Meeting of the Church Council of Watts Street Baptist Church
Todd Boyette, Maggie Chotas, Chuck Clifton, Sarah Jobe, Marisa Houser, Doris McCoy, Allyn Meredith, Naomi Nelson, Logan Wilkins, Alan Williams; ex officio: Dorisanne Cooper, Esther Soud Parker; recorder: Margaret Mathes
Celebrations and Concerns
Celebrations and concerns were shared among the group.
Dorisanne led the group in a prayer.
Alan gave the financial report. Total revenues through July 2014 were $447,375 and total expenses were $452,450. Alan noted that we need to see improved giving to make the budget this year.
Forty-five percent of missions had been paid by the end of July and more checks were written in August that were not reflected in the current financial report. Chuck noted that we are more than halfway through the year but less than half of the mission budget has been spent. The church has committed to paying out a percentage of the missions budget that matches the percentage of the year that has passed. Naomi said she would check with Bill Salyers about this and report back to Council.
Dorisanne asked why the July month-to-date charges for 00512 (Mission Center Utilities) were $556—she thought this seemed high. In addition, the mission center utilities were at 74% of their budget for the year. Alan explained that $167 of this was for monthly Time Warner Cable expenses. Chuck also clarified that, historically, people have stayed in the mission house for short periods and there has been a gap between guests; however, this year, one person stayed in the house for many months.
Chuck asked why we were at 67.6% of the annual budget used for 005764 (Interim Youth Choir Coordinator) and other staff were at less than 60%. Alan will ask David Smith of the Personnel committee to clarify this.
2015 Draft Budget
Alan led the discussion on the draft 2015 budget. One Wednesday night open budget discussion has been held in which members of the congregation discussed the budget. The main topic at that meeting was why we were increasing the budget for Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) National when their bylaws include language that they can fire or withhold funding from gay ministers, missionaries, or scholarship recipients. Sarah Jobe wrote a letter to the Denominational Relations Committee suggesting that we not cut the CBF National budget but keep it the same as 2014 and increase the budget for CBF North Carolina, which does not have these discriminatory policies. The Denominational Relations Committee wants CBF, American Baptist Churches, and The Alliance of Baptists to all have equal amounts in the budget.
Council discussed salary reductions for the custodial staff. The Personnel committee is assessing this issue in depth. Alan will ask the Personnel Committee to provide a written explanation of their final decision for the congregation.
Alan clarified that the 2014 budget for Esther’s salary was not correct because it did not reflect the COLA. Both the 2014 and 2015 budgets will be corrected for this.
There will be another open budget discussion on September 7.
Agreement With Rutba House
Jay Freeman provided legal review of the Fiscal Sponsorship Agreement with the Rutba House. After a few minor changes, the agreement was signed and executed. Sarah reported that they have received one check thus far.
McDaniel Fundraisers: A Buddy for Ben
The McDaniel family approached Kelly about holding a church fundraiser to purchase a service dog for their son Ben. Rather than fundraising through the church, the family has set up an event calendar that includes a series of fundraisers in partnership with other organizations (http://www.abuddy4ben.com/). Watts Street will let the congregation know that they can support the McDaniel family through these activities.
Ad Hoc Committee on Security and Welcoming
As discussed at the May 2014 meeting, there have been concerns about unlocked doors that are unattended on Sunday morning. Since that meeting, a new church member expressed concern that she and her family were was unable to enter the door at the back parking lot after 11 a.m. because it was locked and they did not know the code to enter the building. Dorisanne clarified that, since this incident, deacons have made sure to give all new members a church directory and the code to the back door.
Chuck moved that we establish a study group to look into welcoming and ensuring access and safety for our congregation and visitors; Alan seconded; all were in favor.
Todd, Esther, and Dorisanne will discuss how to get this ad hoc committee started.
Chuck said the group that is updating the bylaws was scheduled to make a presentation at the October 12 church meeting. However, he suggested that this discussion be moved to the February 2015 church meeting so that they group can get feedback from Dorisanne on the bylaws. The Council agreed with this suggestion.
Long-Range Facility Planning
Todd reported that he is still awaiting a response from the Long-Range Facility Planning Committee on questions that the Council submitted earlier. The planning committee meets again on September 15.
Chuck gave a brief update from the ad hoc IT Committee on the church website. He anticipates the new website to go live on January 1, 2015.
Chuck gave a report from the welcoming committee for Dorisanne. The committee is now on an as-needed basis. The major remaining event is the reception after the September 14 installation service for Dorisanne. Dorisanne thanked the committee for all they have done.
Naomi thanked Todd for his leadership over the past year. Naomi also thanked Maggie, John, and Jack for their service over the past 2 years.
Naomi moved to adjourn the meeting; Alan seconded; all were in favor.
Next Meeting: September 22, 2014
Minutes submitted by Margaret Mathes