Walker Church Council
September 17, 2017
12:15 PM-2:00 PM
Attending: Bonnie Beckel, Bonita Blumenauer, KC Bretzke, Kent Eklund, Jennifer Gahnstrom, Al Hildenbrand, Howard Kranz, Walter Lockhart, Jim McCreary, Ed Ed Mueller, Lulu Philips (chair), Lucy Slater, Kristine Smith, Jesse Watkins, and David West.
The agenda was reviewed, and minutes from June 25, 2017 were approved after a motion by KC and a second from Walter, with the following correction: Lulu and Kristine were asked to find someone to be a backup to Al on the building controls, not to be backups.
With Bonnie Beckel providing information, we discussed Walker’s endorsement of MN350 rally against approval by Public Utilities Commission of Enbridge Line 3. The endorsement was approved after a motion by Bonnie and a second from Kristine.
We reviewed a financial update from KC Bretzke, and discussed the feasibility of paying Walker’s apportionments to Minnesota United Methodists.
Through August, expenses exceeded income by about $4,000. Utilities are higher than budgeted, but we have had a lot of rentals, which may be related. Donations are somewhat under budget for the year, but we expect them to increase in the fall.
Apportionments to the Minnesota UM Conference are about $15,000 per year. After several years of not paying them, we did pay in 2016. Each year we pay in full, the Conference forgives 25% of past amounts owed. After some discussion, we decided to defer a decision to the December Council meeting.
We had an extensive discussion about the Council’s new structure this year where SPRC and Trustees are folded into the Council. There was support for not having to discuss and pass decisions at the committee level and then do it again at the Council level. However, the Council is currently meeting five times a year and that doesn’t seem like enough to address all the issues. Also, the Council meetings have been limited in time, and may not allow the issues to be addressed in enough depth. Also, it has been hard for staff and others to figure out who should be the point of contact for various issues. Some members wanted to use email more to save time at meetings. This requires everyone to respond promptly with questions, comments, and votes. Generally, the Council members felt that Staff-Parish Relations Committee (SPRC) needs to have a separate committee with some authority delegated to it from the Council. Walter suggested that the Nominations Committee appoint an SPRC for next year, and there was no disagreement expressed. Lulu volunteered to draft a proposed structure for the Council and send it out to the Council members as a start for discussion.
Building and Grounds had investigated the questions about pianos that were raised in our June meeting. Both pianos are high quality and should be retained. The sanctuary piano has been getting out of tune frequently and there needs to be a repair to prevent this. Jim McCreary volunteered to facilitate and donate the repair.
Extensive discussion of building safety issues resulted in a lot of potential ideas. Al described some ideas that Building and Grounds had developed, and there was general agreement that the following should be done:
padlock the external electrical outlets,
turn off the Wifi from 10 PM to 6 AM,
install key-controlled locks on the bathrooms so they can be closed off if a problem occurs rendering them unusable until cleaned,
add a baby-changing station to a first floor bathroom,
purchase supplies for safe cleaning of hazardous wastes.
Other ideas were proposed but did not receive general agreement. The Council decided to set up an ad hoc group to address safety and welcoming issues. Kristine agreed to chair the group, and the following people also agreed to participate: Kent, Bonita, Jennifer, Walter, Lulu, Al, Jim, and Lucy. The group will meet weekly for three or four weeks on Fridays at 3:00 at the church.
The next council meeting was set for Sunday, October 15 at 12:15 PM. Kristine volunteered to chair, since Lulu will be out of town. The last council meeting of the year was set for Sunday, November 12 at 12:15 PM, at which the 2018 proposed budget and staff compensation will be discussed.
Respectfully submitted by Lulu Philips based on notes taken by Lucy Slater during the meeting.