West Congregational Church Council Meeting Notes
January 17, 2023
Present: Brian Wheeler, Joy Potter, Donna Scarsilloni, Carolyn Stiles, Pam Sheldon, Pastor Linda Fraser, Pastor David Keller
Members of the Congregation: none
Absent: Pat Cutting, Charlene Cutting, Barbara Moulton
Meeting started at 6:15pm Quorum of established.
Opening Prayer: Pastor Fraser
Business of the Day:
Clerk: Pat Cutting is functioning as Assistant Church clerk
Financial Secretary: Financial Secretary position is vacant. Pam Sheldon as the assistant Financial Secretary collects and deposits donations. The Treasurer, Charlene Cutting enters the deposit into Power Church.
Treasurer: Charlene was not feeling well but sent us this report: UC funds changed log in process; Charlene needs to work with them on her login info. December statistics just came in, no time to print for this meeting.
The new computer is in, but not set up yet. Staples put drivers on the computer for the printer, but it will need to be configured when we set it up. She has a memory stick to get the info off the old computer before it is moved to the pastor’s office.
Pledge reports are out.
Charlene is working on 1099s and W2 completion.
She showed David how to get voice mail on the cell phone, and the answering machine in the pastor’s office can be turned on, so messages can be retrieved and reviewed.
Christian Education: no report
Missions: The blanket mission for the month of January did not happen. Pastor Linda mentioned a program “Sleep in heavenly peace” which provides beds and bedding for children. She will get more information to us to consider this project vs CWS blankets.
We are going to plan a cleanup day for the food pantry, and will be asking the congregation for help; we will provide cleaning materials, and possibly munchies! Patti Burwen is no longer the “go to” person for the pantry, she has stepped down from the pantry and also missions committee.
Gifts of the heart, also called, the school kits, will be assembled in early March; the delivery date is still May so there is time. The kits are assembled in the Cleveland Room portion of Johnson Hall. Also, it takes approximately 3 hours. After they are assembled the boxes have to be labeled and taped up for shipping, which takes almost another 3 hours. Last year we did 345 kits. Each kit has a value of $15.00 according to CWS; and each kit has a postage charge of $2.00.
Trustees: Brian says nothing new at the moment, however, it was mentioned, that a railing is needed for the kitchen doorway leading over to Johnson hall. It was discussed awhile ago, along with the railing outside Johnson hall; but never got taken care of because of medical issues on the part of the person doing the work. It was agreed that we could install a grab bar for now, for safety reasons.
Diaconate: Joy mentioned that Laity Sunday is the 29th; Tiggy will be preaching, and Joy has lined up some speakers as well.
Lenten services coming up soon; April 2nd is Palm Sunday; April 6th Maundy Thursday, April 7th Good Friday and Easter April 9th
Gordon Rankin from the UCC will be visiting us on Feb. 12th regarding moving forward with our search for a part time pastor.
There will be an Open and Affirming listening session directly after church Sunday 1/22/23. This will be a open meeting, no notes will be taken, and the results will be discussed at our February council meeting to decide where we go from here, and how we will promote O&A going forward. This information will be brought to the annual meeting on 2/26/23.
Pastor input: Pastor David
“Prepare to serve” will be Feb.25th in Pembroke. There will be 3 workshops and the installation of Sarah Marena, former pastor of Wilmot UCC, as the new Assoc. Conference minister. This is the first in person workshop since Covid, looking forward to a good turnout.
Pastor David and Pastor Linda will work together on a report to be included in the annual report.
The Bridge pastors current Covenant ends February 28, so there was much discussion regarding the evaluation/review for the next period of time and who will be doing this review. The review will be done by the Diaconate chairperson and the moderator, who will form a “Review Team” by the end of February. They will put together a tool for asking the congregation for their input/concerns and opportunity for improvement going forward. A new covenant will need to be developed and agreed upon. A Pastoral Relations Committee consisting of members of the congregation (not Council members) will be formed following the annual meeting.
Annual report: board reports are due the first week of January, kudos to those for all ready sending the reports to Pat.
Discussed O&A, which was mentioned earlier in the report. Pastoral evaluation/review was discussed earlier in the report.
Updating Safe Church Policies; was just touched on briefly; we will review the current policies and go from there.
Pastor David did a closing prayer.
Meeting adjourned at 7:45 pm.
Respectfully Submitted, Donna Scarsilloni, missions Attachments: Pastor David and Pastor Linda’s monthly reports.
hurch Council Meeting Notes for December 20, 2022
Carolyn Stiles, Charlene Cutting, Joy Potter, Brian Wheeler, Pam
Sheldon, Donna Scarsilloni, Pastor David Keller
The meeting began at 6:15 p.m. with a prayer by Pastor Keller.
The current pledges (25) for 2023 total $45, 415.
reported that our monthly income from St. Pauly’s Textile Clothing
donation shed has been consistently about $100.00.
Brian requested permission to access the shed periodically to retrieve clothing
appropriate to donate to men being released from Merrimack County Jail. The
council members agreed to his request.
Fortunately, our investments with UCC made money this month, which helps
offset some of the losses earlier this year.
We expect to get a new computer for the church office (lower level of Johnson
Hall) during the week after Christmas. It will replace our very old computer, which
will go in the church office on the upper level of Johnson Hall. At the same time, a
new office chair will be purchased.
reported for the Diaconate. Christmas Eve’s service will be at 6:30 and will
consist of readings and carols, led by Pastor David nd Pastor Linda. On Christmas
Day, there will be a small group, led by Pastor Linda. On New Year’s Day, there
will also be a small group. January 29
is another 5
Sunday, a Laity Sunday
requiring participation from the congregation.
The Sunday bulletin might be revised somewhat starting in January, to clarify
when people are expected to stand or be seated during the service.
We discussed brightening the sanctuary by changing the lighting by using LED
bulbs instead of incandescent ones. It will require finding someone who can climb
has inquired with Hobby Lobby about getting large print Bibles for the
sanctuary and has obtained a price quote from them. Since it was not a quote for a
large number of Bibles and she doesn’t know which version of the Bible was
quoted, she will go back to Hobby Lobby for more information. The church has
received a financial donation which will cover the cost of the Bibles.
reported that the boiler in the church basement recently needed an iron pipe
replaced at a significant cost. Due to its age, we can expect such repair costs to
continue over time.
We were reminded that handicapped spots, including those near the Day Care’s
door, are restricted for use to those with handicap license plates or hang tags. We
should remind people we see who do not observe this, as the fine for defying this
law is $250.
The storage shed beside Tenney Roper Hall is left unlocked intentionally for
people to access sand and salt to use on the walkways.
We discussed the condition of the walls and ceiling of the bathroom in Tenney
Rope Hall, hoping to get them painted. Joy will inquire if this is a project that
Volunteer NH would be able to address.
reported that the Salvation Army was very thankful for the gifts our church
provided for this year’s Christmas Angel project. We plan to accept a larger
number of gift tags next year. The Mission Board recently met at Mary
Beauchine’s house. Patti Burwen will be stepping back from being the head of the
Food Pantry. Her responsibilities will be divided among Food Pantry volunteers,
especially Terry Stafford and Jennifer Day. Starting January 1, Food Pantry
clients will be asked to verify their contact information (especially phone
numbers). The Food Pantry needs cleaning and re-organization, and a time to do
so with a group will be scheduled. The pick-up system for Panera Bread is being
As we have done in the past, January will be Blanket Month. We hope to get
financial donations and dedicate them on January 22. Church World Service will
purchase a blanket for every $10 they receive. A sample of a CWS blanket to show
the congregation is in a cabinet in the Cleveland Room kitchen.
A small group of people will meet with Pastor David to discuss how to address the
Open and Affirming issues that were brought up at the Annual Meeting in 2022.
The next council meeting will include a discussion of Open and Affirming issues.
We talked about possible closing for weather-related reasons. People need to
check the church’s Facebook account or the WMUR website for Closings and
Delays. Donna will be responsible for posting the closings of the Food Pantry on
WMUR, Pam will post closings for Game Night, and Joy will post closings of
There is a vacancy of the church’s Pastoral Search Committee. Please advise any
member of the church council if you are interested in filling this role.
The Annual Meeting will be after church on Sunday, March 5, 2023, although this
may change to the previous week pending a review of the By-laws.
suggests that the church meet with Rev. Rankin of UCC to discuss
the pastoral search process. We hope to schedule that some Sunday after church.
We closed the meeting at 8 p.m. with a song as our prayer. Our next meeting will
be January 17, 2023 at 6 p.m.