Messiah friends and families,
Well, we just completed our 2021 annual congregational meeting, this was a remote/zoom meeting and a first for Messiah. Over the past year as president, I have had the honor to serve you and this church. It has been a year of first here. We as a church have had to deal with the Covid virus and all that that brought with it… Just a quick rundown of this year’s highlights.
Covid 19: This national health crisis started us out in a direction we had not thought of, we had our first virtual service on March 15th, 2020. Virtual Services are now a normal part of this church and will continue once we are able to return to in person services. Virtual services have allowed us to reach out far beyond our corner of 4th and H street. I must admit that I still really want to get back to in person worship.
In March we formed a Faith Formation Task Force, a group of ten Messiah members who gathered to explore future directions and practices for faith formation (cradle to grave) at Messiah. The FFTF recommended that Messiah adopt the ELCA’s vision and four components of faith formation as the building blocks for faith formation here. They also recommended the hiring of an associate pastor with the primary focus of this position being on faith formation of children and youth. I would like to thank the FFTF for all the time and effort that went into this report, it will be a guide as we move forward.
As part of the Covid relief package we qualified for a Small Business Administration (SBA), Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. In April 2020 we applied and in early May received a loan of $69,491.00. This allowed us to fund much of the cost of our personnel and some additional non personnel items (Mortgage, and utilities) for 3 months. We have since submitted our loan forgiveness paperwork and fully expect that this loan will be forgiven in full.
Deacon Traci Vatne retired after 30 + years of service here at Messiah. This was a time to rejoice for Traci as she entered a new phase of her life, yet sad for us here at Messiah as we were saying goodbye to a leader who has been instrumental in the spiritual lives of our congregation.
November 1st, we welcomed Pastor Susan Kirlin-Hackett as the Pastor of Care and Welcome, this was part of the recommendation of the FFTF and is a part time position. Pastor Susan has been a wonderful addition to the staff here at Messiah, and from the feedback I have received she is already making a positive impact on our congregation.
As part of our search for an Associate Pastor we have formed a transition team of 5 Messiah members. The transition team has the responsibility to create the Ministry Site Profile (MSP). This document shares our history, current structure, and staffing, hopes for future mission directions, community demographics and the gifts for leadership we are seeking. Congregational input is of paramount importance as the transition team works to complete the MSP. We will be gathering this input through an online/paper survey and a series of meetings. We welcome your input in the manner that works best for you. The survey will be anonymous but if you wish to speak with a member of the transition team please include your name and contact information when you submit the survey. Paper surveys can be mailed or brought into the church office. Surveys need to be submitted online or returned to the church by February 19, 2021.
We ended this year in very good financial condition. A quick recap of the year, our income was $690,223 our expenses were $590,012, and our year end General Fund balance was $100,211. This is truly amazing. I am thankful for the finance committee, Ross Chamberlain, Janene Nelson, Bev Melrose, Duane Gatzke, Vicki Carlsen, you are all awesome, thank you.
I am so thankful for our church staff; this past year has really been demanding for them. The support they provide our church during this very challenging time is amazing, and they are always looking for a better way to meet the needs of our congregation. I am thankful for each and every one of them. Thank you, Pastor Chuck, Pastor Susan, Savannah, Tia, Lynne, Pam, Katie, Julie, and Jan. You are an amazing team, and we are thankful for all that you do.
I need to acknowledge our volunteers, since the pandemic with all the new safety guidelines now in place. you have adapted how you serve our church and provide services to our community. We are thankful for all that you do, and we would not exist without your hard work and dedication.
I want to also thank our church council, Dave Carlsen (Vice President), Anne Baunach (Secretary), Janene Nelson (Treasure), Nick Brinkmeyer, Dave Foss, Christi Gillette, Josh Luebke, Mike Mclaughlin, and Sandi Wollum. This year has been difficult, and we were able to make it through with the leadership that each of you contributed. Thank you for your service.
Finally, thank you all for allowing me to serve as your Council President. It has been an honor and a privilege to work with such an amazing congregation.
Charlie Radabaugh, Congregation President