The Congregational Council meets every third Wednesday of the month in the library starting at 7:30pm. The meetings are open to anyone in the congregation, and I would encourage members to attend. Due to conflicts, both the February meeting and March meetings have been moved to the right one week. February 27 and March 27 respectively. As president of the Council, one of my goals is to increase the communications from the Council to the congregation, so I intend to submit an article in this newsletter every month. Also, the Council will now place all meeting minutes, agendas, and reports on google docs so that any member of the congregation can view them. Go to ZionBuffalo.org/minutes to view the documents, and bookmark the page for future reference. Please check it out.
Here are a few of the big-ticket items discussed at the January council meeting.
- The Council elected officers for 2019. They are, myself- Dirk Foster- President, Ian MacCallum – Vice President, and Jason Halvorson – Treasurer. The Council will elect a secretary at the February council meeting. The officers, along with Pastor Ted, make up the Executive committee which meets every first Sunday of the month at 11:45am. The Executive committee sets the agenda for the council meeting, discusses issues that need consideration between council meetings, and makes decisions that do not require a full Council vote.
- The Council also selected a Call Committee to fill the vacant Pastor of Congregational Life position left by Pastor Luke last year. The constitution requires seven voting members to be on the committee which are Pam Danielson, Dawn Fischer, Nancy Johnson, Tim Lemmerman, Wes Mahlberg, Kia Prell, and Doug/Kelly Schmidt. Doug and Kelly will only have one vote as a married couple. Alternate candidates are Al Pecarina, Amy Intrieri, Duane Rolstad, and Michael Smith. The committee held its first meeting on February 6 with John Hulden from the Minneapolis Area Synod attending to provide information and guidance. The committee will make every effort to have a new pastor called sometime this summer, but it can be a long process. So, at its February Executive committee meeting, the committee recommended to the Council to appoint an interim pastor to fill the gap. The committee provided no specific names in the meeting, and the full Council will discuss this action at their February meeting. I am hopeful that we can appoint an interim pastor in early March.
- Also, in the January meeting, the Council discussed the process and possibility of forming a Design and Color task force to determine new flooring and upholstery options for the Sanctuary. The carpet is over 30 years old and showing its wear. The council asked for a written proposal and motion from the Memorial and Property committees for consideration at the February meeting. Fortunately, the Memorial committee already has about $14,000 in gifts towards the project, but the project will require more before it can be completed. We wouldn’t know the exact amount until the task force comes up with a design. If you want to be part of the task force, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- In an electronic vote conducted in the third week of January, the Council elected to transfer $10,000 to a Long-Term Maintenance line item in the Special Projects Fund. The Property Committee will use this extra money for a long term maintenance project (not normal expenses), but the Property Committee has not designated a project yet.