The Gloria Dei Church Council has general oversight of the life and activities of this congregation, and in particular its worship life, to the end that everything be done in accordance with the Word of God and the faith and practice of the ELCA.
The Church Council meets regularly on the 4th Thursday of each month at 6:00 PM via Zoom.
Current Council Member List
Pastor Peggy Yingst
2020 Gloria Dei Lutheran ChurchAnnual Congregational Meeting
Minutes for January 31, 2021
The annual meeting, via Zoom, was called to order by Council President, Richard Whitwer, at 1:33 p.m. after it was determined there was a quorum of more than 35 voting members present.
Opening Prayer: Pastor Peggy Yingst
Secretary's Report: Richard Whitwer reviewed highlights of the 2020 annual meeting minutes. Cathy Denton moved to accept the minutes of the January 26, 2020 Annual Meeting. Janet Tilton seconded the motion. The motion passed.
Nomination Committee Report: Linda Strine (outgoing Council member), Janet Tilton, Don Blom, Sharon Larcom, Al Johnson, and Colleen Morgan presented the following nominees for vacant positions:
Church Council (3-year terms): Kathy Jacobson (2nd term), Kallie Mill (2nd term), Linda Mitchell (2nd term), Angela McAlister, Ken Denton, Calum Stevenson, Susan Paterson
Synod Delegates (1-year term): Cathy Denton, Lynn Danner, Leslie Green
Endowment Committee (3-year terms): Anna Warner (2nd term), Don Blom (2nd term), Al Johnson
Audit Committee (3-year terms): John Meynick, Ron Cox
Nominating Committee (1-year term): Boyd Bjorkquist, Curtis Buell, Marilyn Halvor, John Olson, Kathy Whitwer, Irene Sund
There were no nominations from the floor. Jim Gilbert moved to close the nominations and accept by acclamation the docket of nominees. Janet Tilton seconded the motion. The motion passed.
Pastor's Reports: written report presented by Interim Pastor Peggy Yingst
Pastor Yingst reported that the year had been dominated by COVID-19. Gloria Dei's last in-person service was held on March 15, 2020. We scrambled to set up a new way to worship and it has been an ongoing process of learning and adapting. But the good news is that by Zooming our worship services (Facebook and YouTube, also!), we are reaching people who otherwise could not attend. Church meetings also went online. Church Council, under President Richard Whitwer's guidance, found ways to continue the business of the church. The Church has never been closed and the work of the Church continues. Ruth's Closet, Saturday Community Meals and Bible Studies continue. And the Transition Team was able to gather together online to complete their work. They recentlysubmitted the required paperwork to the ELCA. And now the work of the Call Committee begins.
Pastoral Acts 2020
Deaths and Funerals & Memorial Services: Bob Wood, Ron Handke, Buddy Green, Wanita Russell, Maxine Wood, Elaine Lydy, Bob Taylor, Rev. Susan Kyllo, Don Bunyard
Affirmation of Baptism: 0
Reception of New Members: by acclamation of Church Council, January 21, 2021: Dave and Violet Ahlstrom, Cami Nye, Sharon Whitwer, Dan & Bev Zeller, Dana Zeller
Pastor's Discretionary Report, 2020
The pastor's discretionary fund was set up to help people in need who appeal to us with requests for gas, food, bus tickets, taxi fees, rent, medical expenses, utility bills, and so on. The pastor and office manager typically make decisions on how best to steward this fund. Thanks to generous 2019 support, the starting balance in 2020 was $3,399 and we continued to receive donations toward this fund as well as requests for assistance during the first quarter of 2020. When the global pandemic shut down most community services and many people lost jobs, Gloria Dei's members immediately responded by making a number of generous gifts totaling $3,175. These gifts included monetary donations of $1,000, $1,200, and gift cards totaling several hundred dollars. Last year we gave out $2,820 in gift cards alone while also fulfilling numerous requests for general discretionary support to our community residents. The year-end account balance is $2,720.23 which includes $355 in remaining gift cards purchased in 2020.
A special thanks goes to Office Manager Violet Ahlstrom, who takes most of the calls, greets the public and manages the fund, which she typically converts to VISA cards. When those get low, she orders more, all while keeping an accounting of who gets what when.
Pastor Call Process Status
Transition Committee: In March 202, the Council formed a Transition Team to develop a Mission Site Profile and related Seven Reflections documents (Don Blum, Lynn Danner, Marilyn Halvor, Kathie Hodgin, Connie Monahan, and Annette Reher).
Over the course of the summer and fall, the team met regularly, sending questonnaires to members, hosting discussions, and analyzing results. Ultimately, their work was completed and accepted by the Council and the Synod in October/November. The 12-page Mission Site Profile and related document were posted to the ELCA “vacancies” website in early December.
Call Committee: presented by Ken Denton
A Call Committee of 12 persons and 2 alternates was identified by the Council in November, 2020 and began meeting with an orientation session hosted by Pastor Peggy on December 3. Members and alternates include Linda Strine, Angela McAlister, Marilyn Halvor, Curtis Buell, Leslie Green, Sarah Reher, Mo Aakre, Dave Jordan, Sharon Larcom, John Meynick, Dorothy Miller, John Olson, Debbie Wright, and Ken Denton. Three of these members served on the Call Committee that selected Jon Strasman about ten years ago. The committee is working closely with the Synod.
The committee has compiled a list of possible interview questions based primarily on the emphasis and needs identified in the Mission Site Profile. During January, 2021 they will be conducting mock interviews with local pastors who agree to serve as practice candidates.
The Synod plans to only forward candidates whom they believe are well qualified and suited to Gloria Dei. The church is relatively large, active, and well-regarded by the Synod and we can expect good, experienced candidate(s).
Once a candidate's profile is forwarded by the Synod, the committee will:
– review information, interview candidates; check references
– repeat the processs if the committee receives more candidates
– recommend a candidate to the Council
The Council will then:
– invite the candidate to visit the congregation
negotiate the terms of the call
call a Congregational Meeting to vote on the candidate
extend and accept the call
plan with the Synod office the installation of the new pastor
Until a candidate is submitted to the Council, the names of candidates, their status, and even questions being asked of them will be strictly confidential. Ken added that the Call Committee is a very qualitifed and diverse group that represents a great cross-section of our membership. They expect to receive from the Synod the name of their first candidate(s) by mid-February.
Endowment Committee: presented by Vern Simpson
2020 Committee Members ; Vern Simpson, Anna Warner, Irene Sund, Don Blom, and Ken Denton
The purpose of the Endowment Fund is “to enhance the work of the church by establishing and supporting ministries and stewardship opportunities additional to and apart from the operation of the congregation”.
Last year the congregation approved $8,550 to be allocated between Ruth's Closet, the Women's Retreat, shelving, Prayer Shawl Ministry, Pipe Organ maintenance, and kitchen equipment. This left $30,375 in undesignated funds in the account which at a later date could vbe designated by the congregation to help fund the renovation of the Fellowship Hall.
As the funds are invested in stocks, we saw a shaky first quarter follwed by healthy quarterly earnings which has left the fund in a financially strong position. As of Jan. 01, 2020, the balance was:
Account Balance $235,744
Available Funds $62,606
The committee recommends the follwing disbursements:
Ruth's Closet $ 3,500
Camp Lutherwood $ 5,000
Repair Pastor's office $15,000
Seed money for small house project $ 5,000
Repair church bell $ 1,500
Fellowship Hall flooring $20,000
Total Requests $50,000
After disbursements, this will leave $12,600 in undesignated funds, which remain in the Endowment Fund until such time as the Congregation shall authorize its use. Dave Jordan moved to authorize the committee's $50,000 expenditures. Linda Strine seconded the motion. The motion passed. Vern said he would immediately start the process to release the funds.
Many of our regular activities and committees have been on hiatus or modified this past year due to the pandemic. Everyone was encouraged to read the individual committee reports to learn how the work of our church has continued through creative means and dedicated members.
2020 Financial Report: Jim Gilbert, Treasurer
Jim Gilbert reported that our finances were greatly affected by the pandemic. Revenues for the year dropped about 20% from the average of the past five years. Thankfully, we did a good job of keeping down expenses and, thanks to forgiveness of a $31,100 Payroll Protection Program loan, we ended the year with a gain of $8,520 for ordinary (budgeted) expenses; $8,917 gain for all operations.
2021 Proposed Budget: Jim Gilbert
Jim explained that the proposed budget reflects the following:
a 26% decrease in outreach ministries (reduced uniformly)
budget items reflect the 2020 experience, showing maximum on expenditures, but not expecting to need the maximum in most cases
$3,500 added for the Call Commitee (to cover travel expenses for a pastoral candidate)
Compensation for Pastor and employee salaries are based on ELCA guidelines
this budget is based on receiving a second PPP loan we are presently applying for; if we don't get the loan, we will need to call a special congregational meeting to present other financial alternatives
Linda Strine expressed our gratitude to Jim for putting together this budget when we have so many unknowns this year. She moved that we approve the proposed 2021 budget with the provision that if our income turns out to be higher than expected, the Council will have discretion to proportionately increase our outreach giving. Diane Rippe seconded the motion. The motion passed.
Appreciations: Richard expressed our gratitude to the members of Church Council with special thanks to Boyd Bjorkquist and Curtis Buell who are leaving Council after faithfully serving two terms. Heartfelt thanks, also, to Pastor Peggy and our entire church staff for their ongoing hard work.
Old Business: none
New Business: none
Pastor Peggy led us in praying the Lord's Prayer; the meeting was adjourned at 1:02 p.m.
Lynn Danner, 2020 Council Secretary