The virtual meeting was called to order at 7:04.
Voting 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; Ed Buckland, Board of Trustees; Marci Langevin, Board of Christian Education; Bill O’Neil, Board of Christian Outreach; Barbara Morey, History & Memorials Committee; Gail Wershing, Growth Committee; Ellen Crawford, Music 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; Paul Holmes, Minister of Video Evangelism; Rich Sullivan, Sexton
Rev. Beth opened the meeting with a prayer.
Diane Sheibley did the roll call.
November Meeting Minutes
The minutes from the November meeting were reviewed. Dave Sheibley motioned to accept the minutes. Rev. Beth seconded. The minutes were approved.
Pastor’s Report – Rev. Beth Stotts [also see printed report that was distributed]
Rev. Beth thanked the Women’s Guild for inviting her to be a part of their Christmas service. She has also been busy with the Advent book study, the bible study meetings, and the “drive-by” communion event. She gave a shout-out to Sandy Alley for putting her in touch with the senior center to work with them on a grief vigil. She noted that we have had members of our greater community impacted by the COVID pandemic, including members of Minister of Music Julia’s family, several of whom have tested positive. Rev. Beth is working with Julia remotely to plan the Christmas service, which will likely have Julia’s music recorded offsite.
On Christmas eve, there will be a streaming CSCC service at 6pm, then at 7pm, a candlelight gathering on the common, together with the Bridgewater United Methodist Church.
Rev. Beth also noted that there is still a problem with having people in the church building not wearing masks. Ellen has had to lock the office door so that they do not enter. There have been many attempts to make sure people are aware of the rule including signs throughout the building. The people currently using the building are the office staff (Ellen and Rev. Beth), book study and bible study attendees, the Thursday night Al-anon group, and very occasionally for pastoral care. All of these groups appear to fully comply with the COVID protocols, including mask-wearing. The food pantry staff also uses the building.
Ed Buckland, as Trustee, said that he spoke to Jack and Bill of the food pantry. Anne directed the issue to Bill at the meeting, but Bill did not want to discuss it and referred her to speak to Jack. Mike Bundock spoke up later in the meeting and noted that it’s a state guideline and the food pantry people needed to comply and wear masks.
Treasurer’s Report – Dave Sheibley [also see printed report that was distributed]
Dave reported that we are still running about $14,000 below budget in income, and about $6,000 below in expenses. He stressed the importance of people continuing to keep up with their pledge amounts, as well as come up with creative fundraisers. The singalong fundraiser raised $800-1000. The stock market is doing well, so the investments are doing OK.
Office Manager’s Report – Ellen Atherton [also see printed report that was distributed]
Ellen reviewed what she has been working on. Among other things, she has been putting much effort into keeping our online presence current, as well as working on other creative ways to bring money in and draw people into our ministries and activities.
Historical Church Building Committee Update – Barbara Morey
Barbara reported that she met with the Bridgewater Historical Committee, and had submitted an application for a certificate of appropriateness (paints, materials would be appropriate to the building). We got the certificate, now we need to submit samples of paint, wood, etc for approval each step of the project. There is a meeting set for tomorrow night (12/17) of the CPC. She will be asking that they pay the cost of the deed restriction, and believes they will. She has been told the deed restriction takes 3-8 months to complete, and that it can be removed if we repay the money that the town grants to us. To Barbara’s understanding, the deed restriction says we can’t sell the building. Gordon said he will be at the meeting with Barbara (via zoom), and we also need to make sure that there’s nothing in the deed restriction that goes against anything in our constitution.
Building Closure Extension – Anne Malmquist
The current date of “at least January 1” for the full building closure has been revised. The people who have been making this decision have met and decided that it is being extended to at least February 15. It’s being announced here at Cabinet, then it will be emailed and announced on social media tomorrow, and in the January steeple sounds. Clarification was made that this is with regards to in-person worship. Other building use that is currently in effect will remain in effect. And while the date of Feb. 15 is the currently goal, reassessment is an ongoing task.
Mike Bundock moved to affirm the action, although a vote is not necessary. Marci Langevin seconded, and the affirmation passed by majority vote.
From the Board of Christian Education – Marci Langevin
Marci reported that CE was really hoping to have some sort of virtual pageant, but it hasn’t worked out. Perhaps there can be something along those lines for an upcoming holiday, like Easter. Rev. Beth described a ‘door knocking’ project she heard about, that could be done virtually, to tell the story of Christmas, of Mary and Joseph going from door to door. Maybe there could be something done for Epiphany? It was suggested that there could be a packet with a craft and activity put on Facebook and the website to connect the kids to the project and each other, and maybe even have a zoom call with them all to share their work.
If we did the door project, Logan (Marci’s son) suggested people make their own wooden doors, and video themselves knocking on the doors, or have a robot answer the door. The videos could then be put together to make one big video. Rev. Beth said she would work with CE to explore creating something for Epiphany. Paul noted that the video idea was doable but would be a bit of work, so he’d need at least a week to put it together.
From the Board of Christian Outreach – Bill O’Neil
Bill reported that the modified Warmth in Cold Places project was in process, and that they would be dropping off the purchased and donated clothing at the Taunton church on Friday. They spent a total of about $1000 on clothing, a combination of Outreach funds and private donations. The clothing will be distributed before Christmas.
From the Board of Trustees – Ed Buckland
Ed reported that the Trustees gave permission to Tracey Doherty to do whatever snow removal was appropriate for tomorrow’s snowstorm, and they’ll discuss in detail afterward for going forward with it for the rest of the winter.
* Rich Sullivan noted that there has been discussion about cost savings at the church, and he determined that the refrigerator in the kitchen could be turned off for the foreseeable future. He noted that he didn’t think there was anything in it that couldn’t be thrown out, but if anyone wanted anything from it to let him know in the next week. Also, he said someone left 3 bags of returnable cans & bottles that we could cash in. Diane said she would stop by and pick them up and redeem them.
* Rev. Beth noted that she is having a dental procedure on January 4, so she won’t be able to talk for a few days.
* Paul Holmes gave a report on online ministry viewership. Live viewings on Facebook and Youtube, and playback views on BTV, are strong. Some Sundays are getting over 100 views, and the photobooth promotional video on Facebook got almost 200 views. The Christmas carol singalong also got very strong viewership. On a related matter, Rev. Beth said she performed a wedding last Sunday in Fall River, of two people who watch our streaming services. And although they’ve never been in our church building, they feel a part of our congregation. Anne noted that all of the ways we’ve developed our video ministry should continue even after the pandemic because it’s a great ministry for so many people.
* Denise reminded people that she and Diane would be bagging cookies this Sunday for the Brockton homeless Christmas cookie project. Cookies should be dropped off between 3 and 3:30 on a table outside the side door.
* Marci complimented Rev. Beth on the Advent packet that was distributed. She said it was a wonderful idea that families could do together and at home to honor the season.
* Terry made a last call for poinsettias to be ordered. They will be ordered Friday.
Rev. Beth closed the meeting with a poem. The meeting adjourned at 8:20pm. The next meeting is January 20.