Elder Meeting Minutes: December 13, 2016
Present: Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Katie Henry Murad, Bill Rieth, Clark Rinehart, Barb Sibley, Brian Worley

Absent: Wes Lowder

Sharing and Prayer:  The meeting opened at 6:35pm with care concerns and prayer.

Facility Updates

New Property:
Brian led the discussion regarding the new property.   The lease on the main church is complete and the deposit is in.  An architect has completed designs.  There is an opening that connects the main church and Bay 1 to Bay 2 which will be a large open space for the youth and children’s ministries. There is no cost estimate yet for the planned upfit.

January 1 plans –  Infant care and preschool programming will be offered during the first service at the new building on January 1; however, there is no designated room for the elementary children. The ministry team is considering the best options for the first few weeks of January.

Workdays/move days – The staff and volunteers will be packing on December 19 and 20, with a focus on Meridien Drive and consolidating, boxing up, etc. The move out of Meridien into the new building will likely be on Wednesday December 28.

Current Property:
The sublease between Grace and the new tenant has been signed; however, BPG, the management company, will not sign it.  BPG has offered the new tenant a lease that is identical to our lease.  If the church signs with BPG, we will likely work with them on a separate agreement for the initial six-month rental agreement.

Financial Update

Brian led the discussion on the finance report for October, November and December.  He reminded us that December is always an unpredictable month.  All outstanding bills must be paid by the end of December.

1) 2016 budget – income and end-of-year expenses

2016 Projected Income

January-November  $741,196
December (est.)       $100,000
Before year end       $841,196

2016 Projected Expenses

January-November            $ 949,000
December (est.)                 $    75,000
Total projected expenses   $1,034,000

2) End of year cash projection

Cash to start 2016:               $    52,000
Total 2016 Income:               $  842,000
Total 2016 Expenses:           $1,034,000
Cash Position, Jan. 1, 2017  $ (140,000)

3)  Christmas Eve offering

Motion:   Jack moved to use the Christmas Eve offering for upfit expenses for the new building.  Holly seconded, and the motion passed.

4)  Pastoral housing allowance
Motion:   Barb moved to approve the housing allowance designation for Reverends Brian Worley and Clark Rinehart.  Bill seconded, and the motion passed.

Nominating Committee Recommendations for Committee Assignments

Bill, as the new elder liaison to the Nominating Committee, led the discussion of church members the committee has recommended for open committee positions.

Personnel Committee – Joe Perry, Nancy LaCavita and Allie Snyder.

Motion:  Brian moved to receive the slate for Personnel.  Assuming at least one of the nominees accepts, Andrea will no longer need to be a voting member of the committee beginning on January 1, 2017. Barb seconded, and the motion passed.

Finance Committee – Kristin Sartorius, Derek Allred, Don Sutherland, John Massey and Jan O’Sullivan (as an alternate).

Motion:  Bill moved to receive the slate for Finance.  Assuming two of the nominees accept, Wes Lowder will no longer need to be a voting member of the committee beginning on January 1, 2017.  Holly seconded, and the motion passed.

Update on Staff

Bert informed the rest of the board that Eric Noyes has resigned his position at Grace.  He will be employed by Grace on Sunday mornings and evenings through the month of January to work with the youth and will be paid on an hourly basis.  He has accepted and started another position outside of ministry.

Decisions need to be made for Eric’s replacement.  Brian requested and was given permission to explore a list of names to pursue for this potential position.

Pastor Search

Andrea and Holly updated the elders on the search process.  Upon the pastor search committee’s request, the elders expressed a willingness to discuss and update Grace’s policy on infant baptism.

Moderator’s Report

Motion:   Jack moved to approve the November 29 elder meeting minutes and confidential meeting minutes. Barb seconded, and the motion passed.

This was Barb’s final elder meeting, so the elders celebrated Barb’s time with us on the board and thanked her for her dedication.

The meeting closed with prayer at 9:50pm.  The next elder meetings will be Tuesday, January 10 and 31.

Respectfully submitted,
Andrea Hounshell

 

Elder Meeting Minutes: November 29, 2016

Present: Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Houshell, Wes Lowder, Katie Henry Murad, Bill Rieth, Clark Rinehart, Barb Sibley, Brian Worley

Sharing and Prayer: The meeting opened at 6:35pm with care concerns and prayer.

Lasting Impact Conversation #3: Clark led discussion on healthy leaders and healthy churches.

PSC Search: Andrea and Holly updated the elders on the search process regarding one particular candidate who remains in prayer for discernment for next steps. In addition, the PSC has widened its search and is receiving a number of emails from interested persons.

Facilities and “All In” Campaign Updates:  Brain led the discussion regarding the new property, formerly occupied by Imago Dei. The lease for the main building space, 6214 sq. ft., is signed and completed. Brian and Scott Hurst are working with Flythe Construction Company and Flythe’s architect on final designs of bays 1 and 2, which is additional space.  Details regarding when the first service in the new location will be held are forthcoming, but hopefully a congregational announcement will occur in the near future.

Motion:  Bert moved to purchase $20,500 of equipment (TVs, sound system, and supporting pieces) from Imago Dei and to use the line of credit to do so. Wes seconded, and the motion passed.

With this purchase, the amount borrowed from the credit line is $124,000.

Regarding our present facility, our landlord’s property manager is in Raleigh this week and will be considering the lease arrangement with the church interested in occupying our space.

Finally, 58 pledge cards have been returned to date for the “All In” stewardship campaign.

Moderator’s Report and Close:

Motion:  Wes moved to approve the November 15 elder meeting minutes. Brian seconded, and the motion passed.

Bill gave an update on the current status of the Stephen Ministry at Grace and some options to partner with other churches and Stephen Ministry programs.

The meeting closed with prayer at 9:50pm; the next elder meeting is Tuesday, December 13.

Respectfully submitted,
Barb Sibley

 

Elder Meeting Minutes: November 15, 2016

Present:  Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Wes Lowder, Katie Henry Murad, Bill Rieth, Clark Rinehart, Brian Worley

Present for facility discussion: Jim Adams and Scott Hurst

Not Present: Barb Sibley

Sharing and Prayer

The meeting opened at 6:35pm with prayer.  Clark, Katie and Bill shared several care concerns at Grace and how they are being met.

Lasting Impact Discussion

Clark led the group in a discussion of chapter 6 of Lasting Impact on recent trends in churches today.

Facility Report

Jim Adams and Scott Hurst gave an update on the current negotiations for a new facility for Grace and for exiting the lease for our current facility.  Both negotiations are going exceptionally well.  We hope to be into a new facility and free from our current lease on January 1, 2017.

Motion:  Bert moved to give Scott Hurst the authority to negotiate with Flythe (who represents the new facility owner) for the main church space and to try to delay signing a lease for the additional adjacent bays until we have completed the process of getting out of our current lease. However, if it becomes clear that a delay for additional space is not an option, we will go ahead and sign a lease for the main church building and the additional bays.  Bill seconded the motion, and it passed.

Motion:  Wes moved to borrow up to $10,600 from the line of credit to make the required deposits on the new facility.  Holly seconded the motion, and it passed.

Brian reminded us that BPG (our current landlord) is holding a deposit of $17,000 rendered when we first moved into our building and that we should expect to get it back when we end our lease.

Financial Report

Brian led the group in a brief discussion on church finances.  The finance team is projecting the church will be $151,000 in debt by the end of the year.  An additional amount of up to $10,600 will need to be borrowed to make a deposit on the new facility.  Additional funds will also be needed to upfit our new facility, but the good news is that the rent on the new facility will be less than half our current rent, even with the additional bays.

Brian shared that 56 stewardship cards have been returned so far.  Additional efforts will be made to retrieve more from the congregation.  The finance committee hopes to use these cards to develop a manageable budget for 2017.

Personnel Report

Brian led the group in a discussion of staff hours and benefits in the months to come.

Motion:  Brian moved to change the minimum number of hours per week that Grace requires for employees to maintain full time status and receive benefits from 30 to 27, allowing the church to reduce hours for some staff while maintaining benefits. Bill seconded the motion and it passed.

Senior Pastor Search Process

After prayerful consideration, two candidates who were being considered have both withdrawn their applications.  The Pastor Search Committee (PSC) has exhausted the leads received from our church contacts and is now doing an open national search via church job websites.  Several intriguing resumes have come in already.

Moderator Report

Motion:  Bert made a motion to make Bill the liaison for the Nominating Committee effective immediately.  Brian seconded the motion, and it passed.

Motion:  Bert made a motion to name Ken Taylor to the church office of president, effective immediately.  Brian seconded the motion, and it passed.

Motion:  Andrea made a motion to accept the November 1 minutes.  Holly seconded the motion,  and it passed.

The next elder meeting is November 29 at 6:30pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Jack Curtin

 

Elder Meeting Minutes: November 1, 2016

Present:  Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Wes Lowder, Bill Rieth, Clark Rinehart, Barb Sibley, Brian Worley

The staff joined the elder meeting for a discussion of Conversations 1, 2 and 5 of Lasting Impact.

Facility Update
We discussed lease documents for the potential new facility, both the main sanctuary portion and the additional space.  Leases will require modifications before they are in final form.  Brian will be meeting with the facility representatives on Wednesday (November 2) to discuss details of items which would possibly be left behind for Grace’s use.

A church interested in occupying our space will hold a staff-and-elder walk-through at the Grace facility on Thursday, November 3, in the morning.   The CFO of that church will also meet with BPG, our landlord; Brian and Jim Adams will be present as well. The elders of that church will meet on November 7 to determine next steps. No decisions were made or needed regarding facilities.

PSC Update (Brian excused himself from this portion of the meeting)

Two candidates are being seriously considered by the PSC at this time, with one of them coming for a visit later in November, prior to Thanksgiving. The schedule for that visit tentatively includes a Friday evening meeting with elders and spouses, with a more formal elder meeting and interview with the candidate on either Saturday morning of afternoon. Ranges of salary for the senior pastor position were also discussed.

Moderator’s Report
After discussion, Bert will recommend to Personnel Committee for staffing to remain as is for the time being.  More directed discussions will be possible once 2017 financial projections are available.

Brian returned for the remainder of meeting.  The elder board make-up was discussed.  Our bylaws require an elder board of 5-8 members.  In January, we will have 6 members; of the eight serving during 2016, Ken Taylor has rotated off the board, and Barb Sibley will do so by the end of the year.

October 18 minutes were reviewed.

Motion: Barb made a motion to accept meeting minutes, seconded by Brian.  The motion passed.

The meeting ended at 10:30 pm. The next elder meeting is Tuesday, November 15, at 6:30 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Wes Lowder

 

Elder Meeting Minutes: October 18, 2016

Present:  Bert Banks, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Bill Rieth, Barb Sibley, Ken Taylor, Brian Worley

Absent:  Holly Cook, Wes Lowder, Clark Rinehart

Guests:  Jim Adams and Scott Hurst

The meeting opened at 6:30pm with a discussion of care concerns and praises. Bill opened in prayer.

Brian then led a discussion of Conversation 5 of the book Lasting Impact.

“All In” Meetings

Bert reported on the first 2 of 3 “All In” meetings that were conducted over the past 2 Sundays with 28 to 30 attending each. The meetings have been well received; people were engaged and interested and there was good conversation.

Facility Update

We were then joined by Jim Adams and Scott Hurst for an update and discussion on facility matters.

Jim reported on his conversations with the broker for our current landlord (BPG). There was a lengthy discussion of all proposals that we have received for our current facility. It was finally agreed to proceed toward agreement with the church that provided us with a Letter of Intent.

Motion: Jack motioned that we negotiate using the LOI as a baseline. If improved terms cannot be agreed, we will accept the LOI as-is. Barb seconded the motion and it passed.

Scott updated the elders on discussions regarding the new facility and reported that they are waiting on us. The needs, use and affordability of various options available to us were then discussed. It was agreed by the elders that the original church space, plus additional space options, will provide the best all-around fit for Grace for now and into the future. Scott was given permission to negotiate a proposal for the best terms regarding these options.

Moderator’s Report

Motion: Brian motioned that we accept the minutes of the October 4 board meeting. Barb seconded the motion, and it passed.

Motion: Brian motioned that the elders approve a 1.9% increase in health insurance costs for staff.  Andrea seconded the motion, and it passed.

Bert concluded the meeting with prayer at 10:15 pm. The next elder meeting is Tuesday, November 1.

Respectfully submitted,
Bill Rieth

 

Elder Meeting Minutes: October 4, 2016

Present:  Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Wes Lowder, Bill Rieth, Barb Sibley, Ken Taylor, Brian Worley.

Absent: Clark Rinehart

Guests:  Jim Adams and Scott Hurst

The meeting opened at 6:30pm with a discussion of care concerns. Bert led our time of prayer.

Brian then led a discussion of Conversation 2 of the book Lasting Impact.

Facility Update

We were then joined by Jim Adams and Scott Hurst for an update and discussion on facility matters.

Scott updated the elders on progress regarding the new facility. An initial up-fit cost has been offered by the landlord and a discussion followed regarding the amount of additional space that might actually be needed and would subsequently require up-fitting. After discussion, it was agreed that up-fit should be as minimal as possible. It was then affirmed that the initial space (the space currently occupied and being vacated by another church) is definitely desired by Grace and that this sentiment could be conveyed to the landlord. It was also agreed that Scott Hurst be given authority to sign a letter of intent once Grace has a commitment from another party for the Meridien Drive property.

Jim reported on his discussions with the broker for our current landlord (BPG). Through BPG, possibly one or two additional churches may be interested in our current building. There was a discussion of these, in addition to the current two churches already interested. It was agreed that we want to be able to see and decide on all proposals by the next elder meeting on October 18.

Stewardship and “All In” Meetings

Ken reported on the “All In” campaign, indicating that the cards have been drafted and will be mailed. They will also be available at each of the “All In” meetings, and the information gleaned from the commitment cards will provide the basis for budgeting in 2017. The meetings will be led by Bert, Brian, and Clark, and elders will be available for contact.

Pastor Search Committee

Holly and Andrea reported on the pastor search that three highly qualified candidates will be interviewed by the committee in the near future. They also reported that while the targeted approach has been moderately successful in identifying candidates, the PSC may still want to consider a national search in the future if needed.

Moderator’s Report

Bert led a discussion regarding the elders’ sense of the heart of the congregation as of the end of September.

Two of our beloved elders then announced that after considerable prayer and discernment of God’s calling, they will be stepping down from their leadership positions as elders. Ken Taylor will be stepping off the board of elders November 1, and Barb Sibley will do the same in December, at the conclusion of her fourth year on the board. We are grateful for their many years of service, and will truly miss them on the board.

Motion: Holly motioned that we accept the minutes of the board meeting of September 20, and the congregational meeting of September 25. Wes seconded the motion, and it passed.

Motion: Brian motioned that Wes Lowder be given voting authority on the Finance Committee effective immediately, through December 31, 2016, or until a fifth member is elected. Jack seconded the motion, and it passed.

The meeting concluded with prayer at 10:30 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Bill Rieth

 

Minutes for the Grace Community Church Special Congregational Meeting:  Sunday, September 25, 2016, Commencing at the Conclusion of the 10am Service

Barb Sibley, member of the Board of Elders, called the meeting to order at the end of the 10am worship service, stating the purpose of the meeting was to conduct a vote of the members to elect four candidates to serve on the Nominating Committee. Barb called the meeting to order by declaring a quorum of the members present.

Barb reviewed the role of the Nominating Committee and that a member vote is required for candidates to serve on it.

The members were then presented with the four candidates recommended by the elders to serve: Jeff Lemmons, Kim Moss, Susan Roberson, and Melodye Sutherland. Barb explained that four, if elected, would immediately replace four committee members who stepped off in June: Jennifer Enzor, Scott Greene, Chris Radtke, and Hope Tharrington.  Barb also reviewed the remaining members serving on the Nominating Committee: Tom Sartorius, G Walker, and Wes Ward.

At this point, a motion was made and seconded to open and conduct the vote for this slate of candidates to serve on the Nominating Committee. Barb pointed out the options on the paper ballots distributed throughout Grace Hall to vote for all four candidates or each one individually.

A motion was made and seconded to adjourn the meeting after the members had an opportunity to cast their votes, over which Barb presided, until 11:40am. After the meeting was adjourned, elder Holly Cook gave the congregation an update on the state of the church overall, with a focus on church finances, and a preview of the stewardship time to come.

In all, 90 members’ votes were cast via paper ballots, with 88 voting for the full slate of candidate names and 2 choosing to abstain. In subsequent communications, the congregation was informed that Jeff Lemmons, Kim Moss, Susan Roberson, and Melodye Sutherland were elected by the members to serve on the Nominating Committee.

Respectfully submitted,
Barb Sibley

 

Elder Meeting Minutes – September 20, 2016

Present:  Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Wes Lowder, Clark Rinehart, Barb Sibley, Ken Taylor, Brian Worley

Absent:  Bill Rieth

Brian opened the meeting at 6:30pm with devotion and prayer.  Clark then led a discussion of the Conversation 1 of the book Lasting Impact. 

Facility Update

Brian first reported the status of conversations regarding the space where we might go.  He met Monday with the owner, architect, and site planner.  That conversation went very well, and we are optimistic they want to work with us.

Brian then reported on the status of conversations with the 3 churches that have expressed interest in our current space.  The elders agreed for Brian to approach the 3 churches, ask them to make their offers in writing prior to October 4, and we will make a decision quickly.

Finance Update and “All In” Stewardship Campaign

Brian presented the financial update and presented some preliminary figures for the 2017 budget based on giving through September 11.

Ken presented a proposed schedule for the “All In” stewardship campaign.  Letters and giving cards will go out week of October 2, as well as invitations to attend one of 3 meetings to be held immediately after Sunday worship October 9, 16, and 23.  The meetings will be organized much like the ones we held during the summer.  There will be an announcement this Sunday regarding the campaign.

Moderator’s Report

Motion:  The elders motioned and seconded to approve the meeting minutes for September 6, and the motion passed.

Bert reminded all that we have a congregational meeting scheduled for September 25 to elect Jeff Lemmons, Kim Moss, Susan Roberson, and Melodye Sutherland to the Nominating Committee.  Barb will lead the meeting.

The meeting ended in prayer.

Next elder meeting:  Tuesday, October 4 at 6:30 pm

Respectfully submitted,
Ken Taylor

 

Elder Meeting Minutes:  September 6, 2016

Present:  Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Wes Lowder, Bill Rieth, Clark Rinehart, Barb Sibley, Ken Taylor, Brian Worley

Guests:   Pastor Search Committee members Tim Finnegan and Tom Sartorius (via Skype)

The meeting opened at 6pm with Barb leading devotion and prayer.

Pastor Search Committee (PSC)

Holly and Andrea led a discussion on the progress of the pastor search committee.  We discussed the various stages of the Senior Pastor selection process.  During the discussion, we confirmed the use of the personality/leadership test to be administered to applicants who move to the appropriate stage of the interview process and that the test results will be an important component in calling the next Senior Pastor.

We then reviewed the selection criteria, Senior Pastor profile, and Senior Pastor position description documents.  We agreed to change the heading “Compassionate Community Builder” to “Community Builder,” but left the rest of the documents as presented.  The Senior Pastor profile and Senior Pastor position description are now available online.

Clark commented that as a team, the elders and PSC should acknowledge that the leadership strengths needed change with the size of the congregation and that we keep that in mind as we move through the selection process.  All agreed.  Bert closed the discussion by thanking the members of the Pastor Search Committee for their service.

Facility Update

Brian reported that he had been in discussion with two area churches that have expressed interest in either partnering or taking over our entire space.  In addition, he reported that he and the facilities team have been made aware of space coming available that is already set up for a church.  He could not reveal any details regarding the property, but said it is very favorable for us in terms of size, cost and location.  We agreed to have Brian continue with these discussions, including conversations with a local school for transition space for us if needed.  It was also agreed that if the right opportunity came for us to have another church or other interested party take our current space, we are willing to move in order to reduce our facility costs.

Pastors’ Reports

Clark brought the elders up to date on congregational care concerns and in doing so, commended the work being done by Bill Rieth to make sure we are providing the care support needed by our congregation.

Clark also reported that he is piloting a small group specifically organized to develop a leadership pipeline and grow our group ministry.  In addition, he reported that we have 4 studies going on currently and that Becky Crenshaw agreed to lead the Monday evening Women’s Bible Study.

It was agreed that an email would go out this week to announce the hiring of Katie Murad and that an announcement would be made at Sunday worship as well.

Brian reported that the preaching schedule has been changed slightly.  Katie will preach October 16 and one other time during the fall.

It was agreed to study the book Lasting Impact as a group, concurrently with the staff.

Brian reported that the church had borrowed an additional $20,000 from the line of credit today, which brings the total outstanding to $85,000.

Moderator’s Report

Ken presented an idea regarding a process for communicating to the congregation the financial needs of the church.  We discussed making an announcement that included a direct “ask” for an amount that corrects for the shortfalls experienced in July and August and also designates a “commitment” Sunday in October and one in December.  On these dates, we would ask for giving that would be in addition to the amount one would normally give.  In addition, we would ask the congregation to complete pledge cards and communicate that our 2017 budget will be built to reflect the commitments given.  There was agreement to this concept and also agreement that Ken and Brian would work on details.

Motion:  Barb motioned that we accept the minutes of the board meetings for August 2, August 9 and August 16.  Bill seconded the motion, and it passed.

Bert reminded all that we have a congregational meeting scheduled for September 25 to elect Jeff Lemmons, Kim Moss, Susan Roberson and Melodye Sutherland to the Nominating Committee.  Barb will lead the meeting.

It was agreed our scheduled meetings for October will be on Oct. 4 and 18.

The meeting ended in prayer.

Next elder meeting:  Tuesday, September 20, at 6:30pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Ken Taylor

 

Elder Meeting Minutes:  August 16, 2016

Present:  Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Wes Lowder, Bill Rieth, Clark Rinehart, Barb Sibley, Ken Taylor, Brian Worley

Guest:  Katie Henry Murad

The meeting opened at 6pm with a devotion from Holly.

Staffing

Katie Henry Murad met with the elders for dinner. She shared her story. She resigned as Grace’s worship director in 2012 and currently serves as a minster at a church in Chapel Hill that has been in operation since 1803.  She would like to serve as Grace’s worship pastor for the next year, until she moves out of Raleigh with her husband.  Each elder asked a question or two and then Katie asked a few questions.  Once Katie left, the elders discussed hiring Katie.

Bert, Brian and Cindy Hays from the Personnel Committee met with Katie last week. Personnel has recommended approving Katie for the position of Pastor of Worship and Music, with additional responsibilities for care and occasional preaching (possibly three times in the fall).  Her first Sunday would be September 18.

Motion:  Holly moved to approve Katie Henry Murad as contract Pastor of Worship and Music, with details of the contract to be worked out by Brian later; Andrea seconded.  The motion was approved.

Budget Discussion

At our August 9 meeting, we were in general agreement on a $1 million budget; however, the Finance Committee had requested a $950,000 budget.  If we approve a $1 million budget, we could very well start the year more than $40,000 in debt. To reduce the budget to $950,000 would result in severe cuts, most likely in staff.

Brian said we all need to agree that we want to continue to exist as a church. If we are in agreement on that crucial issue, then how will we get to 12 months from now?

We have three options:

1)  Sharing our property would enable us to reduce expenses. Best case, another church could come in by November and pay us $20,000 this year. Next year, we could receive $120,000 in shared rent.

2)  Another option is to turn the lease over to another church, which means we would need to move.  Are we strong enough to be a “church in the box” (a church that meets in a space available to us just once a week, where we would need to set up and break down each week)?

3) The third option is to fold or merge with another church.  The consensus was that this third option is not desirable — we want to work to ensure Grace can exist a year from now.

Assuming we bring in a new Senior Pastor sometime in 2017, what will the staff look like starting next year? We will likely have a budget of around $750,000. That means we need to start having discussions with the staff now on how we can cut staff expenses.

Should we pursue sharing space with Hope Community Church? (The elders met with three pastors from Hope on August 2, as they have expressed an interest in helping Grace.)  We could sign a 2-year contract with Hope and see how it goes. We could also approach another church that was previously interested in our building and negotiate a 1-year contract with them; they might very well want the whole building in a year. Another option would be to swap spaces with them.

Brian made the following recommendations:

  • Reset the 2016 budget at $1,000,000, with a 13% salary reduction for staff, with Katie Henry Murad coming in to a contract position; possibly have Personnel talk with other staff members about reducing their salary, but keeping their benefits.
  • Talk to: 1) the property management company (BPG), then 2) the aforementioned church regarding sharing our space or a swap, then 3) a church plant that could meet here or might want to merge with us.  Then, based on these conversations, talk with Hope.
  • Build 2017 budget.
  • Do a stewardship “ask” on August 28; Bert will present. Holly will help write it.

Motion:  Ken moved to approve a revised $1 million budget, with a 13% decrease in staff salaries; Barb seconded.  The motion was approved.

Moderator’s Report

John Ulrich is definitely starting a church. Bert received an email forwarded to him from a Grace congregant announcing a planning meeting this Sunday, August 21.

The elders discussed whether, according to his resignation and release agreement, John is now employed and no longer “in transition from Grace.” Brian proposed that we could look into accepting donations on behalf of the new church until it has nonprofit status.

Motion:  Holly moved to terminate the church’s resignation and release agreement with John Ulrich as of August 31 and to present a final check to him representing a gift from August 16-August 31, to be accompanied by a letter terminating future gift payments and the liaison relationship, the original resignation agreement, a copy of Jack’s email to the elders and the email meeting notice.  Andrea seconded.  The motion was approved.

The preaching schedule is complete through the end of the year, with the sermon series ironed out by Clark.

Pastor search committee update: Holly and Andrea reported that things are moving along. The PSC will meet this Sunday. They are seriously considering a short congregational survey. The PSC will be asking the elders to send them selection criteria for the Senior Pastor and to decide whether to conduct personality tests for candidates.

The meeting ended in prayer.

Next elder meeting:  Tuesday, September 6 at 6:30pm

Respectfully submitted,
Holly Cook

Subsequent board action:

Motion: On August 25, via email, Barb motioned to call a special congregational meeting to elect the following four members to the Nominating Committee: Jeff Lemmons, Kim Moss, Susan Roberson, and Melodye Sutherland. The meeting will be held on Sunday, September 25, 2016, at the end of the 10am worship service. Jack seconded, and on August 26, the motion passed.

 

Elder Meeting Minutes:  August 9, 2016

Present:  Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Wes Lowder, Bill Rieth, Barb Sibley, Brian Worley

Absent:  Clark Rinehart, Ken Taylor

The meeting opened at 5:30pm with prayer.

The preaching schedule has been finalized through October. There are only two open dates, and they are in November.  Erin Winston will preach on October 16.

Staffing

Bert, as a member of the Executive Personnel Committee, Cindy Hays, a member of the Personnel Committee, and Brian will meet this Thursday with Katie Henry Murad, candidate for pastor of worship services.  The board decided to schedule a dinner meeting with Katie on Tuesday, August 16 at 6pm.

Budget Discussion – Brian

Brian, Scott Hurst and Jim Adams (representing the facilities team) will meet with Mike Green from the property management company for the church building later this month. They will review our lease beforehand and research what to say regarding subleasing, sharing the facility, asking for a rent reduction, etc.

Only two budget categories have any flexibility for reducing expenses further this year: Operations and Staff Expenses.

The rent figure for 2016 will be reduced from the original amount of $345,831 to $272,226, because unlike previous years, we will not pay January (2017) rent in December.

The budget includes $20,000 for missions. Finance has suggested limiting expenditures this year to $10,000.  To date, $13,978 has already been spent, which means $3,978 will be moved from the Mission Ministry savings account.  Future expenditures this year will also come from the savings account.

2016 Revised Budget

Staff Expenses              $541,397

Rent                                $272, 226

Operating                       $132,784

Ministry                           $  44,600

Missions                         $  10,000

Total expenses $1,000,007.

The suggested amount for staff compensation represents a 13% reduction in salary for all full-time employees this year. That will reduce the compensation figure from $451,266 to $414,736.  The hope is to restore salaries to their full amount as soon as possible. The adjusted figure accounts for John’s and Nathan’s departures and includes Katie Henry Murad.

Health insurance benefits have increased since the budget was finalized, and have gone from $97,721 to $102,491.

Pastor Search Update – Andrea and Holly

The pastor search committee had its first meeting last Sunday; Holly and Andrea were very encouraged by each member’s enthusiasm and willingness to speak openly. The PSC discussed conducting a congregational survey.  They will draw up a sample survey and send it to the elders for approval.

Andrea relayed a message for Brian from Obbie Clemmons – please do not turn down the lights during the offering so that people can see to write their checks.

The meeting ended with prayer.

Next elder meeting:  Tuesday, August 16 at 6pm

Respectfully submitted,
Holly Cook

 

Elder Meeting Minutes:  August 2, 2016

Present:  Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Wes Lowder, Bill Rieth, Clark Rinehart, Barb Sibley, Ken Taylor, Brian Worley

Guests:  Mike Lee, Tom Sharda, Gary Vet from Hope Community Church

The meeting opened with a discussion with the three pastors from Hope:   regarding a possible partnership between Hope and Grace. Mike, Tom and Gary invited the elders to visit Hope on August 27 to meet with staff, attend Saturday evening worship and eat at a nearby restaurant afterward.

Each elder will send to Bert a list of ways we can benefit from a partnership with Hope.

Philosophy of Ministry projectKen leading discussion

Ken said the general long-term vision (specifics will be formulated once the new Senior Pastor arrives) sees Grace as an intergenerational church, with interaction among the generations, and a place where people are coming to Christ and growing in Christ.  Jack said this vision seems a bit too internally focused.  In an email after the meeting, Ken proposed a meeting of any elders who could attend, as well as Erin Winston, to brainstorm through the presentation of our “dreams” (aka vision) for the future Grace.

Our short-term vision is that by August 2017, we will have a vibrant, growing core of congregants who desire to be passionate, active lovers of Jesus and who enthusiastically are learning what it means to love our neighbor and live faithfully.  Ken said we need to let people know we are not forgetting the importance of pastoral support, strong ministries, etc.

The elders decided to change the order of the phrases in the mission statement so that it now reads “loving Jesus, loving our neighbors, living faithfully.”

Ken said that the meetings on Sunday, August 7 and Monday, August 8 will be more like worship services than information meetings and will open with praise songs led by Nathan Head. The theme will be “Dream Together.” Each table will have a sheet of paper on which people will write down their dreams for Grace. Clark will lead prayer; Ken will paint the picture of the “dream”; Bert will talk about the 12-month objectives, including finances; staff and others will talk about plans for their ministries; and Brian will share the Word. Each table will have “Serve a Sunday” interest cards for people to fill out and turn in.

Staffing and Finance Updates – Brian

Brian reported that he and Clark met with Katie Henry Murad to discuss her offer to serve as Grace’s worship pastor for up to one year. Katie currently serves as worship and children’s minister at a church in Chapel Hill.  She expects to move to Atlanta with her husband in as few as four months, but possibly in a year. As an ordained pastor trained as a chaplain, she can do hospital visits, as well as preach and lead youth worship. She wants to work for Grace full time.  Katie left Grace in 2012 because of theological differences.  Bert, Brian and possibly Cindy Hays will meet with Katie sometime in the next week.

Brian will send a financial update to Bert, who will forward it to us.

MotionKen moved to accept the July 26 meeting minutes; Wes seconded. The motion was approved.

The meeting closed with prayer.

Next meeting:  August 9 – 5:30pm-7pm

Respectfully submitted,
Holly Cook

 

Elder Meeting Minutes: July 26, 2016

Present: Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Wes Lowder, Bill Rieth, Barb Sibley, Ken Taylor, Brian Worley

The meeting opened at 6:30pm; Barb shared a reflection on Jesus’ relationship with the Father, marked by obedience, and His model of obedience: a trusting response to known love.

Church Leadership: Brian’s Roles and Responsibilities: Ken opened a discussion on Brian’s role in leadership over the next several months, noting first that Brian’s work with the elders in moving forward with the Philosophy of Ministry project is much appreciated.

Responding frankly to a prior elder email discussion regarding his strengths and weaknesses as a leader in this interim time at Grace, Brian spoke into the perception that he is not as warm and responsive as people generally prefer in a pastor, noting that his strengths are not “grace and mercy.”  Brian also commented on his own leadership style of bringing issues forward and being sure they are addressed if they are not being surfaced in any other way. Some may interpret this style as being “pushy” or even “manipulative,” but that is inaccurate. After 26 years in ministry, Brian noted that one of his strengths is his ability to see outcomes, or consequences, of decisions made by leadership teams.

Brian indicated a willingness to preach over the next several months and addressed the fact that it’s hard to create a rhythm and style of preaching when he has had few opportunities to do so over the past several years.

Brian also challenged the elders to consider the model of Grace being an elder-led church and what role the elders should rightly consider as leaders as a new senior pastor is called.

The elders affirmed their desire to see Brian remain an integral part of leadership, spearheading, along with the elders, the PoM, and also taking on an increased amount of preaching, along with Clark.

Congregational Gathering on August 7-8: Ken led the discussion regarding the flow of these evenings, consisting of information shared and inspiration imparted.  From many discussions over the past months, members clearly want to know “what’s next?” especially in areas of ministry, finances, and senior pastor search. As the elders introduce the philosophy of ministry, the idea is to capture what the leadership is “dreaming of” as a church and paint that picture, along with the operational pieces that folks want to know. As such, the feel for the evening will be that of a worship service, with prayer and music as well as information sharing. The evenings will end with a call to action for our members, for involvement in the many areas that will be open and available for commitment and involvement.

Finance and Personnel Updates: Brian oversaw the personnel and finance reporting. Nathan has submitted his resignation, and his last day at Grace will be Sunday, August 14. Cindy Hays will oversee a reception for Nathan after worship that day, and the opportunity for members to contribute to a congregational gift will be from Aug 1-Aug 31.

Motion:  Wes motioned to receive and approve Nathan’s exit package. Holly seconded, and the motion passed.

A brief discussion ensued regarding a part-time worship leader for Grace after Nathan’s departure. In addition, Ginger’s retirement is slated for Sunday, August 28. Again, Cindy will oversee a reception for Ginger.

Moving to finance topics, Brian presented a proposed revised budget, the goal of which is to limit expenses to $1,000,000 total for 2016 (current expense budget is $1,137,745). To date, expenses are $582,000; therefore, with a revised budget, $418,000 is the targeted amount to spend for the remainder of 2016.

Brian further indicated that expenses currently average $97,000/month; to hit the proposed budget, expenses need to be revised downward to $70,000/month. In addition, the church is $90,000 in debt: $60,000 through church credit cards and $30,000 through the line of credit. The debt will most likely increase as the year progresses.

The Finance Committee has proposed several steps to reduce the debt being carried, including staff salary reductions. In addition, communicating to the congregation the financial facts and concerns is imperative, with a very strong emphasis on the need for substantial increased giving.  A letter will be prepared and delivered/communicated in the beginning of August.  The elders will also prepare to address this issue at the congregational meetings on August 7-8.

Regarding the need to reduce expenses—Personnel Committee submitted a proposal for staff salary reductions. The elders discussed alternate ways of accomplishing salary adjustments.

Motion:  Brian motioned to table the proposal for overall staff expense reductions and to present clear choices and alternatives via email to the elders no later than Thursday, July 28, at 5pm.  Holly seconded, and the motion passed.

Brian ended this portion of the meeting with a brief discussion on the bank balances and bills yet to be paid. Brian was confirmed by the elders to borrow an additional $15,000 from the line of credit at this time, adding to the $30,000 already borrowed. The church’s line of credit limit is $150,000 annually.

Moderator’s Report:  Motion:  Jack motioned to accept the July 10 elder meeting minutes. Brian seconded, and the motion passed.

Nominating Committee: Barb led a discussion regarding the need to re-staff the Nominating Committee in light of four members, including the chair, stepping away in June. This committee needs to be functioning in order to accept nominations for Personnel, Finance and elder teams. Filling the Nominating Committee requires a congregational meeting and vote, so Barb emphasized the need to begin immediately.  Barb also indicated that currently, Personnel has lost two lay members and is below its minimum of five members in order to vote and send recommendations to the elders. To immediately remedy this situation, the elders agreed to appoint the elder liaison to Personnel as a voting member on a temporary basis.

Motion:  Ken motioned that Andrea Hounshell, Personnel elder liaison, serve as a voting member of the Personnel Committee until year end. Bill seconded, and the motion passed.

Barb then presented a list of candidates whom she will call and the order in which she will call them to possibly serve on the Nominating Committee. Ideally, four members will be willing to serve, but two would be sufficient. The committee currently has three lay members.

Motion: Brian motioned to accept the list Barb presented for candidates to be named to the Nominating Committee. Bill seconded, and the motion passed.

Preaching: Brian distributed the tentative preaching schedule through December.

Pastor Search Team Update:  Holly and Andrea updated the board on members willing to serve on the pastor search team.

Motion:  Holly motioned to approve the following members as participants in the pastor search team: Tom Sartorius, Roger Henderson, Allie Snyder, Tim Finnegan, Holly Cook, and Andrea Hounshell. Bill seconded, and the motion passed.

The board discussed some preliminary logistics of the team being formed and beginning its work, including how much candidate “sifting“ is part of the team’s mandate, how much is the responsibility of the elders, and how that balance might be determined. Brian offered to serve in an advisory role.

The meeting ended at 10:30 pm. The next board meeting is Tuesday, August 2, at 6pm, at which Mike Lee and Gary Vet, Hope Community Church, are scheduled to join the elders.

Respectfully submitted,
Barb Sibley

 

Elder Meeting Minutes:  July 10, 2016

Present: Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Wes Lowder, Bill Rieth, Barb Sibley, Ken Taylor, Brian Worley

Also present for interview: Clark Rinehart

The meeting opened at 11:45 am with laying on hands and sharing prayers for Andrea and her medical procedure on July 19.

Bert, newly elected moderator, thanked Ken for his service and dedication as moderator of the board from Jan 2015 to June 2016.

Associate Pastor Search

Bert reported on the interview which Executive Personnel, acting as the search committee, conducted with Clark prior to July 10 Sunday morning worship. The committee recommended that an interview go forward between Clark and the elders.

Interview with Clark as Applicant for Associate Pastor

Clark then spoke with the elders regarding his application for the associate pastor position at Grace. He shared his philosophy of ministry involving the creation of a leadership pipeline where leaders and key volunteers are mobilized to befriend neighbors, invest in those relationships, become equipped for ministry, and be released to do ministry.

Other interview topics included Clark’s work as he finishes his Masters of Theology at Duke; the culture of moving forward at Grace and being for one another while holding one another accountable; the alignment and work to implement the philosophy of ministry; and the role and job responsibilities of the associate pastor.

At the end of the interview, prayer was offered for Clark and Laura, who joined the elders for that purpose.

Accept Applicant or Continue Search

Motion:  Bill motioned that the elders accept and approve Clark’s application for the role of associate pastor at Grace. Holly seconded, and the motion passed.

Bert and Brian led a discussion of the next logical steps:

  • Executive Personnel will complete the letter of offer to Clark in the next few days.
  • The elders will approve and give a range of negotiation.
  • Executive Personnel will then present the offer to Clark and begin negotiation.

If Clark accepts the offer, the elders plan to announce his new role via email on Friday, July 22, and then in worship on Sunday, July 24.

Miscellaneous Business Issues:

Motion:  Ken motioned to accept the minutes from the June 17, June 18, and June 21 elder meetings. Bill seconded, and the motion passed.

The email resignations of Jim Salisbury and Hope Tharrington as officers of Grace (President and Secretary, respectively) were acknowledged as received.

Motion:  Holly motioned to accept the resignations of Jim and Hope from their roles of church officers, effective immediately. Wes seconded, and the motion passed.

Motion:  Regarding officers of the church, Brian motioned that past moderator Ken Taylor be appointed as temporary President of Grace and Bert Banks, present moderator, be appointed temporary Secretary, through December 31, 2016. Andrea seconded, and the motion passed.

Bert reported to the elders on the meeting he and Chris Latta conducted with John Ulrich which served as an exit interview. During that meeting, the exit agreement was signed and church property (cell phone, keys) was returned.

The elders briefly discussed conversations with members being contacted; the need to finish the mid-ground vision (12 months), as well as the foreground, objectives, by the beginning of August; and the progress made to date on the senior pastor search team.

The meeting ended with prayer at 3:15 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Barb Sibley

 

Elder Meeting Minutes:  June 21, 2016

Present: Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Wes Lowder, Bill Rieth, Barb Sibley, Ken Taylor, Brian Worley

Absent: Bert Banks

Jack opened the meeting about 6:30 pm with a devotion and prayer.

Senior Pastor Search Process

The team discussed more details on how the senior pastor search would take place. In addition to starting the process of building a search team to perform the targeted search (see June 18 minutes) and gathering contacts to help identify potential candidates, Bert and Bill agreed to talk to Vanderbloeman Search Group (www.vanderbloemen.com), a recruiting firm, about rates and services so the elders understand exactly what such a firm may offer as well.

Associate Pastor Search Process

The team fine-tuned the overall job description for the associate pastor position. Items include work on the church-wide groups strategy and adult discipleship initiatives; rotation in the preaching schedule; and general oversight of youth ministry. Brian will complete the final job description.

Motion:  Wes moved to post the position of Associate Pastor July 1-15.  Andrea seconded, and  the motion passed

This position will be posted to the Grace website on July 1.  The Executive Personnel Committee (Bert, Jack, and Chris Latta, chairperson of Personnel) will serve as the search committee for the associate pastor position, processing applications and performing the initial interviews.

Financial Update

Income is far below budget at the moment and action items were discussed. The Finance Committee will be asked to submit recommendations of ways to reduce the 2016 budget by $150,000.  In July, the congregation will be asked to increase giving substantially to cover expenses.

Motion:  Bill moved that Grace borrow the amount for John Ulrich’s elder gift and set it aside for that purpose rather use cash from the general fund. Barb seconded, and the motion passed.

A final congregational informational meeting is planned for Thursday June 23, at 6:30 pm.

The meeting closed with prayer at 9:55 pm; the next meeting is Sunday, July 10, at 11:30 am.

Respectfully submitted,
Jack Curtin

 

Elder Meeting Minutes:  June 18, 2016

Present:  Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Wes Lowder, Bill Rieth, Barb Sibley, Ken Taylor, Brian Worley

Barb opened the meeting about 8:15 am with a devotion and prayer.

Senior Pastor Search Process

The team completed its discussion about our strategy to find our next senior pastor.  A targeted approach was selected (see the discussion of the 3 options noted in the June 17 minutes).

Motion:  Bill made a motion that a search committee be created to do a targeted search using network connections with other similar (community) churches.  Wes seconded the motion and it passed.

The goal of a targeted search is to locate associate pastors at other churches who may be ready for a senior pastor role.  This method involves making multiple phone calls and following leads but has the potential to be much faster than a broader search.  The elders will choose a committee chair (not a current elder) and announce that nominations are being accepted for the pastor search committee members. A total of 5 to 8 people, including the chairperson and elders Holly and Andrea, is ideal. Holly, Brian and Wes will work on a document describing the search process that is to be reviewed by the elders at the next elder meeting.

Associate Pastor Search Process

The team worked on a 12-month associate pastor job description which will likely change after a senior pastor is hired and when the executive pastor position is possibly eliminated. Brian will work on massaging the document for us to further review at the next elder meeting.

Sunday Communication

At the end of the worship service on Sunday the 19th, Barb will do an elder update for the congregation to do the following:

  1. Remind everyone of the lunch reception for the Ulrichs after the service on the 26th
  2. Thank all who attended the group information sessions over the past several weeks and invite folks to the final meeting on Thursday, June 23.
  3. Give an initial invitation for the meetings on August 7 and 8 to roll out the completed Philosophy of Ministry (PoM).
  4. Share that plans for a senior pastor search and an interim plan for the next 6-8 months are being put in place.
  5. Ask for continued prayers as the church moves forward.

Ken closed the meeting with prayer at 12:30 pm’ the next elder meeting is June 21 at 6:30 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Jack Curtin

 

Elder Meeting Minutes:  June 17, 2016

Present:  Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Wes Lowder, Bill Rieth, Barb Sibley, Ken Taylor, Brian Worley

Barb opened the meeting at 6 pm with a devotion and prayer.

Elder Commitment and Assignments

When the philosophy of ministry (PoM) project began, we recognized that at the end of the process the elders would have to decide whether they were committed to the implementation phase.  Since the PoM development is almost complete, each of the elders shared his/her feelings about level of commitment to continuing to serve on the elder board for the rest of the year.

Ken Taylor had previously told the board his intent to step down as moderator and that Bert Banks had expressed interested in taking on that role.

Motion:  Bill made a motion to elect Bert Banks as the Elder Moderator as of Wednesday, June 22.  Holly seconded the motion, and it passed.

We also talked about the rest of our individual assignments.  The following are the elder assignments through December.

  1. Bert – Moderator / Executive Personnel
  2. Ken – Philosophy of Ministry Roll Out
  3. Jack – John Ulrich liaison / Executive Personnel
  4. Barb – Nominating Committee / meeting devotions and minutes
  5. Holly – Written communications / website
  6. Bill – Care Ministry
  7. Andrea – Sunday communications / Philosophy of Ministry
  8. Wes – Finance

Senior Pastor Search Process

The team discussed our strategy to find our next senior pastor.  The 3 options discussed were:

  1. Use a recruiting firm. For a 30% fee based on salary of the position being filled, a recruiter would do a thorough search and screening and would present 3 candidates a month until we choose one.
  2. Create a Grace search committee to do a national search using pastor job websites as was done with our search for John UIrich. This method can be time consuming, since it sifts through all the resumes of candidates looking for senior pastor jobs.
  3. Create a Grace search committee to do a targeted search using network connections we have with other similar (community) churches. We’d primarily be looking for associate pastors at other churches who are ready to step up to the senior pastor role.  This method would involve lots of phone calls and following leads but has the potential to be much faster than the global search.

We talked about how we will need to complete the PoM and also create a job description. We plan to choose one of these strategies at the next elder meeting.

Associate Pastor Search Process

Even though we haven’t completely finished the PoM, it is evident we need 1 (or 2) associate pastors to lead our Serve (Mission/Outreach) and Group (Discipleship) strategies as quickly as possible.  The team discussed the job description.  We also talked about the difference between what the job might look like now (without a senior pastor) and how it may differ after we hire a senior pastor.  We plan to post the position internally (on our website and via Grace communications), interview any applicants (Grace members or friends of Grace members who apply), and then if the is not offered to any of these original candidates, advertise the job externally.  The details are to be finalized at the next elder meeting.

Bert closed the meeting with prayer at 9:11 pm.  Next elder meeting is Saturday. June 18, 8 am.

Respectfully submitted,
Jack Curtin

Board action prior to the elder meeting:

Motion:  On June 15, via email, Ken moved to accept the May 31 meeting minutes. Andrea seconded, and on June 16, the motion passed.

 

Elder Meeting Minutes: May 31, 2016

Present:  Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Wes Lowder, Bill Rieth, Barb Sibley, Ken Taylor, Brian Worley

Barb opened the meeting at 6:35 pm with a reflection on Psalm 68:19, followed by prayer.

Elder self-evaluation and commitment: Ken led a discussion about the time since John’s announced resignation on May 1. Ken also confirmed the next large group meeting scheduled for Wed., June 1. Ken indicated that, at this time, he feels the pull of being moderator and also overseeing the next steps for the Philosophy of Ministry (POM) project. Bert has indicated a willingness to step in as moderator, which will be affirmed by an elder vote at the next elder meeting. In the meantime, should others be interested in assuming the moderator role, they should let Ken know.

Ken also encouraged the elders to undergo a self-evaluation of their roles as the PoM project culminates and come prepared to discuss and commit at the next elder meeting.

Financial update: Brian led a brief discussion on finances at this point of the year, indicating a definite reduction in giving through May, since John’s announcement. To date, all bills have been paid; credit card bill payment of approximately $16,000 will be delayed.

Because of the rent abatement, the church will not be paying rent for several months, which will help with some cash flow issues. To date, $20,000 has been tapped from the line of credit.

Minutes:  Motion:  Jack motioned to accept the May 17 and May 22 elder meeting minutes. Bill seconded, and the motion passed.

Review of leadership meetings:  Ken and Brian oversaw a lengthy elder discussion regarding the purpose and agenda for future large group meetings intended to listen to members in light of the changes in April and May (Clark’s and John’s resignations) and also to introduce elements of the PoM as the church looks to the future. The value of the large group meetings is not only to inform but to invite our members to “hear God together” and intentionally listen to God, as a body, as next steps are introduced. The goal is to provide several additional group meetings so that all members/engaged visitors are given the invitation and opportunity to attend.

Priorities for worship and interim leadership:  Brian led the discussion of the preaching schedule as currently set and options through the summer. This is an ongoing discussion.

The meeting closed with prayer at 10:20 pm.  Next elder meeting is Tues., June 7, at 6:30 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Barb Sibley

 

Elder Meeting Minutes:  May 22, 2016

Present:  Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Wes Lowder, Bill Rieth, Ken Taylor, Brian Worley

Absent:  Barb Sibley

The meeting opened at 11:30am. Ken opened with prayer.

A discussion followed about plans for the leadership meeting scheduled for Monday night May 23.

Motion: Brian motioned to modify the date of Clark’s package and to resend the package for re-approval to the elders by email. Bert seconded, and the motion passed.

The meeting concluded with prayer at 1pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Bill Rieth

 

Elder Meeting Minutes:  May 17, 2016

Present:  Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Wes Lowder, Bill Rieth, Barb Sibley, Ken Taylor, Brian Worley. On WebEx: Bert Banks

Also Present:  Mitch White

The meeting opened at 6:30pm. Mitch White led the devotions out of 1 Kings 18:16-18, followed by prayer.

The meeting opened with a debriefing and discussion of the May 15 town hall meeting.

Moving Forward with Philosophy of Ministry and Next Steps:  Mitch introduced a process for moving forward. It began with a discussion about the mission and vision of Grace and how it will drive a staffing structure of key positions. The discussion moved to identifying the ministries that are needed in order to live out this new mission and vision, how they can be prioritized, and how we might transition into them.

Next the discussion looked at an inventory of Grace today, including staffing, ministries and facilities. Mitch made a key point:  “The #1 job for church staff is to enable and empower the people of God,” and this quality should be given a high value when hiring any staff.

The discussion then moved into an exercise of defining the qualities and requirements for senior pastor. While this was not a completed piece of work, it provided a prototype that the elders can continue working on for senior pastor and other staff positions. Key to this process is to remain disciplined and always connect back to our mission and vision.

As an exercise, the elders worked through the process by looking at current and known staff (Clark, Brian and John) to see how they might fit these requirements for a senior pastor, “if” they were to put their name into the hat for consideration. The result was that none of them fit. Mitch pointed out that if we put any of these three in this position, we would be sidestepping their gifts. The following points were made:

  • As elders we should look at filling the “position” as we have defined it, and not be tempted to look at simply squeezing current individuals into open slots. However, it’s okay to consider current staff with their existing skills and gifts if they want to be considered.
  • We should not simply fill a position, but stick with what God has called us to look for.
  • It’s important to fight the temptation of leaning on opinions that go beyond the scope of the definition (e.g. “Yes, but I think they’re a great person”).

Our next step should be to name and define the staff positions for the “best team for Grace in 1 – 2 years,” and second, to think through the transition of how we get from what we have today to that best team.

Leadership Transition and Meeting Monday 5/23:  There was a discussion that followed on near-term transition of leadership. It was agreed we will prioritize communicating the new vision while maintaining stability in our values and on Sunday morning.

Ken and Brian led a discussion on the agenda and plans for the leadership meeting scheduled for Monday night, May 23.

Motion: Holly motioned to accept the minutes for the April 28, May 5, and May 11 elder meetings. Brian seconded, and the motion passed.

The meeting concluded with prayer at 10:30 pm.

Respectfully Submitted,

Bill Rieth

 

Elder Meeting Minutes:  May 11, 2016

Present:  Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Andrea Hounshell, Wes Lowder, Bill Rieth, Barb Sibley, Ken Taylor, Brian Worley

Absent: Jack Curtin

The meeting began at 5:30 pm with prayer.

Path Forward:  Brian led a discussion about numerous aspects of Grace moving forward.  Each elder was asked to describe or draw his/her “picture” of what Grace looks like in the future.  Thoughts included “family” church (multi-generational), outreach, cross boundaries = unity, young professionals, and focusing on things that make us unique.  We are a shrinking church, and our future has to be outreach and growth (growth = reaching people with the Gospel).

Brian led a discussion of the different “types” of church we could be, such as multi-generational; “cell church,” which is primarily based on small groups; and Bible-based.  Each type has strengths and weaknesses.

Future Options: Brian led a discussion of possible outcomes for Grace as it considers leadership options and current finances.

Town Hall Meeting: The elders discussed the flow of the town hall meeting to be held on Sunday, May 15, immediately following the worship service.   Regarding the philosophy of ministry, the group decided that five values would be discussed as follows:

  1. Holly will discuss serving our neighbors to make a difference.
  2. Bill will explain building a relational and caring community.
  3. Wes will discuss wrestling together, producing growth.
  4. Andrea will explain investing in our families and in the next generation.
  5. Jack will discuss valuing scripture as the authority by which we teach, preach and live.

The meeting concluded with prayer at 8:00 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Wes Lowder

 

Elder Meeting Minutes:  May 5, 2016

Present:  Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Wes Lowder, Bill Rieth, Barb Sibley, Ken Taylor, Brian Worley

Wes opened the meeting at 6:00 pm with a devotion.

The elders had general discussion as a group, sharing thoughts and concerns over John’s resignation, responses we’ve received from congregation members, and how we are each processing all that’s happening.

Exit Packages for John and Clark: Brian presented draft exit packages for both John and Clark. Items included were last day of employment, celebration day, length of gift from elders, computer/phone, and benefits.

Motion:  Holly motioned to accept Clark’s package.  Bill seconded, and the motion passed.

Motion:  Bert motioned to accept John’s package.  Andrea seconded, and the motion passed.

Transition in Leadership: Brian led a discussion on our path forward.  Discussion included thoughts on an interim pastor, a senior pastor search plan, a leadership meeting with staff/committees/elders, and a town hall meeting with the congregation, as well as the preaching schedule through the end of June.

Motion:   Bert motioned to accept the April 20 meeting minutes.  Brian seconded, and the motion passed.

The meeting concluded with prayer at 9:30 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Wes Lowder

 

Elder Meeting Minutes: April 28, 2016

Present:  Bert Banks, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Wes Lowder, Bill Rieth, Barb Sibley, Ken Taylor, Brian Worley

Also present: Mitch White

Absent: Holly Cook

Ken opened the meeting at 4:30 pm, and Bert led the elders in prayer.

Ken, Brian & Mitch gave everyone a summary of the staff meeting that took place earlier in the day when John announced his resignation.  Nathan proposed that everyone make a covenant to keep the information confidential until John had the opportunity to tell his own story to the congregation on Sunday morning, May 1, at the end of worship.  Much discussion centered on how the elders should respond to questions and concerns raised by the congregation after John’s announcement.

Senior Pastor Transition:   The elders reviewed the timeline laid out for announcement to the congregation (May 1), email communications to the congregation and John’s tentative preaching schedule through July.

Motion:   Brian motioned to approve a timeline in which to move forward. Bert seconded, and the motion passed.

Package for John: Brian will work on John’s compensation/exit package and have it ready for elder review at the next meeting.

Transition: The elders reviewed John’s schedule for May, including vacation time. Specifics in terms of how much time John will be present in the office still need to be determined.

Auxano Completion and Roll-out:  Finishing this project is communicating it to staff and the congregation is a priority to discuss at the next meeting.

Senior Leadership Discussion, Plan and Implementation:  Mitch White will join us to start this discussion. Mitch directed the elders to account for the staff members taking on new roles with John’s departure (during the transition time) and to compensate them accordingly.

The next elder meeting is Thursday, May 5, at 6:00 pm.

The meeting concluded with prayer at 6:00 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Andrea Hounshell

 

Elder Meeting Minutes:  April 20, 2016

Present:  Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Wes Lowder, Bill Rieth, Barb Sibley, Ken Taylor, John Ulrich, Brian Worley

Also present for the group strategy and horizon storyline discussion: Erin Winston

Andrea opened the meeting with a devotion and Ken led the group in prayer at 6:00 pm.

Bill Gentile joined the group from 6:20-6:40 pm to share his concerns about the direction of the church.

Finance Review: Wes and  Brian shared report through February.   Expenses are on track, and revenue is down about 7%.  Due to the rent abatement, if cash flow stays on track until June, we may not have to tap into the line of credit until October.

Stewardship is now under Joel Brown’s direction.  Joel and Harris are working on a reflection piece: the first half of is a reflection and celebration from August 2015 to the present, and the second half will highlight the church’s financial goals of 2016 and full budget.  The stewardship campaign message for this year is “Joy of Participation.”  G Walker is heading this up, and the first piece should come out in mid-May.  Currently, the stewardship team is a year-round team with six members.

Groups Strategy Discussion: Bill went over the revised Group Strategy document.  Most work has been on the first two paragraphs.  This version got the approval to move forward into final phases, and it will be revisited in three weeks with the details of the final version.

Horizon Storyline Discussion: Ken led the discussion and encouraged the vision team members to share their thoughts and ideas on the horizon storyline.  Most time was spent on the mid-ground vision, and much discussion centered around the right timing for the mid-ground vision and whether Grace’s location should play a major role in the vision.  Ken and Holly are going to take all the notes and ideas and form them into a readable document.

Motion:  Holly motioned to accept the April 5 meeting minutes.  Bill seconded, and the motion passed.

Motion:  Holly motioned to accept the minutes for the Grace Community Church annual congregational meeting on Sunday, April 10.  Bill seconded, and the motion passed.

The next elder meetings will be Tuesday, April 26, 4:30-6:30 pm, which begins the leadership evaluation. The following meeting, on Thursday, May 5, will complete the leadership evaluation process.  Mitch White will facilitate both meetings.

The meeting concluded with prayer at 9:30 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Andrea Hounshell

Subsequent board action:

Motion:  On April 23 via email, Wes made a motion to accept the youth who had been through the confirmation/baptism class as members of Grace should they choose to join. Brian seconded, and the motion passed.

The youth who completed the confirmation class are as follows —  CONFIRMATION AND BAPTISM*** CLASS:

Carmen Lyles Blackwell, Nathaniel Boysen Diemer, Rachel Elizabeth Gentile, Tristan Joseph Gentile, James Michael Glatthaar, Kennedy Miles Henderson, Andrew Janoth Nino, Mackenzie Ann Sauls,*** John Parker Swisher, Elizabeth Morgan Vinson,*** Zoe Grace Winston ***

 

Minutes from the 2016 Grace Community Church Annual Congregational Meeting
Sunday, April 10, 2016, commencing at the conclusion of the 10:00 am service

Barb Sibley, member of the Board of Elders, called the meeting to order at the end of the 10:00 am worship service, stating the purpose of the meeting was to conduct a vote of the members to elect four candidates to serve on the Nominating Committee. Barb called the meeting to order by declaring a quorum of the members present.

Barb reviewed the role of the Nominating Committee and that a member vote is required for candidates to serve on it.

The members were then presented with the four candidates recommended by the Nominating Committee and affirmed by the elders to serve for three years: Jennifer Enzor, Tom Sartorius, Hope Tharrington and Wes Ward. Barb explained that four, if elected, would immediately replace four committee members rotating off: Brad Gwinn, Jim Salisbury, Hope Tharrington, and Wes Ward. Barb also reviewed the remaining members serving on the Nominating Committee: Scott Greene, Chris Radtke and G Walker.

At this point, a motion was made and seconded to open and conduct the vote for this slate of candidates to serve on the Nominating Committee. Barb pointed out the options on the paper ballots distributed throughout Grace Hall to vote for all four candidates or each one individually.

A motion was made and seconded to adjourn the meeting after the members had an opportunity to cast their votes, over which Barb presided, until 11:40 am.

In all, 151 votes were cast via paper ballots; in a subsequent Gracevine communication, the congregation was informed that Jennifer Enzor, Tom Sartorius, Hope Tharrington and Wes Ward were elected by the members to serve on the Nominating Committee.

Respectfully submitted,

Barb Sibley

 

Elder Meeting Minutes:  April 5, 2016

Present:  Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Wes Lowder, Bill Rieth, Barb Sibley, Ken Taylor, John Ulrich, Brian Worley

Also present for the small group and serve strategies and horizon storyline discussion: Erin Winston

Bert opened the meeting with a devotion and prayer at 6:30 pm.

Small Group Strategy Discussion:  Bill and Jack led discussion on the revised Small Group Strategy document, which centered on expectations of group membership for Grace members and visitors.  The document still needs work on capturing the essence of what we want biblically for small groups at Grace.

Serve Strategy Discussion:  Holly and Andrea led discussion on the revised Serve Strategy document, which included the current Missions Ministry Team and how it will relate to this strategy.   Brian would like to see a principle that is more direct about kingdom building, as it may relate to the serve strategy or the church as a whole, especially regarding financial resource decisions.  Brian will write up what he is considering about this topic.

Ken distributed the one-page summary of the Sunday Gathering Strategy document for the team to review. Ken also passed out documents for horizon storyline and vision proper in preparation for next Wednesday’s meeting.

Pastor’s Report:  John shared information on the upcoming sermon series and also care concerns.

John provided a list of invitees for the New Members’ class. Almost all on list have at least two points of connection.  John indicated that most people on the list have been coming and are involved but seem to be somewhat disinterested in becoming members.  The elders briefly discussed that church membership is not what it used to be. What, if anything, should be done to address this issue?

Discussion Regarding Clark’s Resignation:  Brian led a discussion on timing regarding Clark’s “celebration day” at Grace—either May 22 or June 5—and his last day as a member of the Grace staff.  Discussion also centered around information to include in the elder letter regarding celebrating Clark and Laura’s ministry and next steps which will be clearer in the coming weeks.

Motion: Bert motioned for June 5 to be Clark’s Celebration Sunday and goodbye with the congregation. Bill seconded, and the motion passed.

Clark’s letter to the church regarding his departure, along with a letter from the elders, will be sent via email on Wednesday, April 6.

Moderator’s Report:  Ken led a discussion on the next series of elder meetings. The meeting scheduled for April 19 will now be held on April 20, starting at 6 pm. In addition, the elders will meet on Tuesday, April 26, from 4:30-6:30 pm with Mitch White regarding leadership at Grace in preparation for a meeting on Thursday, May 5, at 6 pm. Mitch White will facilitate this meeting.

MotionBrian motioned to accept the March 15 meeting minutes.  Wes seconded, and the motion passed.

Barb led a brief discussion regarding the process of updating the membership rolls in preparation for the congregational meeting, including those members who wish to be dismissed.

MotionBrian motioned to approve the dismissal of 18 members.  Holly seconded, and the motion passed.

John briefly discussed sharing with the staff information and updates on the Auxano process.

The next elder meeting will be on Wednesday, April 13, at 5:30 pm.

The meeting concluded with prayer at 10:15 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Andrea Hounshell

Subsequent Board Actions:

Motion:  On April 12 via email, Wes made a motion to accept Jason and Caroline Ashburn and also Beverly Harris Colwell as new members of Grace.  Andrea seconded, and on April 13, the motion passed.

Motion: On April 13, at the beginning of the vision team meeting, Holly motioned to accept Mike and Natalie Roberts as new members of Grace. Ken seconded, and the motion passed.

These new members will be presented during the worship service on Sunday, April 17.

 

Elder Meeting Minutes:  March 15, 2016

Present:  Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Wes Lowder, Bill Rieth, Barb Sibley, Ken Taylor, John Ulrich, Brian Worley

Also present for the Sunday gathering discussion: Erin Winston

The meeting opened with prayer at 6:00 pm.

John shared several care concerns in the church.

Motion Bill motioned to accept the March 1 and March 9 meeting minutes. Wes seconded, and the motion passed.

Barb led a brief discussion regarding those who have agreed to serve on the Nominating Committee if elected at a congregational meeting. The elders affirmed Jennifer Enzor, Tom Sartorius, Hope Tharrington, and Wes Ward as new members of this committee.

Motion Holly motioned to call the annual congregational meeting to elect these four members to the Nominating Committee on Sunday, April 10, at the end of the worship service. Bill seconded, and the motion passed.

Sunday Gathering Discussion:  John and Brian led the elders through the shortened Sunday gathering (worship strategy) document which reflected the discussion from March 9. Further clarifications were made, and the document is now ready for a smaller team to wordsmith.

WebEx with Jim Randall:  Jim reviewed the progress made on the worship strategy document and gave overall instructions for those crafting the connect (Bill and Jack) and serve (Holly and Andrea) strategy articulations.

The elders concluded the meeting by having a fuller discussion of allowing adoption to be an accepted item for submission to the benevolence fund. Brian will oversee this implementation, as he does with all requests to this fund.

The next elder meeting will be on Tuesday, April 5 at 6:30 pm.

The meeting concluded with prayer at 9:45 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Barb Sibley

 

Elder Meeting Minutes:  March 9, 2016

Present: Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Wes Lowder, Bill Rieth, Barb Sibley, Ken Taylor, John Ulrich, Brian Worley

Also present for the Sunday gathering discussion:  Erin Winston

Ken opened the meeting opened at 5:30 pm with prayer.

Discussion – Re-envisioning the Sunday Gathering at Grace Community Church: John continued to lead the discussion on the document titled above.  Specific emphasis was made on understanding the terms “spirit and truth” as stated in John 4:23-24. John will continue to work on the document and pare it down to one page.

Benevolence:  The elders continued a discussion regarding Grace’s benevolence fund.

Motion Bert motioned to allow adoption as a accepted item for benevolence fund use. Holly seconded, and the motion passed.

Future meeting are March 15 and March 22.

The meeting was closed at 7:01 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Bert Banks

 

Elder Meeting Minutes:  March 1, 2016

Present: Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Wes Lowder, Bill Rieth, Barb Sibley, Ken Taylor, John Ulrich, Brian Worley

Also present for the Sunday gathering discussion: Erin Winston

Ken opened the meeting  at 6:30 pm. Bill Reith shared a devotional on healthy churches bearing fruit, with Scriptures references from Matthew 7 and John 15.

Discussion – Re-envisioning the Sunday Gathering at Grace Community Church:  John presented his document as titled above and led the discussion.  After lengthy assessment and evaluation, determination was made to streamline some content.  John will continue to work on the document with discussion to continue at future meetings. Additionally, each elder, and Erin, were encouraged to study John 4:23-24 and seek understanding to: 1) connect to the larger mission; 2) clarify spirit and truth; and 3) emphasize the presence of the living God.

Future Sermon Series: John will continue the Mark series through Easter.  A short series on emotions will follow.

Benevolence: Brian offered information concerning the use of Grace’s benevolent fund for adoption requests.  A final decision will be made in the future.

Personnel Committee Request: Ken advised and the elders accepted that the Personnel Committee would like the Board’s input for future staffing.

Motion:  Bert motioned to accept the February 2 and 16 meeting minutes. Andrea seconded, and the motion passed.

Meetings were scheduled for March 9, March 15 and March 22. The meeting was closed with prayer by Bill at 9:50 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Bert Banks

 

Elder Meeting Minutes:  February 16, 2016

Present: Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Wes Lowder, Bill Rieth, Barb Sibley, Ken Taylor, John Ulrich, Brian Worley

A brief elder meeting was called to order by Ken at 8:00 pm at the end of a working session with Auxano.

A list of candidates for the Nominating Committee was presented for approval by the current Nominating Committee.  Currently there are four openings on this committee.

Motion: Bert motioned to accept the list as submitted by the Nominating Committee. Jack seconded, and the motion passed.

The meeting was closed with prayer.

Respectfully submitted,

Bill Rieth

 

Elder Meeting Minutes:  February 2, 2016

Present: Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Wes Lowder, Bill Rieth, Barb Sibley, Ken Taylor, John Ulrich, Brian Worley

The meeting opened at 6:00 pm. Ken offered a prayer.

Discussion – What does Scripture say about worship?   John led the discussion on worship and the gathering of the church in order to provide a background to our next session with Auxano. Everyone contributed Scripture references and provided discussion on the topic.

Final 2016 Budget: Brian distributed the 2016 draft budget as submitted for approval by the Finance Committee. Following discussion, the final budget amount of $1.138 million was agreed upon.

Motion: Holly motioned to accept the budget as submitted by Finance. Bert seconded, and the motion passed.

There was a discussion about the recommended income amount for 2016 on which the budget is based.

Motion: Holly motioned that we agree on the recommended amount of $1.19 million. Barb seconded, and the motion passed.

There was a discussion about the authorization process for using the Line of Credit loan.

Motion Wes motioned that we continue with the current process to authorize as needed. Andrea seconded, and the motion passed.

Minutes for the January 28th meeting were presented for approval.

Motion: Bert motioned to accept the minutes. Holly seconded, and the motion passed.

The meeting was closed with prayer.

Respectfully submitted,

Bill Rieth

 

Elder Meeting Minutes: January 28, 2016

Present: Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Wes Lowder, Bill Rieth, Barb Sibley, Ken Taylor, John Ulrich, Brian Worley

Also present: Mark Cates, Finance chairperson; Chris Latta, Personnel chairperson

The meeting opened at 6:30 pm. Bert offered a devotional and prayer.

Pastor’s Report:  John updated the elders on upcoming sermon series after Meta on Feb 7. From Feb 14 until Easter, the sermon focus will be Jesus’ last week before His death and resurrection, coinciding with Lent. After Easter, sermons may be influenced by the Auxano process and communicating to our congregation.

An  Ash Wednesday service may be held on Wed, Feb 10. Barb and John are in discussion.

New members will be introduced at worship on Jan. 31. Those desiring to join Grace are as follows:  Letha Bettenhausen, Carol MacDonald, Gail Nordan, Eric and Meaghan Noyes, Phyllis Pulley, David and Susan Resar, and Justin and Kelly Wood

Motion:  Bert motioned to accept the new members. Jack seconded, and the motion passed.

John distributed copies of the elder work regarding the theology of the church. The documents included a narrative based on the metaphors gleaned from Scripture. Questions remain regarding the meaning of membership and the purpose of Sunday morning worship.

John encouraged the elders to spend time in Scripture to glean overall principles regarding the gathering of believers. The elders are also to read through the documents distributed and be ready to approve, if appropriate, by the next meeting on February 2.

John also updated the elders on various care concerns.  Finally, John indicated that mediator Mitch White is the right person to address the staff conflict resolution at Grace.

Moderator’s Report: Ken reiterated the dates and subject topics for the next steps in the Auxano process. Feb. 2 will be a WebEx conversation with Jim Randall from 6:00-7:00 pm, prior to the regularly scheduled elder meeting; Feb.  16 will be a full day, from 2:00-8:00 pm.  On Feb. 2, Jim will set up the discussion concerning Sunday morning worship, which will continue on the 16th. Ken reminded the elders to read the excerpts from God Dreams prior to Feb. 2.

Ken also updated the elders on Mitch White’s schedule at Grace February 3-6.

Motion:  Bert motioned to approve the January 5 and 12 elder meeting minutes. Bill seconded, and the motion passed.

2016 Budget Recommendations, Finance and Personnel:
Finance: 
Mark led the elders through the high-level numbers proposed from the Finance Committee for the 2016 budget expenses regarding staff, operations, ministry, and missions, which total approximately $1.13 million. The proposed revenue for this draft budget is $1.19 million, for an approximate $60,000 overage. He reminded the elders of long-term financial goals of increased cash flow at the start of each year (optimal $150,000) and the retirement of designated liabilities this year ($16,000), which is actually ahead of schedule.

Mark also led the elders through expense items on the spread sheet for the draft budget.

Finally, Mark walked the elders through a list of specific budget issues which are not included in the budget recommendation in order to arrive at the expense figure of $1.13 million, including items such as a possible new HVAC unit, additional expenses related to the implementation of the philosophy of ministry project, and sound system update. Mark also indicated that with the rent abatement, $44,000 will be available in 2016 for improvements to the building.

Personnel: Chris led the elders through a Personnel report as it pertains to recommendations for the 2016 draft budget for staff expenses, presenting several items that Personnel would like to see included in the church budget.

Both Mark and Chris were then excused after being thanked for the work of their committees and their budget recommendations based on the elder input they received in January.

Budget Discussion: Brian and Ken oversaw the discussion of adding omitted items back into the draft budget, which would increase the total expenses from $ 1.13 million to approximately $1.16 million. Personnel and Finance will be advised accordingly. Ken also introduced the idea of goals for the stewardship team regarding the giving budget and revenue for 2016.

Setting the final budget for 2016 will occur at the February 2 elder meeting. Ken also indicated that, as time permits that evening, other agenda items not addressed, such as elder goals and elder assignments, will be discussed.

The meeting was closed with prayer at 9:45 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Barb Sibley

 

Elder Meeting Minutes:  January 12, 2016

Present:  Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Wes Lowder, Bill Rieth, Barb Sibley, Ken Taylor, John Ulrich, Brian Worley, Andrea Hounshell

The meeting began at 6:00 pm with a call with Jim Randall.  We reviewed “Articulation of Measures:  What Joe Becomes.”  Jim led a discussion of where are we now, where we are we headed, and how we are getting there.

The elder meeting began at 7:00 upon conclusion of call with Jim.

Wes led a devotion related to the Great Commission.

Finance Report and 2015 End-of Year Report:  Brian led a review of 2015 financials.  After a very generous month of December, we were able to pay all bills (including line of credit) and have cash in our checking account to begin 2016.  The importance of asking the congregation directly was discussed.  Our sense is that the congregation felt that “you asked directly, we understood, and we responded.”  We discussed the importance of regular communication regarding stewardship in 2016.

We briefly discussed the 2016 budget. The Finance Committee has recommended an expense budget of $1,125,000 and suggest that we plan for $20,000 for missions in the budgeting process.

2015 Elder Objectives:  Ken led a discussion of objectives met and still ongoing.

  1. Philosophy of ministry project – on track to complete in February
  2. Facilities – negotiated a 4 year lease extension
  3. Personnel Committee – achieved several objectives including Personnel Chair meeting with elders, care for staff, hiring of Eric Noyes for Middle School position
  4. Growth through communication – completion of website, which was done very well and is considered a big success

Staff has all responded to Mitch White, waiting on assigned times to meet with Mitch.  Mitch will report to Bill Reith.

We reviewed the December 15, 2015 minutes.

MotionBarb made a motion to accept the minutes and Brian seconded.  The motion passed.

The meeting was adjourned with prayer at 9:30 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Wes Lowder

 

Elder Meeting Minutes: January 5, 2016

Present: Bert Banks, Holly Cook, Jack Curtin, Andrea Hounshell, Wes Lowder, Bill Rieth, Barb Sibley, Ken Taylor, John Ulrich, Brian Worley

The meeting opened with devotion time focused on discussing God’s movement at Grace in 2015.

John shared care concerns. Many people in our congregation have lost family members, are ill or are recovering from surgery.

Finance update – Brian:  December’s income was $315,000, well above the $210,000 budgeted. Total operating income for the year was $1,215,000 (against a budget of $1,190,000). In addition, $22,000 was donated to overhaul the sound system in Grace Hall. Money also was donated to the outreach savings fund. Total income is projected to be $1,220,000. Total expenses are projected to be $1,162,000 toward a budget of $1,153,900. Cash flow at the start of the year will be about $50,000, up from $41,000 in January 2015. The remaining designated funds liability of $18,400 should be paid by May.

Facility update:  Finance chair Mark Cates and facility team members Jim Adams, Scott Hurst and Jim Schaafsma joined the meeting for a discussion of the lease for 6561 Meridien Drive.

Scott reported that we have exercised the option to renew the lease for one year. Scott talked with the property manager about extending the lease, and the company is willing to work with us. The rent will increase by 3% in March, another 3% in July, and then 3% per year for the lease term. This rent increase would represent a 1% increase in the budget each year (after 2016). If we sign a multi-year lease, we may be able to receive 2 months of free rent. We will need to decide soon, as very little rental property is available and there could be another church looking for a location.

Scott, Mark, Jim Schaafsma and Jim Adams then offered their thoughts on whether we should extend the lease and if so, what would be the optimal lease term.
Mark reminded the elders that the finance team recommended last month that we exercise the option to renew the lease for one year rather than extend the lease for three to five years, and look for another, more affordable location to move to in 2017. He expressed concern about increasing rent and decreasing attendance.
Jim Schaafsma, Jim Adams and Scott all recommended extending the lease for three to five years and having a strategy in place of what the next step will be. They also recommended considering options such as sharing our space and subletting if we find a property before the end of the lease.

Motion: Bert moved to authorize Scott Hurst to negotiate a four-year lease with a two-month rent abatement; Andrea seconded the motion. The elders approved the motion.

Personnel update:  Mediator Mitch White has proposed a visit to Grace on Wednesday, January 20. Mitch will work with the staff as a team and will meet with individual staff people. He will meet with the elders that evening from 6pm to 8pm, following their work session with Jim Randall.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:25pm following prayer.

Respectfully submitted,
Holly Cook

Minutes from 2017

Minutes from 2015

Minutes from 2014

Minutes from 2013

Minutes from 2012

Minutes from 2011

Minutes from 2010

Note:  Minutes from elder meetings held prior to May 2010 are archived in binders at the Grace offices.