Church Council, Sep 9, 2017


First United Methodist Church of Santa Rosa Saturday, September 9, 2017

Paul O’Rear opened the meeting at 9:05a.m. He led the reading of our Mission and Oneness in Christ statement.

Mere Ponjiasi offered the opening prayer.

Reflection on Larry Thompson

In honor of Larry Thompson, Paul O’Rear asked us to share our thoughts on what Larry meant to us. Following are some of those thoughts:

Faithfulness, Dedication, Infectious laugh, Sparkle in his eyes, Amazing memory for detail, Complete focus on those he spoke with, Great teacher of finances, Sense of humor, Respected others’ opinions and disagreements, Generous, Irreplaceable. And he loved his vanilla shakes and snickerdoodles!

Approval of Minutes

Peg Ferrel requested correction to July 8, 2017 minutes under the section “Spirit Cafe”, last sentence, to read: Shirley Cheal has written a $5000 matching grant request in conjunction with the City of Santa Rosa to fund healthier choices in the meals.

MOTION: Norm Bryan motioned to approve the minutes as amended; Mike Ferrel seconded.       All in favor.

Finance Committee Report

Greg Roth reported that combined (operating and mortgage fund) expenses exceeded combined income by $23,235.72 through July 2017.  In other words, FUMC is currently running a budget deficit.  By contrast, in July 2016 the combined budget showed a surplus of $22,376.20.

Leadership Retreat Report

Pastor Blake reported on the previous week’s lay leader/ staff retreat regarding the Belonging, Becoming, Being, and Fijian ministry groups. There was an overall feeling of encouragement and positivity among the participants.

Stewardship Reports

We Love Our Ministries! Spring campaign. Norm Bryan presented the final report on the spring campaign. The result of the Spring Stewardship Campaign showed a surplus of $4,240 in the Operating Budget. Norm recommended that the Council rescind the previous cuts of $4,000 made to balance the budget and allow the committees to spend their portions.

MOTION: Norm Bryan motioned to amend the 2017 budget deleting the $4,000 in cuts to be made by Commissions and Committees; Peg Ferrel seconded. All in favor.

Standing Stewardship Committee. Blake provided an update on the stewardship committee. Two recommendations were made by the Committee.

  1. To have the Pledge Drive begin in January, rather than in November; and
  2. In the Fall, to have conversations with congregants about the future of FUMC. Council members were asked to participate in discussions with congregants based on a set of questions.

Training with the Council members is planned for mid-September, conversations will take place in October, and recommendations based on those conversations will be provided to the Standing Stewardship Committee in November.

Discussion ensued about the pros and cons of changing the pledge drive from the Fall to the beginning of the year, and how it would impact program planning for the year.

Trustee’s Report

John DeGroot presented. The Hospitality Committee has requested a banner pole be placed at the Montgomery Campus. Trustees approved request, with cost not to exceed $1,200.

SCUMY will clean gutters at Suzanna Wesley House.

Trustees will cover any mortgage payment shortfalls through year-end, not to exceed $6,000. VIDAS (Vital Immigrant Defense Advocacy & Services) inquired about leasing Suzanna Wesley House and recently met with Trustees on August 28. Trustees will need to explore changes/ impacts to: staff relocation, custodial coverage, insurance costs, preschool and neighborhood, zoning.

Trustees are continuing to receive bids to repair / replace Montgomery campus’ front sidewalk due to raised cement.

Room use policies and charges were discussed. Objections were raised to the proposed policy and charges, especially in light of the non-profit organizations that would be affected. Paul O’Rear suggested that any / all concerned should email their concerns directly to John and John will bring them before the Trustees for further discussion. The fees had been last reviewed in 2005 and have been inconsistently applied.

A proposal was received to replace the carpet in Fellowship Hall with flooring similar to laminate (as in McMullin room). Further research and information is needed.

The furnace in the Fijian office is non-functioning. Quotes for replacement are currently being obtained.

The Safe Parking Program funding by Catholic Charities is not being continued at Stony Point. Trustees are awaiting further information from the Task Force.

Custodial Hire Update

Naomi Niimi stated no one has yet been hired. A specific job description is currently being worked on. In the meantime, volunteers have been outstanding in keeping the grounds and facilities clean and there have been no complaints. Currently eight applicants have been interviewed and seven agency services have been contacted. Some applicants have expressed interest in part time work at both campuses. Ultimately, more than one person may be hired for part time custodial work. It is hoped that the position is filled by October.

FUMC Foundation Committee Report

Marty Wait presented. The account value of the Foundation’s investments totals over $1.3. One successful way of investing has been through the 1854 Monthly giving plan (the year of FUMC’s founding).  Full committee report is online.

FUMC Pre-School Report

Diane Wikse stated the pre-school program is financially stable. Even though this Fall has seen low enrollment, money from the past two successful summers and fund raising events during the year help support the pre-school. The teachers were praised for their creativity and contributions in the success of the pre-school program.

Angel’s Attic Report

Susan Russel stated that Angel’s Attic provides a direct contact and outreach to the residents of Santa Rosa and the greater Sonoma County. Many of the shoppers are from the homeless sector. Technological changes have been / are taking place at the Attic. For instance, credit cards will soon be accepted. The Attic is already selling items on eBay.

Due to lack of storage space, donations of items are currently not being accepted. But the Attic will soon be having “Spin to Win” every Saturday to reduce the inventory.

The main challenge has been in procuring volunteers. For September, there are 94 unfilled shifts. Shifts are from 10:00-1:00 and 1:00-4:00.

Please contact Susan Russel to volunteer.

Other Business

Harvest Dinner, September 30 - Half of the proceeds will benefit FISH, the other half to the Operating Budget. Hams were donated by the Cheals’ friend. Cost will be $20/adults, $10/ children over 8 years old, Free/children 8 years old and younger.

Circuit Church Conference, October 8 - 4:00pm. Will include the District Superintendent

Block Party, October 14 - 12:00-2:00. Will be a time for FUMC representatives to meet residents of the Montgomery campus neighborhood.


Closing prayer offered by Pastor Blake. Meeting adjourned at 11:27a.m.

Respectfully submitted, Anne Sekara

Secretary, FUMC Church Council

Next Church Council meeting: Saturday, November 11, 2017, 9:00a.m.

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Sat, 09/09/2017 - 09:00