On January 28, 2024, Bethlehem Lutheran Church held its Annual Congregational Meeting. This was a standard business meeting including approval of 2022 Annual Meeting minutes, voting on new council members, and discussions and voting on the 2024 budget.
During Pastor Calvin’s address he recognized all of the members who work together to lead the congregation in worship, meals, Coffee An’, children & youth volunteers, and so many more! Looking to the future, everything looks very hopeful. We have a strong budget, thanks to your faithful and generous giving. We have had lots of visitors and have received new members. We have meaningful worship services with strong music teams and a great live stream presence. We have bible studies – men’s, women’s circle and the weekly text study. Pastor Calvin does a monthly service with the Care Center residents and is making home visits. Since he joined Bethlehem, he has led us in new and special services: Pet Blessings, Healing Service, Honoring Veterans, and Confirmation. There are many opportunities that members can participate in, including serving, study and worship.
Changes to Council: Mike Chmelik and Eric Anderson concluded their roles as president and vice president and will remain on the council through then end of their terms. Sue Hennessy and Shawn Swearingen were voted in as new council members. Hilja Iverson has stepped off council due to personal reasons. Hilja will join the Nominating Committee for next year. Mission Endowment Committee: Dianne Peterson’s term has expired and Annie DeBevec volunteered to fill the vacant position. At the February council meeting the members will vote on Executive Committee positions.
2024 Budget: Discussions included the increased (doubling) cost of church insurance, which is a problem with churches all over the nation. It’s hard to understand that only doubling the insurance cost is a good thing, and Chmelik stated that if we don’t have any claims, we should be able to reduce our costs in the next 5 years or so. This budget includes the hiring of a Director of Children, Youth and Family Ministry, and the employment search will begin immediately.