Members of Prince of Peace (66 in particular) gathered together after worship on Sunday, June 23 for the regular Semi-Annual Meeting of the Congregation. A number of key decisions were made through the course of business:
New Congregation President (well not that new)
First, the congregation formally elected Asitha Sandanayake to serve as the Congregation President for the remainder of the current one-year term. Asitha had been appointed to serve as President at the February meeting of the Congregation Council when there was no candidate included in the slate of congregational leaders brought forward at the January Semi-Annual meeting.
Selling Rose Diestler’s Home
Barry Brahier, Chair of the Generosity Committee brought forth the recommendation of this committee that the home donated to Prince of Peace by long-time member Rose Diestler be sold. The congregation voted to accept the recommendation and list the home for sale. As the size of this gift is so large, only a vote of the congregation could act on this recommendation. A series of additional motions were also passed in order to make clear the process and facilitate the eventual sale. The congregation designated the Congregation Treasurer (currently Chris Thornton) to be empowered as the sole representative of the congregation in any matter pertaining to the sale of the home. The listing agent will be Kim Wetteland of Edina Realty (Kim is a PoP member and is waiving her portion of the fees and commission).
Calling Pastor Ruth
Deb Cordes, acting as Chair of the Personnel Committee brought forth the recommendation that Pastor Ruth position as Congregational Care and Visitation Pastor be updated from a “covenanted” to a “called” position. This is mostly a formality (there is no change to Pastor Ruth’s roles or responsibilities) but our constitution dictates that any “called” position requires that a Call Committee be elected by the congregation to facilitate this change. The members elected to the committee are Deb Cordes (Chair), Ayden Lolmaugh, Barb Lyman, Asitha Sandanayake (President), Esther Tatley (Council representative), and Kim Wetteland (Vice-President. The Committee will facilitate the process with assistance from the St. Paul Area Synod and then bring the final recommendation back to the full congregation at a later time.
Investing in our Ministry
The last order of business was the adoption of the 2019 Operating and Benevolence Budget. Congregation Treasurer Chris Thornton led this discussion with a review of our financial performance over the past budget year (our fiscal years is July-June). Though the current budget year is not yet complete, our projections indicate that both income and expense will fall short of our goals and expectations. This has shaped the council’s work around budgeting for the coming year. Essentially, the expense budget will remain flat as compared to 2018-19 while the congregation is being asked to raise its offerings in support of our mission by an average of 7.5% in order to achieve a balanced budget. The congregation supported and accepted the budget as proposed.