Church Council, March 11, 2017


First United Methodist Church of Santa Rosa

Saturday, March 11, 2017


Paul O’Rear opened the meeting at 9:05a.m. and led the reading of our Mission and Oneness in Christ statement.

Norm Hardin offered the prayer.

Approval of Minutes

Jennifer Dornbush motioned to approve minutes of both January and February meetings.

Finance Committee Report

Greg Roth provided a summary of year-to-date operating and mortgage funds as well as plan for spending down operating and mortgage accounts.

Trustee’s Report

John DeGroot presented a report on the status of projects at both Montgomery and Stony Point campuses. At Montgomery location, Trustees currently received a bid of $8000+ for replacement of refrigerator and freezer. Sanctuary will need deep cleaning before Easter and penholders in the back pews of sanctuary will need to be unplugged. Bathrooms adjacent to Fellowship Hall recently required major plumbing work.  Associate pastors have settled into their new office locations. At Stony Point, removal of huts will be accomplished by Tuesday, March 14. Parking lot will be graded so that rainwater drains towards the garden.

John requested that Trustees be advised of maintenance issues right away. A form for reporting issues can be obtained in the church office.

Staff Parish Relations Committee Report

Naomi Niimi presented the report. She requested that Pastor Blake provide a written job description of the staffs’ positions and the committee will review and maintain it.

Homeless Ministries Task Force Update

Richard Peterson-Jones reported that Santa Rosa City Council recently held a public summit; a consultant on homeless issues was the keynote speaker. The consultant proposes a “Housing First” model whereas FUMC has been working on a “Bridge” model. The task force proposes moving forward with housing people with the fewest problems as well as continuing to work with Catholic Charities and City’s CHAP program. Neighborhood communication will continue once written agreement of partnership with Catholic Charity is received. Task force is confident that City Council will support FUMC’s plans.

A movie will be held at Shomrei Torah on March 26, 7:00p.m. addressing transitional housing.

2017 Stewardship Campaign

A permanent Stewardship Committee is being considered to encourage year-round stewardship, beginning in 2018.

Reports on “5% and 10% expense reduction” were presented by Naomi Niimi (Staff Parish Relations) and John DeGroot (Trustees). Staff and mortgage costs are the bulk of expenses.

Naomi Niimi reported what expense reductions of 5% and 10% would look like for  pastoral and ministerial salaries and benefits. A 5% decrease would save @ $28,000 and involves not funding the iCare position and the digital tech position. A 10% reduction would save @ $56,000 and involves eliminating two thirds of professional expenses (training, conferences, etc.) and possibly reduce staff hours and services.

Comments and discussion ensued regarding operating expenses and mortgage deficit. There are seven years remaining on the mortgage for Stony Point site. Since 2001, over $1.5 million has been spent on interest and loans. A suggestion was made to sell unused portion of Stony Point campus. In regards to raising funds for operating costs, suggestions included “crowd sourcing” and asking for matching funds from the Foundation. Further comments were made pertaining to what is being done to address the decrease in membership. 

Norm Bryan volunteered to run the 2017 Spring Mini-campaign.

Closing prayer offered by Pastor Blake. Meeting adjourned at 11:28a.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Anne Sekara

Next Church Council meeting: Saturday, May 13, 2017, 9:00a.m.

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Sat, 03/11/2017 - 09:00