The virtual meeting was called to order at 7:05.
Cabinet members in attendance: Rev. Beth Stotts, Pastor; Anne Malmquist, Moderator; Denise Molinari, Vice Moderator; Dave Sheibley, Treasurer; Diane Sheibley, Clerk; Lynn Pietras, Board of Deacons; Ed Buckland, Board of Trustees; Bill O’Neil, Board of Christian Outreach; Ellen Crawford, Music Committee; Barbara Morey, History & Memorials Committee; Gail Wershing (Growth)
Also present: Gordon Brailsford (Trustees); Ellen Atherton, Congregational Administrator; Rich Sullivan, Sexton; Paul Holmes, Director of Video Evangelism
Rev. Beth opened the meeting with a prayer.
Rev. Beth did a check-in with everyone’s spiritual condition, and encouraged everyone to “check in with yourself” often.
Diane Sheibley did the roll call.
MINUTES FROM SEPTEMBER CABINET MEETING
The minutes from the September meeting were reviewed and there were no objections or corrections. Lynn asked for clarification on the PPP loan from the government, and whether that was actually a loan. Dave answered that technically, yes, the program was a loan program, but that it would be forgiven if it was used for payroll. The minutes were approved.
Rev. Beth called attention to her pastor’s report. She noted that the Advent book study book was chosen. She attended a workshop on Christmas via Zoom, and hope we can incorporate some creative ways to bring it to life. She proposed working together with other local churches to perhaps, at 7pm on Christmas eve, have people and families light candles, go outside, and sing silent night in true Christmas eve tradition. Worship will be livestreamed as well.
There were 67 pastoral care visits in the last month. Rev. Beth is working with the other local churches on a virtual ecumenical thanksgiving service. And remember, Advent is right around the corner! Begins Nov. 29.
Dave Sheibley noted that we’re running below budget on revenues, as expected. We’re at about $11,000 under budgeted revenues.
CONGREGATIONAL ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Ellen reported on the August fundraiser – the bottle and can redemption project – and noted that a little over $100 was raised. She also noted that the September online auction was not successful, and we got no sales from it. Luckily, it didn’t cost us anything as we only had to pay if we sold something.
Ellen reported that most of the calls that come in to the office are still asking about the food pantry. She has also been spending her time on assisting Rev. Beth and the care team, and keeping up with online work like updating the website and Facebook and the database. She has put out hand sanitizer and wipes in every room through the church in anticipation of more meetings taking place. She noted that the stand-alone hand sanitizer stations were rather pricey, but it would be nice to have some around and convenient. If anyone knows of a source for cheaper ones, please let her know.
BUILDING REOPENING TASK FORCE
Lynn and Ed reported that the task force finished phase one of their job, and are recommending that we reopen the building to small group meetings (20 people or fewer), with strict protocols and requirements. Groups would also need to have all attendees noted on the Contact Trace Signin sheet, and complete a cleaning checklist when they are done.
They will leave it up to the sexton as to whether he wants to remove all unused chairs (the ones beyond the 20 max allowed) to another room so that they are not used, as well as perhaps the tables. Discussion ensued about the possibility of the Sunday night AA group resuming meetings, but they are a very large group. The guidelines also say that tables can only be used with special permission, and it was determined that Ellen will handle that permission when they call to schedule the meeting. A trash can will be put in the fellowship hall, and Rich will handle removal of the trash from the room.
Diane Sheibley moved to accept the proposed policy and guidelines, and Ellen Crawford seconded. The vote was unanimous to approve.
HISTORICAL CHURCH BUILDING COMMITTEE PROJECT
Barbara Morey noted that she had very good news. The town financial committee has approved the $200,000 grant that the CPC recommended, and the town council voted unanimously to approve it as well. A week from tonight the CPC will meet and tell us when the funds will be available to us. Barbara will talk to them about the deed restriction that is required of the deal, namely that we cannot sell the building unless we pay back the grant amount. There is a fee associated with the deed restriction, and it was mentioned that we should see if the town is going to pay for that. Barbara has informed Gale Associates of the progress, and that work likely won’t be starting until after January 1.
Barbara also reported that the grant writer continues to apply for additional grants, and that the committee is also working on sending letters to local businesses soliciting donations. The grant writer’s fees are being funded by targeted donations and sales of donated items. He is working in 10-hour increments (at $40/hour).
Gordon noted that the next step is for the town to draw up a grant agreement. The congregation should likely need to approve the deed restriction. He noted that the Trustees need to work very closely with Barbara and the HCBC on the actual work to be done as there are many details of the work, and financial decisions in the choices. We need to make sure we also have a procedure in place for processing/approving Gale Associates invoices. Barbara offered to invite several reps from Gale Associates to a conference call to talk about process and answer questions.
Diane Sheibley noted the fundraising events taking the place of the church fair this year:
· Yard sale on the front lawn of the church on Saturday, Oct. 31. Donation items can be brought to the church on Friday, Oct. 30. Rain date is Sunday, Nov. 1.
· Pie sale, craft sale, Hanson Farm harvest table (all outdoors) on Saturday, Nov. 7, weather permitting.
· Turkey Dinner Takeout, catered by Boston Tavern in Middleboro, on Thursday, Nov. 12. Preorders are required. Preordering deadline is Friday, Nov. 6.
· Diane noted that the deadline for the November steeple sounds was passed, but items can still be accepted in the next day or two.
· Rev. Beth noted that All Saints worship will be celebrated on Sunday, Nov. 1. She has the list of loved ones that were lost this year, but if you have anyone you’d like added to the list, just let her know.
· Bill O’Neil (Outreach) noted that the Thanksgiving baskets for those in need will be happening this year as usual, with COVID-safe protocols in place. Distribution is the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. They expect to give out 60-80 turkey dinner baskets.
· Rich Sullivan (sexton) noted that he has not had to order cleaning supplies in quite some time, but is nearing the time he needs to do so, especially with the building opening up to small group meetings. He will keep the expense as low as he can.
-- He also noted that a box was delivered to the church and put inside the side door, but it doesn’t belong to the church. It’s someone else’s along Church St., possibly the apartment building across the street. Ellen will look into it tomorrow.
Rev. Beth closed the meeting with a benediction. The meeting adjourned at 8:20.