New Church Family Board of Directors – MINUTES -- AUG 8, 2021 Meeting; Revised Aug. 22; Accepted as revised Sept. 12, 2021
ATTENDEES -- -BOARD Members: Charlene Rywant, president; Rev. Donna Choate, pastor; Judi Omelia, Treasurer; Tom Brown, secretary. Observers: Pam Ware, Anna Kopek, Nancy Brady, Heather Choate, Tom C.
CALL to ORDER – Charlene, presiding, called the meeting to order at 11:45 a.m. Rev. Donna offered an opening prayer.
AGENDA – Pam said she had some questions after reviewing the church’s bylaws, board minutes and financial reports. Her concerns were added to the agenda as New Business Item E. Tom B. moved the agenda be accepted as expanded; approved by a voice vote.
JULY 8 MINUTES – REVISIONS – Pam noted that the minutes erroneously listed Linda Ware as an attendee. Tom B. said he would delete her name from the list. Charlene objected that one person who prefers confidentiality had been identified by his full name. Tom said he would delete the last name as we have done in the past. FILM GROUP item: Charlene said minutes of the Film Group discussion omitted information on who would do cleaning after Movie Nights. Tom B. clarified that the Film Night organizers were aware of their responsibility to do cleaning. As their August 8 update mentions, they need guidance from the board on what cleaning is being done currently, particularly for small-scale events like Game Day. Char objected to a sentence that states the board had approved the concept of Movie Nights in principle, pending a more detailed report on arrangements. Tom B. said his recollection of the July 11 discussion differed from Char’s, but the board is free to modify its record of the back-and-forth. Pam W. noted her memory agreed with Charlene’s. Tom B. suggested a change of text to “Board members discussed the concept...” deleting the word approved. The revised draft was accepted on a voice vote.
PRESIDENT’s REPORT: Charlene voiced satisfaction the church has eliminated its cell phone expense ($30 a month) and is now relying on its main phone for messages. She also thanked Nancy for donations of masks and other health items. Report accepted on a voice vote.
PASTOR’s REPORT – Rev. Donna submitted a written report, (attached), mentioning Jen Garms’ memorial, a visit to a housebound elderly member and a July 4 indoor picnic as highlights of NCF ministry during July. Report accepted on a voice vote.
TREASURER’s REPORT – Judi distributed 7 pages of financial figures for July and Year-to-Date. She noted the church’s General Fund posted a small surplus, $128, for July but its year to date deficit stands at Minus $1261. The Building Fund, which covers some of the church’s property expenses, recorded a year to date surplus of $1,096 as of July 31. The Benevolence Fund had a July 31 balance of $561 as of July 31. In discussion, Anna K. suggested the church look at the ZellePay website as another way of receiving online donations. Pam suggested the church tighten its procedures for dispensing Benevolence gifts. Rev. Donna said the church’s bylaws give the pastor or interim pastor sole discretion to make gifts of up to $100. Larger gifts require the approval of the board. If the pastor or interim pastor is absent, the board president authorizes Benevolence gifts. Donna moved acceptance of the report, Tom seconded. Accepted by a voice vote.
BUILDING REPORT: Charlene mentioned that vinegar needs to be poured into the attic drain pipes of the A-C system. She said Heather is checking on this.
SOCIAL DIRECTOR: Sharron, our volunteer handling social events, reported on further planning of the Oct. 25 craft sale in the church parking lot. She is looking into recruiting a food truck for the event and what donation the church would receive.
MASKS – In light of increasing cases of Covid-Delta virus, Charlene moved we follow CDC’s recommendation to resume mandatory wearing of masks for indoor events. Approved by a voice vote.
YARD SALE – Sharron moved we start collecting items from the congregation for a yard sale next March. Accepted by a voice vote.
CLEANING – Rev. Donna said weekly cleaning of the church has become a health challenge for current members doing this task. Charlene recommended hiring an outside firm, Cleaning for a Cause LLC, (Karlee & Willow) to take over this work. The company’s two operators have visited the church for instructions on what needs to be done. A checklist has been prepared. The cleaning cost would be $200 a month, with cleaning done once a week (Fridays). A contract will be drafted. Charlene moved we hire CC; approved on voice vote.
PASTORAL SEARCH COMMITTEE – Now that Bryan Poaches has moved to Orlando, Lois Klammer to Rhode Island and Russ Van Allan is ill, Charlene said Sharron has agreed to reactivate the Search Committee. The committee is on standby if it turns out Rev. Donna steps down as interim pastor as is her current intention (cf. her latest monthly report.) Judi volunteered to be part of the committee, to represent the board. Dave McBride also will be contacted.
HISTORICAL REVIEW – Pam has begun reviewing church bylaws and minutes, and has noticed some gaps. One need, she said, is a conflict resolution process. Other topics she touched on included a $72,000 brokerage expense that Hope MCC (NCF’s predecessor) logged in 2007 when it sold its Ridgewood building; reasons for Rev. Dunlap’s resignation in January; and lack of a building rental fee schedule.
OLD BUSINESS –
MOVIE/SOCIAL NIGHT: The board discussed for more than an hour whether it should withdraw its previous tentative support for a twice-weekly LGBTQ Movie & Social that would use the church’s sanctuary, lobby and rest rooms. Tom B. and visitor Tom C. represented the Film Group volunteers, submitting a further update of their planning (“Primary Draft of LGBTQ + Free Movie/Social Group of Volusia/Flagler.”) . Ultimately, at about 3:30 p.m. Tom B. moved that the issue be tabled for a month since the divided board could not reach a consensus. Rev. Donna seconded Tom B.’s tabling motion. Approved 2-1, (Tom B. and Judi favoring, and Charlene saying she no longer supports the film experiment. Rev. Donna abstained but commented she prefers a “spiritual” priority for the church.) The many points that were debated included:
Would the meetings, if downplayed as church-sponsored events, help or hurt the church’s mission of spreading the Gospel? Some warned that attendees would feel misled to find out that the event is hosted by a church. Tom C. said the series is aimed at gradually building fellowship with the unchurched and overcoming their fears, possibly encouraging some of them to attend our worship. He asked if the church has any alternative plans for outreach to outsiders.
Would the Film Group do adequate cleaning? Both Toms countered that the board has not yet provided a checklist of what cleaning is being done currently for Game Days. Nancy B. said she could provide a checklist; Tom B. said such a list should be added to the church’s files. Tom C. said the Film group is willing to hire its own cleaners if necessary, or do the wipedowns specified by the board.
Does Covid-19 and its Delta variant make the film screenings too risky? The two Toms noted that worship services and Game Days are continuing so is risk really a factor. But some argued that now is not the time to add more events to our schedule.
Should the films be shown outdoors to reduce contagion risk? Tom B. said hurricane season, summer thunderstorms and mosquitos make the parking lot impractical.
Are two film screenings a week necessary – would once a week or once a month be sufficient? Tom C. said the experiment should be at least twice a week to gain attention and give it momentum. A daytime screening could be added for the benefit of older people unable to drive at night.
Charlene cautioned against the church turning into a “pick-up” place.
Tom B. suggested a brief congregational forum be held after service later this month to see how church members feel about it. Others said the board should make the decision.
Pam W. said the meeting was becoming too tense and we should cool down.
LADDER – Char noted the donated extension ladder is now in place, giving us easier access to the attic. Heather used it one day to check on possible smoke – nothing found.
PUMP STATION – A vendor confirmed that its quote of $400 for annual maintenance of the station is still active.
NEXT MEETING – The next monthly meeting will be Sept. 12 after the worship service. The meeting adjourned at 3:55 p.m. with a closing prayer.