The meeting was called to order at 7:03 by Anne Malmquist, Moderator.
Cabinet members in attendance: Rev. Beth Stotts, Pastor; Anne Malmquist, Moderator; Denise Molinari, Vice Moderator; David Sheibley, Treasurer; Diane Sheibley, Clerk; Connie Chandler, Board of Christian Outreach; Jae Stotts, Board of Deacons; Kathleen Mosher, Board of Stewardship; Terry Reynolds, Board of Christian Education; Barbara Morey, History & Memorials Committee; Jane O’Connell, Women’s Guild & Fellowship
Additional attendees: Lynn Pietras
Rev. Beth opened the meeting with a devotion and a prayer.
Diane Sheibley took attendance and verified that a quorum was present.
The meeting minutes from the November meeting were presented and reviewed. Connie Chandler noted that “Boston Market” was listed as the caterer for the Turkey Dinner Takeout event, but in fact it was “Boston Tavern”. Terry Reynolds motioned to accept the minutes with one edit; Denise Molinari seconded. The minutes were approved as amended.
Pastor’s Report – Rev. Beth Stotts (also see printed report)
Rev. Beth noted that the Advent celebrations with the Grinch theme were fun and included a pizza party to read the Grinch story, a book discussion, and a special worship service led by the Kids Church. She also noted that she worked with several people in the town to help with the Lighting of the Common event, and the church piped Christmas music from its steeple for the event. She also attended several meetings of the bylaw revision committee, and the first meeting of the Feminist Women of Faith discussion group.
Treasurer’s Report – David Sheibley (also see printed report)
Dave reported that the November contributions weren’t great, but December’s were really good, and we’re ahead for the year on total giving. He also reported that the church fair events took in $9,500! The thrift shop also seems to be doing really really well, and he hopes they can keep it up. Over $500 was taken in during its first week. He is thankful that it hasn’t been very cold out, so we’re not spending as much on oil as usual. And up until the end of the year, he only had to take $10,000 so far out of the investments, although he recently took another $10,000.
Bridgewater Food Pantry at CSCC –Jack Melcher’s report
The report noted that December was the busiest month ever for the food pantry with 105 families being helped. From Jack’s report, Rev. Beth noted that traffic at the pantry was up 62% over the prior year.
Historical Church Building Committee – Barbara Morey
While there is nothing new to report, Barbara noted that she has been emailing Gina Guasconi, the chair of the CPC. The town has paid Virginia Adams, the historical preservationist in RI, almost $10,000 to prepare the deed restriction, and Gina’s working on following up with her to get it all sewn up. Once things begin here at the church, we’ll start with the steeple guy. The committee is also pursuing less expensive contractors than the original ones.
Central Closet Thrift Shop at CSCC – Lynn Pietras and Connie Chandler
The shop (which had a grand opening on January 11) has been very busy! They made $500 the first week (it’s open Wednesdays and Saturdays) and $260 today. They have four clothing racks, which they store in the small shop room, and bring out into the Fellowship Hall during the shop open hours. It takes about 20-30 minutes to get everything set up. They provide coffee and pastries for visitors as well. It was suggested that they might want to use the donation bin near the church side door when Outreach isn’t using it, but they said they don’t want anonymous donations – they want to be able to make sure all donations are appropriate to what they’re looking for. But they can use some of the space in that area for storage if they’d like.
Heifer Project/Kids Church – Krissy Cannizzo’s written report
Krissy sent a report to Anne, who relayed the info to cabinet. On January 8, there were 8 children. February 5 is the living gift market, and February 12 is a Heifer volunteer appreciation time during Kids Church. Krissy noted that the children set the following fundraising/donation goals: Preschool/kindergarten – chickens and bees; grades 1-3, tree seedlings, fish, and rabbits; grades 4-6, pigs chickens, and send a girl to school. [It was also added after the meeting that Jae and Cass on behalf of the high schoolers want to purchase a llama.]
Youth Group – Jae Stotts
Jae noted that interested youth met recently to discuss re-activating youth group. Kathleen Mosher and Rev. Beth were there to facilitate the meeting, and five youth were present. They would like to meet once a month, probably on Communion Sundays. They would like to do activities such as pizza parties, service projects, roller skating, escape rooms, archery, and a summer trip. Rev. Beth would do the “churchy” stuff; and they would like to discuss current events, and have youth group t-shirts. They would like three separate groups: sr. high, jr. high, and kids. Sometimes the groups would do things together so the big kids can mentor the younger ones. Adult leaders are needed! They also defined two rules for youth group: 1. Be Kind – don’t judge, talk to others, treat others how you’d want to be treated; and 2. Be Respectful – use pronouns, accept diverse beliefs and looks. Several activities were scheduled: March 4, archery trip to Reedy’s Archery in Middleboro; April 2 – lunch and talent show at CSCC; and May 7, nature walk at Camp Titicut.
AEDs – Connie Chandler
Connie noted that the AED in the Fellowship Hall has an inspection log, and it appears it has not been inspected/tested since June. Rev. Beth noted that there is a file in the office of all the AED activity, and she retrieved it. This should be referred to the Trustees for followup. [Note: in the week following the meeting, it was discovered that Jenne in the office has been doing weekly testing/inspection, she just didn’t know to enter it in the log, so no follow-up needed.]
It was noted that a lot of food products are being left behind in the kitchen and go beyond their shelf life. There needs to be some oversight of the cleanliness and the state of the supplies and food. Kathleen noted that the breakfast team will help maintain current supplies and might rearrange things to be more efficient and easier to track what’s current. They are working on systems to determine better control of food and supplies used at the breakfasts. Jenne in the office is specifically analyzing breakfast attendance and use of food to reduce overage and keep things current. It would be ideal if there were a system of rotating out expired food, unused equipment, etc.
Feminist Women of Faith Group – Kathleen Mosher
Kathleen reported that they had 8 people at their first meeting, and not all of them were from our church (seen on Facebook). There was good feedback. It’s open to the whole Bridgewater area, and childcare is provided by Savannah.
Annual Meeting – Anne Malmquist
Our annual meeting is scheduled for February 12, and it will once again be a soup lunch as well. People are needed to sign up to bring a soup or help with the event. A signup sheet was circulated, and signups are available on a signup genius online (accessible through the website). Anne also reminded folks if they haven’t gotten their annual report in, please do.
Board of Deacons – Jae Stotts
Did you know that 300 people watched our Christmas Eve 10pm service online, in real time? Shoutout to our online community! The Deacons thanked everyone that turned out for the Hanging of the Greens to decorate the sanctuary for the Christmas season. Jae also noted that Savannah is coming on to the Board of Deacons as a Jr. Deacon.
Board of Stewardship – Kathleen Mosher
Kathleen noted that the 40-for-$40k program is staying in place for new members, as a suggestion of how they can participate in the church’s financial needs. She also encouraged everyone to contribute any new ideas for fundraising that they might have, as Stewardship would like to help make them happen.
Board of Christian Education – Terry Reynolds
She reiterated that the Heifer program is currently the theme in Kids Church, and the Living Gift Market is February 5. Following that, Kids Church will be working on Lent, for which they have 3 teachers lined up. The kids will be running the Palm Sunday service. The theme will be “the symbols of holy week”. Denise noted that Advent went very well, and they had 10 kids most weeks, although a number of them were sick the week they contributed to the worship service. But the Grinch theme was a lot of fun for the kids.
Board of Christian Outreach – Connie Chandler
In December, they ran their Warmth in Cold Places drive, and the distribution in Taunton at Our Daily Bread soup kitchen went well and the people were very appreciative. Some items were leftover and were brought back for distribution to Food Pantry patrons. Some items also were donated to the Brockton homeless (L Street Mission) via the collection box at Honey Dew Donuts. February 12 is Blanket Sunday.
Women’s Guild & Fellowship – Jane O’Connell
February 1 is their next meeting and it is their annual auction night.
Fundraising Idea – Rev. Beth on behalf of Bruce Maclay
Bruce suggested that we host an evening with Julia in the sanctuary. Maybe we could suggest folks bring wine, and they can purchase wine glasses from us as an additional fundraiser. Rev. Beth said that Julia said she would love to do it and wouldn’t charge us. The general feeling was that the wine shouldn’t be in the sanctuary, so we could have a reception following in the Fellowship Hall, and we could decorate and light it similar to what we used to do with mission dinners, so it’s inviting. We could supply cheese and crackers, and people could bring their own wine or non-alcoholic beverages. We could have gift baskets to raffle off or have a silent auction with. Rev. Beth made a motion that we move forward with an evening with music from Julia, with a reception following where people could bring their own wine. Dave Sheibley seconded. Unanimously approved, with one abstention. The wine glass could be included in the price of the ticket. $30 for a ticket? Rev. Beth volunteered to coordinate the event. Diane Sheibley offered to help with the logistics of a gift basket raffle/auction, if others would procure the baskets themselves.
Constitution Revision Committee – Anne Malmquist
The committee consists of Anne, Gordon Brailsford, John Sharland, Sherley Phillips, and Gail Wershing. They have been meeting most every week after worship on Sundays. They did a lot of research, and it seems every church is doing this at the moment. One church’s new constitution (several years old) seemed close to what they were aiming at, so they contacted them. They are in Atkinson, NH. They reported that implementation has gone very well. The committee is using theirs as a model for our new one. It defines teams instead of boards and committees and makes the elected commitments much less. It also streamlines the Cabinet; the “office of the treasurer” is 2-4 people, with one rep at Cabinet; 3 core members of each of 4 teams, with 1 rep from each team to go to Cabinet (and it needn’t be the same person each time). The teams would be the Spiritual Engagement Team; Church Support Team; Congregational Engagement Team; and Community Engagement Team. A draft was distributed, and will also be available soon for anyone to review. Discussions will be scheduled for church members to attend for questions and comments.
Rev. Beth closed the meeting in prayer at 8:40pm.