Tom Oines pointed us to Christ, guiding us to reflect on Biblical verses about humility, gentleness, and compassion. Then, in small groups, we shared and prayed for where we saw the need for God’s work in our own lives and work/ministry areas.
Carolyn Burkland projected that we need lots of revenue this month – $265,000 – if we are to break even for 2016. If our December offerings are similar to last December, we will end with a deficit of $35,000 – 45,000.
Anne van Roden led us in prayer for the 2017 budget process, and for God’s wisdom to guide us. Building on last month’s work, we reviewed the revised estimated revenue total for 2017 (based primarily on current pledges received), reviewed the Personnel Committee’s proposed salaries & benefits, and approved the preliminary expense budget proposal prepared by the ad hoc budget team, totaling about $1,483,000.
In the unlikely event of there being any 2016 year end budget surplus, we approved the Admin team’s motion that we will first use those funds toward retiring the 2015 deficit of $16,066.40; and any remaining surplus funds will be distributed by Outreach between the PCUSA Disaster Relief Fund and our Local Outreach Contingency Fund.
We removed 39 people from membership who are no longer are active with Bethany.
At our January, February, and March meetings, we will be sharing with one another how we each have experienced God’s leading & guidance in our personal & corporate journeys around Bethany’s homosexuality issue, and we will be discussing a revised draft of a Unity and Diversity Statement and the related FAQ. Session will also be reading & discussing a pastor’s book about his own congregation’s journey with this issue.