Re-cap from May 5 Quarterly Forum

May 12, 2019

Our second quarterly forum for 2019 was held last Sunday, May 5, between services. Approximately 40 members of BLC were present.

1. Our pastors discussed the following topics:

    –> The recent letter to the congregation concerning Katie Kreutter’s departure at the end of May and related transition planning.

    –> Ongoing discussions regarding the ELCA Social Statement on Human Sexuality and the May 16th church council meeting on this subject.

    –> A May 19 Conversation on Sunday Mornings at Bethlehem and doing more of what equips us to live our faith in daily life

2. Kathy F. spoke about our 2019 World Hunger appeal “Sneaking up on Hunger.”

3. Treasurer, Alan S. presented an update on BLC finances through the end of March. We are now half way through the fiscal year and have a pretty good handle on where we stand.

    –>We’re a little behind our budget on receipt. Contributions less than where we wanted, offset partially by special receipts.

    –>Spending is being mostly predictable in a typical BLC way. Overall BLC will probably spend less than budget for the year. The shortfall in receipts appears to be persistent, that is we don’t believe we can get to level necessary to cover current budgeted expenses

    –>Council is currently in process of reformulating next year’s budget to be more in line with current receipts. BLC is fiscally very strong. no debt, significant net asset balance.

   –>Taking this action to be sure BLC stays financially fit.

4. Council President, Rick Walker addressed the following topics:

–>Church Council meetings are open and BLC members are welcome. Beginning this month, highlights of the topics for discussion will be shared with the congregation and a copy of the draft agenda will be posted in the narthex.

  –>Rick asked for input from the members present regarding the frequency of the forums. The overwhelming response was to retain the current schedule of three forums and one annual meeting.