Thursday, May 25, 2017
In attendance: Dave Bayless, Vicki Butcher, Jenny Klein, Kim Mather, Robert McDowell, Deb Murray, Brandon Saunders, Steve Sloan, Mike Sweeney
Guest: Joe Brown
Called to Order: 6:35 pm
Jenny opened with prayer, and we shared Thin Place Moments.
Review and Approval of Minutes:
The Mar. 23 minutes were approved by consensus.
- A summary of the income and expenses related to the Renovation Project was distributed, detailing the two parts of the project: the preparation and early phases funded from prior earnings on the Permanent Endowment Fund, and the major renovations phases funded through the capital campaign.
- The Operating Budget Summary for April shows expenses currently a little above plan, but income is sufficiently ahead of plan to cover those expenses. This year’s budget, adjusted for carryover from last year, shows anticipated income short of expenses; however, with careful management of expenses and pledged and non-pledged giving continuing at the current rate, the shortfall should be made up by the end of the year.
- Pledged and non-pledged giving are both ahead of plan. As the renewable portion of income, these are very important signs of long-term health.
- The Small Groups announcements in Connections will be tweaked to reflect sporadic Summer gatherings.
- Rick is working on staffing the Hospitality Teams.
- Core courses will resume this Fall with a new format. New members will be the primary target group, but all members will be welcome to attend. The group will meet for five weeks: (1) dinner, sharing of Thin Place Moments, and overview of the Discipleship classes available at First UMC; (2) introduction to the Bible; (3) theology, history and organization of Methodism; (4) means of Grace; (5) Spiritual Gifts. A one-day “dry run” with current members will be held on the last Monday of August (a week prior to the beginning of the course series). A second course series will be offered in the Spring.
- Worship U will resume in the Fall, moving to Monday evenings with a new format. Students and others will meet for dinner and then be led in worship by the Praise Band. Attendees may then choose to remain to discuss questions related to the previous day’s sermon, or join the Core classes if scheduling permits them to be held on Monday evenings.
- It was announced at District Conference that church attendance in the District is down by 2-3%, but attendance at First UMC Athens shot up! Central Avenue UMC donated $130,000 to the Light the Way for development of Central City in Columbus.
- Pastor Robert will be away June 11 and 18 and July 2 for West Ohio Conference and vacation. Ron Kozma, David Maze and Dave Diamond will lead Worship on those Sundays. Martha Sloan will attend Conference as our Lay Representative.
- A proposal for keypad locks for rooms 2, 3 and 6 was presented to address Growing Tree Preschool security concerns. The purchase costs would be covered by private donations, and Todd would install them during the Summer. There were questions about access to the rooms by others who use the rooms during the week, and evidently the selected locks cannot have separate codes for different groups of users. Brandon will offer his help in the choice of keypads more appropriate for our needs.
- The 1st floor work room and 2nd floor office space need to be cleaned out. The church staff will go through the rooms first to save anything they need. All remaining items will be considered disposable. A church work day will be scheduled if needed to complete the clean-up.
Pastor Parish Relations Report:
- A new nursery worker has been hired and will begin her duties in June.
- Cathy Bigger has announced that she will retire as Director of Growing Tree Preschool at the end of the 2017-18 school year. The Board recommends that she begin internal discussions about a new Director with her teachers now, and a search for a new Director will be initiated as soon as possible.
College Scholarship Funds Update:
- The Committee on Higher Education and Campus Ministry (Deb and Jenny) has developed a scholarship application form for First UMC college scholarships. Guidelines for the Browne Scholarship are on the form, but guidelines for the Roach Scholarship have not yet been found.
- The Browne Fund currently has funds for only a one-year award, and the committee will work with Sharon Stolzfus to contact Kathi Browne about her interest in making additional donations.
- The committee recommends investigating the possibility of annuitizing the Wesley Student Foundation account to create a new scholarship named for someone special to First UMC. The yearly funds available would provide a one-time scholarship for an active church member who grew up in First UMC and is attending any college.
- Kim noted that there are United Methodist Scholarships available to recipients of local church scholarships.
- Michelle Shively, the Sponsor of Kappa Phi, will be invited to join the Committee on Higher Education and Campus Ministry.
Leadership Board Membership/Classes:
Several openings on the Board will be created this and next year as current members complete their terms. All members of First UMC are encouraged to consider applying.
A flyer at District Conference contained information about an on-line giving program that is free to churches and interfaces with Church Windows. Denise and the Finance Team are investigating switching to that program.
Steve closed the meeting in prayer.
There will be no July meeting. The next meeting will be on Thursday, Sept.28 at 6:30pm.