The Church Board meets on the second Tuesday of every month, and as Board chair, I look to provide the congregation a summary report of what was discussed and what actions were taken. We met this past Tuesday evening, and has been the case since April, our Board met via Zoom (a video conference).
It is customary for us to begin with REPORTS, for instance, Ron Strite (our church treasurer) gave the board a financial update, reporting that we ended the month of June with $59,000 in our General Fund. Ron reported that our expenses are down considerably at this point, and also reported that so far in July our weekly offerings have averaged $18,000, which is right in line with our weekly goal. In addition, we are giving thanks to God for allowing us to continue to meet our commitments to missionary workers and missional organizations.
Pastor Ray and I provided the Board with a report from this past Saturday’s General Assembly. Here’s the back story: General Assembly (which is held every other year) is a gathering of representatives from all Brethren in Christ churches across the United States where, among other things, the business of the denomination is tended to. A number of us from Five Forks (Ray, his wife Darlyss, Sherri Flohr, and myself) were to have been in Kansas this past week for the 2020 General Assembly. Because of COVID, this gathering was canceled and a 3-hour online event was held this past Saturday afternoon from 1:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.
Ray and I reported that the event consisted of a time of worship…a sermon delivered by Heather Beatty (wife of Bishop Bob Beatty)…numerous reports, videos, and a number of recommendations to be voted on. More information regarding a BIC initiative called Project 250 will be sent out in the coming days; in the meantime, you can view some or all of Saturday’s General Assembly by going here: https://bicus.org/event/general-assembly-2020/
A report was provided to the Board in regard to the Green Phase Guidelines/Request Form that the pastoral and office staff put together as individuals and groups from within the congregation and community look to make use of the church facilities. As a Board, we realize that the guidelines may continue to change as conditions continue to change.
After receiving all of these reports, we then moved on to a number of DISCUSSION ITEMS.
First, we spent a significant amount of time on the impact of COVID-19 on our church family. We discussed in-person attendance figures as well as online viewing numbers since we began in-person services on June 21st. It would appear that there are considerably more people viewing the services online than those attending in-person. This would be consistent with what churches across the nation are currently experiencing, and this is something we may continue to experience for some time.
The COVID discussion also covered the disparity of views regarding the wearing of masks. The Board is aware that any resulting division is not unique to Five Forks, but is something that our nation is grappling with as a whole. Having said that, it is our desire to be gracious to all, whether they agree or disagree with our decisions, and above all, striving for unity as we look to be followers of Jesus.
Discussion also revolved around things we may do in the future (such as an outdoor service sometime in August, as well as weekly online gatherings that could help bring our church family together to share and possibly discuss/explore the previous Sunday sermon).
The second discussion item consisted of a re-evaluation of current staff titles, specifically changing both Chris and Brady’s title from Director to Pastor.
This discussion involved looking back at the rationale used by previous Boards for creating/selecting various titles. The Board also acknowledged that while Chris and Brady have specific areas of responsibility, they have assumed and carried out a broad scope of responsibilities ever since they joined the staff in the later part of 2019. Both Chris and Brady are actively pursuing further education in the credentialing process, and in the end, it became clear that the Board was fully in favor of changing Chris and Brady’s titles from Director to Pastor. Therefore this topic will move from a DISCUSSION ITEM to an ACTION ITEM on next month’s agenda. It was noted that this does not mean that this precludes the Board from hiring Directors in the future. Various factors will be taken into account when such a decision is made.
As always, if you have any questions or are interested in further details on any of the discussions listed above, please feel free to contact me (Pastor Bill), or Pastor Shaun, who serves as co-chair, or any member of the Church Board.
Your Church Board consists of:
Staff: Bill Shank, Shaun Kipe (Note: Ray, Chris, and Brady attend and participate in the Board meetings, but only the chair and co-chair are able to vote)
Congregational Representatives (elected at Annual Council): Chris Bumbaugh, Peggy Dawson, Brian Egolf, Sandy Gray, Harvey Payne, Angie Petersheim, Jean Showalter, Lin Yoder
Deacon Representative: Ed Herald
Church Treasurer: Ron Strite
Recording Secretary: Christina Martin (non-voting)
Please visit the Five Forks Church website (FFBIC.org) and click on About Us and then Church Board to get additional information regarding the Board.