At its April meeting, the council discussed the adoption of an Operational Ethics Policy also known as a Conflict of Interest Policy. The policy would apply to all council and committee members and all full and part-time permanent staff which the policy calls Congregational Representatives. Basically, the policy states that no Congregational Representative shall use his or her position, or knowledge gained therefrom, so as to create a conflict, or the appearance of a conflict, between the interests of the Congregation or any affiliated entity and the other interests of such Congregational Representative. For example, if a Council member has a family member who owns a business that submits a bid on work to be done at the church, the council member should not vote on which bid to approve for the work. If a conflict of interest develops or exists, then the Congregational Representative needs to make the issue known and a course of action will be determined to mitigate the situation. The Council will continue to discuss the policy at the May meeting.
The Council also continued its discussion from last month’s meeting on ways to strengthen the youth program which covers ministry for grades 6 through 12. Pastor Suzi joined the group for this discussion. A task force will be formed to determine an overall plan to strengthen the youth ministry program. Ed Cox volunteered to lead this task force. The task force will develop a strategic plan which will be implemented in the fall this year. The Council will consider increasing the financial resources of the youth program and the Personnel Committee will review and prioritize Pastor Suzi’s duties and responsibilities to help focus her energies on the youth program. If you are interested in being part of the task force, please contact Ed Cox or Pastor Suzi.
The council received an update from Pastor Ted on the progress of the Call Committee. The committee continues to meet every other Monday and is finishing up the church profile and the church survey. Pastor Ted reported that about a month after the profile is submitted to the Synod, the committee will receive its first notification of candidates for the position which currently will be about the end of June.
During the budget discussion at the end of last year, it was believed that giving to the Minneapolis Area Synod was raised from $1000 per month to $1100 per month. It was determined that this was not the case and the Council discussed increasing giving to $1100 per month. A motion to raise the giving to the Synod and making it retroactive to the beginning of the year was approved at the meeting.
A few other activities currently working include:
- The Personnel Committee is working on a revision to the employee handbook. The handbook was last revised in 2014.
- The Color and Design Task Force continues its work on a conceptual design for replacing the flooring in the Sanctuary.
- The Property Committee has developed a plan for repairs to the parking lot this summer. Additional funding beyond the budget is required and will be discussed at the next Council meeting.
- The Cemetery Board is seeking bids for raising and straightening grave stones mainly at the Marysville cemetery. Additional landscape work is needed at the Zion cemetery. If you are interested in helping out at the cemeteries, please contact me at email@example.com.