Our discussions at the May meeting of the congregation council included the following topics. Here is a brief look at the topics raised at the May meeting of the congregation council:

Budget Development Process
As was stated last month, the council believes our budget should be mission and vision driven and that all members should have an opportunity to help shape that vision.  It also concluded that we don’t have the time to go through that process and will therefore need an interim budget, prepared in a way similar to recent past practices.

The finance committee met on Monday, May 9 to discuss recommendations on how to proceed with the 2022-23 budget.  The council reviewed those recommendations and after discussion reached a consensus on the following guidelines:

  1. A 2022-23 interim operating budget proposal will be developed by staff and key lay leadership.
  2. The interim budget will allow time to develop a mission/vision-based budget and to develop reliable estimates of the revenue we can expect to get from leasing our classroom space.
  3. The interim budget is likely to be modified.  The budget proposal will cover a twelve-month period. During that time, we will continuously assess the financial dimensions of any changes in ministry programs, congregational generosity, operating costs, etc.  As those financial impacts become known, the congregation council may ask the congregation to approve modifications of the budget.
  4. During the interim period, operating deficits will be covered by a combination of increased giving and drawing upon reserves, mainly the Rose Diestler bequest. 
  5. The 2022-23 interim budget will not project an initial increase in tithes and offerings until we know more about the projected costs our future ministries and amount of Caterpillar rents we can replace. Operating losses are likely during the interim period, and we therefore expect to appeal for some amount of increased giving as part of our stewardship campaign in the fall.
  6. Due largely to unrealized offering support and the loss of daycare lease income, our current budget year will end with a projected operating deficit of $25-30K. There will be a congregational appeal made in June for one-time gifts to help cover this loss.
  7. We will continue our plan to cover the cost of the roof project by borrowing from the Diestler bequest.  No new capital projects or changes in the allocation of reserves will be proposed to the congregation in June

Synod Assembly   
The Council appointed Debbie Jorgens and Caryn Josephson to serve as Delegates to the 2022 St. Paul Area Synod Assembly in place of our previously elected delegates as the are not available to attend.

Daycare Work Group Update
Rick Rothausen reported that three organizations have looked at our classroom space and expressed an interest in locating in our building.  One of these, Lake Area Discovery Center, partners with several other Lutheran congregations in the metro area to provide faith-based preschool programs.  They have expressed an interest in a long-term relationship; however, it would take several months to develop a program at PoP.  Two other organizations have more pressing needs for space and appear willing to lease on a short-term basis.  Neither would require all of our space and it is likely that we could lease to both.  Discussions with all three organizations are ongoing and we are still gathering information.   

Saturday, May 14 Celebration of Renewal 
This event was originally planned to be an all-day event but will now be afternoon only, from 1 to 4.  We no longer plan to provide a noon meal or childcare, but refreshments will be provided.  Rev. Justin Grimm, Special Assistant to the Bishop of the St. Paul Area Synod, will talk about how the church is changing and how we can renew our energy and refocus our ministries to meet the challenges ahead.