Executive  council  minutes

  • Central United Methodist Church

    Executive Council

    Meeting july 18, 2021


    WELCOME:  Chairman Kevin Ward opened the meeting by welcoming everyone.  There were 12 members and 4 church staff present.  Reverend John Branning opened the meeting with prayer.


    APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Clair Huff moved that the minutes be approved as written.  Jenna Bennett seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


    TRUSTEE REPORT:  Given by Jan Hitt

                UPDATE ON PARSONAGE:   Roof and Skylight have been repaired; landscaping is finished; double oven and microwave have been ordered.  With the Branning’ leaving, general repair, painting, etc. will need to be done before new pastor moves in.  Jan Hitt and Tim Allred will do a walk through, make a list of all that needs to be done, get estimates, and email the council of the results.  There has been little done to the house since the church purchased it, so there may be a good bit of renovating that needs to be done.  There also may be a problem finding workers.


    There was general discussion about churches owning parsonages.  Most large churches no longer own their homes.  Pastors are given a housing allowance instead.  Many pros and cons but may be something to think about for the future.


                UPDATE ON PLAYGROUND FENCE:  Partridge Iron Works will be repairing the fence and brick work at a cost of $13,000.00. The church insurance has a $5,000 deductible which is what we would cover.  Plans are to start this week and have it finished by the time the Children’s Center starts back in August.


    FINANCE REPORT:  Given by Jan Hitt

                53% of this year’s budget has been received (which includes a $150,000 gift from a church member).  48% received the same time last year.  Our expenses for this year are at the same level as same time last year.  Spending is still less than usual but will increase as church activities resume.  The church is meeting all its financial commitments.  Covid did not affect our giving.  Members were faithful to give and most did so online.  A copy of the Financial Report is attached to these minutes.


                The budget for Centrals Children’s Center was presented to this board.  At the present, the Center has 54 students enrolled.  We needed at least 60 to keep all teachers.  One teacher had to be eliminated.  However, Glenda asked that the Council approve the budget with the caveat that, if we get 6 more students (making a total of 60 students) that we be allowed to rehire the teacher who was dismissed.    Tyler Walton moved that the budget be approved and that the Center be allowed to rehire the teacher if we enroll a total of 60 students.  Kevin Hatch seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


    SPRC:  Bill Jacobs reporting

                Bill noted that Drew Herrington joined the Central Staff in June and Bill has gotten good reports on his enthusiasm and talent.  Bill asked that each Council member make it a point to meet Drew.  He also discussed the fact that with John Branning leaving, we do not know exactly who will be taking his place as senior pastor.  He noted that the Methodist church is in the end portion of the appointment cycle, meaning that most everyone has already been appointed for the coming year.  District Superintendent, Dana Gough, met with the SPRC recently and that group had the opportunity to

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    express to her what Central would be looking for in a new pastor.  She will pass this information on to the Bishop.  She assured the SPRC that the Bishop and his cabinet are working on a solution.  It may be that an interim pastor will be assigned until someone more permanent can be put in place.  He is aware that our preference would be to have someone permanent placed.  The Branning’s are moving to Madison within the next two weeks.  John will be with us through the end of August.


                Other staff business was discussed, but nothing absolute to report at this time.


    LEAD PASTOR REPORT:  This being John Branning’s last Council meeting as Lead Pastor. John discussed how he was approached with the possibility of becoming the Director of the Methodist Foundation.  He also told of the hard decision he and Tracie had to make in the process.  This is not only a good move for him, but also for his family.  His children are at a good age to make a move. 


    John also reported that our Live stream is giving us major problems.  We are aware of it and are trying to get it fixed.


    John pointed out that decisions concerning some programming may be coming up for the Council.  Wednesday nights have gotten low attendance.  Sunday services are meeting twice at the present and will need to decide if we stay at two or add the third service.  For the time being, we will continue with the two services on Sunday and start Wednesday night back up in August and see what kind of attendance we have.  Just be aware and be thinking about these issues and what will be best for Central.


    John also made personal comments to the Council regarding his experiences during the eight years he has been at Central.  He asked that we keep his family in our prayers as they start on this new adventure.


    Bill Jacobs extended his thanks to John and the Council’s appreciation for his outstanding service to our church, its members, and to the Council itself and how he and his family will be missed.



    Kevin Ward asked the Council if we needed to reinstate the mask mandate for our church due to the rising cases of the Delta Variant (Covid).  After some discussion, the group agreed that we will follow CDC and Methodist recommendations at the present and encourage members to do the same.  No masks unless mandated.


    Jan Hitt brought up the CDC’s newest guidelines for schools and suggested the Council make guidelines for the Children’s Center.  After some discussion, it was decided for the Center to use the same regulations that they did last year:  temperatures taken in car line and no parents or guests allowed in the building while classes are in session.  Teachers will need to wear masks when in contact with parents but may use their own discretion when in the classroom.  Tyler Walton made the motion and Bill Jacobs seconded.  Motion carried.


    Kevin Hatch reported that Youth Pastor, Drew Herrington and the youth threw a surprise going away brunch for the Branning boys this morning. 


    There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.  Next meeting will be September 19 at 5:00 p.m.


    Respectfully submitted by Secretary, Glenda Thomas