Consistory: Minutes August 16, 2021

Consistory Meeting August 16, 2021

Meeting Opened:  at 7:03 p.m.

In Attendance:  Rev. Heather Kurtz, Minda H., Betsy B., Roger B., Tom D., Jay J., Craig L., and Cindy B.– recording secretary.

Opening Devotions:   Roger B.

Office Manager’s Report

A motion was made by Betsy approve the minutes of the June 21, 2021, meeting and was seconded by Craig L.  The minutes were approved.

Consistory Secretary’s Report

A thank you was sent to Sally B. for quilting the banner of handprints from the Bucket of Fun participants.

Treasurer’s Report

General Checking balance as of July 31, 2021                        $68,852.03

General Fund balance as of July 31, 2021                                $82,850.19

Income for July                                                                         $14,505.02

Expenses for July                                                                      $15,388.94

Monthly deficit                                                                          ($883.92)

Jay J. presented the Treasurer’s report.  It was noted that the year-to-date deficit is $17,817.52.  The Edward Jones account saw a gain of $946.61; the Lord Abbett fund had a slight loss of $73.87.  A request for assistance from SCCAP resulted in an expenditure of $111.00 from the Matthew 25 Fund so it had an ending balance of $5,845.75. It was noted that another request for assistance had just been received today.  The Capital Improvement Fund has a $0 balance with a $2500.00 invoice expected after the parking lot sidewalk project is finished and a bit more for the Sunday School entrance sidewalk.  An inquiry about possible grants was raised.  Finance will see if any new federal monies are available through the county, but it is likely Zion will not qualify.  A motion to approve the Treasurer’s Report was made by Tom D. and seconded by Minda H.  The motion passed.

Minister’s Activity

(See Consistory Report:  Rev. Heather Kurtz, July-August 2021, submitted on August 16, 2021.)

In her oral report, Rev. Heather pointed out the need for revitalizing Zion’s outdated website.  She met with a friend who works in web design and has designed sites for churches.  His “friendship discount” of $30.00 an hour brings the estimate of revamping the website to between $2,000 and $3,000.  Rev. Heather asked for permission to raise the money for this project and Consistory agreed.  An announcement will be put in the bulletin and newsletter asking people to support this necessary upgrade.  As Zion grows its public presence on Facebook, it is important that the website, the Mission Statement, Vision Statement, Core Values, and church policies all coherently present Zion’s beliefs and ministry to the public.  Rev. Heather has extensive experience in guiding churches through a review of these areas and proposed to run an exercise at the next Consistory meeting in September to review Zion’s Mission Statement.  Any proposed changes will be presented to the congregation after a Sunday worship for comments.

Rev. Heather had made over 20 home visits since the last Consistory meeting and noted some of them lasted for 2 hours or more as she got to know Zion’s members.  And, she recently signed a lease to rent a house near Gardners and will be working on the details and logistics of selling her present house near Allentown and moving here.

A motion to accept the Minister’s Report was made by Roger B. and seconded by Betsy B.  The motion passed. 

Ministry Reports 

(See Ministry Reports, August 16, 2021.)

Personnel reports that two people have applied for the Choir Director position.  There are no applicants for Organist.  Tom D. will reach out to Gettysburg College and Gettysburg High School to see if there is any interest.  Linked-In is probably not a good resource for this type of position.  Cindy will investigate how to boost the Indeed job postings and assure reaching more people.  Meanwhile, telephone interviews will be set up for the two applicants.  Cindy will coordinate.  Simplified employee evaluation and self-evaluation forms were approved for use by Consistory after a motion from Roger B. and a second from Betsy B.

Volunteer burnout among the Tech Crew and Soloists was discussed.  Rev. Heather will test Facebook Live as an alternative to livestreaming the service so Tech Crew members can have a break.

Minda reports for Christian Ed that there were 25 Buckets of Fun distributed to children for VBS and a quilted banner made from their handprints.  Sunday School will be held outside of Zion House when it starts September 12th.  Sunday School Director Chris B. plans to have a meeting for parents before that.  Rev. Heather has talked with Christian Ed about holding “Messy Church” in November.  This will happen on a Sunday evening and involves food, Bible Story, and various activities.

Betsy B. reports that the Mission Committee only needed to add $123.00 to the Bake Sale total of $626.50 to have enough money to supply all the elementary students in Upper Adams with headphones for the new school year.  Thanks to Angie V. and Kathy F. for ordering those headphones.  She also reports that Christian Aguilar from Migrant Farmworkers will be presenting to the Committee on September 13th to see if Zion can partner in that ministry.  The Face of America Bike Ride will be held October 10th, and Zion will be manning a rest stop.  Messages will be placed in the bulletin and newsletter requesting volunteers and cookie donations.  Mission will also draft a new Matthew 25 policy to allow for more discretionary spending of that fund so more people can be assisted.

The Property Committee still has the parking lot sidewalk project to be completed.  C. E. Williams will have the subcontractor call Roger B. when they are ready.    Roger is also procuring the supplies needed to put a layer of special cement at the Sunday School entrance to fix the multiple holes in that area of sidewalk.  Ron C. will be assisting with that.  Property plans an inside clean-up day at church after Rev. Heather picks a date.  The accumulation of years will be evaluated for usefulness.

The Finance Committee reports that the Christian Ed. Director, Chris B., was mistakenly paid for the months of June and July when her contract only runs August to May.  Jay will contact Chris.

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


Incorporation of Zion UCC:   Jay emailed Attorney Matt Battersby in August and is waiting to hear from him about the process of incorporation.

PayPal:  The Treasurer is still working to set up an account for a non-profit.

Covid Update:  Due to the rampant Delta variant, it was decided that Zion’s choir would NOT meet this fall.  Zion will request people attending church to follow the CDC recommendation of all people wearing masks in public places and maintaining social distancing.  Hymnals will be kept in the back of church for people to take to pews if comfortable with that.  Rev. Heather may reduce the number of musical pieces in the service, and there may be instrumentals in place of soloists on some Sundays.  If Rev. Heather would contract Covid, she would quarantine for two weeks and possibly do a Facebook Live service or message from home.

Parking Lot & Trees:  After consultation with Boyers Nursery, it was determined that the dead branches of the trees bordering the parking lot are due to bag worms rather than the construction vehicles from re-paving the parking lot.  Boyers recommends spraying in the spring for the insects.


 Choir Director/Organist search: See report under Ministry/Personnel

Sunday School In-Person: Discussed in Christian Ed. Report above – will be outside to start.

Informational:  The Safe Sanctuary policy needs to be updated.  A check needs to be run on which volunteers’ clearances need to be renewed.  Mandatory reporting training has been done by Rev. Heather and Chris B.


A motion to adjourn was made by Roger B. at   9:09 p.m. and seconded by Jay J.  The next regular consistory meeting will be on September 20, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. at Zion House.