Heard it at Council: April 2024

By Kate Silfen, Church Historian | April 9, 2024 Council Meeting Report

Council members gathered for a busy, hybrid meeting on a balmy April evening. Assistant Minister Rachel Barton opened the meeting with a prayer and a reading of Wendell Berry’s “A Poem on Hope.” After approving Rob Gabler’s excellent March meeting minutes, Treasurer Bill Bulkeley offered a brief overview of Old South’s finances. The Church’s finances continue to outpace expectations due to early pledge payments and contributions from our Easter Sunday services. Our expenses are mostly lower than anticipated, but Bill noted that the replacement of staff laptops and the accompanying IT support has been expensive.

Council welcomed Pam Roberts, the Chair of the Associate Minister Search Committee. Pam reported that the search committee has met twice and has reviewed their charge. The committee has started to gather names of potential candidates, and Pam asked Council members to spread the word that Old South is looking to hire a new Associate Minister. She has contacted our past Associate Ministers to get suggestions for pastors who might be interested in working at Old South. “We want a deep and talented pool,” Pam noted.

Moderator Maren Batalden presented a PowerPoint summarizing the results of a brief survey that she invited Council members to complete. The survey asked members to submit suggestions for goals for the coming year. Several respondents said that they want to discuss membership growth and retention. Others expressed a desire to undertake strategic planning for Old South. A few Council members would like to see Old South continue to differentiate itself as a progressive Christian community. Many said that they want to see our web presence become more dynamic and informative.

Moving onto other news, HR Committee Chair Lisa Loveland presented a proposed process for doing yearly staff performance reviews. Up until this point, there had not been a formal process in place for evaluating staff performance, so this represents a major change in direction for the church. Every employee will receive a performance appraisal on the anniversary of their hire. Council members expressed their strong support for these proposals and were invited to send feedback to Lisa and John. After some quick updates from committee chairs, the Reverend John Edgerton closed the April Council meeting with an evening prayer from the New Zealand Book of Common Prayer.