The meeting was called to order at 7:05 by Anne Malmquist, Moderator.
Cabinet members in attendance: Rev. Beth Stotts, Pastor; Anne Malmquist, Moderator; Denise Molinari, Vice Moderator; Dave Sheibley, Treasurer; Diane Sheibley, Clerk; Gordon Brailsford & Ed Buckland, Board of Trustees; Bill O’Neil, Board of Christian Outreach; Terry Reynolds, History & Memorials Committee and Women’s Guild & Fellowship; Ellen Crawford, Music Committee
Also present: Deborah Lancaster, Congregational Administrator
Rev. Beth opened the meeting with a devotional.
Diane Sheibley did the roll call and verified that a quorum was present.
October Meeting Minutes
The minutes from the October meeting were reviewed. Terry Reynolds motioned to accept the minutes. Dave Sheibley seconded. The minutes were approved without any changes.
Pastor’s Report [also see written report] – Rev. Beth Stotts
Rev. Beth has been working with other local churches to create and coordinate the ecumenical Thanksgiving service, to be prerecorded and played next week. Time will be determined later. She spoke at the November Women’s Guild meeting, and will lead Christmas worship at the December meeting. She attended some training recently. She reported that she hosted a great Halloween story time on the church lawn and three families attended – none of whom have been to the church before! There have been many requests for Sunday school, and Denise Molinari has offered to conduct it during Advent. The Christmas pageant is already in process as well. It will be pre-recorded, and filmed at Hanson Farm. It will be played during the Dec. 12 worship service.
This Sunday is Thanksgiving and Confirmation Sunday. Christmas eve services will be at 5pm (Stories and Songs with Rev. Beth) and 10pm (traditional candlelight service). Sunday 12/26 will be “hymn sing Sunday”. Julia is presenting a one-act Christmas opera she had commissioned for our church, at the service on 12/19.
Rev. Beth made a motion to appoint Kathleen Mosher to the Board of Stewardship. Ellen Crawford seconded. It was asked if there was anyone else on Stewardship at this time. No, there is not. The motion was unanimously approved.
Treasurer’s Report [also see written report] – David Sheibley
Dave reported that we are about the same as we have been; revenues are aa little ahead of budget, and expenses are a little below budget. The fair brought in its budgeted amount of $7,000. $3,000 has come in for the Minister’s Emergency Fund; in addition Rev. Beth reported that she received a check for the fund in the amount of $500.
Congregational Administrator’s Report [also see written report] – Deborah Lancaster
Deborah reported that she has been very busy – a lot of food donations for the pantry that she helps acceptance of, and people stopping by with Warmth in Cold Places donations. She put donations boxes around to collect items for the soldiers’ boxes as well. There is a new brownie troop meeting at the church, and what she thought was a book club on Monday nights is actually a women’s AA group. The Bridgewater Alumni Chorus notified us that we will not be hosting their winter concert, but rather it will be held at BSU.
Food Pantry Report [also see written report] – submitted by Jack Melcher
The Pantry has been working hard to gather all the food they need for their annual Thanksgiving basket distribution. Baskets will be distributed on 11/23. Many food donations have come in, and there will be a food sorting event on Saturday 11/20. Volunteers are welcome. Thanks to Hanson Farm and Prisco’s for lending refrigeration for all the turkeys we have for the baskets.
Board of Christian Outreach – Bill O’Neil
The Board of Outreach has donated to the minister’s emergency fund, operation Santa, the Christmas Fund, and Father Bill’s. They are working on the Warmth in Cold Places collection of warm clothes and blankets, and will participate in the distribution of items on December 10th.
Historic Church Building Committee – Terry Reynolds
Terry reported that the town’s Community Preservation Committee met on 11/4 and agreed to pay Brian Pfeiffer for the work he did before resigning as our restoration consultant. Virginia Adams is the person continuing Brian’s work, and as soon as Brian receives the payment, we can forward his work to Virginia.
Gordon Brailsford, speaking as a Trustee, noted:
* he has not seen an official document showing the $200,000 grant award from the town
* he has not seen the grant agreement either
* at the joint Trustees/HCBC meeting, it was decided: we would continue in getting a deed restriction draft; we need a list of the restoration items needed for the steeple; bids will be solicited for the work to see how much it will cost
* he estimates that the total repairs to the steeple could come to $500,000
* we’ll have the deed restriction drafted but won’t give it to the town unless we either can get a viable bid for $200k OR the town grants us more money
* we will send the list of requirements to a number of architects for bid; we may not end up going with Gale Associates. It was noted that it needs to be a company that does restorations.
It was asked if we can fix the roof instead of the steeple with the town money. No, the funds from the town are specifically earmarked for the steeple.
Christmas on the Common – Sunday, December 5, 12-4
The BBA (hosts of the event) will not be using the fellowship hall this year for vendors, as they have in prior years. They aren’t hosting any indoor tables. We will be selling church crafts and jewelry. A member of the church asked if she could rent a table and sell her own stuff in the fellowship hall. Discussion ensued. The majority opinion was no. We don’t want to intrude on the BBA’s event, and they sell tables to vendors; we haven’t made it available to anyone else, and it wouldn’t be fair to allow just one person to buy a table; and it might take away from our own craft and jewelry sales. We might consider it for next year, and make it available to church members, but not this year. We might also think about holding our own vendor event in the spring.
Diane reviewed the logistics of 12/5: the road on our side of the common will be closed from about 10:30am until about 5pm. There won’t be any parking available on our side of the common that day. Church Street may also have significantly more people parked there than usual, so people should keep that in mind when coming for Sunday morning worship.
Church Fair – Diane Sheibley & Denise Molinari
The fair met its budget goal of $7,000! An anonymous angel stepped up once again and paid for the entire Boston Tavern catering bill for the turkey dinner takeout, which helped tremendously. They were also happy that they were able to have part of the fair outside on the front lawn, and have the crafters in the Fellowship Hall with the other tables.
Board of Trustees – Gordon Brailsford & Ed Buckland
The Trustees are looking at the lights out front. Deborah also noted that the lighting down the handicap ramp at the Church St entrance is really dark the farther down the ramp one goes.
Women’s Guild & Fellowship – Terry Reynolds
The WG is collecting items for boxes for the troops. Deborah put donation boxes with attached lists around the church. They are also collecting sneakers and sweaters (used or new) for John Scott to bring to Brockton Hospital for people being discharged who might need them. The WG also donated to the minister’s emergency fund.
History & Memorials Committee – Terry Reynolds
The H&M Committee will once again be selling Christmas poinsettias. They will be displayed on the altar for Christmas eve services, then purchasers can either take them home or leave them there to be delivered to shut-ins and nursing home folks. Ordering will be available in person after worship during December, as well as online.
Denise Molinari has offered to conduct Advent Sunday school. It will be held in the fellowship hall for safe distancing. Rev. Beth has given Denise the curriculum.
Rev. Beth created this year’s Advent packet, as there will be no Advent Workshop this year. It is a guide and script for doing the Advent rituals at home.
Christmas Cookie Project
Denise Molinari reported that we will once again be conducting the Christmas cookie project for the homeless. Donations of homemade cookies will be requested to be delivered to the church on Sunday, December 19, and they will be packaged up in individual packages and delivered to Father Bill’s/MainSpring house that week.
Reverend Beth closed the meeting in prayer. Meeting adjourned at 8:15pm.