Prince of Peace Lutheran Church

Council Meeting Minutes

August 16, 2016

Present: Pastor Chad Brekke, Associate Pastor Natalia Terfa, Sue LaGue, Christina Jobe, Julia Sevald, Mike Isenberg, Richard Habstritt, Dale Emter, Jeff Amstrup and Linda Forkey

Absent: Jeremy Hanson and Ryan Ohm

Guest: Jodi Spoden

 Call to Order: President Sue LaGue called the meeting to order.

Devotions: Mike Isenberg led us in devotions.

 Adoption of Agenda: A motion was made by Linda Forkey and seconded by Mike Isenberg to adopt the Council agenda.  Motion approved.

Approval of Previous Minutes: A motion was made by Linda Forkey and seconded by Mike Isenberg to approve the minutes from the June 21, 2016 Council meeting as written.  Motion approved.

Phebe Hospital fundraiser

Jodi Spoden came to talk about the benefit concert to raise money to provide a solar energy source for Phebe Hospital in Liberia. This fundraising project already has a connection with the wider ELCA.  The hospital is located in a very rural area and currently powered by a diesel generator.  The electrical grid in the area was destroyed during the civil war. The hospital is without power on a daily basis.  The Community Concert will be on Sunday, Oct 9 at 5:00 pm at POP in the sanctuary.  Local Liberian talent will perform.  A free will offering will be taken. Volunteers will be needed during the concert.  We will also have a joint worship service on that same Sunday with Hope Liberian Ministries during our second service.

Reports of Officers:

Treasurer’s Report:

  • For the month of June, receipts were lower than expenses.
    • The general/building fund activity for the month was a loss of $19,670. This is unfavorable to budget and prior year by $11,306 and $10,731, respectively.
    • Total June offerings were lower than budget by $10,661 and lower than prior year by $7,608. Other receipts for June were higher than both budget and prior year, mainly related to timing of building use income as well as Thrivent Choice dollars.
    • Overall, expenses are higher than budget and prior year by $2,569 and $5,775, respectively. The unfavorability to budget is related to timing of benefit expense and the unfavorability to prior year is mainly related to higher benefit costs and salary increases.
  • For June year to date, receipts were lower than expenses. Offerings year to date are lower than budget and prior year. Expenses are higher than budget and prior year due to increased repairs partially offset by timing of benevolence payments. Expenses are also higher than prior year due to increased personnel expense.
  • The general fund cash balance available for use is $43,224 at the end of June.
  • The designated funds with significant activity in June were the adult mission trip and summer daycamp funds.
  • An annual review of the financials was performed in June with no significant issues. More detailed information will be included in the report that is presented during the annual budget meeting.
  • For the month of July, receipts were higher than expenses.
    • The general/building fund activity for the month was a gain of $4,138. This is favorable to budget and prior year by $15,704 and $18,831, respectively.
    • Total July offerings were higher than budget by $6,063 and higher than prior year by $11,183 so we were able to make up some of the ground lost in June. Other receipts for July were higher than both budget and prior year, mainly related to additional miscellaneous income from an IRS Health Premium Credit check that was received in July.
    • Overall, expenses are lower than both budget and prior year by $5,923 and $2,931, respectively. The favorability to budget is related to timing of benefit & personnel expense. The favorability to prior year is mainly related to timing of personnel and repairs expense.
  • For July year to date, receipts were lower than expenses. Offerings year to date are lower than budget and prior year. Expenses are lower than budget but higher than prior year. The increase over prior year is due to increased personnel expense as well as creating a building reserve fund to use for larger building repairs as they come up.
  • The general fund cash balance available for use is $47,362 at the end of July.
  • The designated fund with significant activity in July was the summer daycamp fund.

A review of the church’s financial statements for 2015 occurred at the end of June. Everything looked reasonable, and there were no issues.  It was recommended that Prince of Peace have documentation of processes and procedures.  A report will be provided at the next congregational budget meeting.  The goal is to do this again in January for 2016 financial statements.

 President’s Report:

The position of Council Vice President, which was vacated by Tim Marker when he moved to Virgina, will be left empty until the end of the year, due to the short amount of time left in the year. Sue will attend the Leave a Legacy meetings.

Leave a Legacy requests

  • $500 requested for Parenting with Purpose in the form of a table sponsorship for 8 people at a fundraising dinner. Parenting with Purpose mentors children who have a parent who has been incarcerated. A motion was made by Linda Forkey and seconded by Mike Isenberg to approve the request. Motion approved.
  • Katie Rykal is asking for $400 to buy additional books for the Sunday Worship bags. A motion was made by Richard Habstritt and seconded by Julia Sevald to approve the request. Motion approved.

Secretary’s Report: None

 Ministry Team Reports

Property Report (written report submitted earlier)

  • Accepted roof bid by Korby’s Handyman for garage roof including soffit and fascia for a total of $2,750
  • Three areas on the flat roof that will be repaired. Received bid from Sela Roofing for a total of $1,250. Areas that need repair are:
    • Over Daycare area
    • Daycare area/hall area
    • Office area
  • Eagle Scout project to be completed by dumpster area. Paver brick and patio/shrubbery. This project has been accepted and will start either this fall or next spring.
  • Small twigs and leaves are coming from dead branches on two trees in the courtyard restricting the flow of water drainage. Water in these areas get to be 2-4 inches deep and in the past an entire drain has been plugged by debris. The dead branches from these trees can poke holes in the rubber membrane of the roof. A Second Eagle Scout project is being considered for courtyard.
  • The weeds in the parking lot are numerous. Is it ok to have lawn service spray them? It will be an extra charge.

 Spiritual Development  (Spiritship)

In preparation for Rally Sunday in September, our team will have a modified version of our GROW DEEP REACH OUT church logo in the form of a pop-up banner. Completion should be mid August. We expect to have one or two people stand by the display in the Welcome Center. Our committee meets this month to plan for materials to accompany the banner with more details of POP volunteer opportunities. This report includes a picture of the banner for the church council to see.                                     

Sunday Morning Experience

SME Meeting August 1

  1. Key Topics –
    1. Head Usher Guest – Steve Young was able to attend, and provided favorable feedback on the WE Team support. He commented there was one week that was a little stressful, and the SME acknowledged the problem.
    2. Wheel chair seating – SME to review options in coordination with Property Committee, and need to keep in mind emergency evacuation routes.
    3. Fellowship after 10:30am worship – SME will host Fellowship following the 10:30am service starting Sunday, September 18, 2016. SME will provide bottled water and non-perishable wrapped snack as refreshments to start.   Those on the SME committee who are 10:30am regulars are very excited about this opportunity.
    4. Fall SME Volunteer Social – Plan to host October 17 at 6:00pm, Root Beer floats will be served.
    5. Coffee & Cookie Ministry – Doing well this summer; will be issuing the Fall schedule soon.
    6. Pew Organization & Clean Up – Doing well. Elaine Zimmer is performing the work this Spring, Summer, and into Fall. Elaine has placed “Scribble Pads” in the pews for the children to write on instead of the offering envelopes and prayer cards.
    7. WE Team Coordinators update – SME is interested in about (20 – 24) more volunteers for the Fall worship schedule; will seek support from Youth at start of Fall Confirmation (service hours).
    8. 2016 Team Initiatives update:
      1. Invite Head Ushers to visit SME Committee Meetings: August = Steve Young.
      2. Discussed recruiting more (4) Head Ushers for 2017 schedule: (1) Steve Young. We are looking to add (3) more Head Ushers; have one potential candidate.
      3. Establishing the WE Team Coordinators & implementing weekly teams of Ushers and Greeters – have added (38) new team members in 2016. Have about 16-20 openings as a few volunteers have moved or are moving away.
      4. Visitor Welcoming \ Visitor Bags – Keep watching for new visitors.
      5. Ice Cream Social – Complete, added goal to host quarterly social events.
      6. Veteran’s Day – November, started some planning but needs focus in September.

Congregational Care   

Working on how to use people at the prayer stations to pray for people.                                                     


Upcoming Projects:


  • Park Brook School Supply Collection – Richard
    • Collecting through 8/22


    • Park Brook Open HouseRichard
      • August 30
      • Lynell and Katie to assist
  • Brooklyn Avenues Supply Collection – Jodi
    • Full size shampoo and conditioner



  • Loaves and Fishes – Friday, September 2
    • In temporary home at New Bethel Community Church
    • Plan to invite Jack and Elaine to our November Outreach meeting to discuss 2017 plans
  • Rally Sunday – Sunday, September 11 – Richard
    • Outreach committee will have two tables and will feature:
      • Brooklyn Avenues – Jodi to and Ann to staff
      • CEAP – Sally and Judy to staff
      • Reading Program – Sally and Judy to staff
      • Community Concert – Phebe hospital fundraiser – Jodi to and Ann
      • Blood Drive – Richard to staff
    • Richard and Craig to set up at 9
    • Sally and Cathy to bring candy dishes
    • Richard to create sign-up sheets
  • Blood Drive – Monday, September 26 – Richard
    • Richard to schedule Ministry Moment for 9/18


  • Events to Benefit Phebe Hospital – Sunday, October 9 – Jodi
  • Solar Sunday joint POP/HOPE church service 10:30 a.m.
  • Community Concert 5:00 p.m.
    • Richard to schedule Ministry Moment for 918 and 10/2


    • Jeans and JunkSue LaGue
      • Date set for Sunday, October 16
    • Park Brook Reading Buddies
      • Jodi to check with Lori to see if she wants to lead this again this fall.
  • Cancer Sunday – Richard
  • Tentatively scheduled for Sunday, October 16



  • Brooklyn Avenues garden – Jodi Spoden, chair
    • Garden is growing well
    • Working on setting up cooking and canning session with the Avenues Staff and youth

Completed Project Reports:

  • Good News Daycare Donation Collection – Sally
  • We raised $1,000 through the special offering
  • Sally to work with Nate to post a thank you message on screens
  • Brooklyn Avenues Birthday Party – Jodi, No August birthdays

Community Life

Mike has taken over Theology on Tap. Inquired about purchasing a license to show movies at the church.  Idea to have small social gatherings at people’s houses (e.g., to watch a Viking’s game).

 Pastoral Reports:

Pastor Chad’s Report:

The summer season at Prince of Peace continues to be filled with great worship experiences and all kinds of fellowship and service opportunities. Our guest preachers for the Wednesday evening services have each been interesting, informative and inspiring. All of them have shared that they appreciate the special energy and enthusiasm they experienced at POP.

We continue to look forward and plan for the busy fall season of mission and ministry. The Great POP Get Together (Rally Day) is just around the corner. The team is planning to build on the success of the past couple years.

“Stewardship Sunday” will be November 13. We will have a guest preacher that day.  The Council will serve as the “stewardship committee.”

I will travel to Tanzania January 8-20. The annual Vision Trip will be June 8-21.

I have accepted an invitation from the Director of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services to serve on a committee, which will develop a strategy to support congregations across the ELCA as they work to assist in the settlement of refugee families. The first meeting of the committee will be in Baltimore on September 6-7. The committee is made up of the following leaders from across the ELCA and I am pleased to represent POP in this endeavor.

  • Jodi Harpstead, CEO of Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota
  • Melanie Johnson, Program Manager for Volunteer, Congregation and Community Engagement, Lutheran Services of Georgia
  • Lacey Studnicka,  Program Development Officer, Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska
  • Kou Seying, Lutheran Foundation Professor of Urban and Cross Cultural Ministry, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO
  • Chad Brekke, Lead Pastor, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Brooklyn Park, MN
  • Joseph Lewis, Former refugee and Officer at DC Metropolitan Police Department
  • John Denninger, President Southeast District, LCMS
  • Jack Eggleston, Director for Evangelical Mission, Assistant to the Bishop, Southeast Michigan Synod, ELCA
  • James Horan, Resettlement Director, Lutheran Family Services of Rocky Mountain.
  • Nina Zelc, LIRS Director for Refugee Services
  • Folabi Olagbaju, LIRS Director for Outreach

On the weekend of October 21, we will welcome Rev. Dr. Frederick Shoo, the presiding bishop of the 6.5 million member ELCT (Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania). Bishop Shoo and his wife Janet will be our honored guests at POP on October 23. Bishop Ann Svennungsen of our Minneapolis area synod and other members of the synod staff also plan to be with us that Sunday. We are planning to have one service at 9:30am followed by a reception.

Always a lot going on around POP and so much to look forward to. Thanks for playing your part in the mission and ministry we share.

Pastor Natalia’s Report:

I can’t believe summer is wrapping up already!  It’s been such a great summer of worship – especially our Wednesday evenings… each one filled with amazingly gifted and talented preachers and teachers from around the area. I was moved and challenged every week.

The end of the summer means Groups are going to be picking back up in the next month or two, so I’m getting leaders and groups set up and ready to roll.  It’s been a nice break, but I’m looking forward to the next sets of curriculum and using some of the group feedback to inform what we do next.

I’m putting together a team for the ELCA’s Racial Justice Workshop being held in Minneapolis in October.  We can bring 5 people to this two day event filled with speakers and opportunity to listen, learn and grow together.  If you or someone you know would like to be a part of our team, let me know!

Let Katie or Lynell know what supplies you’ll need for your table for Rally Day. If you have volunteers that are going to be helping on that day, Katie would like to know who they are so she can have a master list.

Unfinished Business: None

 New Business: None

Action Items: None

Highs and Lows: Sue and Linda shared.

A motion was made by Julia Sevald and seconded by Richard Habstritt to adjourn the meeting. Motion approved.  Meeting adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Christina Jobe

Council Secretary

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