The meeting was called to order at 7:05 by Anne Malmquist, Moderator.
Cabinet members in attendance: Anne Malmquist, Moderator; Rev. Beth Stotts, Pastor; David Sheibley, Treasurer; Diane Sheibley, Clerk; Gordon Brailsford and Ed Buckland, Board of Trustees; Bill O’Neil, Board of Christian Outreach; Terry Reynolds, Board of Christian Education; Kathleen Mosher, Board of Stewardship; Barbara Morey, History & Memorials Committee; Jane O’Connell, Women’s Guild & Fellowship
Additional attendees: Connie Chandler
Anne Malmquist opened the meeting with a prayer.
Diane Sheibley took attendance and verified that a quorum was present.
The meeting minutes from the April meeting were presented and reviewed. Dave Sheibley motioned to accept the minutes as written; Kathleen Mosher seconded. The minutes were approved.
Treasurer’s Report – David Sheibley
Dave reported that we had a reasonably good month last month. We took in $15,000 in giving. We might not have to transfer any more money out of investments this fiscal year; we’re running on budget.
Bridgewater Food Pantry – Bill O’Neil and Jack Melcher’s written report
Bill added to the written report that they are spending more money than ever on food, and they might run out of money by the Fall. Dave noted that the dollar figures shown on Jack’s report aren’t accurate; it shows zero donations for the month of April, when in fact there were $1,426. Bill said he would mention it to Jack. Dave noted that he can ask him for actual numbers whenever he needs them.
Historical Church Building Committee – Barbara Morey
Barbara reported that she has not been able to get anyone involved in the project from the town or from the architecture firm to get back to her about setting up a meeting. The CPC meeting is next Wednesday.
Nominating Committee – Rev. Beth Stotts
Rev. Beth reported that she met with the Nominating Committee and that they’re doing really well. There are only two seats still open.
Fourth of July
Diane noted that in recent years we have made the building available to anyone watching the parade who wants to use the bathrooms, but she won’t be here on the 4th this year to open the doors. Kathleen Mosher volunteered to make sure the doors are open and then locked again before and after the parade, and direct folks as they need. Rev. Beth will do the paperwork involved in registering to march, but she will be out of town on that day. Jane O’Connell offered to organize anyone who comes that day that wants to march in the parade.
Pastor’s Report – Rev. Beth Stotts
Rev. Beth reported that pastoral care has doubled in the last month. She has been in touch with the elder care services at the senior center. They have many resources and she wished more people would take advantage of them. She has been helping to plan Kids Church for next year. Tomorrow night is ‘give back night’ at Black Hat Brew Works, where they will donate a percentage of all purchases made to CSCC. There are 4 new members joining CSCC on May 28. Looking ahead, there will be no in-person worship on July 16, but there will be streaming. It was decided not to do the Strengthen the Church collection on 5/28 as previously planned, but we will do it the following Sunday, 6/4. Also note that Sunday, June 25 is “Open and Affirming Sunday”. This June is also our 9th anniversary of voting ourselves officially open and affirming.
Proposed Budget – Trustees
The Trustees presented their 2023-24 proposed budget. It shows a deficit of $45,000. The Team budgets will be a bulk figure this year until we figure out how they should break out in the new structure. Diane noted that she is voting no on the budget without a specific strategic plan for fundraising. Without a plan that details exactly what fundraising projects we’re doing and when, and which total $45,000, we are always going to be in the position we are now and have been for several years, which is not sustainable. Dave Sheibley motioned to approve the proposed budget, and Ed Buckland seconded. Discussion ensued.
The Trustees noted that no raises were given last year, and this year a modest 3% is proposed for the Pastor and the Minister of Music. Anne remarked that the first priority of the new Property and Finance team should be developing a strategic plan for making up the deficit. Maybe the conference has someone that can advise on fundraising or otherwise raising income?
Rev. Beth discussed marketing the church as a wedding venue. It could possibly bring in $500-1000 per wedding. She would be happy to work on such a plan.
Dave will make the following changes to the proposed budget:
• Add $5000 of income for wedding venue rentals.
• Remove the golf tournament from the list of income, as it’s a zero item
Gail Wershing had emailed Anne with several suggestions that would raise money:
• Have a free will donation jar at coffee hour
• Actively promote renting our space to the community, such as work at home folks that might need a place to meet with business contacts (fireplace room)
• Cultivate sponsoring specific expenses in the church like Internet (in addition to pledging), sponsoring the heat in some creative way
• Do more pleas like 40-for-40k again this year, specifically to reduce the deficit
It was also suggested to partner with organizations and groups, like Bridgewater Pride.
A vote was taken to approve the budget as presented and amended, and present it to the congregation.
Yes = 9
No = 1
Abstain = 0
• We have someone to do the lawn. They will charge $50 per mow. We have volunteers to do it for free if we had our own lawnmower.
The meeting adjourned at 8:40pm.