The Congregational Council met for its standing monthly meetings on June 21 and July 19, respectively. Agenda items included Committee updates from Human Resources, Stewardship, Shared Ministry and more. Treasurer Ben Finkelstein reported on the June Financial Summary. After a strong first quarter of giving, offering income has slowed in the summer months. At the same time we are experiencing high utilities costs and increasing operating expenses as church programming emerges from the past year’s slowdown. The Capital Fund is healthy and we look forward to routine maintenance and repair projects in the coming months.
Council business also included a review of the process at which Gloria Dei arrived at our Welcome Statement. Members of the Welcoming Community Committee briefed Council during the July meeting and proposed updates to that Welcome Statement. After discussion and debate Council did unanimously adopt the revisions as forwarded by the Welcoming Committee:
All are welcome at Gloria Dei. We rejoice that diversity has enriched, nurtured and challenged the life and ministry we share as members of the body of Christ and workers in the kingdom of God. We believe that the gospel is God’s gift to all people, to be shared unconditionally, without regard to age, race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family configuration or relationship status, socio-economic status, mental health status, or physical or mental abilities. We strive to be a more inclusive and anti-racist community. We know that the world is often an unloving place and that the experience of alienation is all too common. To those who have felt excluded here or elsewhere, we extend a particular welcome in Christ’s love.
Council also had the opportunity to learn about our Room 99 guests: the Rojas family. We rejoice with all of you that our church is now home for a loving family seeking respite. The Immigrant Justice Team continues its work with Stephanie, Luis and Sebastian as they look to settle into life in Saint Paul and at Gloria Dei.
I hope you are well and enjoy these summer days! My family is off to explore National Parks in southern Utah and northern Arizona before those last days of August turn to September. We look forward to being with you all again soon at Gloria Dei!
President, Congregational Council