Here is a brief look at the topics raised at the April meeting of the Congregation Council from council president, Michael Stetzler.

Note from the President

Shortly after being elected as your president, COVID hit. During the time that we have been unable to get together in person we have faced big issues such as the future of affordable housing and how we should finance building repairs.  Each time we tried to address these issues (and others) we heard from many of you that we should wait until we could gather in person.

I proposed the event we are calling Celebration of Renewal to give us a time to begin addressing the big questions we face. I had hoped that through our conversations on May 14 we could create a shared vision of the future of Prince of Peace. I still have that hope, but what I learned through conversation with the congregation council, the finance committee, staff, and others is that right now most of us are exhausted. With that in mind, the focus on May 14 will be on renewal through relationships and shared stories of faith, generosity, caring, and learning. Those stories will point us toward a vision of who God calls us to be. Please plan to join us to break bread together, reconnect, and perhaps sing, dance, and laugh as the spirit moves us.

Caterpillar Work Group Update

Our negotiations to keep the daycare center going under the existing license were unsuccessful and Monarch Healthcare Management closed the Caterpillar Learning Center on March 15. Prince of Peace has acquired their furnishings and equipment in exchange for a waiver of the final rent due. At this time there are no plans for Prince of Peace to go forward with the license application. A new daycare operation similar to Caterpillar cannot be licensed without costly safety upgrades to our building; however, discussions with potential tenants are continuing.

“We Value” Conversations 

Fifteen to twenty members participated each week.  Pastor Peter Christ, Michael Stetzler, and Debbie Jorgens facilitated the discussions. They are working on a report which will summarize the ideas brought forth and draft a brief statement for each value that explains what it means.

Budget Development Process

The council continued discussion of the process that we will use to develop the 2022-23 budget. President Stetzler presented the following principles he suggests for guiding our budgeting process:

1. Budget priorities will be based on how important the ministries or functions are for realizing our vision

2. All members will have an opportunity to help shape our vision

3. All members will have an opportunity to help set our priorities

In discussion, council members agreed that a process that would fully apply these principles could not be completed in time to present a budget to the congregation in June. It will take more time for the conversations it will require to shape a new vision and set a budget based on that vision. It is therefore likely that we will need an interim budget, prepared in a way similar to recent past practices.

Saturday, May 14 – Celebration of Renewal

This event is scheduled for 9:00am to 4:00pm. Food and childcare will be provided. Council members suggested that we find ways to involve people who can’t attend all day or not at all. Most of us are tired and overworked. Many have conflicting obligations.