Prince of Peace Lutheran Church

Council Meeting Minutes

December 13, 2016

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

Absent: Mike Isenberg, Richard Habstritt, Jeremy Hansen and Ryan Ohm

Guest: Allan Grant

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

Devotions: Linda Forkey led us in devotions.

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

Approval of Previous Minutes: A motion was made by Linda Forkey and seconded by Julia Sevald to approve the minutes from the November 15, 2016 Council meeting as written.  Motion approved.

Reports of Officers:

Treasurer’s Report:

  • For the month of November, receipts were lower than expenses.
    • The general/building fund activity for the month was a loss of $5,927. This is unfavorable to budget and prior year by $18,642 and $21,864, respectively.
    • Total November offerings were lower than budget and prior year by $15,506 and $15,904, respectively. Other receipts for November were lower than both budget and prior year, mainly related to timing of building use income.
    • Overall, expenses are lower than budget by $1,022 but higher than prior year by $3,490. The favorability to budget is related to the timing of admin, benevolence payments and children & family expenses partially offset by higher repairs expense related to the stained glass window repairs. The variance vs. prior year is related to additional repairs expense in the current year.
  • For November year to date, receipts are lower than expenses. Offerings year to date are significantly lower than budget and prior year. Expenses are slightly lower than budget and significantly 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 in addition to additional repairs expense in 2016.
  • The general fund cash balance available for use is $12,262 at the end of November.
  • Adult Mission Trips was the only designated funds with significant activity in November.

The 2017 proposed budget was approved by the congregation.

President’s Report:

Annual reports are due to Lynell by December 20.

New Council members will be invited to January Council meeting.

Secretary’s Report: None

Ministry Team Reports                                            

Sunday Morning Experience

SME Meeting December 5 (6:00 to 8:00pm) – Location: POP Worship Center

  1. Attendees were: Chuck Krych, George Umolac, Joel Odens, Kim Neisen, Jim Knucky, Karla Fredrick, Laura Erickson and Dale Emter. Not Present: Rick Swanson.
  2. Key Topics –
    1. Head Usher Guest – Chuck Krych joined us and provided feedback on November WE Teams.
    2. Christmas Service – All four WE Teams will be contacted for Greeters & Ushers who will serve the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day worship services. A final list of those available will be prepared no later than December 20.
    3. Coffee & Cookie Ministry – Coffee/cookie host schedule for Jan\Feb\Mar in progress – Laura will be incorporating the youth volunteers to work with current teams for training.
    4. Pew Organization & Clean Up – Karla and Dianne perform weekly, Elaine will in Jan\Feb.
    5. Visitor Welcoming – Visitor Welcoming will be discussed and further defined as a goal for 2017.
    6. SME budget – The 2017 budget was discussed, including low cost options for CPR\AED training for the Head Ushers.
    7. Fellowship after 10:30am worship (Wrap-Up) – Nothing planned for December due Congregational Budget meeting and worship schedule. Planning to re-start in mid-January.
    8. SME Social – Winter social is being planned for Monday, February 20 (President’s Day).
    9. WE Team Coordinators update – The WE Team coordinators continue welcoming the Youth volunteers onto teams. The WE Teams are really starting to take shape after a year of recruiting. Thanks to everyone for all the support in making connections with our enthusiastic WE Team members. The SME Committee feels this was a great accomplishment.

(WE Team 1 – Kim Neisen, 2 – Dale Emter, 3 – Joel Odens, 4 – George Umolac)

  • Other Topics – Next meeting will include establishing our 2017 goals.


    1. 2016 Team Initiatives update:
      1. Invite Head Usher’s to visit SME Committee Meetings: December = Rick Swanson
      2. (4) Head Ushers for 2017 schedule – (1) Steve Young. Looking to add (3) more.
      3. Establishing the WE Teams – Teams are pretty well established, and still looking to incorporate all the youth. We feel this initiative is nearly complete.
      4. Visitor Welcoming \ Visitor Bags – will be a re-evaluated goal in 2017.
      5. Ice Cream Social – Will conduct quarterly SME socials for 2017.
      6. Veteran’s Day – Need to determine date for 2017.
    2. First Aid / AED Training for Head Ushers – Dave Herzog offered suggestions for finding a trainer that might be a low cost or free alternative. This will be a goal for 2017.
    3.  Next SME Team Meeting will occur on Monday 1/02/16 at 6:00 pm

Congregational Care   

Quilters had a good sale.                      

Pastoral Reports:

Pastor Chad’s Report:

We were blessed with an amazing season of ministry and outreach at Prince of Peace in 2016. We sent people to serve in Jamaica and Tanzania and welcomed others here from Africa. We served people in need locally and welcomed many wonderful new members into the congregation.

From bible studies to adult discussions, from GoupLife to confirmation and Sunday school, from youth ministries to music ministries, social gatherings, weddings, funerals, meetings, membership classes, vacation bible school, summer camps, visitation ministry, local and international mission trips and serving locally…this is what makes up the vibrant ministry and outreach we share at Prince of Peace.

Here are just a few highlights from 2016 and a glimpse into 2017.

  • In February another faithful group traveled to Jamaica through our own Hearts And Hands For Jamaica outreach.
  • We said goodbye to Judy Blomgren after serving for many years as our gifted and faithful organist. We were blessed that Alys Nelson came on board as our new organist during a busy and important season and quickly integrated as an important member of our staff.
  • We enjoyed a fantastic summer of worship on Sundays and during our engaging midweek summer worship services where we welcomed a distinguished list of guest preachers.
  • Another wonderful group of youth were confirmed during the affirmation of baptism service on September 25.
  • In early October, we held a joint worship service with HOPE Liberian congregation, which meets in our CLC on Sunday afternoons.
  • That same evening we hosted a benefit concert for Phebe Hospital in Liberia and raised over $10,000 for that important health care center established by the Lutheran church.
  • We were honored to host the bishop of the 6.5 million member ELCT (Lutheran Church of Tanzania). Bishop Frederick and Janet Shoo said that their time with us was a highlight of their international trip. During their visit we were able to announce that donations totaling more than $13,000 had been collected through the Africa Fund at PoP to help earthquake recovery and other outreach in the Bukoba region of Tanzania.
  • Also in October, we welcomed a large group of new members into the congregation.
  • Our fall stewardship program was well received with a good response by the congregation. During the emphasis, several members shared moving stories about their faith and the importance of the church in their lives. As always, I encourage every member to consider your own financial stewardship. A weekly offering of $10 would be a tithe (10%) if your entire annual income were $5,200! There is so much potential growth in giving within our congregation. Will you consider increasing your weekly giving even by $2 or $3?
  • Refinancing our $1.7mil mortgage with a defined strategy to eliminate this debt within ten years was a positive move enthusiastically embraced at the annual budget meeting.
  • Our business administrator, Kathy Arveson, resigned to take a position closer to her home in Burnsville. Kathy served PoP well and she will be missed. As of this report, we have resumes from five solid candidates interested in this part time position. I am conducting interviews and anticipate filling this important position before Christmas. Julia Sevald has once again stepped in to keep things running in the interim and to assist me with the interview process.
  • By the time this report is read, we will have been blessed with three meaningful Christmas Eve worship services and even one service on Christmas Day since it falls on a Sunday this year. Plans for our 2017 Lenten season are already well underway!
  • I continue to serve on the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service steering committee working on a process to engage ELCA churches in the work of welcoming and settling refugee families. I have met with Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota to engage in a pilot program locally. Watch for details on participating in a “resettlement welcoming team” from Prince of Peace.
  • I will be in Africa from January 4-18 meeting with our Lutheran partners in Tanzania to continue moving forward on several of the projects supported through the PoP Africa Fund and making initial preparations for the TZ Vision Trip in June.
  • In May, I will join our ELCA bishop, Elizabeth Eaton and senior pastors from around the country for the annual large ELCA church leadership conference.

I close by simply saying thank you to all of the staff and volunteers who offer your gifts to strengthen the ministry and outreach we share through Prince of Peace. As we start making our way into this new calendar year, I look forward to worshiping, giving, serving and learning together with all of you. I look forward to growing deeper in faith and reaching out with the love of Christ…with you!

Pastor Natalia’s Report:

We’re in the thick of Advent and I just love it.  It’s my favorite season for a reason!

Worship changes are on the horizon, with only one service for the kid’s program on December 11, and one service for the cantata on December 18th, as well as December 25th and January 1st.

Our Christmas Eve services will be at 3, 5, and 7. We’ll get back to our regular worship schedule on January 8th.

GroupLife starts up the winter session during the week of January 22nd, with a series I’m calling “Preach.” There will be a short sermon to listen to and then discuss each week from some favorite Lutheran pastors, local and national.  Can’t wait for you to experience it!  If you aren’t in a group yet, please consider being a part of one this winter!  Lastly, to you outgoing council members, thank you so much for your service to the congregation.  I so appreciate your time, energy, ideas, and willingness to be with us on this journey of leading Prince of Peace.

Unfinished Business: None

New Business:

A Leave a Legacy request was received from Katie Rykal for $450 for the new children’s Christmas program costumes. A motion was made by Julia Sevald and seconded by Jeff Amstrup to approve the request.  Motion approved.

The church wide assembly has authorized changes to the church wide Constitutions. We’re not changing our Constitution in any way other than to bring our Constitution into compliance with the model ELCA Constitution.  A motion was made by Julia Sevald and seconded by Linda Forkey to recommend the revised Constitution to the congregation.

Motion approved.

Action Items: Pastor Chad will send a letter to members regarding the need for an end of year donation to help our receipts be favorable to budget.

A motion was made by Jeff Amstrup and seconded by Dale Emter to adjourn the meeting. Motion approved.  Meeting adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Christina Jobe

Council Secretary

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