By Kate Silfen, Church Historian | April 11, 2023 Council Meeting Report
A news-filled April Council meeting began on a celebratory note. During our monthly round of check-ins, Rick announced that after 50 happy years together, he and his partner Peter would be getting married at the end of the month. “It is important not to rush into these things,” Rick joked.
After an exuberant round of congratulations for Rick, Treasurer Bill Bulkeley shared some good news about the budget. While there is still a significant budget deficit projected for the year, the church’s spending has been about $50,000 lower than anticipated for this point in the year. Banks are also offering higher rates on CD’s, so the Trustees will be moving some funds into them to generate extra interest; this may help offset the projected deficit. In another piece of positive news, our Quarter 1 worship attendance is higher than it was last year at this time, especially for First Worship. Phil noted that it is good to see people returning to the pews.
Monthly reports from other members of Council showed that this has been a very productive time for Old South. Candace Kosturko thanked the “rock star” group of volunteers who are planning a retirement celebration for our beloved Helen McCrady. Rick reported that the search for the new church administrator is well underway, and that the committee has identified some very strong candidates. They anticipate that our new church administrator will begin work on May 1st; this will enable them to work with Helen. In other hiring news, Ashley Popperson is working on recruiting candidates for the Taylor Fellowship, and Council approved a motion to raise the yearly stipend to $8,000. The goal is to have our first “Taylor Fellow” begin work in September.
Senior Minister Search Committee Chair Maren Batalden was pleased to report that three impressive candidates have been invited to come to Old-South for in-person interviews. Each candidate will engage in a day-and-a-half experience that will include conversations and worship activities. In the meantime, the Search Committee is thinking through the discernment process and how they will arrive at consensus. After Council members commended the Search Committee for their hard work, Ashly Popperson closed our busy meeting with a word of prayer.