Lord of the Lakes Council Meeting Notes                                                 April 20, 2021


Members Present:  Pastor Kevin Heffernan, Jeff Jahnke, Wayne Ludkey, Jan Olson, John Penza, John Macho, Kristen Bjornstad, Apryl Brantley and David Wein.

Devotion:  Wayne Ludkey—“Better Than I Deserve” (Romans 6:23)

Devotion for May—David Wein

Opening Prayer—Pastor Kevin

Approval of minutes:  Jan Olson made a motion to approve the March 2021 Council Meeting Minutes.  John Penza and Apryl Brantley seconded.  Approved.

Pastor’s Report:  “March to April has been a mixed month.  I am excited about the arrival of Easter.  I find it very inspirational this year.  Not that it isn’t always.  But against the backdrop of instability surrounding us, the reminder of Jesus resurrection has been very comforting to me.  I hope you find it the same.

Things have been busier around here.  Youth group is doing very well.  Our mental health team is planning on an in person meeting on Thursday night.  Services are again being well attended.  New member classes went well (even added an extra one – six new families total I think)  and preparation for upcoming events is back in discussion mode.

Overall it was a good month for the church.  On the more negative side I miss a number of families that have “fallen away” over the last year.  Some may still return but others have moved in different directions.  I’ve spoken to a few.  As much as we attempted to avoid controversy over the last year, I think even opening the church was a bit too much for some. I’m not sure what else we could have done.

On a personal note, my family is doing well.  I’m hoping to take some time off soon.  (I think I need it.)”

Additionally, Pastor Kevin said that overall things have been good.  There was good attendance for Easter.  People are also talking more and more people are coming back. There have also been a lot of new members joining.

Buildings and Grounds: *See attached April 2021 Team Reports Document.   Jeff advised council that if we increase our insurance deductible from $500 to $2500, and there are no claims for 3 years, the savings are quite good (approximately $700 per year).  Jeff Jahnke made a motion to increase the deductible to $2500.  Wayne Ludkey seconded.  Approved.

Wayne suggested to Jan that if we look at getting a new sign for the church, we should form a committee and get new bids.  Jeff said that the Thrift & Gift sign he thinks is made of plywood, but looks like brick (and looks nice).  It was suggested to ask congregation members to sign up to be on the committee.  Pastor noted that someone will need to head up this committee, possibly someone from B & G.  He suggested Joe Groholski.  Jan said that Joe is currently not on B & G.  Pastor Kevin said that he would contact Joe.  Wayne suggested carrying over the current nautical theme (used inside the church) and put those elements into a new sign.

The clean-up of the current sign was discussed.  Pastor Kevin said that it is very light and can be picked up and brought closer to the building, or inside the building, for clean-up (or repainting).  Apryl added that this would be a good youth project.

We Care:  Pastor said that the team is meeting in person on 4/22/2021.  Right now mental health, overall, is not very good.  People are really struggling.  Wayne asked if there is anything the congregation can do?  Pastor Kevin suggested that as things are opening up we may be able to start visiting again.  Jeff thought that the congregation could send letters to members who reside in nursing homes.  Wayne suggested having the Sunday school kids make some cards (this was done on 5/2/2021).

Youth:  John P. informed council that the youth will be doing a Water Walk as a fundraiser for Simple Hope on 5/23.  Also, Amy has now submitted all the necessary materials for seminary.  Youth attendance is dropping (due to sports picking back up).  The mission trip is still on for July,

Jan talked about getting the basement cleaned up and a possible rummage sale was discussed.  There are approximately 60 chairs in the basement that we don’t use.  Wayne and John M. thought that Facebook Marketplace may be a better way to sell the chairs.


Lord of the Lakes Council Meeting Financial Notes – April 20, 2021

The Operating Budget Total Net Surplus YTD as of March 2021            $21,312

The Operating Budget Total Net Surplus for Month of March 2021       $11,993


Total Cash in Operating Checking Account as of March 2021 is $103,865.59

Total Cash in Special Events Checking Account as of March 2021 is $56,062.41

(this includes the $29,500.00 in Holding)

Total in Fortifi Investment Account as of March 2021 is $22,873.81

Operating Budget Explanation:

Our YTD income for Church Operations is higher than budgeted by $20,658.  Our Regular Envelope/Vanco/Credit Card giving is higher than budgeted by $17,629 our Loose Offering is lower than budget by ($184).

We received Scrip proceeds as of March 2021 $2,000 of our Fiscal Year.


 We did budget for a ($7,117) Deficit YTD and our Actual Surplus YTD is $21,312

David Wein made a motion to approve the Treasurer’s report.  Jan Olson seconded.  Approved.

Wayne noted that there seemed to be a lot of money in the checking account.  Jeff suggested looking at putting a portion of the money into a money market so there is some return on it.  Apryl said that she is meeting with the office staff on 5/5 and will discuss options then.

Wayne asked Apryl if there could be different “buckets” for donations, so that we can keep track of funds more easily.  Apryl confirmed that there would not be separate funds , but just a more detailed/better tracking system.

Stewardship:  From Wayne, The Lent giving effort of $40 for 40 days, brought us $3,850 for the Good Samaritan Fund. This was a wonderful gift to the fund that helps those who Pastor feels can use an additional helping hand.

One member of the congregation told me he was working with his financial advisor to name Lord of the Lakes as a beneficiary in an IRA. The messaging in bulletins and newsletters is working. I think the legacy giving message in the upcoming May newsletter is moving. Sarah already posted it on Facebook. Now that we are coming back into church with more people, I see a legacy giving seminar in the offing.

Gifting policy: Everyone should have had more than a month to review. I’d like to vote on the new policy at this meeting. I’ve attached it to this email.”

Wayne handed out the gifting policy for discussion.  Pastor Kevin asked if each gift coming in would go to the stewardship committee first.  Wayne said yes.

Apryl asked if there would be a monetary amount that would determine if a gift would/would not need to go to the committee.  Jeff and Pastor Kevin noted that check coming in as gifts [from funerals] designated as endowment fund will go through the office (so the families can be notified and send “Thank You” notes”).  These gifts would go right into the endowment fund.

John Penza made a motion to vote via email on the gifting policy after the suggested corrections (below) are made.  Apryl Brantley seconded.  Approved.

Jeff requested a correction to the gifting policy document under “Gifts of Life Insurance” (eliminating last sentence and adding the word “irrevocably” so that the new last sentence reads, “If a donor wishes to make a gift of a life insurance policy, with tax benefits to the donor, Lord of the Lakes must be named as the owner and beneficiary of the policy, irrevocably.”).  Gifting policy was updated and sent to council for approval.  Approved by majority vote of council (7 “Yes” votes.  0 “No” votes).  Gift Acceptance Policies and Procedure document is attached.


Employee Handbook:  David has checked with a few others and, at this time, nobody else is interested in participating on the handbook team.  Jeff asked if he spoke with Dawn Barber and thinks that she would be a good person to help.  Pastor Kevin also suggested checking with the synod office to see if they have a template.

Electronic Communication: Wayne and Jeff met on this issue.  Jeff is thinking about engaging students from Fox Valley Tech’s IT program.  They would still look at engaging Becky Atkinson (see March 2021 council meeting minutes).

 Constitution Update:  Jeff is targeting May 2, 2021 (after each service) to get the congregation to vote and meet a quorum to ratify the updated constitution. **Update—we received 77 votes on 5/2/21 in favor of the motion to approve the updates to the Lord of the Lakes Constitution (8 a.m. and 10 a.m. services combined).  No votes were cast against the motion.  Total attendance from both services was 126 (which includes children and guests/non-members). Motion passed.


 Jeff sent an email to the council presidents from other East Central Synod ELCA churches to establish communication between them.  This has been well received.  It’s been a slow process, but has been moving forward.  About 40 people have gotten back to Jeff with their contact info and Jeff has shared the list of churches/information with them.

2021 Calendar of Events: 

Events:   A 20th Anniversary event for September/October is being planned.  It was suggested that David’s band could perform at the event.  Jan will look for a coordinator for the event.

Pastor Kevin asked Jan if there will be any type of golf outing this year.  Jan said that this hasn’t been discussed yet.

New Council Members:  All council members were asked to email Jeff three names of congregation members who they think would be good for council

Counting Procedure:  Jeff provided Sarah the information needed to send out a survey to see if there are members of the congregation who have accounting experience.  Our counting procedure needs to be revamped to streamline the process.

Wayne Ludkey made a motion to adjourn.  John Penza seconded.

Closing Prayer – Pastor Kevin

 Next Meeting:  5/18/2021 at 6:30 p.m.