The meeting was called to order at 7:00 by Anne Malmquist, Moderator.
Cabinet members in attendance: Anne Malmquist, Moderator; Rev. Beth Stotts, Pastor; Diane Sheibley, Clerk; John Sharland and David Hanson, Property and Finance Team; Terry Reynolds, Community Engagement Team; Carol Chaffee, Congregational Engagement Team.
Also present: Connie Chandler
Diane Sheibley took attendance. Quorum was met.
Rev. Beth opened the meeting with a devotion and a prayer.
The meeting minutes from the November meeting were presented and reviewed. Carol Chaffee motioned to accept the minutes as written; Rev. Beth Stotts seconded. The minutes were approved as written.
Pastor’s Report – Rev. Beth Stotts
Advent and Christmas were beautiful. The whole church seemed to come together. And thanks to the volunteers who helped with the hanging and dismantling of the greens. Rev. Beth passed all of her research and information on the brick fundraiser to the fundraising task force. Remember that deposits and commitments for participating in the service trip are due Jan. 31. She was very pleased with the interest in the Christmas Carol Advent book study, and it drew members from the community as well as CSCC people. It was even mentioned in one of the attendee’s blog posts. One of the highlights of the last few months has been the interest in the Obituary Writing Workshop. She presented it at the BW senior center, and then again in East Bridgewater. January 28 is blanket Sunday, as well as the next new member info session.
Lent begins Feb. 14. The Lenten study is “Lent, Poverty, and Christianity” by Rev. Dr. E.M. Magill. It’s not a book yet, but the materials Dr. Magill is providing will become a book down the road. The study begins on 2/28 at 10am, and will be held on Wednesday mornings until the final session on Good Friday. There will be a 6:30am Easter service at Hanson Farm. Rev. Beth asked Carol Chaffee if she thought we should reach out to the folks at the Scotland church as their congregation has dwindled to only a few people. The Great Rock congregation has formed and uses their space and has attracted some of their members, but not all are interested in joining them.
Dave Sheibley wasn’t present due to a family emergency, but he provided a written report.
Congregational Engagement Team – Carol Chaffee
Carol, as the only team member at this time, proposed several ideas for the congregation. 1. Church picnic. Perhaps June 2nd? 2. A cooking event – everybody brings an ingredient and they all work together to make soup. Then they get to take some home, and have some available to deliver to others at home. Maybe Feb. 10? 3. Re-energize the women’s spirituality walking. Maybe for Lent?
Rev. Beth shared that Kids Church made paper poinsettias and cards, and delivered them to folks at home. Carol & Bob Howe wrote a very nice thank you letter noting how much they enjoyed the gift.
Community Engagement Team – Terry Reynolds
The team met last Sunday. They reviewed the Warmth in Cold Places project. So many people came out to take advantage of the donated items. Items were made available all that week for those that visited the church & soup kitchen in Taunton. Maybe a collection and distribution of summer clothing would be a possibility. Krissy is exploring. January 28 is blanket Sunday. Heifer is underway in Kids Church. Unfortunately, Heifer has changed a lot in recent years. They don’t have banks and other materials to distribute to the kids. They don’t want sponsorships of whole animals, but rather “shares”. While they’re still doing good work around the world, it’s harder for the kids to participate. The Living Gift Market is Feb. 11.
Judy Pino, who works at Father Bill’s, had a suggestion following the Christmas cookie project. They get a lot of donations around Christmas, but maybe the church would like to do a “Christmas in July” cookie project, when they don’t get nearly as many donations.
Property & Finance Team – John Sharland and Dave Hanson
Dave Hanson noted that the Team met last week. They discussed the sidewalk project, and whether or not it would turn into a fundraiser, or whether we should just do the work. Dave knows people that could help break up the current sidewalk, and then they could get quotes for just doing the new one. Rev. Beth noted that in her research, the quotes that she got as part of the fundraiser project had the removal of the old one as well as prepping the area for the new one included. Dave noted that they are getting comparative pricing on doing it with pavers instead of bricks, as an option. Nothing has been finalized yet.
The team reported that they have all received their church keys, and that there is now a lockbox on the wall outside the office that holds the office key, instead of having the ‘hidden’ key. There was a question about stewardship, and the team’s responsibility for it. It was noted in the team’s description that they are to participate in it. The answer was yes, they are responsible for overseeing the financial part of stewardship.
There is a new trash vendor. There are no snow removal arrangements yet. If anyone knows a young person that’s interested, let the team know. They have looked at the window on the side of the church where the plexiglass is broken. Rich Sullivan is not leaving as sexton until at least June, so we have some time to find his replacement.
Fundraising: John Sharland noted that the fundraising team that has been formed is Lynn Pietras, Sandy Kuipers, Sue Cochran, and Darlene Brown. Lynn and Sandy have come up with a list of fundraisers. Rev. Beth also suggested dances; and anything involving kids, because as a parent, it would be an activity that she would likely sign her child(ren) up for.
Spiritual Engagement Team
No one was able to attend from the team, but they submitted a written report:
The Spiritual Engagement Team wants to thank everyone who helped decorate the sanctuary for Advent. Between the hanging of the greens, setting up the candles, and ordering and arranging the poinsettias, it truly was a whole church effort and it couldn’t have been done without everyone’s collective work. Our Advent curriculum went exceptionally well in Kids Church. The kids seemed engaged with our theme of “Giving” and we even got thank you letters for the flowers and cards we created for the elderly/homebound members of our congregation. Many thanks to Denise Molinari who led our curriculum and programming. Additionally the Advent book study was a huge success and we are grateful that we had so many community members participate. We even got a shout out in their blog!
Currently in Kids Church we have started Heifer. We lost a week at the beginning of January because of the snow, but we had thankfully planned an extra week for Heifer this year so we are on track for the Living Gift Market which will take place on Feb. 11. It’s one of the kids’ favorite sections and we’re very grateful to have Krissy Cannizzo leading us in Heifer again this year.
Looking forward, the Spiritual Engagement Team will be meeting with Rev. Beth soon to finalize our programming for Lent both for the general congregation and the youth. Currently planned, Rev. Beth is going to be holding adult ed discussion groups on Wednesday mornings all throughout Lent. There are also some exciting ideas for what Kids Church will be doing throughout Lent and what they’ll present to the congregation on Palm Sunday.
Service Trip – Rev. Beth
We need people to sign up, please talk it up. All forms are on the website, and deposits are due January 31. If we don’t get enough folks by then, we’ll have to cancel.
· Anne opened the topic of perhaps combining the Congregational Engagement Team with the Community Engagement Team for now, as the Cong-Eng team only has one person at present (Carol Chaffee). Or we could do something else to help relieve Carol of all the responsibility.
· Thrift Shop: Connie Chandler asked if they could post a sign on the outside of the side door that they use for the shop. The answer was yes. She also wanted to bring the sidewalk outside of that door to the attention of the P&F Team, as it is somewhat uneven. Perhaps it could be included in the sidewalk rebuilding project.
· Food Pantry: Connie also noted that there’s a couch in the basement that needs to be removed.
· It was noted that there is also a floor fan behind the door outside the sanctuary that is broken and needs to be thrown away.
· There is an outlet in the fellowship hall that needs to be fixed/changed. John Sharland said he would take care of it.
Next cabinet meeting has been rescheduled for a week later than usual due to school vacation week. Next meeting will be Wednesday, Feb. 28.
The meeting adjourned at 8:30pm.