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January Church Board Report to the Congregation

Your Church Board meets the first Thursday of every month (with the exception of December). Here is a report from last week’s board meeting:



The board reviewed the 2016 Community Christmas Dinners and set the following dates for the 2017 Dinners: December 5th, 7th, 8th, 12th, 14th with a snow date of December 15th.
A total of 1,135 (not counting kitchen/servers) attended over the course of 5 nights this past December.


The board reviewed the 2016 Christmas Eve Services and discussed the 2017 Christmas Eve Services, noting that this year Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday.   The following action was taken: This year, all services including the Sunday Morning Services will be similar, in other words, a time of worship, a short meditation followed by candle-lighting and communion. A decision on whether or not to receive an offering on Sunday morning has yet to be made.  Here are the times that the board has set:
9:30am in the Chapel
10:00am in the Auditorium
3:30pm in the Auditorium
4:30pm in the Chapel
5:00pm in the Auditorium


The Growing Tree Pre-School program that meets Monday through Friday mornings at the church is exploring the possibility of offering an afternoon program on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays starting in September. They requested and received the board’s approval in the event that they move forward with this initiative. 


The Search Committee for the position of Worship Director reported that an interview was held this past week, and they will be inviting the candidate back in the near future to work with some of our musicians, putting together a night of worship.
In addition, the board discussed whether to advertise the opening in youth ministries (as Shaun prepares to transition to adult ministry) as a Youth Pastor or a Youth Director.   Acknowledging that a reasonable case could be made for either, the board made the decision to advertise for a Youth Director as we move in the direction of more specialized roles.   As in the case of the Worship Director, we would not be looking for this person to take part in many of the general duties we look for from our current pastoral staff; preaching, nursing home visitation, hospital visits, etc. The Search Committee for the Youth Director position has begun advertising for this opening as of this past week.


The Church Board approved the Finance Committee recommendation to establish a Spending Plan goal of $1,102,978 for 2017.   The board will be seeking the approval of this figure at this year’s Annual Council meeting.   This figure is in line with 2015 giving ($1,105,000) and 2016 giving ($1,109,000).   Receiving contributions on par with the past two years will allow us to fund all salaries including the Worship Director and Youth Director, and also begin setting aside funds for Phase II of the Laying Bricks for Jesus Project.
The board approved the slate presented by the Discernment Committee for Church Board where two of the following will be elected: Heather Ellerbrock, Sherri Flohr, Dave Hansen, Harvey Payne, Todd Smith, Jeff Stitely. The board also approved the slate for the following boards/committees where there is no election, simply looking for confirmation: Deacon Board (Randy & Kim Eberly, Neal & Lorraine Mishler, Greg & Cindy Stains) Finance Committee (Joyce Benedict, Kevin Hord), Grounds and Maintenance Board (Tim Cordell, Matt Hade, Mike Leese, Scott Martin)
Over the past few months the board has received a number of requests asking that the church board elections be conducted using a similar format to that used for the pastors, that is, over a 10-day period.   The board discussed this possibility, reviewed our denominational bylaws and after consulting with Bishop Rob Patterson made the decision to hold the church board election over a 10-day period starting the evening of Annual Council (January 25th) and ending at midnight, February 4th.   Ballots will be counted by 3 individuals appointed by the board on Monday morning the 5th.   This format will be done on a 1-year trial basis. At the February church board meeting the board will evaluate feedback, participation and any other factors and then decide whether to continue on or revert back to limiting voting to the night of Council.


At the December church board meeting the board –after discussing and reviewing our current leadership structure – voted to use 2017 as a trial period and appoint an Administrative Pastor whose primary task would be to provide leadership and accountability among the staff.   With the expectation that Pastor Bill will be stepping into the role of Church Board Chairman in 2017, the board appointed Bill to fill this role.
Bill, with input and consultation from the pastoral staff, presented a 5-year plan to the Church Board at the conclusion of last week’s meeting. This document will serve as a starting point for the board as they look to sharpen focus and set a clear course of direction for our Church.
Your Church Board consists of…
Pastors: Ray Kipe, Bill Shank, Brian Black, Jim Recard, Shaun Kipe
Congregational Representatives (elected at Annual Council) : Heather Ellerbrock, Matt Nolt, Angie Petersheim, Jeff Stitely, Joel Wenger, Lin Yoder
Deacon Representatives: Darwin Chamberlin, Randy Rock
Grounds & Maintenance Representative: Mike Hawbecker
Church Treasurer:  Gene Gorman
Sandy Gray serves as the recording secretary.