2019 Strategy Team Minutes

April 13, 2020

Members Present: Jay Whitehouse (recorder), Cheri Nixon (chairperson), Mary Avrett, Diana Schuman, Pastor Sue, Deanna Gallant, Larry Holman, Lora Moore, Jana Marie Whitten, Gail Korth

Guests: Steve Mackenzie, Bob Johnson

The meeting opened with a prayer.

Cheri framed the discussion: A restriction is in place. We are trying to have meaningful worship services. Other churches are doing things similar to ours

Discussion continued about how recordings have been made and ideas of what could be done to put together worship services while staying within guidelines.

Mary said that her daughter, Taylor, puts together recordings and videos in her job and has offered to put the worship together if the pieces are submitted to her.

A Capella and Audacity were cited as software that would do this and there are others.

Pastor Sue prefers to record from her office.  Steve used his cell phone to record the pieces included in the Easter worship service. The quality of these recordings was good and it was decided to use the call to prayer in future services.    

Pastor Sue, Steve, and Bob will work on possible scenarios for production consulting with Taylor Avrett.

Our CCLI annual streaming license needs to be renewed at a cost of $65.00 and Pastor Sue will take care of that.

Our monthly Strategy Team meeting will be on Monday, April 20 using Zoom.

The meeting was closed with a prayer.

Respectfully Submitted, Jay Whitehouse

April 8, 2020


Members Present: Pastor Sue Frost, Jay Whitehouse, Cheri Nixon (Chairperson), Diana Schuman, Deanna Gallant, Larry Holman, Lora Moore, Gail Korth.

Chairperson Cheri Nixon sent an e-mail on April 7 saying the CARES team had been formed based on a Zoom meeting held on April 4.  She asked for someone to make a motion in order to discuss, vote and proceed to apply for the loan offered under the CARES act.

Mary Avrett had made a motion by e-mail on April 7 as follows:

I make a motion to proceed with the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act application and authorize Cheri Nixon and/or Larry Holman to commit St. John’s UMC to the Payroll Protection Program loan.

The motion was seconded by Diana Schuman.

Today’s meeting was held so that everyone could participate in the discussion of the motion in a live format.  Members of the CARES team shared where we are in the process and the Strategy Team members asked questions that they had about the process.  Following the discussion, the chairperson called for a vote.  There were 6 yes votes and 1 no vote and the motion was approved. Cheri Nixon will be the signatory on the application on behalf of St. John’s UMC.  Gail Korth will be the representative from the Strategy Team on the CARES team as they proceed with the application process.  They will gather information from the Pastor, church secretary, and treasurer that is needed.

Respectfully submitted, Jay Whitehouse, Recorder

April 4, 2020

Members Present:  Mary Avrett, Diana Schuman, Cheri Nixon, Pastor Sue Frost, Jay Whitehouse, Jana Marie Whitten, Larry Holman

Gail Korth, Lora Moore, and Deanna Gallant were unable to attend.

The meeting started at 7pm. 

Larry Holman submitted a motion by e-mail:

Whereas: the number of cases of COVID-19 is increasing and we have not yet reached a peak, and, the State has issued a stay at home order to help reduce new infection rates and new greater concerns are being raised regarding gatherings – I motion that we immediately stop having the music team, audio team and Pastor gather to record a weekly worship service until such time that the State and CDC begin to lift restrictions on the gathering of groups.

The motion was seconded by Diana by e-mail. There was a call for a vote and the motion carried.

Cheri asked for discussion and action regarding an e-mail from Pastor Sue asking who should make application for funds available under the CARES Act and the PPP (Payroll Protection Program).  It is a forgivable loan if we follow documentation and use the funds for specified expenses.  A team was suggested to be made up of Jim Avrett, Guy Eaton, Mary Tremblay, and Mike Willet.  Cheri will e-mail them to ask if they will agree to be on the team. She will let us know what the outcome of the e-mails is.

The meeting was closed in prayer.

Respectfully submitted, Jay Whitehouse, recorder

March 16, 2020

Present: Rev. Sue Frost, Cheri Nixon, Deanna Gallant, Gail Korth, Larry Holman, Mary Avrett, Jay Whitehouse, Jana Marie Whitten, Diana Schuman (substitute scribe), Guy Eaton (guest)

7:00 Opening prayer – Pastor Sue

7:05 Pressing Issues:

A.              Voting location at St. John’s

Discussion about our rescinding our being a polls for Ward 5. Motion to reconsider the vote regarding the use passed 6 with one abstaining.

Motion made by Gail Korth: “That St. John’s remain a polling place for Ward 5, City of Dover.” Seconded by Jay Whitehouse

Discussion concerned open carry. Suggestion if staff were uncomfortable that they can work off site.

4 in favor, 3 abstaining, Motion carries.

As an aside it was suggested that agenda be published ahead of time. Sue will add to News n Notes.

B.              COVID – 19

  • Worship – We will cancel for the next two weeks following the two-week request of the Feds.
    • Public Supper – Canceled for March
    • Other gatherings (groups)
      • Boy Scouts – Will not be using facilities
      • Girl Scouts – Need to be contacted
      • Meditation – small #
      • Yoga – small #
      • Sisters
      • Men’s Group
      • Al-Anon – contact about following guidelines from CDC
      • Choir – Brie putting together digital downloads of each part.

Motion by Diana Schuman that “Until March 31, no groups can meet at STJ. Email vote to be taken on March 30 about continuing status.” Seconded by Deanna Gallant. Vote: 7 affirmed

  • Building – Where there is no reason for anyone to be in church building, the tunnel door will be locked.
    • cleaning and signage – We can put sign on door that we are closed to groups.
  • Financial – We need to encourage folks to try to get their donations in and to let us know about needs.

Sue shared about change in finances. We anticipated deficit $17,000 rather than $60.000. We have used some of that in February but we have $8000 in our bank account. Eileen sent out collapsed versions of P&L and Balance Sheet. Sue will have access to full view, if anyone is interested. Conference sent check for $746 because insurance and workers’ comp. was not as expensive as they thought.

  • Social Responsibility for
    • Those infirmed
    • Living alone
    • Families (Families and students displaced from school programs)

Wanda Winnicki and Sally Hartman Fronterhouse have stepped up to try and address these issues and has compiled a list of names. Mike Willett is willing to work on courier service to help people. Plan is to send names to Wanda. Mike to collect names of folks who would be willing to do deliveries.

Update on people who are vulnerable. Soup Kitchen will do take outs. Food Pantry will hand out bags at the door. Community Action Program will use grant for food delivery for families in need. Dover schools looking at reverse breakfast and lunch. E68 is stepping up.

  • Workers (loss of jobs/reduced hours/displaced from workplaces)
    • Healthcare workers (stress)

We need to encourage people to reach out whether church people or community people. Deanna suggested that people can donate to Pastor’s Discretionary Fund to aid folks in need during this time.

We will continue to keep workers and health-care workers on our hearts and minds.

 C.       Vote needed: Motion for Mary Tremblay (Permanent Endowment Chair) and Janet Warfield (incoming treasurer) to be authorized to conduct ordinary business for the church on all accounts with the UMC Foundation. Moved by Jay Whitehouse, seconded by Deanna Gallant.  Motion carried unanimously.

Motion for Judy Crouse (treasurer), Mary Tremblay (Permanent Endowment Chai), Cheri Nixon (Strategy Team Chair), and Janet Warfield (Assistant Treasurer) to conduct business with Waddell and Reed. Motion by Deanna Gallant, Seconded by Gail Korth. Motion carried unanimously.

Motion to add Janet Warfield as signatory at TD Bank. Made by
Diana Schuman, seconded by Jay Whitehouse. Motion carried unanimously.

D.        Minutes from February – correction that it says Agenda not Minutes. Motion Deanna Gallant, tie for seconding between Larry Holman and Jay Whitehouse. Unanimously passed.

E.         Greeter Coordinator – Who can we ask? Pastor Sue suggested Skip Marquette. We will ask Brenda if she can continue for Easter.

 F.        Active Shooter Training – Larry will see about setting a tentative date.

G.        Neil Sewall – fill in preacher for July 26

H.        Form for flowers and alternative contributions for Easter – donations to Hope on Haven Hill. Form hopefully out in News n Notes.

We will meet on April 20. Larry will do opening and closing prayer.

Meeting adjourned with prayer at 9:15.

Respectfully submitted

Diana Schuman

February 17, 2020

In attendance: Rev. Sue Frost, Cheri Nixon (chair), Deanna Gallant, Gail Korth, Larry Holman, Mary Avrett, Lora Moore (acting scribe for Jay).

7:00 Opening prayer — Deanna Gallant read a message about not letting details and daily events distract us from aware of God’s presence.

7:05     Vital Signs – Guests and returning people

-Some guests are returning and have become active. Overall church attendance is up according to conference statistics.

-Scout attendance at Feb. 16 services was high. We welcome the Scouts and encourage them to use our church as “home”. We also plan to write about this on our website.

7:15 Pressing Issues:

  1. Revisit St. John’s no longer being a voting location

-Church hall was used for February voting.

-Four specific issues about using the church as a polling place were discussed:

a. very noisy and disrupting to church employees who are trying to work,

b. the state overrules the church’s policy in all cases, particularly of issue was “open carry” and facility set-up,

c. the church facilities do not work well for handicapped access. The hall doesn’t have two accessible entries/exits for wheelchairs, etc. A temporary ramp was placed to enable handicapped access and exiting.

d. the church is not reimbursed in any way for the use of its facilities.

-Deanna put forth the motion to discontinue voting in the church. Lora seconded the motion. Motion was unanimously passed. Pastor Sue will notify the city.

  1. List of liaisons for Ministry Teams

-The list of liaison connections was clarified, consolidated and edited as follows:

            Deanna will replace liaison for Larry (Combatting Addiction, Warming Shelter);

Mary will replace liaison for Jay (Liturgists) and Cheri (Flower Deliveries, Goal #2);

Gail will replace liaison for Jana Marie (Healing Ministries, Meditation), and Wanda (Sisters, Holistic Health, Prayer Chain), (prayer shawl ministries);

            Lora will replace liaison for Diana (Women’s book group).

-Also discussed was the role of “problem solving” as a Strategy Team, especially in light of Brenda’s stated need for a co-chair for the Harvest Fair. It is not appropriate for the Strategy Team to “fix” any problems that Leaders of the Ministry Teams might have. Instead we will empower, encourage and support leaders and teams as they work through their challenges.  The fair committee will be having a planning meeting in March which will also be attended by Pastor Sue. We will encourage Brenda to address the co-chair problem with her committee then. We also will encourage Brenda to put a request in the Bellwether.

  1. Financials – Review of how to read them & how to celebrate with the congregation

We reviewed the Profit and Loss data. Our financial situation is improving, and we want to celebrate that. At our next meeting we will connect with Diana who has some ideas about how to proceed.

-January statistics: $17,755.77 was the income, $16,310.00 was spent, leaving a profit of $1,445.71.

-Specific budget items:

-(Balance Sheet as of January 31, 2020) remove line item 209 baseball = $7.00 and add amount to youth group line item 222. Moved by Gail, seconded by Deanna, motion passed;

-222 remove “Katrina”, keep budgeted amount for Youth Missions. Moved by Lora, seconded by Gail, motion passed.

-Correction to “Fundraiser Income” data sheet: February income expense of $229 should be moved into Feb. 2019 column.

  1. Update on data from Breeze

-Breeze is the new software program that the church office is using. Eileen is doing great on converting the necessary data. It is nearly completed.

  • Upcoming Fundraisers
  • Clothing and linen sale will be held on May 1-2 and chaired by Carolyn B;
  • Lawn signs – no information yet;
  • Review of policy us use of church for personal gain – Diana – move to next meeting;
  • Greeters – Do our ushers serve as greeters?

-We need greeters and ushers for the second service. Encourage the greeters to stand out doors if possible, in order to relieve some of the congestion in the narthex.

 -It is difficult to recruit new ushers and greeters because of the added responsibility of keeping behavior boundaries for those who like to walk around in the sanctuary during worship, and help themselves to coffee hour refreshments at inappropriate times.

  1. Active Shooter Response Training – Larry Holman

-Larry has a connection to an experienced officer who can do this training and will arrange for it. We will offer such training to other churches in the area.

8:35  Packet Review

  • January Minutes – Gail motioned to accept Jan. minutes. Mary seconded. Motion passed.
  • List of prayer leaders for upcoming meetings –

Cheri will put together a list for 2020 meetings. Sue volunteered for Feb.

8:40  Communications

  • April Bellwether Deadline – March 9, 2020 for April. Include requests for a holiday fair silent auction coordinator, and a Prayer shawl coordinator who will communicate with Pastor Sue (doesn’t have to knit, crochet, etc.)


  • Brief discussion about whether to continue including the weekly attendance and financial information in the Sunday bulletin. The answer was YES!
  • The 3rd year audit will be conducted by Marian G, July 6th through 10th.

8:55 Next Meeting

  • March 16 at 7:00. Note: April’s meeting has been moved to April 20 at 7:00.
  • Prayer

8:58 Closing – Prayer Deanna

January 20, 2020

Mission:  To make new Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the world

Core Values: Loving, Serving, Faithful, Authentic, Mindful, Inclusive

Members Present: Cheri Nixon, Diana Schuman, Lora Moore, Jay Whitehouse (scribe), Pastor Sue, Mary Avrett, Deanna Gallant, Gail Korth, Jana Marie Whitten, Larry Holman

Opening Prayer – Pastor Sue

Pressing Issues

A.Welcome to our New Strategy Team members: Mary Avrett, Gail Korth, Lora Moore, Jana Marie Whitten

Pastor Sue explained that we are looking from the balcony at the big picture.  She explained the binder and we looked at the triangle that Jim Avrett made showing that we are supporting the congregation. We also looked at the covenant of our group.

B.2020 Goals for our Strategy Team  (Explanation/Discussion)

  1. Follow our plan to balance our church budget by 2023
    1. Follow our plan to be prepared for upcoming building improvements.  Big Projects Document was in our packet
    1. Reach new people—especially families with young children

Reaching out to Growing with Hope group. Cub Scouts meet here and may be able to draw them to church and Sunday School.

C.Elect our chair & Lay Member to Annual Conference – Bryan prepared a job description of the Chairperson and it was reviewed. Deanna nominated Cheri as chair, seconded by Lora.  The motion carried. Cheri nominated Deanna as Lay Member to Annual Conference, seconded by Diana.  The motion carried.

Pastor Sue said that now that Sandy is no longer our Office Manager, we need a second signature on our checks.  Janet Warfield was suggested with her accounting background.  Deanna moved that Janet Warfield be the assistant treasurer, seconded by Gail. 

D.Re-elect Jay as our 2020 scribe (substitute scribe needed for February & March) – Gail moved to re-elect Jay, second by Deanna. The motion carried. Diana will be filling in for March and Lora for February.

E.Select liaisons to support our ministry teams

We reviewed the 2020 Leaders of Ministry Teams document.  Liasons would check with leaders at least once a year but be available at any time.  We went through the list and assigned members to selected groups. Sue will republish the list with name assignments. 

F.Find guest preachers for February 9th & March 8th & April 26th

Carroll Moore (Apr 26th), John Blackadar (March 8 or Feb 9) and Tom Leach (Feb 9 or Mar 8) Suellen Leugers if needed.  Deanna will contact them.

G.New people at worship—Pastor Sue. Reviewed “Guests” document.

H.Vote on electricity contract—Cheri. No Report, still reviewing.  It is difficult to evaluate so it was decided that we will leave it as is.

I.Vote on Wentworth Home Temporary Evacuation Location request—Pastor Sue. Deanna moved to approve with an additional clause holding us harmless.  Mary will rewrite with correct legal wording. Second by Diana.  Motion carried.

J.Warming Shelter—We voted in December; January 5th went well. We moved to investigate what is needed to open a warming center but not to actually open it.  A motion was made to open the center effective January 5th, 2020 and on dates to follow in the cold months. Gail moved, Mary seconded.  Approved

K.Decide on topic for our Town Hall gathering on Monday, January 27th at 6:00-7:00pm. We will talk about the warming center (Larry) and the UMC live stream (Pastor Sue)

L.Upcoming Fundraisers

1.Update on Jeff Mitchell Sing Along on February 8th (we need to renew license before it)—Cheri   Bryan Rickman will make the application allowing us to display the words to secular songs.  Gail and Cheri will coordinate food for the event.  Cheri has developed a sign up for rides to the event organized by area.

2.Lawn signs for our public suppers—Cheri. Signs would cost $20 per sign.  It was proposed that they would be paid for by the person putting it on their property.

3.Review policy regarding personal gain at our fundraisers—Diana (doc). Future agenda item

          M. Other Business

          Deanna expressed a concern that we give money to Abbi’s Place but not to Hope on Haven Hill.  She will ask Patrick if the funds are for both places.

(8:35pm) Packet Review

  • December Minutes. Diana moved to accept, second Mary.  The motion carried.
  • December Financial Reports (P&L, Balance Sheet)
  • . It appears that the deficit at the end of 2019 was less than expected.  The numbers will be available for discussion at the next meeting.
  • 2020 Budget correction: Total Operating Expense adds up to $289,001, so a deficit of $32,960 which is a smaller number than expected.
  • Letter to paid staff about 27 payroll periods in 2019
  • 2020 Christmas Eve offering recipients:  Bev Haas suggests Leddy’s Place, Sober Sisters or Strafford County Homeless Shelter (Get other suggestions at a Town Hall?)  This can be addressed further at a future meeting.

(8:45pm) Communications

  • March Bell-Wether deadline is February 10. Jay will write a summary of the Town Hall Meeting for Bellwether publication. 

(8:50pm) Next Meeting:  February 17th at 7:00pm

 (8:55pm) Closing Prayer – Pastor Sue

Respectfully submitted,

Jay Whitehouse

Dec. 9, 2019

Mission: To make new Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the world. Core Values: Loving, Serving, Faithful, Authentic, Mindful, Inclusive

Members Present: Bryan Rickman (Chair), Pastor Sue, Deanna Gallant, Betty Small, Judy Strate, Larry Holman, Jay Whitehouse (recorder), Cheri Nixon, Diana Schuman

(6:30pm) Opening Prayer – Pastor Sue

(6:35pm) Pressing Issues

  • Strategy Team challenges & possible solutions
  • Group could be expanded to 11 or 13 to deal with the tasks to be done.
  • Time devoted to leadership development could be reduced to fewer times per year. Cohesiveness and respect have been impressive, skills complimentary.
  • Maybe the Lay Leadership committee could do leadership training to prepare people for membership on this team.
  • Ask for help from congregation to address specific tasks using their specific expertise. Maybe should have a point person as a contact to the people that work in certain areas. Should try harder to have more Town Hall Meetings to improve communications.
  • Tabs in notebook need to be reorganized to be more simplified. Has been confusing.
  • Strategy Team celebrations
  • Meeting time usually on track.
  • Group has worked well together.
  • Discuss & vote on 2020 Budget—Sue provided paper document
  • Line 12 Total 401 General Income $222,041 is an accurate number

602 Pastor Salary & Benefits – add a line Pastor Housing Exclusion $1000

603 Parsonage Expense – reduce Fuel (oil) to $2500

605 Office Expense – Software support $1300; Other/computer $1500

611 Strategy Team Expense other increase to $100

612 Comm/Media Expense increase to $400

621 Nursery Supplies increase to $50

623 Healing Ministries increase to $100

625 Witness/cards/notes increase to $100

  • Total Operating Expense $289,001
  • Net Income (Loss) $32,960

Betty moved to accept the budget as amended and completed, second by Deanna

The motion carried

  • Documents due to District Superintendent by December 1st
  • Updated Church Profile (doc)

These are the top eight vote getters: Spiritual Growth Vision- Leading Congregation Equipping Laity for Ministry Preaching Leading & designing worship Hospital/emergency visitation Mission in Community Youth Ministry

  • Church Appointment Update (doc)
  • Vote on electricity contract—Cheri Tabled to next meeting
  • Vote on Wentworth Home Temporary Evacuation Location request—Sue (doc) Tabled to next meeting
  • Upcoming Fundraisers
  • Lawn signs for suppers (& fair?)—Cheri- would cost $15 to $25 Tabled to next meeting
  • Review policy regarding personal gain at our fundraisers—Diana (doc) Tabled to next meeting

(7:05pm) Packet Review

  • November Minutes – Moved Betty, Judy seconded, motion carried
  • November Financial Reports (P&L, Balance Sheet)

Mission Shares are paid through November. We have $21,000 in the bank

(7:15pm) Communications

  • February Bell-Wether deadline is January 13th
  • Anything from recent meetings/events we need to communicate/request help?

Next Meeting: January 20th

  • Agenda: Create 2020 budget; acclimating new members in January
  • Prayers: Deanna
  • Church Suppers and Senior Luncheon
  • Pastor Sue and Cheri will meet to discuss reorganizing the binder tabs

(8:25pm) Closing Prayer – Pastor Sue

Addendum added January 3, 2020

A motion made by Larry Holman, Associate Lay Leader, was forwarded to the Strategy Team by Bryan Rickman on December 29, 2019 regarding the use of St. John’s as a temporary warming shelter.

The motion is as follows:

I motion that St. John’s proceed with the process to review the requirements with the Dover Fire Department Chief and to apply to operate Hartford Hall as a temporary warming shelter during periods of intense cold / inclement weather. Temps to be determined but one gauge could be when nighttime temps are expected to be below 25 degrees. It is expected that St. John’s will operate on a rotating basis with other local organizations rather than trying to operate independently so that resources can be shared and better utilized. Only the upstairs portion of Hartford Hall: the main hall, kitchen and bathrooms would be used. The kitchen would be used by volunteers only in order to prepare snacks or perhaps a small dinner or breakfast for those in the shelter. In the event we do get engaged to be open (i.e., it is our turn in a rotation), groups that were scheduled to use Hartford Hall would need to relocate to another section of the building or may need to cancel.

Judy Strate seconded the motion.

Bryan said there was some discussion after church today and encouraged the Strategy Team members to reply all with questions or further discussion.

  • Yes votes were sent by Judy Strate, Larry Holman, Deanna Gallant, Diana Schuman, Cheri Nixon, Jay Whitehouse, Betty Small (to pursue information with final approval by the Strategy Team), and Jim Avrett.
  • Gail Korth said she was in favor understanding that she could not vote yet, and Lora Moore expressed her approval.

Bryan declared that the motion was carried.

Further discussion will occur at the Strategy Team meeting in January.

Present : Larry Holman, Bryan Rickman, Judy Strate, Pastor Sue Frost, Betty Small, Diana
Schuman, Cheri Nixon
Opening Prayer : Larry Holman
Guest Presenters : Donna Berube, Michelle Strate – How to Reach New People
● In 1955, the church and the culture matched. Many of our active church members today came out of this 1955 culture. But today, we have 2 generations of people in our community whose parents and grandparents didn’t go to church and therefore don’t have any church experience. According to the 2010 census, 90% of New Hampshire residents don’t attend church. However, 15%-20% of American churches, of all sizes and types, are growing.
● Growing churches seek help from specialists or coaches. We have been invited to join a cluster of churches, facilitated by Paul Nickerson, for one year. The cost for St. John’s would be $1,500.
● Growing churches re-introduce themselves to their community, by holding most church meetings off-site, conducting prayer walks & drives, connecting the church with community events, relocating church events into the community at a public place, begin to relate to groups that serve in the community. They expect their pastor to be out of the office and in the community 8 hours/week, building relationships and gathering new people into the church. And members of growing churches overcome their fears and also go out into the community to build relationships. Out of relationships will come invitations, and inviting becomes contagious. Cigna did a study that showed that 50% of people feel lonely, 40% have no one to talk to, and Generation Z is the loneliest of all the generations. The Church offers community!
Following the conference, they had a phone call with Rev. Nickerson.
Michelle talked about changes and thinking outside the box. Many are not comfortable walking into a church. She presented a chart about different places we can be in the community either doing meetings or serving. Some of it is rethinking things we have done and what might not have worked or what might be changed. Donna mentioned all the things churches do that don’t “help.” We do many of them. We need to rethink building community. For example, we passed out tickets for the Cantata during church. Those coming will receive actual invite to come Sunday morning.

Sue would like us to work with the cluster and Nickerson. Larry pointed out that this is very similar to the work we did with Hope Gateway (Growing with Hope) where we tried to get other people involved. It didn’t take off. But perhaps now with more people having information, the time may be right. DARLA can also use more involvement. More discussion is needed.
Spiritual Development – Bryan Rickman
Bryan spoke about his sister who goes to a large church in Las Vegas. Current church spectrum goes from not sure if church is relevant to grew up in church and it is critical for Christianity . Her church caters to the ones who are not currently in church. Their approach involves engaging those who go to church because it is the right thing to do to those who come because they want to be there. “If your church doesn’t fill itself with broken people, the church is broken.”
Leadership Development – Bryan Rickman
● Turn the Ship Around , a true story of turning followers into leaders – L. David Marquet
○ Traditional leadership – having people to do your will
○ Leader-leader solution – All people can be leaders, but we are trained to ask for permission. It is our job as leaders to facilitate.
○ Legacy of a good leader is how well the organization performs after you are gone.
Vital Signs – Sue reported we had 16 new people in October; Cheri had no new info on goals.
Pressing Issues :
● Motion to put Wendy Coutier on Permanent Endowment (2022) by Judy Strate, Betty Small second. Passed.
● Wentworth Home has requested to use our facility as a short-term off-site temporary shelter. Tabled pending insurance questions.

● We are the Ward 5 polls and have been for many years. The current traffic pattern does not facilitate exits of people in wheelchairs, etc. Sue had made arrangements for a change in the process after speaking with City Hall. She got major resistance from person in charge of the polls, and the process was not followed. If this simple accommodation is not possible, we suggested she contact City Hall and ask them to find another place for voting.
● Office Manager party – We will ask members of current and in-coming committees to contribute to food, etc. Judy Strate and Diana Schuman will coordinate food and decorations. Former pastors Mark and Wendy Alley, Earle and Judith Custer, John and Rita Blackadar are planning to attend. Anne Robertson will write something. Sue will be in charge of program.
● Interviews – Five interviews set up for December 2 and 3. Email vote once
interviews are done.
● Christmas Eve –
○ Motion by Betty Small that Christmas Eve offering: 50/50 to Community Food Pantry (Somersworth, Rollinsford, Berwick), Dover Cooperative Ministries (Dover shower program, Dover Friendly Kitchen); that $ in lieu for poinsettias & lilies goes to Dover Share. Seconded by Judy Strate.
○ Strategy Team defers to Worship Design Team for times of services.
● Documents due to District Superintendent by December 1 st
○ Updated Church Profile Team members need to fill out the ranking of
Pastoral Needs on page 7.
○ Church Appointment Update – We need to fill out and sign. Bryan will check if this was already done.
● Electricity Contract – Cheri will review electricity contract and bring info for next meeting.
● Flooding of boiler room – Church/HH drainage clogged with roots causing flooding of boiler room —Guy Eaton & Andy Galt will hire excavator. We need to find out how much of the drains are affected.
● Stewardship Campaign results. We will have about $7500 more available than last year.
● Cheri will write thank you notes to members leaving Strategy Team.

● Sue reported that we have $18,000 available to pay bills.
● Upcoming Fundraisers
○ Clothing Sale in May – Carolyn Billington will lead.
○ Lawn signs for suppers (& fair?) – Cheri to obtain pricing
○ Jeff Mitchell willing to do a sing a long. Cheri to check dates – 2/8, 2/15, 3/7,
3/14, 3/21. License needs to be renewed.
● Building Use: We need to review policy regarding building use. This will be discussed next year.
● End-of-Year Debrief – Betty suggested we meet to discuss how the year has gone. There was much affirmation around the table. We will plan to meet at 6:30 on December 9 and devote an hour maximum to the debriefing.
Packet Review
● October Minutes
Corrections: Under fundraisers – Team said no to TD Bank’s Affinity Membership Program and use of HH. Where it says “someone,” it is Cheri Nixon. Cheri moved to accept minutes; Betty seconded. Passed as amended.
● October Financial Reports (P&L, Balance Sheet) – Already covered.
● Permanent Endowment Committee’s report on the amounts that are
available for capital improvements is shown on separate document. Korn
money available for scholarships is $24,643.
● January Bell-Wether deadline is December 9 th
● Sandy’s party is January 5, Town Hall set for January 27
Next Meeting : December 9 th – 6:30
(Agenda: Debriefing. create 2020 budget; acclimating new members in January)
o Prayers: Pastor Sue
Closing Prayer – Larry Holman
Meeting adjourned at 9:27.

October 21, 2019

Members Present:  Bryan Rickman (Chair), Pastor Sue, Judy Strate, Diana Schuman, Cheri Nixon, Deanna Gallant, Larry Holman, Jay Whitehouse (Recorder).

The Opening Prayer was offered by Pastor Sue.

Donna McAdam reported on a workshop that she attended about “Children in Crisis”.

There was a digital slideshow about 75 kids waiting for adoption.  15 churches were represented.  There are only 4 Foster Homes in Strafford County that are available at this time. There is a large need because of the opioid crisis.  There are 4 types of homes: emergency, respite, special needs, and adoptive.  Donna gave a list of things that St. John’s could do to help.  Pastor Sue suggested putting something in the Bellwether to inform the congregation and possibly someone could come to speak to us later.   

Spiritual Development- Diana Schuman

          Diana gave a handout of an acrostic poem using the letters C-A-L-M.

Vital Signs           

          This month’s Vital Signs handout was reviewed. There were some returning people.  November 24th is the Recovery Thanksgiving Dinner.

          Goals – Cheri Nixon

She is still working on the goals process.

Pressing Issues

          Tower Bell Repair – Andy, Guy, Skip and Ron may have a cheaper way to make the repair than that used in the past.

          Snow Removal proposal – Judy moved to hire JNL inc for snow removal and sanding/salting the parking lot. Deanna seconded the motion and the motion carried.

          Fall Clean-up Day – An updated sign-up sheet will be posted.

          Report on church software research – Diana and Larry report that the Breeze software is modern, dumps into Excel, is very versatile and usable, and very intuitive.  It has a very usable calendar with individual calendar creation that rolls into the main calendar. It costs $50 per month with unlimited membership and users and they will convert our data.  Deanna moved to try the Breeze software with implementation on December 1st.  Cheri seconded the motion and the motion carried.  Diana and Larry will help with the transition.

          Fundraisers – Judy will contact Carol Billington about the Clothing and Linen Sale.  The Team said no to TD Bank’s Affinity Membership Program.

There was a suggestion to purchase signs like the ones used in political campaigns so that members could post them on their lawns announcing church suppers.  Someone is needed to research and order the signs.

          Office Manager

An updated job description was handed out.

We will announce Sandy’s retirement and party in the Bellwether.

We will advertise the open position using Indeed and News & Notes. Deanna and Diana or Larry will interview perspective candidates with Pastor Sue. Mike Willett will be asked about his experience with hiring.

          Profile for Mission and Ministry of the New England Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church – Judy will update the profile.                 

Packet Review

          September Minutes – Corrections were made on page 2, Communications, Sandy will retire: Worship is at 9:30, Not 9:00 and Diana, Not Deanna will review the current job description. It was moved by Diana, seconded by Judy to approve the Minutes of the September meeting.  The motion was approved.

          Financial Reports – 

          Balance Sheet – all bills have been paid to date.


December Bell-Wether deadline is November 11th.

                        Future Agenda Items: Policy on Building Use

                                                       Selling for personal gain

                                                       Budget Discussion

                                                       Memorial Funds

                                                       New Member Orientation

Next Meeting – November 25th changed from November 18th

Next meeting reminders:

          Spiritual Development – Bryan Rickman

          Leadership Development – Bryan Rickman

          Prayers – Larry Holman

Speak to the pastor if you need help or resources.

Pastor Sue closed our meeting with a prayer.

Respectfully submitted,

Jay Whitehouse

September 16, 2019

Members Present:  Bryan Rickman (Chair), Pastor Sue, Elizabeth Small, Diana Schuman, Cheri Nixon, Deanna Gallant, Larry Holman, Jay Whitehouse (Recorder).

The Opening Prayer was offered by Bryan.

Spiritual Development- Cheri Nixon

          Cheri reviewed the Generosity Autobiography with us.  Are we being clear, honest, direct in communicating the concept of giving?  Relate to person experience.

Leadership Development – Pastor Sue

          Being a leader is challenging.  Sometimes we have to make decisions that are best for the church.

Vital Signs           

          This months Vital Signs handout was reviewed.

          Goals –

                    A) We have facilitators for 3 out of 6 goals.  We brainstormed who we might ask to fill the positions. The three goals needing facilitators with suggested leaders  are:       Intergenerational Activities – Gail Korth

           Housing – Bill Davis

           Educational Outcomes – Suellen Leugers

Cheri will contact these people to see what they say.

                    B)  High Priority Goals

  • 3-year plan to address church deficit – A document outlining the process was distributed.  Item 1 A. has been completed.
    • Focus on reaching new people – Pastor Sue, Donna Berube, Elayne Case and Michelle Strate will attend “How to Reach New People Workshop” on October 5 at the Eliot UMC        

Pressing Issues

          Report on church software research –  Diana has looked at some software.  “Breeze” seems interesting.  It costs $50 per month and has lots of possibilities to manage data.  Others would be costly.  We also need to look at an equipment upgrade.

          Fall Clean-Up Day – Jay will review and revise the previous list and give it to Pastor Sue.

          Tower bell needs repair – Pastor Sue and Andy Galt are looking at possiblities.

          Parking Lot Lighting – An investigation is ongoing.  Pastor Sue will call Eversource  customer service.  Judy gave her a contact name.

          Town Hall Meeting – After discussion, it was decided not to hold another one in the Fall but wait until next year.  A date was selected, January 27 at 6pm.  The Sisters Group will make soup and salad.

          Sign form – Bryan signed Tom Leach’s Certified Lay Servant form

          2020 Pastoral Compensation Form – The form was reviewed and there was a change made to the typo on the Pastor’s Cash Salary line.  Reimbursable Expenses amounts were established.  A motion to approve the form with the amended numbers was moved by Cheri, seconded by Deanna.  The motion carried.

          Parsonage Walk-Through – Deanna and Judy will schedule the walk-through this month.                    

Packet Review

          July Minutes –  It was moved by Diana, seconded by Deanna to approve the Minutes of the July meeting.  The motion was approved.

          Financial Reports – 

          Balance Sheet – Our financial position is stronger now because of the response to the “orange cards”

          Profit & Loss – Line 401 General Income  shows more income

                                    Line 609 Other Operating Expense shows an incorrect number

          Prioritize Fundraisers – Fundraiser Income handout was reviewed.  The Jeff Mitchell fundraiser total should have been higher. The numbers will be checked. 

We need to advertise it more.  Schedule for February. The Fair and Suppers were the most effective fundraisers.

          Weather Cancellations – The August 2019 updated policy was distributed.


  • Church Conference is October 13th 4:00-5:30 (meet with DS 3-4)
    • November Bell-Wether deadline is October 14th.
    • From recent meetings:
      • A meeting was held by e-mail in August about a proposal to convert lighting in the sanctuary and Hartford Hall to LED lighting. (copy of proposal and e-mails attached).  Cheri moved on 8/11/19 that we approve the Eversource Energy Savings proposal dated July 26, 2019 and remove $4,100 from Walker Heritage Funds to pay for items needed to execute the palan, seconded by Diana on the same date.  Discussion followed and questions were submitted to Daniel Wells of Aecom.  The motion carried.
      • A “Grass Roots” supper meeting was held on August 26th to discuss how we should deal with our deficit and other finances. 
  • Sandy will retire effective December 31.  A party will be held in her honor on January 5th, Worship at 9;00, party at 10;30.

                          Judy and Deanna will review the current job description for Sandy’s position in anticipation of hiring a replacement. 

Next Meeting – October 21st

Next meeting reminders:

          Spiritual Development – Diana Schuman

          Leadership Development – Betty Small

          Prayers – Pastor Sue

Speak to the pastor if you need help or resources.

Bryan closed our meeting with a prayer.

Respectfully submitted,

Jay Whitehouse

July 22, 2019

Members Present:  Cheri (Chair), Pastor Sue, Elizabeth, Diana, Jim, Deanna, Larry , Jay (Recorder).

The Opening Prayer was led by Larry.

Spiritual Development- Pastor Sue

          We completed and discussed the Real Discipleship Survey.  Sue has prepared a brochure “ As I Follow Jesus, What’s the Next Step for Me?”

Leadership Development – Diana

          She read an article about the Old West Church in Boston telling how the church changed to continue to exist.  She will e-mail a link to the article for us to read again later.

Vital Signs           

          This months Vital Signs handout was reviewed.

          Cheri led the congregation on June 30, July 7 and July 14 in a  sign up to participate in the 2019-2020 goals.  She has e-mailed us the compilation of Goals sign-up sheets.  Sue will facilitate goal 1 – Faith Building, Cheri will facilitate goal 2 – Small Groups, and Larry will facilitate goal 6 –  Addiction.  She will send e-mails to continue the discussion,

Pressing Issues

          Judy’s report on roofs (shed, kitchen, church office, sanctuary) – We need to save $30,000 in 10 years for roof repair.

          Payroll service information from Judy C – We could save $500 per year by switching to TD Bank payroll service.  Judy will call PayChex (current vendor) to ask if they will match TD Bank cost. If they can’t, we will switch to TD Bank.

          3 staff evaluatons completed on July 11 – Steve, Guy and Sandy, comments were discussed but are confidential.

          Update on Stewardship –  Jim is the chair of the committee, first meeting on September 17.  Members include: Pastor Sue, Guy, Mary T, Cam, Bev, Lora, ClaraMae, and Cindy J.

          Consecration Sunday is on November 10 – Rev Dave Abbott will be the speaker.

          On the Sunday before (November 3) the congregation will be asked who is coming to the Consecration Dinner.  The Stewardship Team and Strategy Team will meet and make calls to those who weren’t in church, inviting them to the dinner.

          Report on church software research – not ready yet.

          Identify a Strategy Team person to check in once with each Ministry Team?  Sue will prepare a letter to give to the Ministry Teams and send it out.

          Meet August 19?  It was decided to take August off unless there are issues needing to be addressed before September.

Packet Review

          June Minutes –  It was moved by Deanna, seconded by Betty to approve the Minutes of the June meeting  The motion was approved.

          Financial Reports – 

          Balance Sheet line 104.Checking TD -Designated – recently opened checking account

          Other notes: Total 201 Payroll Liabilities  -151.00

                               Line 233.Technology Updates   13,930.14

                              Total Other Current Liabilities   46,133.26-151.00 (payroll)= $45,882.26  designated

          Profit & Loss Budget Performance shows result the of $25,000 taken from Marjorie Hartford funds

          Adopt/Revise policies:

                    Undesignated Gifts – It was approved to replace Paragraph 1 of the       Gift Acceptance Policy  by the following:

At times, monetary gifts, bequeaths, and memorials (“gifts”) are given to

St. John’s United Methodist Church (SJUMC) without any designation as to how the donation should be used.  In these cases, the following         procedure    should be used to allocate the funds to a  SJUMC account.

All undesignated gifts shall be placed in the Undesignated Funds account. The money will then be available for use toward any SJUMC ministry, capital expense or project, operation expenses or other use approved by the     pastor and/or Strategy Team.

When possible, the use of the money shall be associated with a significant  SJUMC project (ministry, capital expense or purchase) and a notification of that use will be sent to the person(s) that gave the gift or that/those person’s relatives if the donor is no longer living or SJUMC is not able    to contact the donor.

                    Summer Worship Schedule – Approved to have one service at 9:30am from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

                    Pastor Sue requests that the Scholarship Team revert to being a committee, Nominations responsible to find members to serve – Motion to accept the change, seconded by Betty.  The motion carried.

                    Pastor’s Descretionary Fund Policy –  Approved with the “Pastor’s Guidelines for St. John’s UMC Community Assistance Team” included as an addendum.

                    Suggested Donation & Fee For Services Schedule (to include AV Tech in Hartford Hall) – Approved with addition of (per hour) to “AV or Sound Tech in Hartford Hall” and “AV Tech edits audio/video & copies to thumb drive”.  Fees with question marks were all approved.

          Strategy Team Requests for the Nominations Committee for 2020 – Document for next meeting.

          Discuss Generosity Autobiography – postponed to next meeting.


          The September Bellwether deadline is August 12.

Next Meeting – September 16th

Future Agenda Items

          Schedule Fall Clean-up Day(s) [Trustees]

          Is the pastor requesting any staff compensation changes for 2020 budget?

          Consider holding another congregational Town Hall meeting in the Fall

Next meeting reminders:

          Spiritual Development – Cheri

          Leadership Development – Pastor Sue

          Prayers – Bryan

Speak to the pastor if you need help or resources.

Jay closed our meeting with a prayer.

Respectfully submitted,


June 17, 2019

Members Present:  Bryan (Chair), Pastor Sue, Judy S, Elizabeth, Diana, Jim, Deanna, Cheri, Larry, Jay (Recorder).

The Opening Prayer was led by Diana.

Spiritual Development- Jay

          Throw kindness around like confetti.

Leadership Development- Deanna

          Servant Leadership.

Vital Signs           

          This months Vital Signs handout was reviewed.

          Cheri reviewed her plan to lead the congregation on June 30th to sign up to participate in the 2019-2020 goals.

Pressing Issues

          Update 2019 Shared Ministry Assessment – Under PPRC/Pastor Conversation, Section 1, highlights in congregation’s ministry, bullet 3, add “and furnished several rooms” and “We are beginning to develop relationships with the moms”.

Add a new bullet, “Provided gift cards to be used at our clothing sale for residents at Bonfire, Lydia’s House of Hope, Hope on Haven Hill, and Strafford County Homeless Shelter”.

Add to the bullet Confirmation “of 5 and one Baptism”.

Section 2, meeting our six goals was emphasized as a compelling thing to accomplish.


          Schedule a Safe Sanctuary Training in the Fall – Larry will do it.

          Replace 2 dead trees and 2 dead shrubs in front of the parsonage – Jay will remove them and we will look at replacing them in the Fall,  possibly using memorial funds.

          Replace the three screen doors at the parsonage – After discussion it was determined that funds would come from Parsonage Maintenance and that the deck door  was most needed.  Cheri moved to purchase and install a new storm/screen doors spending up to $350.  Deanna seconded.  The motion carried.

          Send a donation to the Methodist Movement – It was decided to have a Special Offering on September 15.  Pastor Sue will draft an article for the next meeting.

          Hold a Yard Sale in August –  Not now

          Review our progress on Strategy Team List of Action items: January-May 2019 – 3. Parsonage repairs: d. replace downstairs bathroom floor $300, f. replace downstairs front bedroom floor $684, replace back bedroom floor $456, replace attic spot (no price given).  Diana moved that we replace the flooring using Walker funds, not to exceed $3000, second by Jim.  The motion carried.

Trustees Annual To-Do List was altered adding 9) Check Septic Pump for church to ensure volume for large group usage and re-numbering the rest.  Deanna will talk to Guy about adjusting the sewer to handle the arrival of the UM Army.

Because of the lateness of the hour, the rest of the Pressing Issues were tabled for the next meeting:

          Identify a Strategy Team liaison to check in once with each Ministry Team?

See 2019 Leaders of Ministry Teams as of February 2019

          Revise Suggested Donations document to include AV Tech in Hartford Hall.


          Turn the Scholarship Team back into a committee, with Nominations responsible for finding people to serve on it?  (it’s not really an optional group)

          Create a policy:  We hold one 9:30am service Memorial Day through Labor Day? 

Packet Review

          May Minutes-  It was moved by Cheri, seconded by Deanna to approve the Minutes of the May meeting  The motion was approved.

          Financial Reports –  The P&L and Balance Sheet should be reviewed and questions brought to next month’s meeting.

          2019-2020 Vacation & Study Leave Form – The form was reviewed.  Guest Preachers need to be determined for the Vacation Weeks 3 and 4 in 2020.

          June 2019 Strategy Team Retreat Notes from Sue –  Action Items: 5. Jim showed his proposal and will tweak it.  Changed 6. a. ii. Strengthen our relationships with each other. New iii. Intentional, inter-generational, varied activities.  Re-number the last three.

          From Sue, as requested at the retreat: 9 documents were included in the packets. 


          The August Bellwether deadline is July 1.

Next Meeting – July 22 –   Read through the packet with an attempt to take August off.

Future Agenda Items

          1.Change the meeting to the second Monday to meet the Bellwether deadline for better communication.

          2.Notify the Nominations Committee of any requests the Strategy Team has for          new team members- what gifts would it be helpful for them to have?

          3.What would a potential new Strategy Team member need to know about the      commitment and expectations of being on the Strategy Team, before accepting the         nomination?

          4.Ask accountability questions of the pastor around plans on reaching new people        during the Advent season.

          5.Consider holding another congregational Town Hall meeting.

Next meeting reminders:

          Spiritual Development – Pastor Sue

          Leadership Development – Diana

          Prayers – Bryan

Speak to the pastor if you need help or resources.

Diana closed our meeting with a prayer.

Respectfully submitted,


Action Items from June Meeting

  1. Pastor Sue will draft an article for the next meeting about the Special Offering on September 15 in support of the Methodist Movement.
  2. Schedule a Safe Sanctuary Training in the Fall – Larry
  3. Deanna will talk to Guy about adjusting sewer to handle the UM Army visit

May 20, 2019

Members Present:  Pastor Sue, Judy, Elizabeth, Diana, Jim, Deanna, Cheri, Jay (Recorder).

Before the meeting was called to order, the committee met with Mike W, the chair of the Permanent Endowment Committee. 

Mike explained the endowment funds and trends to be aware of.  He showed us a document that he made using Excel that gives a synopsis of all the accounts and shows the history of funds.  It will be very valuable as a historical record of the funds.

The Opening Prayer was led by Judy.

Spiritual Development- Deanna

          Deanna read from “Mornings with Jesus” about Jesus laughing.  There is no Biblical reference to Jesus laughing.    

Leadership Development- Cheri

          Cheri spoke of ways to stop the “trickle away effect”.  Important things to do include greeters, directional signage, follow up to a visit.

Vital Signs           

          This months Vital Signs handout was reviewed. 

Pressing Issues

          TD Bank Account – Sandy called the bank the week of April 29 and learned there are no fees for non-profits and no minimum balance required.

Diana moved that an additional checking account should be opened at TD Bank for designated funds.  Jim seconded the motion and the vote was in the affirmative.

          New members on Permanent Endowment Committee –  Tom L and Roberta D have expressed interest in serving on the committee. 

Deanna moved to accept the nomination of Tom and Roberta to serve on the Permanent Endowment Committee, seconded by Diana.  The motion was passed.

          Healing Ministries Team Room – The first room in the Sunday School area was suggested for the team use.  Diana moved to designate a room not used by the Sunday School for use of the Healing Team, seconded by Judy. The motion passed.

          Preacher Needed – A list of possible preachers (Wes was added as Active Clergy) was distributed.

Suggested assignments were made for the following dates:

          June 23 (9:30am)                                 Debbie

          July 28 (9:30am)                                        Ken

          August 4 (9:30am)                               Carroll           Communion

          October 20 (9:00 & 10:30am)              Cheri

          November 17 (9:00 & 10:30am)          Wes

ACTION ITEM: Deanna will call people to ask if they could serve.

Packet Review

          Minutes-  It was moved by Judy, seconded by Deanna to approve the Minutes of the March meeting with a correction to Pressing Issues, Stewardship Campaign, Cyndee is the correct spelling of her name.  The motion was approved.

          Non-Designated Endowment Activity – Hand-out reviewed

          Financial Reports –  The P&L, Balance Sheet, and Cash Flow documents were reviewed.  The P&L line 607 Conference Mission Shares  were not paid.

Jim moved that we withdraw $25,000 from the Marjorie Hartford Fund at the start of May 2019.  The check will arrive mid-June.  Deanna seconded the motion and the motion carried.

          2019 Shared Ministry Assessment –

ACTION ITEM: Read the report for the next meeting.


          The July Bellwether deadline is June 10.

ACTION ITEM:  Anything from this meeting or recent events we need to communicate?

Retreat and Healing Space

Next Meeting – June 17

          Spiritual Development – Jay

          Leadership Development – Deanna

          Prayers – Diana

Speak to the pastor if you need help or resources.

Judy closed our meeting with a prayer.

Respectfully submitted,


Strategy Team Retreat June 1, 2019

ACTION ITEM:  Jim, Diana, and Bryan will discuss our software status and how to manage data, past and present.

ACTION ITEM:  Jim, Pastor Sue, and Mary T will get together to discuss the Stewardship Campaign.

If you wish to fully fund ministries, …..

ACTION ITEM:  Cheri will make posters to put up for sign up for June 30 – Goal Sunday

April 15, 2019

Members Present:  Pastor Sue, Bryan (chair), Judy, Larry, Elizabeth, Diana, Jim, Deanna, Cheri, Jay (Recorder).

The Opening Prayer was led by Betty.

Spiritual Development- Judy

          Judy introduced us to a book that she reads frequently, “Flunking  Sainthood …every day”  and read today’s passage from the book.

Leadership Development- Larry Holman

          Larry suggested that we should be leading through listening and mindfulness.  We should listen and hear what others have to say.  He distributed and read from the lyrics to the Beatles song “We Can Work It Out” as they illustrate his point very well.

Vital Signs           

          This months Vital Signs handout was reviewed.  It was noted that Wanda’s “God In Yoga” group and Jana’s Meditation Group both have participants that are not members of our church.

Pressing Issues

          Stewardship Campaign – A proposal for the Fall campaign was in our packets.  Workers are needed and individuals were suggested to be asked.

          Water and Temperature Sensor Kit for the Church Boiler – Trustees approved this expenditure in 2018 but installation was never completed.  Judy moved and Deanna seconded to install the free sensors and get information on the other sensors.  The motion  carried and Pastor Sue will follow up on the process.

          Safe Sanctuaries Policy revision – The following changes were made:

General Guidelines 3. – Begin with “When possible”. Add at the end of the section “If only one child/youth is present for a group event, it will be cancelled”

Add 4. “Whenever possible, a room with an uncovered, windowed door should be used.” Re-number 4. and 5. to be 5. and 6.

Transportation 3. after the first sentence of the section add “A single child/youth may be transported by an adult if a parent/guardian gives written permission in advance.”

          The amended Safe Sanctuaries Policy was adopted by the Strategy Team.  Bryan will send a document with the amendments to the Strategy Team members and Pastor Sue will send the update to the District Superintendant and change the website.  The policy will be published in the Bellwether and copies will be sent to leaders.         

Packet Review

          Minutes-  It was moved by Diana, seconded by Judy to approve the Minutes of the March meeting with noted spelling corrections.  The motion was approved.

          Financial Reports –  The P&L, Balance Sheet, and Cash Flow documents were reviewed.  The P&L line 401 General Income includes a one time pledge so it is over budget.  Line 607 Conference Mission Shares shows that they were paid.

Pastor Sue will ask TDBank what the minimum balance is for our checking account to avoid fees.  Several other questions will be asked about existing accounts.

          Leadership Development Articles – The list of articles was distributed for future reference.

          CCIS update – Bryan will look into the church “Windows” program and other software and report on the computer.


          The June Bellwether deadline is May 13.

Next Meeting – May 20

          Spiritual Development – Bryan

          Leadership Development – Cheri

          Prayers – Judy

Speak to the pastor if you need help or resources.

Betty closed our meeting with a prayer.

Respectfully submitted,


March 18, 2019

Members Present:  Pastor Sue, Bryan (chair), Judy, Larry, Diana, Jim, Deanna, Cheri, Jay (Recorder).

The Opening Prayer was led by Cheri.

Spiritual Development & Leadership Development – Dr. David Abbott, Conference Director of Stewardship

          The Generosity Autobiography was included in our meeting packets.  Dr. Abbott gave us Generosity/Stewardship Calendar 2019, Year’round Planning Calendar for Growing Stewards in your Congregation, and Stewardship Resources.  He suggested that we should not be afraid to talk about money and generosity.  We should not be afraid to ask for help and celebrate what we do.  Stewardship should be year ’round.  It is everything that we do.

          It was decided that team members should complete the Generosity Autobiography before next month’s meeting and a discussion will be part of Spiritual Development.   

Vital Signs           

          This month’s Vital Signs handout was reviewed.  Deanna asked for a follow-up in the CCIS software.  Pastor Sue will continue with follow-up with emphasis on what version we have, how recent.  Bryan will help.

Pressing Issues

          Withdraw from Marjorie Hartford Fund – Deanna moved to withdraw $10,000 with a second by Diana.  The motion carried.

          Guiding Principles updated draft 2 – After discussion, Judy moved to approve the document as presented, seconded by Deanna.  The motion carried.

          Safe Sanctuary Policy and Process – Changes will be made to the document that were suggested by Bill S and will be approved at the next meeting.

Packet Review

          Minutes- It was noted that under Packet Review, Financial Report, the date of outstanding bills should be changed to read 2/01/19, not 2/01/18.   Diana moved to accept the minutes as amended, seconded by Jim. The motion carried.

          Financial Reports –  It was suggested that the reports in the future should include a narrative from Judy C to include how much money came in and how much is available to pay bills.

          Fundraisers – Pastor Sue will ask Carolyn B if she wants to chair the Linen & Clothing Sale this year.


          The May Bellwether deadline is April 8.

          The April 6 Stewardship event has been cancelled.

          April 7 – Town Hall Meeting – One worship service at 9:30

          May 11 Developing Leadership and a Leadership Pipeline

Next Meeting – April 15

          Spiritual Development – Judy

          Leadership Development – Larry

          Prayers – Betty

Speak to the pastor if you need help or resources.

Cheri closed our meeting with a prayer.

Respectfully submitted,


February 18, 2019

Members Present:  Pastor Sue, Bryan (chair), Judy, Larry, Betty, Diana, Jim, Deanna, Jay (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,


Jan. 21, 2019

Members Present:  Pastor Sue, Bryan (chair), Judy, Larry, Betty, Diana, Jim, Deanna, Jay (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 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 be nominated for chairperson of the trustees, seconded by Diana.  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: 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.  After discussion, the motion carried.

Judy, Jim, George, and Bruce 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 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,