June 9, 2015
We always have more than we can handle for one meeting. Guests at our last meeting, Tuesday, May 26, 2015, were Jim Halfaker and Barbara Rhoe. They gave an overview on the UCC Conference fund OCWM, Our Church’s Wider Mission. Plymouth has always been a leader in the gift to this fund. In 2015, that will be $90,000. It was $100,000 in 2014. Barbara and Jim encouraged Council to consider maintaining and possibly increasing support for this fund. They gave an excellent review of this fund’s impact on the UCC. I’m grateful to them both for their efforts to educate us about the wider UCC community.
Next, we reviewed recent discussions on Mission. The overall opinion is that conversations went well and provided food for thought. To help decipher feedback from the last two sessions and the next one, Brigitta used her 2015 discretionary funds to bring Dr. Bill McKinney to Seattle June 11. Dr. McKinney, former dean of the Pacific School of Religion, is now associated with the Center for Progressive Renewal. Dr. McKinney will conduct interviews with a variety of Plymouth congregation members and staff. He will help Brigitta and Council determine our direction as we ponder feedback. Council also approved using Cox Funds to bring Rev. Cameron Trimble, who is also with the Center of Progressive Renewal. We are fortunate to have the Marion Cox fund, which was set up to help fund special preaching, workshops and other educational support for the good of the church. Trimble will provide a workshop, preach from the pulpit (October 4) and help our Senior Minister and Council as we move forward on Dr. McKinney’s recommendations. Rev. Trimble has a national reputation for being an outstanding preacher and teacher. Rev. Mike Denton highly recommended the Center of Progressive Renewal.
We also discussed the need to work on the governance portion of our by-laws. We need a more flexible structure that meets today’s needs. Al Wallace, our Vice Moderator, will head up this effort and reach out to others in the church with knowledge and experience regarding governance and by-laws.
Volunteerism and Hospitality were also subjects of discussion. Council has a high priority to support the Community and Care Board and their efforts. We will focus on member education to step up and help. The Stewardship Campaign will focus on this need.
Brigitta reported that the staff is launching a new, monthly Thursday noon series beginning August 6, in the Sanctuary. Modeled after “Ted Talks,” the 45 minute time will feature one person sharing their story and live music will be included.
The 145th church anniversary will be celebrated Sunday, October 4. The Reverend Cameron Trimble will preach. A celebratory lunch will follow.
Council members will be available for the next three Sundays in the Lounge to answer your questions! Look for the Council Corner Sign. —Jon Palmason
Photo: Dr. Bill McKinney