Consistory: Minutes October 11, 2021

 Zion UCC Consistory Meeting October 11, 2021

 Meeting Opened:  at 6:32 p.m.

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

Opening Devotions:   Debra S.

Mission/Vision Exercises:  Rev. Heather led the Consistory through exercises to explore what the church means to them and the role(s) it plays in their lives.  Based on that information, they further explored descriptors to use in devising a vision for the future of Zion.  That Vision will be formed and confirmed by the next meeting to then explore what Mission Statement could lead Zion toward the fulfillment of that vision.

Office Manager’s Report

A motion was made by Craig L. to approve the minutes of the September 20, 2021, meeting and was seconded by Jay J.  The minutes were approved.

Consistory Secretary’s Report

There was nothing to report.

Treasurer’s Report

General Checking balance as of September 30, 2021                       $89,018.29

General Fund balance as of September 30, 2021                               $86,969.32

Income for September                                                                       $15,652.98

Expenses for September                                                                     $16,832.10

Monthly deficit                                                                                     ($1,179.12)

The Matthew 25 Fund balance is $5,845.75. The Edward Jones fund had a slight loss, and the Lord Abbett fund had a small gain.  Jay reported that the families of the following have agreed to have memorial funds moved:   $160.00 from Jane T’s memorial fund will be moved to Sunday School; $650.00 from Jean T’s memorial fund will be moved to Capital Improvements; and $670.00 from Gary D.’s memorial fund will also be moved to Capital Improvements.   A motion to approve the Treasurer’s Report was made by Roger B. and seconded by Tom D.  The motion passed.

Minister’s Activity

(See Consistory Report:  Rev. Heather Kurtz, October 2021, submitted on October 11, 2021.)

A motion to accept the Activity Report was made by Jay J. and seconded by Minda H.  The report was accepted.

Ministry Reports 

(See Ministry Reports, October 11, 2021.)

In addition to the submitted Ministry Reports, the Property Committee reported that the sidewalk by the parking lot has been repaired and the invoice submitted for payment.  Also, November 10th will be the date for church cleanup focusing on the inside of the church and Zion House to determine unneeded items and if they can be repurposed or recycled.  A plumber has been contacted to fix the leak in the ceiling of the men’s room in Fellowship Hall.  A spout issue was reported outside of Fellowship Hall, and Roger B. will check into it.

A motion to accept the Ministry Reports was made by Betsy B and seconded by Roger B.  The motion passed.


Christmas Eve services:  A 30-minute service will be held at 4:00 p.m., and longer services will be held at 7:00 and 9:00 p.m.  They will be advertised in the newsletter and on Facebook.  Three service options will make social distancing easier.

Annual Meeting:   Per Zion’s Bylaws, the annual meeting is to be held in November.  A motion was made by Jay J. and seconded by Betsy B. to hold the annual meeting on November 21, 2021.  The motion passed.  Cindy will send out a letter to all members at least two weeks prior to the event.


 Incorporation of Zion: Attorney Matt B. presented information about incorporation, LLC’s (Limited Liability Corporations) and non-profit LLC’s.  He has found it difficult to find Zion’s actual policy since the Insurance Board no longer sends the entire policy to member churches but rather Memorandums of Insurance indicating any changes in coverage.  An unincorporated association, which is Zion’s official status, must carry general liability insurance protection against negligence and ‘slip and trip’ incidents.  His research indicated that the national office of the United Church of Christ maintains an umbrella policy of $30 million dollars under which member churches must maintain a broad policy covering, among other things, premises liability, and Errors & Omissions coverage for the Consistory and staff in addition to other coverages.  This coverage must meet the standards of the umbrella policy in order for Zion to also be protected under it.  Zion has been assured by its insurance agent that the coverage is adequate; Attorney B. will pursue getting the actual language to satisfy any doubts.  If Zion is covered, there is no need to incorporate which itself brings additional annual filing costs, necessary tax forms, etc.  Case law says church members have imputed ownership of their church and thus cannot sue themselves.  Jay J. will contact Zion’s insurance agent to acquire the documentation Attorney B. is seeking so the question can be put to rest.

Budget Information: Consistory members were to submit any expenses they anticipate for their committees in the coming year.  Finance had developed two different proposed budget options for 2022, and Jay J. led discussion about them.  It was noted that last year, during Covid, was a very different year for expenses, so it is difficult to project what the coming year’s expenses might be.  Rev. Heather and the Office Manager declined any increase for the coming year.  Increases for other staff were discussed as well as possible necessary maintenance projects.  Jay will see that the proposed budget is revised per the discussion and sent to Consistory members.  A motion to accept that tentative revised budget was made by Roger B. and seconded by Debra S.  The motion passed.

Facilities Request:  The Consistory approved the request by the UACT Youth Committee to meet in Fellowship Hall on the fourth Monday of the month at 6:00 p.m.

Informational:  Dan W. and Bill S. will be invited to a future Consistory meeting for a discussion of how to best utilize Facebook Live and livestreaming in an equitable fashion.

As approved at a prior Consistory meeting, the Upper Adams Intermediate School in Arendtsville will utilize Zion as an off-site gathering area in case of emergency.  School Staff met at the church with Jay and Kim J. to assess rooms and numbers of students for their emergency plan.  Jay will coordinate with the school and ask for a written copy of the plan when it is finished so Zion can have a copy for its records.


A motion to adjourn was made by Roger B. at 8:45 p.m. and seconded by Debra S.  The next regular consistory meeting will be on November 15th in Fellowship Hall and start at 6:30 p.m. with Mission Statement and policy activities followed by the business meeting.