Council Minutes September 2014

Council Minutes September 2014

Prince of Peace Lutheran Church

Council Meeting

September 16, 2014


Present:   Pastor Chad Brekke, Bill Fredrick, Sue Johnson, Melissa Johnson, Julia Sevald, Erik Hasse, Rachel Henderson, Richard Habstritt, Georgia Larson, Morgan Holle, Tim Marker

Absent: Intern Pastor Natalia Terfa


Call to Order:  President Bill Fredrick called the meeting to order.


Devotions: Tim Marker led us in devotions.


Adoption of Agenda: A motion was made by Rachel Henderson and seconded by Richard Habstitt to adopt the Council agenda.  Motion approved.


Approval of Previous Minutes:  A motion was made by Sue Johnson and seconded by Rachel Henderson to approve the minutes from the May 20, 2014 Council meeting as written.  Motion approved.


Reports of Officers:

Treasurer’s Report:

Notable August activity:

  • August receipts were less than expenses. The general/building fund activity for the month was a loss of $1,611. This is favorable, however, to budget for the month by $11,914 and to prior year by $10,943.
  • Total August offerings were above budget $3,331 and other receipts were favorable to budget $5,117 mainly due to building use income. August offerings were favorable to prior year offerings. Expenses for the month are favorable to budget mainly due to timing of utilities and benevolence team disbursements. Expenses are unfavorable to prior year.
  • Year to date we are still sitting in a positive position overall vs. the budget and prior year. We are $44,611 favorable to budget and $77,621 favorable to prior year. This is partially due to a change in the way we are accounting for our mortgage payment in order to more closely align with the Thrivent statement ($14,724) as well as increased giving and building use income. This favorability should continue throughout the year. Additionally, other expenses are favorable to budget through August mainly related to timing of benefit expenses and benevolence disbursements, reduced IT support expense, postage, and supplies. These favorable expenses are partially offset by higher utilities and large equipment expenses.
  • The general fund cash balance available for use remains healthy at $29,815 for the year.
  • The only designated fund with significant activity in August was the Adult Mission Trips.
  • Simply Giving continues to be a great option for members to ensure their contributions continue even when they are not here, especially in the summer. On average, 43% of our monthly income comes through electronic giving.


The budgeting process will begin soon. The process will remain the same as it has been the past few years.  We need to ensure designated funds are where they need to be. Ministry team leaders should communicate with Kathy or Julia by October 15th what you feel you will need in the budget for the programs you are supporting.

President’s Report:

No report.


Vice-President’s Report:

The Outreach Committee has presented a disbursement request of $320 for the Parenting with Purpose Annual Fundraising Banquet. They are asking Prince of Peace to sponsor a table at the banquet, which would seat 8 adults from our congregation.


A motion was made by Juila Sevald and seconded by Morgan Holle to approve the disbursement request of $320 from the Outreach Committee. Motion approved.


Ben Johnson and Jen Cords will be leading a seminar on Identity Theft on October 12th from 10:15-11:15am in between services.


Saturday, October 25th there will be Leadership Training. It is a good chance to network. There is no fee – bring $10 for lunch.


Jeans and Junk will take place this coming Sunday, September 21st after both services.


Secretary’s Report: None


Pastoral Reports: 

Pastor Chad’s Report:

  • The beginning of the new season of ministry after the summer break is a good indicator of the health and vitality of a church. Numbers cannot tell the story alone. Giving levels, worship attendance, participation in children’s and youth ministries are all certainly important measures but there are also many less tangible factors to consider.


  • Prince of Peace definitely has reason to be encouraged as we look at the important aspects of our ministry that can be measured with spreadsheets and charts. But those factors always result from the less tangible factors that do not show up on statistical reports. Here I am speaking of qualities such as engagement, enthusiasm, community building and faithfulness.


  • There are no boxes to fill in for these factors on the annual reports we submit to the synod, but I can tell you from experience, the charts and graphs flow from these factors and not the other way around.


  • If you were able to be around POP over the past two Sundays as our leadership worked to transition the congregation into the fall season, then you know what it feels like to be part of a healthy and vital congregation. From our Rally Day worship and celebration to this Sunday’s return to the fall schedule, there is a strong sense around POP that something special is happening.


  • Strong community, enthusiastic, engaged in mission and outreach and faithfulness are all ways I would describe our congregation. I am grateful to all of our gifted staff and committed volunteers who are helping to lead us in this positive direction. What a great time it is to be a part of all that God is doing in and through Prince of Peace!


  • They are continuing the process with Natalia. Chad and Natalia will be meeting with the Bishop. She will finish her schooling by the end of the year.


  • A new program just became available from Thrivent, called Action Teams. A congregation can apply for a $250 grant two times each year to support an activity. Pastor Chad will forward more information on to us, as this was just passed today at Thrivent.


Intern Pastor Natalia’s Report:

  • Our summer worship schedule ended a few weeks ago, and I am really going to miss our summer Wednesdays. The topics were great and they were all preached faithfully and wonderfully by the different staff members. Each time we gathered in that space, the Spirit moved in tangible, powerful ways, and it was such a blessing to be a part of it.
  • Sundays this summer were great too. I’m not sure if people realize what an amazing and really unheard of thing it is for two worship styles to participate in the same service. As Chad said last Sunday, churches close over this very thing. And yet week after week, we gathered on Sunday mornings with Judy on organ and Nate on guitar. It was just one more indication of the Spirit at work here, and even worship bigwigs are hearing about us because of it. It says a lot about our congregation that we support this, even when it’s maybe not “our thing.” Worshipping together even when things aren’t exactly the way we want it does not happen in most places. Prince of Peace is special, folks.
  • Another Rally Day came and went and it was, as always, a great event. Thanks to everyone who worked to make it happen ­ and a special note of thanks to Community Life for recognizing that this event included Outreach and SME and bringing them on board. Next year we’ll figure out how to get all the teams in!
  • GroupLife is going to be kicking off its fall session in mid­October. This year, we’ll be participating in a church­wide study, with Sunday mornings and GroupLife curriculum being tied together in a way they haven’t before. I’m really excited to see how it goes, and how groups like it. As always, continue to invite others to be a part of your groups, and if you aren’t in one yet, find one and jump in!
  • Lastly, the Cancer Support Group and Visitation team are learning and growing as we continue to meet and serve and grow together. Such a faithful group of people connected to this group and connecting to those in our community in need of additional care.

Council Reports

Each ministry team is to submit a written report each month.  These will be attached to the official minutes.  Highlights will be included in these minutes.


Executive Team:  None


Spiritual Growth:  None


Sunday Morning Experience:

  • The group’s new chairman, Chuck Dube, led the August meeting. Chuck has been a WE Team captain and Nominating Committee member. He is filling the place of Chuck Krych, who has served on the committee for more than five years and led it for two. While he’s stepping down, Krych won’t go far. He’s taking on Dube’s role as WE Team captain and will continue to serve as a head usher.
  • The first item of business was a WE volunteer list that the group is compiling. The list is being created in response to a request from WE captains for better communication between captains, volunteers and head ushers. A comprehensive list should help captains know who they can contact if a volunteer can’t help on his or her assigned Sunday, and it could also be added to a larger database that has been discussed by the Council to coordinate volunteers. Tom Heinrich, former Council president, created a Google Sheets spreadsheet that can be used to input members’ names and contact information. Tom demonstrated the application, which can be accessed with a link, and captains will complete the list this fall.
  • In another effort to improve communication between volunteers on Sunday mornings, Chuck Krych is planning to share feedback with other head ushers gathered during the May Ice Cream Social’s brainstorming session.
  • Upcoming events include Rally Day and Veteran’s Sunday. The SME Committee worked with outreach and family ministries at the church to plan Rally Day. Katie Rykal took the lead. Other than planning, the SME group’s main contribution was to help recruit volunteers from its corps of WE volunteers. The fair-inspired “Great POP Get-Together” was held Sept. 7 and appeared to be well-received and well-attended. Church attendance was higher that day, the new “point” patio was dedicated, and there was food, games and bouncy houses for all ages.
  • Veteran’s Sunday is celebrated on the Sunday closest to Veteran’s Day in November. Dick Ruohoniemi is going to explore members’ requests to include some patriotic music during this year’s service. Dick will discuss this idea with Pastor Chad.
  • Discussion concluded with an overview of some past and present goals. Over the past couple of years, the SME Committee has taken several steps to enhance the atmosphere of the church to make it more welcoming and safe in the event of an emergency. The group introduced gift bags for visitors and has utilized the church’s welcome wagon to receive guests and answer any questions. The committee has also organized two CPR training sessions in which certified instructors have taught CPR to WE volunteers, ushers, Sunday school teachers and staff. In addition to improving communication between leaders and volunteers this year, the group agreed that it should make additional efforts to recognize its volunteers. Chuck Krych will work with Morgan Holle to post photos of WE volunteers on the sanctuary’s big screens before and after services.



Congregational Care: None



We had a regular Outreach Meeting on August 26, 2014; our next meeting will be Tuesday, September 23, 2014. Here a list up completed and up coming events and projects the Committee is working on:


  1. The Monday, June 23, 2014 free meal at Lord of Master Church in Brooklyn Park was cancelled. At the meal in August, we feed 160 people with 5 volunteer from Prince of Peace


  1. On Friday, September 5, 2014, Prince of Peace prepared and served 217 meals with 11 volunteers at River of Life Church in North Minneapolis.


  1. We completed a special project At Park Brook Elementary on Saturday, August 23, 2014, which included cleaning the central court, laying 30 bags of mulch, weeding, raking, and trimming. Scott Taylor was very appreciative of our effort.


  1. The Homeless Youth Shelter, which is being championed by Brooklyn Area Ministerial Alliance and Brooklyn Avenues, has seen a lot of progress in past 30 days with the groundbreaking ceremony and the land being worked.   The Choir Concert for raising funds for Homeless Shelter will happen on Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. at Prince of Peace.
  1. On Thursday, September 25, 2014, the Outreach committee is working with the Cancer Support Group on a Bingo & Desert Night at Hope Lodge on University of Minnesota campus. Our goal is that this is the first of many events.


  1. On Sunday, September 21, 2014, we will have our fall clean up of Highway #81 Day. Sue Johnson is coordinating this project.



  1. Dave Herzuck came to our August, 2014 meeting and we discussed CEAP. Fall leaf raking is one upcoming project that will take place through CEAP.


  • The Outreach Committee worked closely with Katie Rykal on Rally Day.



Community Life: 

  • Rally Day was a great success.  Moving forward and looking at next year, Rachel thinks we should reassess the purpose and intent of the event as well as budget possibilities.
  • Rachel is looking at school calendars to set up a fall bowling event and looking forward to hosting the Thanksgiving pie social!


Modern Worship Arts:None


Children and Family Ministry: None


Youth and Family Ministry: None


Unfinished Business:  None


New Business: None


Action Items:

  • Ministry team leaders should communicate with Kathy or Julia by October 15th what your budgeting needs are for the programs you support.


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


Respectfully submitted,

Melissa Johnson


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