Congregational Council Updates

A brief look at issues discussed and actions taken by the Congregation Council at their monthly meetings. 

September 2021 Council Recap

September 2021 Council Recap

Treasurer Update – Chris Thornton reported that giving for the first quarter of the year is significantly less than we budgeted.  Giving is normally a bit slow at this time of year, but at the beginning of October, we were about $23,000 behind.  Strategies for increasing giving and/or reducing expenses are under discussion.

Columbarium Vases – The Council approved a motion to use $650 out of the columbarium dedicated account to purchase three vases from Anderson Memorial. These vases will be available to columbarium owners, and their families, for memorial displays.

Liberating Structures Report – Several Council members attended a gathering on Saturday, September 25 with the other participating churches.  We were asked to review our current mission and vision statements and think about the core values of Prince of Peace. To help us get started, we were given a list of one hundred words and each asked to pick five values that describe our church. Then we as a team compiled our results and came up with the following five words to describe Prince of Peace: Relationships, Generosity, Caring, Faith, and Learning.

Over the next few weeks, Council members plan to meet with small groups to discuss how well these words describe the values of Prince of Peace.  Pastor Betsy has already included this discussion in a meeting of the Affordable Housing Team.

Roof Team – The roof team has been working hard to obtain bids for the roof project.  Their work has been complicated by supply chain issues that have caused long delays in the availability of key materials and price volatility.  Initial estimates the team has received have been higher than the amount authorized, but the team believes that by revising certain specifications the cost is likely to be within budget.  They hope to reissue the PoP solicitation and get new bids within a month.

Because the roof project cannot begin until next year, another roof repair job, similar to the patchwork done last spring, has been ordered. It will be paid for with operating budget maintenance funds.

Funding Strategy – The motion passed by the congregation in June called for the roof project to be initially funded by borrowing against the Rose Diestler bequest funds.  The motion stated that this loan would be repaid “pursuant to a funding strategy to be submitted to the congregation for approval this fall (2021)”.  

It is now likely that development of this funding strategy will be delayed until December or later, for several reasons.  First, the costs of the roof project and other proposed facility improvements are still being determined.  The process for allocating the Rose Deistler bequest, begun by the Generosity Committee,  needs to be redefined and updated.  More importantly, COVID is still limiting our ability to conduct the kind of in person discussions that so many of you feel are essential as we confront big decisions.

Although the funding strategy won’t be fully developed soon, the general outline of that strategy, such as the approximate amounts available from various sources and key assumptions we make about costs, trends, etc. will be developed this coming month and discussed at the next Congregation Council meeting.

Sincerely,
Michael Stetzler, President

Previously…

July 2021 Council Recap

Here is a quick look at issues and actions address by the Congregational Council on July 13, 2021. Discussed next steps in the St. Paul Area Synod's Liberating Structures initiative.  A work group of Council members will begin planning for two projects:A survey of a...

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June 2021 Council Recap

Here is a quick look at issues and actions addressed by the Congregational Council on June 9: Preparations for the semiannual meeting of the congregation on June 27. Approved a draft annual operating budget to be presented for review and approval as required by our...

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May 2021 Council Recap

Here is a summary of the key issues and actions addressed at the May 11, 2021 meeting of the Congregational Council: Reviewed the ideas generated at the Council retreat held on May 2. A common vision for the coming year is to encourage greater communication and...

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