September 12th, 2016 6:30-9:30 pm at the Ministry Center Present: Jay Justmann, Wes Andersen, Jeff Guenther, Ron Takacs, Pastor Ben Kuerth, Pastor Bill Limmer.
We began as Pastor Bill led us in a study of Psalm 97, talking about how comforting it is that “the LORD reigns” no matter what decisions we make and no matter what takes place. He is in control. In the world. In the church. In our homes. In our lives. And He is just. He sent Jesus to take the full blow of all injustice in this world so that we can be at peace with God and rejoice in His glory forever.
After our study we all took turns praying for people in our church and asking for God’s blessings on our meeting. As we usually do we continued with Victory Stories. Some specific things we celebrated as “wins” were the successful Fall kickoff for our teen ministry Quest. 20 teens + leaders met for pizza, fun, and Bible study. We have a great group of adult leaders also that we praise God for. A comment from one of our Quest leaders: “I don’t think my prayers were grand enough to include everything that happened last night.”
Also we celebrated many positive comments we’ve received about Liz Scheel, our Victory Kids director, and our Victory Kids program as meeting the needs of a number of new families. New volunteers are being incorporated as well as many teens and young people who are getting to serve. We also look forward to seeing the Victory Kids sing in church more often—alternating between the older kids and younger kids month to month. They will be singing on 9/18 at the 9 am service. Victory Kids is back to two services starting 9/11.
Also, we received positive feedback about Pastor Ben and Bill’s Q and A conversation on stage to wrap up our “Intimacy and Purity” series. They plan to do this more in the future. We also rejoiced to welcome Peter Schlicht as our Seminary assistant this year.
As far as member care, both pastors asked for prayers for God’s wisdom as they minister to our members struggling with temptation and sin. We acknowledge it is a good thing when people open up, confess, and ask for help. God used the “Intimacy and Purity” series to open up people’s hearts and to seek help from our pastors with God’s word. Pastor Ben and Bill are regularly communicating with each other as a team about how best to help people who come to them for help and when as sometimes also necessary to refer for professional counseling in addition. We are blessed to be a church where people can come broken and seeking help through the Gospel and this is happening more and more!
This past month we received a number of new members via transfers. Pastor Bill has been meeting one on one with everyone to go through our Membership Covenant process which helps focus everyone on our mission.
Likewise Pastor Bill has begun to reach out to some of our members who are shut-in and unable to attend church to help care for their souls.
The responsibility of those who serve on our church’s Leadership Team is significant. Pastor Ben regularly encourages all of us to find a way to keep our priorities in the right place so that we can serve joyfully and shepherd our own families well. With that in mind, at our meeting this month we received the resignation of Dan Tomczyk from the Leadership Team. With our full support, we thank Dan for his time of service on the Leadership Team and encourage him in this full season of life to continue to serve and support his family first and foremost. What this means going forward is that on our Leadership Team we have a vacancy to fill as we have in the past. Pastor Ben will communicate the process for filling the vacant position over the next couple weeks.
Pastor Ben has been following up with people and planning for a new Bible 101 class to begin on 9/22. Pastor Bill has been busy crafting a discipleship plan which includes small groups and an upcoming campaign. He reported a number of small groups have begun meeting again this month and info is on the church website for those. Starting up again is the Victory Moms group. To help encourage our Victory Moms group we have set aside funds for childcare so that all moms can attend. Pastor Bill has been gathering and developing resources for a cancer support group. He has also begun researching further Jesus Cares Ministry to people with special needs.
Jr High confirmation class began a new Fall session with 19 students meeting in the multipurpose room during second service on 9/11.
Pastor Ben gave an update on the sanctuary art project, feedback received, his meeting with Paul Mattek of Design Fugitives, and funding goals for the project going forward. We have $30,000 committed by various families already towards the project being completed substantially as presented. Depending on different options and decisions to be made, we anticipate the complete cost of the project to be around $40-45,000. In addition to the sanctuary art project we discussed a generous offer to, at the same time, extend the stage out to the left so that some musicians could move over and relieve congestion on stage. Pastor Ben is working with Paul Mattek to finalize design details and budget taking into account feedback we have received. As details are finalized Pastor Ben will present a special giving opportunity for this project. Based on Paul’s production schedule and other projects they are doing we anticipate potential completion of our project by Easter.
Ron Takacs has been communicating with Dick Riege and Jim Marlowe about the finishing touches regarding landscaping and the planting of grass and prairie grass. Ron also presented a detailed spreadsheet of quotes from multiple asphalt companies for completing the top layer of asphalt so that we can budget for this in the future. Included in these quotes was a separate line item to create a handicap ramp at the main entrance for greater convenience and handicap parking to be able to be placed just outside the main entrance in front of the ministry center. After discussion we approved Ron to move forward with authorizing Parking Lot Maintenance to install this ramp which they intend to do in mid-October of this year at a cost of $2,390. It is felt that this is important to do asap for the sake of those who find it difficult to attend church due to the distance of the handicap ramp from the main entrance. This is part of our mission to meet people where they’re at.
After months of work and consulting with other churches and the synod’s HR office, a VotL church employee handbook was approved. Special thanks to Jim Guenther for his work on this. Pastor Ben will share accordingly as the lead pastor overseeing staff. Copies can be made available upon request. Updates and revisions can be made as needed.
Jay Justmann presented an update on his research of other churches as far building usage policies and forms. A committee of Jay, Ron, and Wes met this month to review them. Ron also presented a draft of a campus alcohol policy after receiving input from the Leadership Team at a previous meeting. We will review and make revisions via email with the goal of adopting the updated policy at the next meeting.
Jeff reported different options for obtaining disability insurance for Pastor Ben and Pastor Bill and a plan was approved that will cost about $2,000 / yr. This was included with our former WELS Veba plan. However, after recently obtaining insurance instead through the exchange program, disability coverage was no longer included. We are still saving substantially with our insurance costs even with adding disability coverage.
Pastor Ben made us aware of a few things coming up including: Pastors Ben and Bill at a circuit meeting on 9/13 and at Symposium at the Seminary on 9/19 and 9/20. Pastor Ben leads chapel at Wisconsin Lutheran High School on 9/28. Pastors Ben and Bill at joint pastors’ conference in Elkhart Lake on 10/4 and 10/5 and at Siebert Foundation “Change or Die” conference on 10/13.
A new Bible 101 to begin 9/22 6:30-8:00 pm for 4 Thursdays. At Victory of the Lamb – 11/24 Thanksgiving Eve worship service at 6:30 pm. 12/18 Victory Kids Christmas service at 10:45 service. 12/24 Christmas Eve Worship 4:30 and 6:30 pm.
At 9:30 we closed with prayer.
As always, all are welcome to contact anyone on the Leadership Team with any questions or concerns. Further contact info including email addresses is on our church website. To email the Leadership Team as a group simply use: firstname.lastname@example.org