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ew Church Family Board of Directors – Meeting, Sept. 12, 2021

ATTENDEES: Board members – Charlene Rywant, president; Rev. Donna Choate, interim pastor; Judi Omelia, treasurer; Tom Brown, secretary. Visitors – Jeff DeYoung, bookkeeper; Bonnie Frazee, Sharron Mitchell, volunteer social director; Pam Ware, Nancy Brady.

CALL to ORDER: Charlene, presiding, called the meeting to order in the Corlis Conference room at 11:46 a.m. Tom offered an opening prayer.

AGENDA: Tom moved approval of the agenda as submitted by the president. Approved on a voice vote.

PRESIDENT’s REPORT: Charlene reported Marsha Stevens-Pino of Bradenton has accepted our invitation to present a concert of contemporary gospel on Saturday evening, Oct. 30. She also will perform additional music for our Oct. 31 Sunday service. We will cover the cost of a night’s stay at the RV International Park on US 92. As discussed at the last board meeting, we also will present her with a love offering plus $100 for the use and set-up of her sound system.

Regarding board elections, Charlene proposed asking the congregation to waive the six-month membership requirement so that Pam Ware and Nancy Brady could be candidates at the October Special Congregational Meeting. She asked Tom for his opinion. He replied he had no objections to the two potential candidates but said he would abstain on granting a waiver. He recalled that a waiver granted in 2007 eventually led to a split in the church and its exit from the Metropolitan Community Churches fellowship. He noted his own term expires in January so there will be two open seats available at the February Annual Meeting. After further discussion, Pam and Nancy indicated willingness to wait for the February 2022 election and Charlene withdrew the waiver proposal.

PASTOR’S REPORT – Rev. Donna submitted a summary of her recent activities. Her report reiterated she is not seeking to be considered for a third term as “permanent pastor.” Tom asked if there was something the board could do to change her mind. Rev. Donna replied she feels strongly that she is not the best candidate to unify the church.

TREASURER’s REPORT – Judi and Jeff distributed monthly and Year to Date financial reports showing our deficit is growing as the virus pandemic continues to discourage attendance, currently ranging from 10 to 20 per Sunday. The August deficit was Minus $1049, mostly reflecting a large Workers Compensation premium, and the year to date General Fund deficit stands at Minus $2365 Both Judi & Jeff recommended the church generate more publicity to encourage online worshippers to tithe regularly. A placard will be displayed in the lobby to keep members informed of the church’s ongoing financial condition. Also, a special fund will be started to cover big maintenance expenses, including air conditioning repair and/or replacement and pump station maintenance

SOCIAL DIRECTOR’S REPORT: Sharron recommended a plan for holding a craft sale Oct. 23 be postponed until March and combined with a yard sale. Approved by a voice vote.

NEW BUSINESS:

The board agreed to set Oct. 3 for a Special Congregational Meeting in order to fill at least two of the three vacant board seats immediately. A membership review will be conducted by Charlene, Judi and Sharron to determine which members are still active and entitled to vote. Teresa Wright and Sharron Mitchell have announced their candidacies for the vacancies.

Charlene, Judi and Pam are recruiting volunteers to help the church sell Pride souvenirs and promote the church’s ministry at the Oct. 9 Come Out with Pride Festival at Lake Eola, Orlando. Pam has offered to share table space with the church.

Charlene reported that CAN Community Outreach is seeking permission to hold another World AIDS Day observance Dec. 1 in the church’s parking lot. Permission granted on a voice vote.

OLD BUSINESS

Pastoral Search – The Pastoral Search Committee, now in recess, plans to resume work shortly, reported Sharron Mitchell, chairperson. Other members include Judi Omelia and Dave McBride; Pam Ware has volunteered to help.

Film Nights Proposal – Tom B., representing the four organizers, said the group has withdrawn its proposal for twice weekly social nights in light of the board’s concerns about virus risks and other issues.

IRS tax issue – Judi reported a $1,059 payment on self-employment taxes allegedly due for 2009 thru 2019 was submitted to IRS in June as requested. The church continues to contest the bill, and IRS has responded only that its review is continuing. It acknowledged receiving our tax return for 2020 but said it lost it and wants to us to supply a copy.

October 10 was set for the next monthly meeting. Rev. Donna offered a closing prayer and the meeting adjourned approximately 1:30 p.m.

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