Respectfully Submitted by Ron Byrnes

Tuesday evening, with some fingers still sticky from syrup-dripping Shrove pancakes, the Council received updates on and discussed several things including the Strategic Planning group’s work to update our vision and mission statements. John Masterson representing the Strategic Planning group solicited the Council’s help in making the vision and mission statements even more clear and compelling, with the goal of using the statements to help review programs and to make informed decisions about competing priorities.

Council reviewed the budget and learned that we are tracking as planned with respect to expected revenue and expenses. In addition, the Council reviewed an audit of the church’s credit card usage. The Audit Committee made thoughtful suggestions for improving credit card usage and record keeping.

Council learned that staff held their initial meeting with the Dispute Resolution Center. Participants spoke positively about the mediators, but since they have committed to confidentiality during the process, they were unable to provide any more details other than that a second meeting is planned for later this month. Related to that, the Council has scheduled two forums for anyone interested in asking questions about, and/or talking about, the recent letters from Pastor Amy and the Council and about the staff conflict more generally. Those will be Friday evening, March 9 at 5:30 and Sunday, March 18 during the Education Hour. More details to follow.

Council was also updated on a subcommittee’s efforts to clarify staff job descriptions and related personnel policies and procedures. That important work will continue for another month. Related to that, Council reminded everyone of the inevitability of conflict and the importance of open communication and positive interactions.

Council learned that CIELO is having success in getting grants, continuing to grow, and generally thriving. Related to that, Kai filled the Council in on a possible Good Shepherd-CIELO partnership with the Thurston County Food Bank. Preliminary discussions are underway that might result in our church becoming a bilingual Food Bank satellite, where people could pick up bags of food and related items one afternoon/early evening a week, most likely Fridays.

Last, but certainly not least, shortly before the meeting, Council was saddened to learn of Michael Larson’s resignation effective March 2. The Council hopes everyone in the congregation can let Michael know how much his time here has been appreciated sometime before his last day. Council started discussing the consequences of Michael’s departure and asked Pastor Amy to work with staff to propose a transition plan.