The virtual meeting was called to order at 7:04.
Cabinet members in attendance: Rev. Beth Stotts, Pastor; Anne Malmquist, Moderator; Denise Molinari, Vice Moderator; Dave Sheibley, Treasurer; Larry Brown, Asst. Treasurer; Diane Sheibley, Clerk; Lynn Pietras, Board of Deacons; Ed Buckland, Board of Trustees; Margaret Weilhouwer, Board of Christian Education; Bill O’Neil, Board of Christian Outreach; Barbara Morey, History & Memorials Committee; Gail Wershing, Growth Committee; Terry Reynolds, Women’s Guild & Fellowship
Also present: Gordon Brailsford (Trustees); Ellen Atherton, Congregational Administrator; Sandy Alley (Women’s Guild), Mike Bundock (Growth), Carol Chaffee
Rev. Beth opened the meeting with a prayer.
Diane Sheibley did the roll call.
MINUTES FROM OCTOBER CABINET MEETING
The minutes from the October meeting were reviewed and there were no objections or corrections. Gail Wershing moved to accept the minutes; Terry Reynolds seconded. The minutes were approved.
Rev. Beth referred everyone to the printed report she distributed ahead of time. She then shared her screen and showed everyone her advent calendar. Included were the Christmas Carol singalong that Julia and Rev. Beth will be providing on Dec. 4; the Advent book study on Dec. 12; the Advent bible study on three consecutive Wednesdays beginning Dec. 9; and the Christmas eve livestreamed worship service at 6pm on Dec. 24, followed by the lighting of candles and singing of Silent Night, where everyone at home is encouraged to participate.
Rev. Beth also reminded folks that this Saturday (11/21) was the pickup at the church for everyone’s Advent materials, as well as a time where she’ll be decorating the front of the church and setting up this season’s outdoor “photo booth” for anyone to use to take a holiday photo.
She reminded everyone that the bible studies and the book study are by reservation only, due to safe gathering limitations due to COVID. Christmas Eve service will be a livestream event only.
Dave Sheibley hoped everyone received the copies of the treasurer’s report that he distributed via email. We are running about 7-8% below projected income, but that’s not to bad given the situation. He noted that the church fair did well in its fundraising endeavors, so we’re happy to have that cash influx. We are still transferring money in from the endowments, but that will slow down for a while with the fair money. He also noted that with the status of the stock market, the value of the endowments has increased about $15,000 in recent weeks.
CONGREGATIONAL ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Ellen called attention to her status report showing all the work she’s been doing. One item she forgot to include was that, to prepare for the eventual return to worship and use of the building, she went through the whole church and removed anything that was not attached – bibles and pencils from pews, etc. She also gave a shoutout to Dave and Diane Sheibley for arranging for a donation of 4 hand sanitizer stations to be placed around the church.
BUILDING RE-OPENING REAFFIRMATIONS
The Re-Opening Task Force finds it necessary to ask Cabinet to vote on the following 2 items:
First, the task force asks Cabinet to affirm that CSCC follows Massachusetts masking requirements; that everyone who is in our building wear a mask, covering both their nose and mouth, at all times with only the following two exceptions:
1. A staff member who is working alone in their own enclosed space.
2. A worship leader in the sanctuary who is socially distanced from anyone else.
Second, since the Trustees are the keepers of our building, we recommend that the Cabinet give them a vote of confidence to enforce the safety precautions that have been instituted to use our building. The Trustees would follow our Behavioral Covenant speaking directly with violators and, if necessary, ultimately asking them to turn in their key and leave the building. -- Respectfully submitted, Deb Sorgman, on Behalf of the Re-Opening Task Force
After brief discussion, the Cabinet affirmed both of the recommendations.
HISTORICAL CHURCH BUILDING COMMITTEE
Barbara Morey updated Cabinet on the progress of their project. She noted that the next step, following the approval of the town to grant us $200,000 for phase one of the building renovation, is to secure a deed restriction. She has been in touch with Brian Pfeiffer, who did the original assessment of the building for us, and asked for an estimate of the work necessary to complete a deed restriction. His estimate was $6500, and Barbara is working with the Community Preservation Committee to have the town pay that fee. The project of the deed restriction is estimated to take between 3-4 months and 8 months to finalize.
The committee has sent out about 25 letters to local businesses soliciting donations to the project. They have also found several large corporations with a presence in the area that they can approach as well. The grant writer has assisted in communications with these prospects.
• Bill O’Neil noted that the food pantry is organizing Thanksgiving bags and will be putting them together this Saturday in the Fellowship Hall. The Food Pantry/Board of Christian Outreach has also sent checks to several places to help them out with their outreach. The annual Warmth in Cold Places project will still take place this year, but will be structured a bit differently. We will be holding a warm clothing drive and then the items will be delivered to Taunton the week before Christmas. Items to be donated can be brought to the church during Thursday food pantry open hours.
• Mike Bundock from the Growth Committee will be contacting greeters to do more virtual Sunday greetings. [The Cabinet then recorded their own virtual greeting, to be used on a future Sunday to open worship]. Gail Wershing also discussed a possible fundraiser that involved a beard and mustache growing contest. Contestants would pay a small fee to participate, and people wishing to vote for their favorite might also pay a small donation.
• Rev. Beth mentioned the photo booth she was going to set up on the front lawn of the church. “Take a photo and share it with us.” The church will be the background.
• Diane mentioned that Jess Stearns had her baby, Alexander, on Nov. 16. Mother and baby are doing well.
• Diane also reported the results of this year’s fair events: Pie sale: $1,007; Craft sale: $1,337; Attic Treasures Yard Sale: $675; Turkey Dinner Takeout: $2735; and Hanson Farm Harvest Table: $300; for a total of $6,054. Diane also noted that an anonymous angel stepped up and sponsored the entire bill from the turkey dinner caterer (Boston Tavern, Middleboro), so ALL of the proceeds from the night went to the church.
• Diane briefly discussed the Christmas Carol singalong fundraiser with Julia and Rev. Beth, and alerted people to be on the lookout for information on how to watch, request a carol, and donate. It will be held online on Friday, Dec. 4, 7-8pm.
• Bill O’Neil requested that the Moderator consider moving the Cabinet meetings from Zoom to in-person in the Fellowship Hall, as we’re now allowing small groups to meet. Lynn, a member of the Building Re-opening Task Force, noted that while the Fellowship Hall has been reopened for a limited number of small group meetings, the numbers in the state are going the wrong way. Anne responded by saying that we would all love to have in-person meetings, but part of loving our neighbor is watching out for each other. She also noted that the last time we considered having an in-person meeting,not enough people were able/willing to attend to provide a quorum.
• Anne thanked everyone for adapting to the current environment, and Rev. Beth added that in many ways, people are blossoming with the creative ways of handling what needs to be done.
• Mike gave a shoutout to Julia for all the music she’s been bringing in from the outside for our Sunday streamed services.
Rev. Beth closed the meeting with a Thanksgiving prayer.
The meeting adjourned at 8:00.