of March 6

Each working group (Faith Formation, Communications & Team Building) reported on its progress and presentation ideas/plans.

We had a discussion regarding the fencing contract, which is up for renewal at the end of May. The current construction plan anticipates fellowship hall work to commence this summer. Jay Kapp and Heather Vanderberg have initiated discussions with fencing pertaining to an extension of the contract and the scheduling of summer fencing activities in light of upcoming construction.

Jay Kapp gave a Property Team report. Plumbing has been installed in the kitchen, but we are waiting for city approval. There was also discussion and clarification of the total amount that had been approved for the kitchen project budget.

During Pastor Martha’s report, we learned that staff would like to meet with council at the March meeting to discuss communication, reports to council and information sharing. They have also requested that the HR liaison share all staff job descriptions so council understands staff roles. We discussed June 3 as the tentative date for the Council/Staff Retreat. Synod Assembly is June 9-10. Heather, Jay and Pastor Martha are planning to attend.

Ben Dieterich gave the Treasurer’s report.

The Stewardship Team liaison, Nicole VanderDoes, reported. She shared the concept of “Stewards of Time” local projects such as cleaning up the church, individual servicing, and community servicing. One idea discussed was assisting the Friendship Center. The Friendship Center is scheduled to serve the Chicago Food Depository on April 15, the day before Easter. Nicole mentioned asking members of the congregation to consider participating in this service project.

We closed the meeting by offering thanks and praise in our ministry, going out in God’s name and 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 Meeting Recap: January 2017

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 in God’s name with a scripture reading and a prayer by Dave Byerly.

We approved the minutes from both the November and December Council meetings.

Next, we reviewed and finalized the Congregational Meeting agenda and established roles for the meeting.

We held elections for the 2017 executive team.

Then, we delegated liaison positions for 2017:

We discussed moving the date of the Leadership Summit because of asbestos removal. Pastor Martha will check dates with Heather. We also updated the working groups.

  • Team Building: Toietta Dixon, Jay Kapp, Angie Cooper
  • Communications: Justin Shimko, Jeff Conway, Christian Kern
  • Faith Formation: Audrey Downes, Diane Betten, Nicole VanderDoes
  • Lunch: Ben Dieterich
  • Justin Shimko will put together RSVP system.

The Pastor’s report was given by Pastor Martha and the Treasurer’s report was given by Ben Dieterich.

We 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 Meeting Recap: December 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 in God’s name with a prayer led by Justin Shimko.

We heard a presentation from the Call Team regarding their recommended candidate and discussed next steps. Council and Call members discussed the process and reasoning behind the selection. President Misti Peppler will reach out to the candidate to set up a meeting with Council.

Ben Dieterich gave the Treasurer’s Report and the presented the final 2017 budget proposal. We discussed the congregation’s response to Miracle Sunday as well as a special gift given by a member of the congregation. Council approved the budget proposal as ready to present to the congregation at the annual meeting.

Jeff Conway presented the new brand concepts that resulted from the work of the Communication Team. We reviewed and discussed three options and gave feedback. Jeff will take our feedback to the team and branding company.

Next, we set the agenda and discussed preparations for Congregational Meeting:

      1. Open in prayer
      2. Approve Meeting Minutes
      3. Call Team Update
      4. Capital Build Improvement Plan Update
      5. Elect and install Investment Team member
      6. Elect Treasurer
      7. Stewardship Team Update
      8. New Branding
      9. Approving Budget
      10. Acknowledge People Leaving Council
      11. Close in Prayer

Then, we set topics and broke into teams to organize the Leadership Summit:

In Pastor Martha’s report, she announced needs for the upcoming Christmas Eve services and stated that the new Sexton, Kevin, is working hard at his new position. She also reminded us to send end of the year reports to Heather for the Congregational Meeting. January 8 will be Refugee Sunday and the team has been working on a presentation.

Offering thanks and praise in our ministry, we 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 Meeting Recap: November 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 Council meeting in God’s name and approved the minutes from the October meeting.

Angie Cooper reviewed Sexton candidates and made a hiring recommendation which was then approved by the Council.

In capital improvement updates we learned that the kitchen is moving forward, with demolition possibly beginning in January. We then approved moving the necessary funds from the general operating budget into the capital budget to replace the sump pump under the narthex and make related repairs in that area.

Ben Dieterich presented the treasurer’s report. Expenses have remained constant, but a decline in envelope giving leaves us with a year-to-date deficit. We discussed ways to approach the deficit including the the Stewardship Team’s “Miracle Sunday” campaign.

We then reviewed and discussed a draft of the 2017 budget proposal including revenue projections, personnel, non-personnel and operating budget summaries. Ben will share budget documents with entire council for continued review.

Pastor Martha gave her Pastor’s Report. Highlights include a request for Council to meet with staff in the new year and the sharing of notes from the windows commemoration service. She also noted that pastoral care conversations are increasing and discussed the prison ministry meeting held on November 20.

We adjourned the meeting and went out with a prayer and passing of 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 Meeting Recap: October 2016

pumpkins-stacked

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.