Thursday, March 22, 2018
In attendance: Joe Brown, Vicki Butcher, Jenny Klein, Dave Liggitt, David Koonce, Tom Marx, Robert McDowell, Brenda Noftz, Brandon Saunders, Steve Sloan
Guest: Rick Seiter
Special Charge Conference:
As representatives of Rick Seiter’s home church, we met with him to hear and discuss his answers to Wesley’s historic questions from the Book of Discipline about his faith, calling and path. We prayed with Rick and gave unanimous support of his continued journey toward being credentialed as a licensed local pastor. The recommendation will be sent to the Foothills District.
Regular Board Meeting:
Pastor Robert opened with prayer at 7:00 pm, and we shared thin place moments.
The January 25 minutes were approved by consensus.
Leadership Board Core Values:
Pastor Robert again reviewed the core values of the Board for the benefit of those who were unable to attend the January meeting.
General cash carry-forward from 2017 is $18,000. Pledged giving for Jan/Feb 2018 fell below budget by $1350 due to bad weather/closings that resulted in a drop in attendance; however, non-pledged giving for the same period is still above budget by almost $400. This trend will be tracked in the coming months. On-line giving is being used by 12 people, representing about $4,000/month in pledged giving. Operating expenses are over budget by $795 due to higher utility bills, but overall expenses are under budget by $465. We are in good financial condition with a healthy cash flow position.
Capital Campaign donations have slowed from previous giving as we approach the final year. A reminder letter will be sent to the congregation to encourage continued pledge contributions and to encourage new contributors.
A reminder to the congregation about the importance of pledging was suggested, as some may not understand how it aids in budget planning.
The community Maundy Thursday service will be at First UMC, and the Good Friday service will be held at First Presbyterian Church.
Growing Tree Preschool Sunday will be on April 15.
Music Sunday/Graduate Recognition will be on April 22.
Pastor Robert shared the new “Hospitality Statement for Athens First” that declares:
We celebrate the diversity of the human community, and affirm and believe in the sacred worth of each person as a recipient of God’s love and grace. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we declare ourselves to be an open and inclusive congregation. We welcome all persons regardless of gender, race, national origin, physical or mental ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, marital status or economic condition.
First UMC is entering into a partnership with Pisgah UMC, Union UMC, and New Marshfield UMC to share special music, offer Holy Communion, and partner in ministry.
Gratitude was expressed for the renovations to the parsonage kitchen made by our church maintenance person, Beto, Dan Smith, and Pastor Robert and Penny.
An energy audit of our church building is being considered. Church and City Council member Chris Knisely recommended an interfaith independent auditor that charges $150 for an initial audit. Brandon advised that an energy audit was performed several years ago, and the results should be reviewed before moving forward.
Dan Smith has been searching for a more affordable insurance carrier that would cover the church and parsonage and still meet the requirements of the conference. His research resulted in a recommendation that we switch to UMI (United Methodist Insurance), which currently covers about 400 United Methodist churches.
As this is the last meeting before the policy renewal date, the Board gave consensus support of the change to a UMI policy, contingent on due diligence and consultation with Pastor Robert to ensure that the policy selected best fits our needs.
A request was made to solicit names of churches with UMI policies that have had a major claim so that they can be contacted about their experiences.
Kathy Mangen, the new Growing Tree Preschool Director, was officially welcomed and introduced to the congregation at the 10:30 service on March 11.
First UMC has been awarded a college/outreach grant that will cover the cost of a College Ministry Coordinator, and Jenaye Hill has accepted the position. Combined with her current position as Office Coordinator and Communications Director, this will make her a full-time employee. Concern was expressed about her ability to continue to provide adequate office coverage, and Pastor Robert gave assurances that a plan is already in place to help Jenaye with her more routine office responsibilities.
Leadership Board Members:
One vacancy on the Board remains to be filled for the Class of 2020.
We closed in prayer at 7:55 pm.
The next meeting will be on May 24, 2018 at 6:30 pm at the parsonage, 7 York Drive.