The 169th Annual Meeting of Second Congregational Church

e enjoyed a delicious potluck lunch following worship! Many skilled hands prepared some terrific food, and special thanks go to Marsha Piepho and Cheryl Theofane (and their skilled assistants) for organizing and overseeing the meal.

This year, we met in the sanctuary. A screen was set up so that pertinent information could be projected for everyone to see (thanks, Steve Dykstra and Bob Haveles!). Moderator Beth Zelazo called the meeting to order at about noon, and she read aloud our “Covenant as Community” to begin the meeting after Rev Bruce prayed.

After last year’s Annual Meeting minutes were approved, we received and approved all the reports contained in the Annual Meeting booklet, which was made available a week before Annual Meeting.

The report of the Nominating Committee was approved, noting that they had done some superb work to gather willing and qualified people to serve God through Second Church. There are still a small number of openings available on committees: Christian           Education, Property Affairs, Stewardship, and Nominating. If you are feeling called to serve on one of these, or if you have questions about what they do, please speak to Beth Zelazo or Rev. Bruce.

The “Season of Discernment” initiative was introduced. The theme will be “Spectrum of Faith.” Beth introduced it with the following words:

Do you have three hours to change the future of our lives together? The church is changing, and God has great things in store for us. Let’s gather together to learn, to laugh, to pray, to imagine, and to find where God is calling us.

We will gather in the Dining Room after worship on Sunday, March 26, for a meal organized by the Executive Council. At 1:00, our gathering will be facilitated by the Rev. Dr. Beverly Prestwood-Taylor. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend! We especially want the last several classes of confirmands to attend. Child-care will be provided.

Please be in prayer for our church and the possibilities that are before us.

Proverbs 16:3 – “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will suceed.”

In this “Season of Discernment,” we will take some time to explore how Second Church can share its gifts with the community around us, building upon the strengths that we already have.

The next item for consideration was the budget (also included in the booklet).               Because we will be running a deficit, we spent a good amount of time discussing the budget. Some of our programs did not receive money in this year’s budget because they have access to other funds (Christian Education, Music). Some had their funding reduced (Stewardship), and the Diaconate was funded at the same amount as last year. Support for the Massachusetts Conference of the U.C.C. was reduced from $6,150 to $5,000, and the amount paid for our Fellowship Dues will only be the amount included in the special red offering envelopes (suggested at $20 per member). Otherwise, the budget in the booklet was approved largely as it was presented.

After the meeting ended, people gathered to read the index cards that shared “What I Like Best” and “What I Wish For” at Second Church. These are NOT official minutes of the meeting, but just recollections to give you a sense of what took place.