The Council approved a motion to officially create a First United Methodist Recovery Ministry, instructing the Staff-Parish Relations Committee to hire a full-time Recovery Ministry Director, the Finance Committee to create a budget for it, and the Nominations Committee to populate a three-year paneled Recovery Ministry Committee to support and oversee the ministry.

Realizing all Sunday morning schedules have positives and negatives, the Council discussed our current schedule challenges: 1) 8:45 am worship attendees must wait 45 minutes for children and youth Sunday School classes and 2) many strong adult Sunday School classes meet during contemporary worship. Three options for a new schedule were put forth. The first two center around combining our two traditional services. One option is based on one-hour blocks.

  • 9:00 am worship
  • 10:00 am Sunday school
  • 11 am service of worship

With this option, we would have to decide whether contemporary or traditional worship met at 9 am. A second option would maintain our current schedule, with 45-minute blocks, but combine the two traditional services at 11:15 am.

  • 9:45 am contemporary worship
  • 10:30 am Sunday school
  • 11:15 am traditional service

A third option would return to our pre-Covid schedule:

  • 8:45 am traditional worship
  • 10:00 am Sunday school
  • 11:00 am contemporary and traditional worship

This option would require Pastor Mark to preach earlier in traditional and Pastor Jenny to begin the contemporary service. Then those two would switch locations allowing Mark to preach later in contemporary and Jenny to help conclude traditional worship.

Knowing the importance of this decision, the Council decided to collect data by surveying the worshipping congregation for the next month on the proposed options.

The Council provided initial approval to pursue a participatory relationship with Family Promise of Roane County, whose mission is to shelter first-time homeless children and their families in safe, stable, and caring environments. A Family Promise Team will be established for oversight.

The Council approved a request to set up a core team of lay members to develop a church-wide process of prayer, storytelling, personal meetings, relationship building, bible study, dialogue/discussion groups, book clubs, continuing education events, etc. that would help our congregation discern whether joining the reconciling movement is right for our church.

The Church Bus was sold, a new 2022 shuttle bus has been purchased, and it will arrive in December.

The Missions Committee distributed $16,000 in September, with local charities receiving $14,000, Central American ministries receiving $1,000, and middle Tennessee flood victims receiving $1,000. This brings our total distribution to $53,000 for the year, which is 57% of our annual budget. A total of $3,000 has been provided for the Church food pantry.

The Finance Committee reported that with 67% of the year complete, we have received 75% of anticipated revenue (including 73% of our Estimates of Giving) totaling $1,073,508. Expenses are at 65% with a total of $931,000. The surplus of $142,412 is almost exactly the amount of the PPP loan.

Trustees report that water damage and general disrepair in the counters and cabinets in First Steps classrooms have escalated due to mold and rotten wood. They are investigating ways to replace the original 1965 cabinets.

Contractors are installing new LED lights to cover the dark sidewalks from the church Office to First Steps, and then around to the Lutheran parking lot for parents who drop off and pick up children in the dark winter months.

The United Methodist Women’s Christian Homemaking Circle are donating coats and shoes for children at Willow Brook Elementary School.

Shelby Fowler reported our Children’s Fall Break Camp was successful, with 11 kids in attendance. Preparations are underway for our Fall Fest on October 31st! We will have games, food, trunk or treating, and lots of candy!

Jeff Kile reports that new MPR stage backdrop lights are here. Construction materials will soon be purchased for a new backdrop which is scheduled to be built and installed within 3 weeks. Also, a new amplifier and speaker controls for the Nave lobby and Narthex have been ordered and will be installed soon.

The Adult Ministries Committee is exploring a Marriage Enrichment workshop, as well as programs such as Rise Against Hunger.

Our 6th Annual Young Adult Friendsgiving will soon take place. This is historically our Young Adult group’s most well-attended event and is a great time for all involved. All college-age through mid-30s adults are welcome. Contact Pastor Seth or Erin Boyd for more information.

The Small Group Committee, under the leadership of Chair Phil Fairchild, continues to actively explore offering new small groups. They have contacted people who had joined the church in the last three years to see if they are interested in a small group.

The Finance Committee set goals for our upcoming 2022 financial stewardship campaign: 275 estimates of giving for $1.2 million.