Council Meeting Minutes                              April 19, 2022

Council Members Present:  Deb Ruedinger, John Macho, Pastor Kevin, Wayne Ludkey, Pam Ulness, Jan Olson, Kristen Bjornstad, Apryl Brantley,  Amy Penza (guest)

Opening Prayer: Pastor Kevin

Devotion:  Amy. Excerpt from book,  “Grace” by Bob Lenz

May Devotion:  Deb Ruedinger

Approval of March Minutes:  Motion made by Wayne Ludkey to approve the March council meeting minutes.  John Macho seconded.  Approved.

Reports Summaries (discussion/questions beyond submitted written reports):

Pastor Report: See April Team Reports Document.  Pastor Kevin.  A lot of mental illness issues are going on right now.  Pastor Kevin was just at a conference and said that people are having trouble just getting in to meet with counselors.  Events like Easter are important because they remind us of the hope that’s still there and we should not get sucked into the darkness.

Jan was just at a meeting and noted that healthcare has lost 40% of the nurses and are relying on travel nurses.  Stress is hitting hard.

Pam added that Mayo Clinic is down 800 staff members and can only take in-network patients.

Jan said that sometimes staff were the only contact when family/visitors weren’t allowed.  Patients were/are relying on caregivers for so much more than they used to.

Pastor Kevin is asking for prayers and reminds us to check in on family and friends.

Wayne asked about having a listening session, but Pastor Kevin said that can get difficult, and there’s a reason that counseling is one on one.  There are things that can’t be told to a group.

Apryl said that the cards Amy sent out to youth were well received.  Amy said youth is also sending out cards to others, so if there’s a need somewhere, she can have the youth help.

Treasurer’s Report: Apryl

The Operating Budget Total Net Deficit YTD as of March 2022       ($24,339)

The Operating Budget Total Net Deficit for Month of March 2022 ($15,064)

Total Cash in Operating Checking Account as of March 2022 is $61,502.67

Total Cash in Designated Fund Checking Account as of March 2022 is $78,382.26 (this includes the $29,500.00 in Holding)

Total in Fortifi Investment Account as of March 2022 is $37,493.07

Operating Budget Explanation:

Our YTD income for Church Operations is lower than budgeted by ($17,196).  Our Regular Envelope/Vanco/Credit Card giving is lower than budgeted by ($15,888) our Loose Offering is higher than budget by $74.

We received Scrip proceeds as of March 2022 $1,000 of our Fiscal Year.


We did budget for a ($7,965) Deficit YTD and our Actual Deficit YTD is ($24,339)

Deb addressed questions about details of the financial report.  Apryl sent out additional explanations (see treasurer’s report/financial notes on the April team reports document).

Apryl, noted that, as a council, we will need to watch as the year progresses to see if we need to change anything as the monthly deficit continues to be much greater than budgeted for.

Pastor Kevin said that in past years there used to be an update posted in the bulletin during lean times.  He may end up addressing this in his newsletter write-up.  Also, this time of year is always lean and then it usually starts building back.

Deb commented that times are different now.  Inflation is having an effect on people’s ability to give.

Jan said that the church she attends in Florida prints a financial update right in the bulletin.  Wayne thinks that people may not look at it if they see it every week.

Apryl added that the message should be kept simple.  Pastor Kevin said it should be/used to be a one sentence update.

Jan asked about the Fortifi Investment Account and wanted to know what is all in there.  Apryl confirmed that the account contains the seminary student money and a few donations/gifts to the church.

Apryl said that Gail has been getting a lot of financial questions.  It has been a little overwhelming with her other duties in office, so she asked if questions could go through the treasurer (Apryl).  This process needs to be streamlined.  Questions can go to Apryl, otherwise Gail would need more hours in order to complete everything.  Wayne said that the office staff becomes the point person for many things.  Pastor Kevin noted that it’s also been a very busy time in the church (specifically Lent, which just ended, is busier). 

Jan suggested that maybe Gail would be able to set aside some of her time to do finances/budget and we could get Becky in to help with the office portion of duties.

Pastor Kevin and Apryl agreed that all questions regarding finances, from council, should go to Apryl through email for now.

Jan proposed that, when the new council term starts, someone should give a tutorial on how to read the financial notes that come out each month in the financial report.  Apryl suggested that, additionally,  maybe Gail could come to a council meeting to answer questions.

Wayne confirmed that he will put something in the bulletin regarding the lower giving numbers, but if giving remains way down, we will have to assess “why” and may have to reach out to people who may have stopped/reduced their giving.

Kristen added, “speaking of giving,” the offering plate new pattern [for collection] was not working.  Deb said it works at 8:00 service, but it’s not working at 10:00.  This process will be evaluated.

John Macho motion to approve treasurer’s report.  Kristen Bjornstad seconded.  Approved

Buildings and Grounds: See April Team Reports Document.  Jan.  Jan just got a bid from a 3rd company for blinds yesterday.  Bids range from $4200 – $8100.  Jan does not think they’ll be looking at motorized blinds at this time (too many issues). Quality, usability, aesthetics and warranty are all factors in the decision for which to purchase.  Jan asked if B&G could just decide and make a purchase.  Wayne said the council still needs to give approval—even with gifted money.  Council approval can be done via email though.

Spring clean-up date is 5/15/2022.  B&G sold the portable sign for $100.  Jan had 28 responses on the first day posting on Facebook marketplace. 

Stewardship: See April Team Reports Document.  Wayne.  Sign installation date is approximately 5/12/2022.  Wayne would like to have a dedication for the sign.  He feels this could be done between services shortly after it goes in.  Pastor Kevin agreed that this would be OK.

Youth Report: Amy.  Everything is great!  The Easter egg hunt went well.  The mission trip is right around the corner.  The High School trip dates are June 11-17 and the Middle School trip dates are July 24-29.  HS is going to Ohio and the MS is going to Lake Traverse, SD.  Amy does not have all info yet on how they’re doing on funds.  Two payments are still coming in from kids.  She won’t have an update until the next council meeting. 

Deb asked about the youth money in the designated funds for youth ($4000).  Apryl said that’s for Amy to use as she needs.

Amy said that she would like to update playground equipment and will be looking to use gifted money to the youth for that.

Amy said that the youth are dealing with a lot of mental health issues now as well.  She continues trying to keep the kids engaged.

Communication: See April Team Reports Documentl.  Wayne will reach out to Sarah about the web page.  Kim [Radtke] took a lot of pictures at Easter.

Deb said she had someone fill out a time and talents sheet with WEB design/maintenance as a skill.  She will get the info to Wayne.

Volunteerism: See April Team Reports Document.  Debbie.  Volunteer schedules are set for the next 4 months.  Deb puts them into order/rotation and if someone is unavailable she tries to keep them off those dates. 

Life & Growth team had 8 or 9 names for those interested/volunteers.  Deb wanted to know if she should get them together.  Pastor Kevin asked who will head up the team?  Wayne suggested getting them together and seeing if someone steps up.  Jan will set up a meeting.

Deb asked if women’s ministries would fall under Life & Growth?  Council is unsure at this time.

Refugee resettlement: John.  The group of volunteers was assigned a family from the Congo.  This is a couple with 5 children.  Volunteers are getting the property ready.  World Relief pays rent for the first few months. The school is only ½ block away for school-age kids and has a summer meal program.

John doesn’t have too much background info.  He is trying to get food from the food pantry ahead of time, but will take the father shopping as well.

Worship Team: Pam.  May 24th is the next meeting.  There may be new members who volunteered.  Pam said that the kitchen could use a good functioning stove.  She thinks they could really use a commercial range.  Jan has some info because it’s been looked into before. She thought there may have been extra cost/requirements if we get a commercial stove.  The current stove takes a long time.  This can be looked into again.  Wayne said that Heidi [Ludkey] could help in this research too.

New Business

Lent/Holy Week/Easter services recap:  Wayne commented that all were fantastic and well attended.  Jan wrote a thank-you for the newsletter to thank volunteers/people who donated food etc.

Offering.  See above.

– “How are we doing?” task force.  Wayne wants to gauge the congregation for what they like/don’t like/suggestions for things they’d like to see/do differently.

Jan had a handout from an interest survey that was done in 2007/2008.  Council members should read this survey before the next meeting. Wayne suggested doing a council retreat.  Pastor Kevin said that retreats are usually best planned for Fall as there are too many activities and vacations to plan around in Spring/Summer.

Office space.  Keep thinking about solutions/ideas.  Amy is working around it in the meantime. 

Business Management Team.  Jan said that the BMT needs to be reestablished.  There was always trouble because nobody wanted to head it up.  Gail is interested in heading it up now, and there were a good number of people who volunteered through time and talents.  BMT meets once a quarter.  Gail, Andy, and Apryl have been the only ones so far, but now there are more people interested in joining.  Jan said the original intention was to have 5 members with the treasurer just sitting in.  Jan wanted to make sure that if Gail does lead, is it appropriate because she is a member AND an employee.  Wayne reminded council that the purpose of the team is to have other eyes (who are not involved with the money) to look at things.  Gail may just have to abstain from voting on certain issues. Jan will get the names to Apryl and she will meet with Gail.


Closing Prayer…Pastor Kevin

Next Meeting:  May 17, 2022 at 6:30 p.m.