Strategy Team Minutes

February 18, 2019

Members Present:  Pastor Sue, Bryan Rickman (chair), Judy Strate, Larry Holman, Betty Small, Diana Schuman, Jim Avrett, Deanna Gallant, Jay Whitehouse (Scribe).

The Opening Prayer was led by Deanna.

Spiritual Development – Betty

          We are Gospel hardened.  We hear the same stories over and over again but they don’t mean anything.  To give more meaning we should put ourselves in the place of the characters in the scripture to make it real and make the people real to us.  A reading list of Biblical Historical Novels was given to help with our identification with the characters.

Leadership Development – Jim

          A handout was given which outlined the topics that Jim presented.  He gave guidelines for how the Strategy Team process should work.

Vital Signs           

          Review of People

          This months Vital Signs handout was reviewed.

          Pastor Sue told three stories of how St. John’s affected the lives of our new members when they were guests.

          Discussion of the CCIS software led to the realization that it may not be utilized properly.  It was suggested that we should get help from CCIS.  Pastor Sue will follow up on this.

          Review of Goals

          A handout entitled “A Vision for St. John’s 2019” was given to the team. It suggested a new goal to address the shortage of financial contributions and the withdrawal of funds from the Permanent Endowment funds to make up the difference.

Pressing Issues

           Safe Sanctuary Policy and Process – It was noted that sometimes at Youth Group meetings, two related adults are the only ones there if Jim can’t be there.  A blanket permission slip for Youth Group is needed.  The Pastor will contact Bill S to get his thoughts about this and bring her findings back in March.

          Welcoming Guests during Lent – Pastor Sue is looking for ideas.  Current practice is to send a note if the guests address is on the attendance form.

          Trustee’s List-  Several items were listed to address at the parsonage.

  1. Mice infestation.  Betty moved to authorize the Pastor to make a determination about mouse control using the handymen group and/or Colonial Pest Control and expend up to $1250.00 to be taken from the Parsonage Maintenance account.  Jim seconded and the motion was approved.
    1. Water Hammer – Sue will ask Guy E to look at/fix it. A plumber would be the next call.
      1. Exhaust fans – Deanna will ask Kenny to replace them.
      1. Downstairs bathroom floor – It was decided to research pricing.
      1. Worn carpeting in 2 downstairs bedrooms – Betty may have some laminate flooring and thresholds that she will donate.  She will check how much she has.  Mission trip attendees could install it.
      1. Attic floor ?
      1. Exterior faucets –  Sue  will ask Guy to look at them.
      1. Exterior sump pump drain pvc pipe needs glue – address in warmer weather. Bryan or Jim or Jay will do the work.

          AV project contract signed and work is scheduled to start April 29.

          Strategy Team Retreat is confirmed for June 1 at the Eliot UMC.                 

Packet Review

          Minutes- Cheri moved to accept the minutes as printed, second by Betty. The minutes were accepted.

          Financial Report –  The table of outstanding bills should be dated 2/01/19, not 12/01/18.

          The Balance Sheet dated January 31, 2019 does not include the 2018 4th Quarter amounts that we received from our investments; Judy C will update


          The April Bellwether deadline is March 11.

          Pastor Sue will share information regarding the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference.

Next Meeting – March 18

          Spiritual Development – Dr. David Abbott

          Leadership Development – Dr. David Abbott

          Prayers – Cheri Nixon

Speak to the pastor if you need help or resources.

Deanna closed our meeting with a prayer.

Respectfully submitted,

Jay Whitehouse

Jan. 21, 2019

Members Present:  Pastor Sue, Bryan Rickman (chair), Judy Strate, Larry Holman, Betty Small, Diana Schuman, Jim Avrett, Deanna Gallant, Jay Whitehouse (Scribe).

Guests: Wanda and Joe

The Opening Prayer was read by Bryan.  The prayer was written by Martin Luther King, appropriate as today is Civil Rights Day in honor of his birth.

Leadership Development

          Pastor Sue reminded us that serving on this committee is a high honor.  We are to look at the whole picture, not the nitty gritty.

          We reviewed the Team Covenant (expectations & code of conduct).  Consensus was to adopt it as written with a change to:  10. We are role models for the congregation.  Therefore, each of us will model mature discipleship (change by to such as) followed by items a. thru g. as written.

          Expectations of leadership and practices of the Strategy Team – Members will take turns leading Leadership Development or Spiritual Development each month.

Spiritual Development

          Larry led with the topic “Where did I see God today?”

                    -flock of birds

                    -Individual called to start a needle exchange program

                    -Sunlight reflecting in the morning off of a clock face

                    -The smile of a baby when in a foreign country

                    -A GM plant in the news dealing with racial harassment

Do we see God in everything during the day?

          Thoughts on a team retreat: 

                    It would be good to get out of our familiar setting.

                    Suggestions: all day, cook together or brown bag it

Saturday, June 1 was agreed upon from 9:00am to 4:00pm at the Eliot UMC.

The meeting schedule was reviewed and meetings on July 22,  August 19 and December 9 will be held if needed.

Review of People

          Vital Signs handout was reviewed noting that the numbers are not perfect.

          Guests handout led to stories of people touched by us

                    Last weekend snow, good job by Cheri Nixon and others getting the word out regarding the cancellation of services.

                    Joe housing – several people stepped up to help and Joe now has a place to live that is within his budget.

Review of Goals

          A handout in our book summarizes the 6 goals that have been established and where we stand at the end of 2018.  We will monitor the progress in meeting these goals.

Pressing Issues

          God in Yoga – Wanda gave us copies of the “I’ve Got a Great Idea for Our Church” sheet that she completed. There is no charge for the sessions but a “free will” donation will be taken to benefit Lydia’s House of Hope.  The yoga will be combined with meditation, Holistic health and healing in the future.

          Election of  Trustee chairperson – It is suggested that the chair of trustees should be the same as the Stategy Team chair.  It was moved by Judy that Bryan Rickman be nominated for chairperson of the trustees, seconded by Diana Schuman.  The motion carried.

          2018 Audit Plans – St. John’s conducts a full audit every 3 years and a review in other years.  This is the year for a review. The audit should be done by someone outside of the church, the review is ok to be done in house.

Motion by Betty Small: To create a policy for review of finances every third year in the form of a formal audit conducted by someone outside of St. John’s UMC beginning in 2020, other years to be an internal review.

The motion was seconded by Diana Schuman.  After discussion, the motion carried.

Judy Strate, Jim Miller, George Regan, and Bruce McAdam will be asked by Betty about their willingness to do the review.

Packet Review

Minutes- Pastor Sue moved to accept the minutes as printed, second by Diana.

The minutes were accepted with Betty and Bryan abstaining from the vote.

Financial Report – Balance Sheet – Page 2 Line 203 should be crossed out

          Page 1 Lines 121 &122 the 4th quarter has not been entered

Endowment Fund Activity Sheet – Pastor Sue will ask Guy Eaton for clarification.

          In the future discussion needs to occur to make better financial information happen.


          The Bellwether has a 1 ½ month lead time

          Town Hall meetings could be used for better communication with the congregation.

          Social Media has a better lead time but has a different audience.

          March Bellwether deadline is February 11.  The Team has established policy for financial review.  Jay (and Pastor Sue) will write an article for the March Bellwether.

Next Meeting – February 18

          Spiritual Development will be led by Betty

          Leadership Development will be led by Jim

          Prayer will be led by Deanna

Speak to the pastor if you need help or resources.

Bryan closed our meeting with a prayer.

Respectfully submitted,

Jay Whitehouse