Underwood Ministry Council

Members: Mike Katzung (Moderator), Becky Wiza (Clerk), Beth Peterson (Treasurer/Stewardship), John Sorenson (Financial Secretary), Mary Ann Hand (Outreach/Missions), Sarah Torbenson (Pastoral Relations), Mark Strothmann (Property), Patti Frank (Staff Relations), Letha Taylor/Stephen Hawkins (Worship), Pastor Jason.

Meeting Highlights* – 2021


We discussed Covid Protocols and agreed to leave them in place. Pastor Jason will take on more of a supervisory role of staff in continued partnership with the personnel committee and Ministry Council. Final details of the 2022 budget were fleshed out to be presented to the congregation on Sunday, Nov. 21.


The council received an informal offer from a local non-denominational congregation to purchase the building and property. We turned it down but decided that we should have an idea of what the building and property are worth. Patti volunteered to pursue an estimate, and pastor Jason volunteered to help. We began conversations regarding the 2022 budget. A smaller group including John, Beth, Patti, and Pastor Jason will meet to flesh out the details. We discussed the current Covid protocols and agreed to continue with them as is. We will continue to consider Covid protocols at future meetings.


The council considered a proposal for a new contract with Chef Carla and her husband to use the kitchen to start a new business. We tabled the conversation until next month so we can gather more information. Mike gave an update on the A/V installation. We are hoping to schedule the installation soon. We discussed several potential goals for the 2022 church year, including becoming a hybrid church, growing worship attendance, finding a mission in the community & creating a unifying purpose for the church.


We welcomed Stephen as a new Ministry Council member stepping in for Letha as head of the worship committee. Funds were approved to help pastor Jason purchase a new laptop computer. Funds were also approved to install a flag pole and rainbow flag on the SW corner of the building along Wauwatosa Ave. Mike gave an update on continued negotiations for the audiovisual installation in the sanctuary.


Three decisions were made at this meeting:

First, the Ministry Council approved Mike K. to go forward with a bid to add the technology needed in the sanctuary to create a hybrid service both online and in person. The total cost will be around $20k, and the work will take several weeks to finish.

Second, the Ministry Council approved pastor Jason to continue planning an event with the local non-profit Race & Faith to be held at Underwood on Saturday, October 16. Pastor Jason was approved for up to $500 for expenses.

Third, Duane Hand has volunteered to take over custodial duties as a volunteer. The Ministry Council approved this plan and empowered Patti to let Jim know that we will no longer be needing his services.


In this meeting, we discussed indoor and outdoor worship and what safety precautions seemed reasonable given the changing recommendations by the CDC. We also made plans for the coming and going of the music staff. In addition, the Hand's daughter Sara was given permission to work her esthetic magic on the main floor bathroom – as she has already done on the bulletin board outside of the church offices (yay Sarah!).


This meeting had two main focuses. The first was to decide upon a plan for re-opening public worship. We agreed on two outdoor worship services, June 20 & 27, and then meeting in person on Sunday, July 11. We created a planning team for the two outside services (Letha, Becky, Mary Ann & Jason) and to plan the return to indoor in-person worship (Letha, Sarah & Jason).

The other focus of the meeting was hiring Steve Burks to replace Mike H. and re-arranging the musicians' schedule in worship. The plans were brought to the council by Patti and Jason and were approved. Announcements regarding these changes are coming soon.

April - The Ministry Council took April off from meeting.


Other than discussing Covid as we have been most months, our focus at this meeting was the Oikos Accelerator. Pastor Jason gave an overview of the program and answered questions. We agreed to go forward with the project, and Pastor Jason made a presentation to the congregation. A team is being formed, and work will begin in early July. If you would like to know more about the project, reach out to Pastor Jason.


February was a shorter meeting. Our primary discussion revolved around what worship will be like post-covid, how we want to remain a "hybrid" worshiping community (both in-person and online). And what the tech needs will be to pull that off. Mike K. volunteered to see that project through.


The big decision in the January meeting was approving a budget to be brought before the congregation during a congregational meeting on the last Sunday of January, which subsequently passed. We also discussed insights from a new couple that toured the building. The refresh of the bulletin board was one thing that came out of that discussion. Patti and Pastor Jason reported beginning the search for Mike H.'s replacement as church accompanist. We also discussed plans for Easter and started thinking about life after Covid.

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Ministry Council Officers are 1-year positions and can be re-elected up to 3 years in a row.

Committee Chairs are 2-year positions.

Officer & Committee Chair elections will take place yearly during May.

Current Officers and Chairs are listed below....

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