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Council Corner

Here you will find updates from our council

January 26- Dave Moore, President

Happy 2023!

 

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  The Council kicked off the year with a strategic planning session/retreat held at St. James.  The retreat was originally scheduled for November but had been postponed until Pastor Amy was fully on board.  It was a packed day-and-a-half of sessions that included:

  • Review of the proposed 2023 budget that resulted in a unanimous agreement to bring it to the congregation for approval at the January 29 Annual Financial Meeting.

  • Assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of St. James as it relates to congregation engagement in worship services and programs.  And how to get achieve greater congregation participation in worship services, worship service roles, committees, service opportunities, and fellowship events.

  • Focus on how to better meet the needs of members of the congregation who are not able to attend worship service consistently.

  • How to get better participation in our children and youth programs - and how to make sure they are compelling for young families (both current and prospective members)

 

It also proved to be a great opportunity for Pastor Amy to get to know the council members better and vice versa.  The discussions were lively with the members sharing their perspectives and challenging the status quo.  All for the betterment of St. James.

 

This is an exciting time for our community of faith. We will be sharing additional takeaways and next steps.  In the meantime, we appreciate any feedback and recommendations.  I can be contacted at president@stjameslutheran.org

December 20- Dave Moore, President

As we wind down 2022, we are blessed to have Pastor Amy Gillespie fully on board and recently completing her first month as our senior pastor.  She, Jacob, and Maya, have moved into their new home and are settling into the community.   It has been a great pleasure both getting to know her better and working with her.  I see wonderful things ahead with her as our shepherd and leader.

From the financial perspective, it has been another good year with member-giving on track to exceed budget.  This has enabled us to continue our benevolence giving as we had planned while overcoming some unexpected expenses.  We are truly blessed by the generosity of our members and the steadfast work of our staff.

In-person worship attendance has continued to climb, and it has been great to see more and more coming early or staying after service for fellowship.  We have also had the pleasure of greeting visitors most every Sunday and appreciate the efforts of so many members who make them feel welcome.

As we move into January, our priorities are to have the 2023 budget prepared for approval at the Annual Financial Meeting (January 29), and the committees off to a strong start for the new year.  We also have our council retreat planned for January 13 & 14, and I will be reporting on the highlights in my next update.

Finally, I again want to express appreciation for the faithful work of our staff, council, committee members, and all volunteers.  This is an exciting time for our community of faith.   Please feel free to contact me or other Council members for feedback and ideas.

 May the Joy and Blessings of the Christmas Season be with you now and throughout the New Year!

November 17- Dave Moore, President

What a busy and exciting last 30 days since the last Council update.  The priorities of engaging members, attracting visitors, and bringing on new members continue to drive our initiatives.   Here is a summary of significant events – in no particular order:

  • Pastor Amy’s first official day at St. James is November 16!

  • Incredible welcome brunch for Pastor Amy at the Deer Path Inn that was attended by over 130 St. James members along with Pastor Amy’s extended family.Special thanks to Annie Moss and Shelly Holmstrom for all the planning to make it such a special event.

  • A major “thank you” to Pastor Mark Sundberg for his warm presence and spiritual leadership over these past 10 and half months.A wonderful farewell reception was held following worship service on October 31 where many members were able to express their appreciation.

  • Although it was a little more than 30 days ago, we welcomed our newest members Emily and Tom Bohac; and the growing Musser family of Margaret, Jack, James, AND their very recent addition Christian.Please continue to welcome them.

  • The “Faith Responds” stewardship campaign that asked us to consider serving God at St. James in new and life-enhancing ways, as well as continuing to give generously a portion of what God has given us, has culminated with pledges and interest surveys being submitted on Commitment Sunday.Thank you for your responses!

  • The St. James Brass Ensemble, led by Ryan Ringnalda, thoroughly entertained members and visitors during their free concert on October 31 in the Sanctuary.

I also want to express appreciation for the faithful work of our staff, council, committee members, and all volunteers.  This is an exciting time for our community of faith.   Please feel free to reach out to me or other Council members with feedback and ideas.

October 13- Dave Moore, President

What an exciting time at St. James!  Following our congregation’s nearly unanimous vote to call Rev. Amy Gillespie as our new Senior Pastor at the September 25 meeting, I am happy to announce that her first official day will be November 16.  She will be officially welcomed at the all-congregation brunch at the Deerpath Inn following the worship service on November 13.  We are now working on the onboarding process to help her get off to a positive, productive, and comprehensive start.  Her installation date is still being finalized by the Synod and is expected to be scheduled for early December.

I cannot thank the Call Committee enough for their faithful and diligent work in representing our congregation through the process.  The committee, including Chairperson Andrea Taylor and members Mike Bennett, Linda Berner, Hans Bodine, Doug Gerber, Gail Morgan, and Mark Wanda, by the grace of God used their gifts to discern which pastor God has set apart to serve this congregation.

I also want to express great appreciation to Pastor Mark Sundberg as he continues as our interim pastor through November 13.  There will be opportunities for members to say “thank you” for his exceptional contributions and overall shepherding - including a farewell reception after the worship service on October 30.  I know I speak for many others when I say we were truly blessed to have him as our pastor.

The stewardship campaign, Faith Responds, was launched on October 3.  Please consider serving God at St. James in new and life-enhancing ways - as well as continuing to give generously a portion of what God has given you.   Give thanks.  Be generous. Serve.

Finally, I want to acknowledge the steadfast work of our staff, council, committee members, and all volunteers for supporting the needs of our communities, working to engage our members, and reaching out to attract visitors. 

Again, this is an exciting time for our community of faith. We welcome feedback and ideas.  Please feel free to reach out to me or other Council members with feedback and ideas.

September 13- Dave Moore, President

It has been a busy and productive time for the Council as we moved from summer into fall. The leading priorities of Engaging Members, Attracting Visitors, and Acquiring New Members continue to drive our initiatives.

In support of those priorities, we have many exciting things happening:

 

  • First and foremost, the Call Committee recommended a pastoral candidate to the Council which was reviewed and approved – and a special meeting of the congregation has been called for September 25 immediately following the 10 AM Worship Service for the sole purpose of electing the candidate. All voting members may attend (including those who will be confirmed during the service that day) Additionally, a Meet and Greet event is scheduled for September 24 from 11:15 to 1:15 (including lunch) for the congregation to meet and engage with our pastoral candidate. It is our hope that all members will be able to attend. Click here for more information.

  • To better support participation, growth, and development of our Sunday School, the Sunday schedule has been adjusted with Sunday School beginning at 9 AM and Worship Service at 10 AM. Additionally, Sunday 9 AM – 10 AM will be a time of fellowship, adult education, and music rehearsals. All members are encouraged to come early and participate in any (or all) of these activities prior to worship service. Also of special note, this does not preclude our ability to add a second service when the timing is right to do so.

  • Kick-off Sunday, September 11, was a wonderful event! In addition to the start of Sunday School, it was highlighted by a Ministry Fair which featured all Committees engaging attendees with their plans and initiatives for this next year. Special thanks to the planning committee, Committee Chairpersons, Committee Members, Council Liaisons, and all attendees for making the day such a success.

  • Facilities Manager, Pete Clemens, and the Property Committee has been working diligently to make our church building and surrounding property look fresher and more inviting to members, visitors, and passersby. You may have noticed the trimmed trees, refreshed parking lot, and overall attention to maintenance and tidiness.

 

This is an exciting time for our community of faith.

We welcome feedback and ideas.  Please feel free to reach out to me or other Council members with feedback and ideas.

July 28- Dave Moore, President

As we move through the summer, the Council has been busy advancing opportunities and listening to ideas for the leading priorities of:

  • engaging members

  • attracting visitors

  • acquiring new members

These priorities are exciting and challenging – and involve every function and every committee in our church. As referenced in the previous update, the Exec Committee has been attending committee meetings to find ways to provide support and collaboration across the other committees. A recurring theme is: Every Sunday could be someone’s first Sunday – or first Sunday in a while - at St. James, and how can we make sure it is a positive and memorable experience from the time they pull into the parking lot until the time they are heading back home. Of course, that same goal for positive and memorable experiences is for all members - all the time. Here are a couple of highlights from the committees:

  • Christian Education Committee – is working hard on Sunday School and Youth Programs for 2022-2023 and beyond. Much more to come on this topic. Many thanks to Linda Berner, Debbie MacAyeal, Barb Davoux, Amy Marsch, Kathy Lowell, Doug Gerber, Mary Anne Larson, Doug Dusthimer, Wendy Wiegers, Pastor Mark, Shelly Holmstrom, and Ron Koepke for their engagement and efforts.

  • Worship and Music Committee – Mark Taylor and the committee continue looking for opportunities to improve the worship services for the congregation and visitors.

Additionally, I want to acknowledge the tireless work being done by the Call Committee: Andrea Taylor, Linda Berner, Mike Bennett, Hans Bodine, Doug Gerber, Gail Morgan, and Mark Wanda. Their commitment to representing our congregation and faithfully following the process as they assess candidates is greatly appreciated.

Finally, a major THANK YOU to Chris Meyer for her exceptional work and dedication as she retires from the Business Manager position effective July 31. 

July 7- Dave Moore, President

The 2022-2023 Council had its first meeting this week. The Council is committed to putting
forth our time, talent, energy, leadership, problem-solving, and collaboration skills in support of
the Congregation. We look forward to an exciting year ahead.


The Council has established leading priorities of engaging members, attracting visitors, and
acquiring new members. Early initiatives include:

  • “7 Ways Your Church Can Reach More People” which are best practices used by other congregations. Copies are available in the narthex.

  • Facebook and Instagram ads targeting new movers to the area and young families along with new signage to create awareness of the June 26 Outdoor Service.

  • Scheduling meetings with each Committee Chair to identify opportunities to support the priorities.

Council Liaison assignments were finalized and are as follows:

  • Christian Education – Barb Davoux and Amy Marsch

  • Evangelism – Denise Norberg-Johnson

  • Finance – Bob Kenehan

  • Fellowship – Annie Moss

  • Property – Bob Narlock

  • Social Ministry – Shelly Holmstrom and Ron Koepke

  • Stewardship – Michael Montalbano and Dave Moore

  • Worship and Music – Greg MacAyeal

  • Youth Ministry – Sue Ebert

The newly created Facilities Manager position posting and hiring process has been completed.
Effective July 1, Pete Clemens will officially begin in that role.


As always, the Council appreciates all congregation feedback, suggestions, and engagement.

June 2 - Tom Meyer, President

The Nominating Committee submitted its slate of candidates for positions opening this coming year. All names are listed in the Nominating committee's report for the annual meeting.  Council approved all candidates.  As to the Council positions only, beginning with the June meeting of the Council, David Moore becomes president, Ron Koepke is Vice President, and Shelly Holmstrom will become the Secretary.

 

Effective 7/31/22, with the retirement of Chris Meyer as Business Manager, her position will be divided into two positions: 1) a Bookkeeper position, to be assumed by Carol Bennett as an additional part-time position; and, 2) a newly created position of Facilities Manager, which will also encompass the sound system. The facilities manager position will be posted internally.

 

In addition to the above staff changes, the Administrative Assistant position, shared by Kristin Haverkampf and Carol Bennett, will be renamed Administrative Services Manager, to reflect the additional duties acquired from the Business Manager position.

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