Consistory: Minutes April 20, 2020

Meeting Opened at 7:08 p.m.
In Attendance:
Rev. George Heberling, Minda H., Debra S.,  Craig L., Wayne B., Bob V., Tom D., Jay J.

Opening Devotions: Wayne Bushey

Office Manager’s Report
After review, a motion was made by Jay J. to approve the March 16th minutes and seconded by Minda H.. Motion passed. A motion was made by Bob V. to approve the March 30th minutes and seconded by Jay J. Motion passed. A motion was then made to approve the April 5th minutes by Jay J. and seconded by Debra S.. Motion passed.

Consistory Secretary’s Report – Thank you notes were sent in appreciation of donations for the sanctuary lighting.

March’s Attendance
Date          Worship Attendance       Sunday School Attendance
Mar. 3                 100                                  44
Mar. 10               107                                  49
Mar. 17                76                                   48
Mar. 24                95                                   42
Mar. 31                87                                   39
Date            Worship Attendance            Sunday School Attendance
Mar. 1                 78                                     41
Mar. 8                103                                    45
Mar. 15               57                                      0
Mar. 22                0                                       0
Mar. 29                0                                       0

Treasurer’s Report
General Checking balance as of March 31, 2020        $53,047.95
General Fund balance                                                  $40,273.85
Income for March                                                         $13,433.47
Expenses for March                                                     $15,972.75
Deficit for the month                                                     ($2,539.28)

Zion received $420.00 in March to help replenish the Capital Improvement funds used for steeple repair. Although no worship services could be held in the second half of March due to the Covid-19 virus, offerings were $13,370.60. However, some of these were quarterly offerings. The year-to-date offering deficit based on monthly needed offerings is ($7,947.17). The Edward Jones fund showed a ($11,987.54) loss, and the Lord Abbett fund had a loss of ($4,230.79). The Matthew 25 fund received income of $185.00 and has a balance of $4,514.23.

Finance Committee Chair Jay J. and Treasurer Kathy J. were successful in applying for a Small Business Administration loan for non-profit organizations under the virus stimulus initiative. The $27,400.00 will be used for salaries, utility expenses, pastoral travel mileage, etc. for eight weeks. It is Zion’s understanding that the money used for the specified expenses becomes a grant which does not need to be paid back. Any unexpended balance converts to a loan at 1% interest or can perhaps be returned. A big thank you to Jay and Kathy for the time it took to gather the required information and supporting documentation for the loan and for acting so promptly.

A motion to approve the Treasurer’s Report was made by Minda H. and seconded by Debra S. Motion passed.

Pastor’s Activity

(See Pastor’s Report: Rev. George Heberling, March 11 to April 15, 2020, submitted on April 20th.)

Pastor George reported that his calls to members have shown people are handling the virus crisis very well. He feels when the crisis abates, Zion will need to continue to leverage email and social media in communications with members. He has begun planning for possible outside worship on the parking lot once the gathering restrictions are lifted by Governor Wolf. Lawn chairs would allow for social distancing, and Kevin C. has a sound system that could be utilized outside. Services, of course, would be weather dependent. Consistory felt this would be a plan for the last half of May if the state government’s May 8th announcement is favorable.

Pastor George also announced that organist Rebekah B. had an unfortunate fall and broke both bones in her lower arm which required surgery. If her recuperation should take longer than two to three weeks, he has contacted Diane M. and Sharon C. about filling in for Rebekah.

It was decided that Sunday School is cancelled for the rest of the year. Minda H. will let Dana B. know. If gatherings of more than 10 people are permitted by the end of May, it is possible that children will bring flowers and walk to the cemetery for Memorial Day observances. That decision will be made closer to the date.

Pastor George also reported that Bonnie O.’s mother, who resides in a nursing home in the Allentown area, is showing Covid-19 symptoms. He asked than an email blast be sent with that information asking for prayers.

The Consistory unanimously accepted the report.

Ministry Reports

(See Ministry Reports, April 20, 2020.)
Property Chair Bob V. reported that Ketterman Electric had completed installing new light bulbs in the sanctuary lights and sent him the invoice which was $100.00 less than the initial estimate. He will forward it to the treasurer for payment from the appropriate budget line. The project was funded by donations from Carol P.  and Joe & Dick S.

Fellowship Chair Debra S. will be communicating with Totem Pole Playhouse about the cancellation of the Patsy Cline show. She also indicated that summer hot dog roasts and the outdoor church worship service and picnic are tentative depending on the virus situation.

A motion was made by Jay J. to accept the Ministry Reports and was seconded by Craig L. The motion passed.

Church Security: Bob V. met with Mike W. for a church security review.  Locking the church doors when worship commences and open them at the end of the service is one consideration. Other modifications of entrances would be cost-prohibitive. Zion does have some evacuation plans set up and will review and refine them so there is a way to account for adults and children once they have reached the designated meeting place. Having fire drills to practice evacuations would also be a good idea, and Consistory would like plans and practices to be in place for the opening of Sunday School in the fall of 2020.

Amblebrook Brochure: The Amblebrook brochure is on hold for the time being.

Sunday School television set: The Sunday School television set is also on hold.


Small Business Loan: Loan was approved; see above in Treasurer’s Report.

Robert Hoffman Grant Application: After discussion, the Consistory felt the Sunday School roof replacement would be the focus for the grant which normally is for half of the anticipated project cost. However, it was decided that the application process will be put on hold until the second round of grant applications for 2020. This will give Wayne B. and Bob V. time to contact various companies for estimates which should include the cost of replacing some or all of the substrate as there are known issues. With construction companies gradually coming back to full operation, it looks likely that the roof replacement will happen in 2021.

HolyCow! Survey & Search Committee: Wayne will forward the email from David at HolyCow! as well as the details for the Zoom meeting to be held Thursday evening, April 23rd, at 6:00 p.m., with David, the Consistory, and the Profile Committee. Survey results will be discussed, and the meeting is projected to take 2 – 3 hours.

Pastoral Transition – Please see HolyCow! info above. Also, the Profile Committee has two other church’s profiles to use as resources during the writing of Zion’s profile.


Tom D. wondered if Zion’s Book Club could meet via Zoom in May. Cindy will contact Heather about this.

Tom also inquired about the financial health of John’s Meals at the present time. Bob volunteered that the organization is in good shape with donations. They are presently handing out two weeks of meals at a time on Thursdays following the schools’ meal distribution. Approximately 25% of the qualifying kiddos are showing up.

Pastor George mentioned that it has been a pleasure working with Dan W. and Bill S. to record his sermons for uploading to youtube. These gentlemen have donated significant amounts of time and labor to the Audio/Visual upgrade project, and Zion is deeply in their debt.

Pastor George also inquired if Zion could send $1,000.00 to SCCAP. After discussion, Jay J. made a motion to approve that expenditure from Mission funds if the Mission Committee agrees. Debra S. seconded the motion. Motion passed. Wayne B. will contact the Mission Committee and then the treasurer to process the payment.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m. Consistory will meet again on Zoom on May 4th at 7:00 p.m. to assess the virus situation. The next regular consistory meeting will be on May 18, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.