September 24th, 2017 Congregational Meeting Minutes


Congregation Meeting Minutes for September 24, 2017


The Current State of Congregation and Participation

Jennifer Aull tells everyone we will be using Robert’s Rules to govern the meeting. She gives a brief background on the committees that were recently set up to explore ways that our church could be more welcoming.

The outstanding question is how to coordinate and organize volunteer

Opening Question: What needs help? What do we want to do? How do we organize people to do those things?

***Motion to start a working group to produce a church inventory by next congregation meeting – Camille***

The committee would focus on:

  1. What does the church do/offer?
  2. What resources are currently available in/to the church? (E.g. Human, physical, financial, infrastructural, intellectual) etc.
  3. Is there a deficit between what the church needs and what it has?

There is an outstanding question as to whether we should focus on just the congregation or the church as a whole. People will wait to see what is revealed in the inventory.

Rebecca mentioned that it would be helpful to receive solicitations for help in the weekly email newsletter. She said Signup Genius (sp?) worked well.

Volunteerhub (sp?) is a tool the Hunger Program already uses, so the congregation might decide to also use it.

***Motion Passes*** (Camille and Kate C. will be working on this)

Jen briefly explains the difference between a congregational and a consistory structure. Basically in congregational system, more decisions are made by a greater number of people.

Another issue, church admin have been grappling with is the fact that we have limited space in the church and we need better guidelines about who/what we should prioritize for usage of the space.

Kate mentions that we need to balance our church’s financial needs with our mission.

Cameron asks whether we’ve ever done any church strategic planning. Ann says not really but the church is now to the size that we need to work on that.

***Motion to form a working group to craft activities/gather information to draft church mission and vision statements. ***

People make the point that mission and vision statements are two different things and a value statement is yet another thing.  It was suggested that it might be good to conduct interviews.

Rob suggests a creative problem solving approach which involves putting post-its up and having people share their ideas. It might be a good idea to let people do this during a few church services .

Many people also liked the idea of announcing it every week for a few weeks since many people don’t come every week.

Most people felt it unrealistic to try and do the vision statement very quickly. They also mentioned that the findings of the inventory could yield useful information.

**Motion Passes*** (Katie and Serena will be heading this)

Camille mentions we should consider a format and figure out conflict resolution.

Ann says we should consult  Matthew for conflicts (see here Matthew 18: 15-17). Jen says that the consistory is the church body that we can make appeals to and who oversee the pastors’ performance and things like that. Camille said it might be helpful to just make all of that more public and explain what the consistory is in the bulletin.

Camille wondered about the possibility of devolving consistory oversight to the congregation.

Pauline mentions that she would like to have “structure with softness”

The question is asked about how do we control information density. Some people in church don’t want a ton of information. Others want a lot.

Camille asked about the church’s physical bulletin board. It turns out it was accidentally thrown out by the people who shot the television program at the church.

Surveying the congregation may make it clearer how much information people want and how they wish to receive it.

Serena remembers that we once did a survey of members and whether they had any special skills or interests. That might be a good thing to do again.

Cameron says that the mission statement process and the inventory will likely help us decide how to run/restructure the church and that we shouldn’t decided too much up front.

III. Closing

Rebecca closes the meeting with prayer.