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Church Council Recap - January 2022

Church Council Recap - January 2022

By: Susan Naslund
Church Council Meeting Recap: Foothills UMC Votes to Pursue Safe Parking Program at the GSMC

We already know that chronic homelessness continues to be a huge problem in East County, but there is a newer type of homelessness that most do not know about -- the working homeless.

Since 2009, Dreams for Change has offered several cost-effective interventions that stabilize the lives of thousands of individuals experiencing homelessness. One of those interventions is a safe place to park for families and individuals who are living in their vehicles.

On Sunday, January 23, the Church Council of Foothills UMC made the decision to enter into discussions with Dreams for Change to create a Safe Parking Program at our Good Shepherd Ministry Center campus. The GSMC Safe Parking Program would provide working families living in their vehicles with a safe and secure environment to park overnight. In addition to providing a safe place to park and sleep, the goal of the program would be to provide services to help the families transition back into permanent housing.

You can watch a video produced by National Geographic here There is still a great amount of work to be done to create the Safe Parking Program, but GSMC leaders have been given the green light to proceed. Required tasks include 1) confirmation that FUMC’s insurer covers the use; 2) execution of a lease agreement between FUMC and program provider, defining the usage and terms of the project; 3) the lease provides for cancellation by FUMC, subject to no more than a 30-day notice period, for any reason with a shorter period, to be determined by GSMC, for any severe instances; 4) all governmental approvals, permits and licenses are obtained and in place; and 5) verification of provider’s credentials, references and experience.

Those in attendance also heard a brief update from Pastor Greg regarding plans to return to in-person worship and group meetings on January 30. Masks will still be required.

Pastor Kristie reported on the growth of her Exploring Scripture ministry. In addition to her Thursday morning class, this now includes a weekly e-mail reflection, a One-Word podcast, and a short video on Facebook. She is looking into the possibility of expanding this into an evening class. She is also looking for input for a walking meditation group during Lent.

Administrative Reports

The Board of Trustees reported on continuing projects including renovation of the property on Carpenter Lane for the Youth Center, campus safety, preschool flood, and ongoing campus maintenance issues. Contact Ken Fine for specific questions.

A solid Finance Committee report reflected the work of our excellent pastoral and lay leadership. Contact Tim Cajka for specific questions.

Alan Kneale’s presentation highlighted the fine performance of the FUMC Foundation account as well as successful stewardship development in 2021.

With appreciation for the years of dedication of Steven Topham and Sue Ranck, SPRC Chairperson Molly Jarrell announced these changes to the Foothills staff:

1) Ella Markus as our Audio/Visual Director, replacing Steven Topham. Ella will be responsible for the Audio/Visual operations of our worship services and special events.

2) An opening for the position of Communications Director and Office Administrator has been advertised in anticipation of Sue Ranck's retirement in March. In this expanded role, the candidate will be responsible for coordinating all Foothills communications (digital and print) and will manage the daily operations of the Church Office.

3) Foothills UMC member Ray Swavely, Jr. as our new Facilities Manager effective February 1, 2022. He will work with the staff and Trustees in ensuring the upkeep of both our Foothills and Good Shepherd Ministry Center campuses.

Ministry reports

Youth Programs – Sharon Russo – The new youth center is now open and being utilized. Sharon gave a sneak peek at the interior with a promise to show more in the near future. The new Confirmation class has begun with 12 youths signed up for the session with Sharon and Ray Swavely as leaders.

Family Ministries – Lisa Stewart – Lisa held a community outreach event in a local park offering crafts and activities under the FUMC banner. She plans to do this again in February and April.

GSMC – Christie Ranney – For safety reasons, the pantry has returned to pre-bagging groceries and is serving approximately 200 families a week. The Center is now utilizing Oasis Software to help in the tracking of the clients and their needs. The Russian family currently living in the Skyline property will be leaving soon for a farm in Northern California.

Please mark your calendars to join us for the next Church Council meeting currently scheduled for April 24, 2022. All are welcome.

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