Pastor Marcus open the meeting with a prayer. The minutes from the June meeting were approved.
The ad hoc committee on the leadership Council composition and policy report was given by Charlie Tate. Following discussion, the following recommendations for changes were unanimously approved:
- On page 2 the third paragraph now reads “The senior pastor, associate pastor, and church business administrator shall also serve as voting members of the leadership Council.”
- On page 2 the last sentence of the first paragraph will now read “All persons with vote shall be members of the local church.”
- On page 3, in the first paragraph describing the Leadership Council Chair, a second sentence was added stating “The leadership Council chair shall vote only in the case of a tie.”
- It was agreed that in the future there would be no appointment of an alternate voting member. Currently, Joe Rakestraw serves as an alternate member of the Council in the absence of Merv Timberlake. Joe will continue to serve in Merv’s absence through December 2018.
Sharon Saige gave the church business administrator report. Increased pledging has increased slightly from last month, now totaling about $50,000. However, we continue to experience a significant shortfall in our budget. In 2017, as of June 30, our budget deficit was $63,000. This year our budget deficit stands at $140,000 (as of June 30). Our attendance on both campuses continues to decrease when compared with 2017.
Chuck Reeder gave the staff parish report. Our Children’s Director for the past 10 years, Melissa Walls, had an exit interview with the committee and provided valuable information and recommendations for a new director of family ministry. That job description has been completed and there are currently three resumes to be considered and appointments made for interviews.
Sharon Beede gave the finance subcommittee report. A motion was made and carried that Jim Lauri will now be a signatory on the Merrill Lynch account. The music budget continues to be a concern and will be further scrutinized. Arlene Sparks, Director of our Music Ministry, will be working in consultation with pastor Marcus regarding these concerns. The continued presence of a significant budget deficit is of great concern. However, budget planning for 2019 remains limited until the reports of the Ministry Assessment and Strategic Planning Taskforces present their recommendations. Those recommendations are expected at the October Leadership Council meeting. Our yearly scheduled Charge Conference (with our District Superintendent) will occur later in the fall, at which time the budget will be finalized for 2019.
Fran Bertotti presented the trustees report. Maintenance issues are ongoing. In our efforts to look at all aspects of church finance and property, the sale of one or both of the parsonages has been mentioned. Before any additional consideration, Fran and Charlie Tate will speak with our District Superintendent regarding what is involved at the conference level and what is the general trend in South Florida Methodist churches.
Our senior pastor gave his report, including the glorious baptism of a family of four into our fellowship and the send-off of 35 of our children to summer camp in Leesburg, Florida. He concentrated however, on the preliminary discussions of the strategic planning and ministries reassessment task forces. He challenged each of the council members to consider what they believed to be “The Story” of Our Church (that is, “Who do we feel God is calling us to be”).
Pastor Rachel attended her first meeting since maternity leave. She will be providing a detailed overview of implementing our “Fresh Expressions Ministry” this fall, prior to the August Leadership Council Meeting. The Council will be voting in August about proceeding with implementation, including the funding of this new ministry from New Vision Designated Funds. Pastor Ryan did not have a report. He was in the process of returning from Leesburg where he had dropped off our summer campers.
Jill Haire was not present at the meeting but provided an excellent summary of the “Connections Program” and an update on our volunteers, greeters, and ushers.
Suzanne Reeves presented the Lay Leader Report and Mallory Albeck presented her report on our “Young Adult” meeting.
I handed out our nice new leadership Council name badges. All of our council members will be wearing their badges to enhance identification and to attempt to improve dialogue with all of our church attendees. Special thanks to Becky Clark and Sharon Saige for their efforts. I also reported that we will be moving forward with a new church directory. The Lifetouch company will again be producing the directory. Photography dates are being scheduled for mid and late January, 2019. We wanted to offer all of our families a chance to participate, including our winter residents. Lisa Coles has volunteered to head up this endeavor, and she is going to need a lot of help. Please consider volunteering to be a part of that.
We had a number of guests attend the meeting. Doris Clark reminded us of an upcoming pumpkin patch committee meeting. Pastor Rachel closed the meeting with prayer.
Chair, Leadership Council, FUMC, BR