GSLC Inreach and Congregational Care Committee
Meeting Minutes of Thursday, August 8, 2019
Present: Cathy Beaty, Cathy Peercy, Pat Westimayer, Jessica McCarty, Gary Lewis, Pr. Sheryl Erickson, Stephanie Benson-Gonzales, Matt Sorum, Jan Grebel, Kathie Schroedel, Ellen Franzone, Pr. Mark Renner, Lynne Kroger, Sarah Iverson
Devotions and Lynne’s Retirement
Lynne opened the meeting with a reading based on Rom. 12:2 and prayer. She then left the meeting room so Sarah could update the committee on the plans for Lynne’s Retirement Party on August 25th. The meal is potluck with the church supplying sandwiches, chips and drinks and attendees bringing salads and desserts. The program emceed by Pr. Sheryl is packed with special speakers, guests and songs as the church family recognizes the faithful service Lynne has provided for 50 years. Sarah also asked for volunteers to greet, help set up and help cleanup.
The minutes of the April 4, 2019 meeting were approved as written.
Connections Fair on September 22nd
The ICC committee will have a table at both locations with items showcasing the ministries under the committee’s umbrella. Pr. Sheryl distributed a list of ICC ministries with contact information. Jan and Kathie volunteered to contact ministries to see who would be willing to be present or place an item on the tables. Pat said she would take care of Shepherd’s Hands.
Goals and Objectives
Stephanie and Jessica presented the following as proposed goals and objectives to fulfill the purpose of the Inreach Committee:
•Create opportunities to welcome and connect new members so that they may find community and deepen their engagement at Good Shepherd
•Notice and strengthen opportunities to nurture the Good Shepherd community through ICC ministries, prayer, support and care
•Build awareness of ICC ministries so that members can access support and identify ways to serve others
•Grow ICC ministries in a sustainable way, identifying the human and financial resources to care for our community
The committee approved the goals and objectives to be added to the mission statement for approval by the Board.
Keeping the Connection
Pr. Sheryl said that Kimberly King on her own has been sending cards and packages to college students. Pr. Sheryl and Becca determined this ministry to keep connected with students while they are away at school fits best under the ICC umbrella. The 2020 committee budget will reflect this addition. This fall there will be ~ 25 young adult recipients, and the goal is to send cards and packages at least four times during the school year. Kimberly has her plans in place for the fall mailing. Pat suggested that Kimberly could include prayer squares in her fall packages and will contact Kimberly about that possibility.
Discussion: What is meaningful about being a member of GSLC and how to build relationships?
Lynne said personal face-to-face contacts help people get to know each other. Gary noted that he finds himself talking to his friends and often doesn’t find the time to greet a “guest.” Pat said, if you are unsure if a person is a member or guest, ask “What is your connection to GS?” Stephanie noted that she is most drawn to the ELCA values of GS. All agreed that recognizing events in people’s lives breaks the ice, or as Ellen put it, seeing those life moments as connecting points.
One suggestion for connections involved the Prayer Chain group. They do not have meetings, but a small group could work together and make follow-up phone calls to check on those posted on the Prayer Chain. Another idea was to have a “new members team” to contact new members 4-6 weeks after they join to see if they have found connections. Pr. Mark said intentional mentoring works well for new members.
Matt said social media is important. Pr. Sheryl reported that GS now has a church app. Pr. Mark noted there is a place to blog on the church website.
Pr. Sheryl and Pr. Mark said that another idea is to have small home communion kits on the altar each Sunday so families could take one home for sick or homebound relatives. They could take the kits when the church service is over.
New Member Class/Ice Cream Sundaes
The class held on June 26th was a small gathering and included one church couple who thought the event was an ice cream social. They stayed and shared why they love GS. Donna Maysack and Cathy P set up the sundae ingredients counter and then joined the group. The ice cream idea was well received. Donna and Pr. Sheryl recommended that if the class format goes with a dessert-type treat instead of dinner, the class could start later in the evening. Future media invitations to a class will be better defined. Pr. Sheryl said the next class probably will be in October.
Committee Meeting Dates for the Next Year
The committee will meet every other month on the second Thursday of the month, unless a conflict arises. The dates are October 10, December 12, February 13, April 2, June 11 and August 14. The meetings will start at 6 p.m. with a duration of 1-1 1/2 hours.
Lynne updated the committee on her plans for the next three months when she will not be attending church or meetings at GS. One highlight is a trip to Louisiana to see a New Orleans Saints game with her granddaughter. Lynne said she’d be back for the December committee meeting.
Name Tag Sunday
The next Name Tag Sunday will coincide with the Connections Fair on September 22nd. As per usual, Cathy P will recruit ushers at Verona campus to cover the three tables there. Besides asking for committee volunteers at Madison campus, she will approach greeters to help, especially at the Whitney Way door.
Metrics for July 2019
•36 Home Communions
•15 Hospital Visits
•13 Follow-up Contacts
•N/A Grief Group Attendees
•15 New Prayer Chain Prayers
•10 Active Stephen Ministry Relationships
•Card Writing Ministry
•1 Prayer Shawl Distributed
Pr. Sheryl told the committee that September Sunday themes will be “menu-based,” i.e., first day of Sunday School is Kids’ Menu.
Pr. Mark shared a story about a home communion visit with a lady at the Ingleside facility in Mt. Horeb. She received a prayer shawl and said that she wraps herself up in it at night and sleeps like a baby. She also said she really wished she had a way to tell everybody thanks. Kathie, a participant in the Shepherd’s Hands program, followed up with a visit and videoed the woman’s heart-felt gratitude for the shawl. Pr. Sheryl said the video will be given to the communications team and hopefully will be shown to the congregation either at church or on the website.
Pat volunteered to devotions for the next meeting on October 10th. The committee closed the meeting with the Lord’s Prayer.
Respectfully submitted by Cathy Peercy, Vice Chair