Year in Review 1993

Report of the Moderator

Report of the Minister

Church Clerk's Report

Digest of 150th Annual Meeting of January 20, 1993

Proposed Budget for 1994

Report of the Moderator

It has been by good fortune to serve as your Moderator during these past two years. This time of transition in the life of our congregation has been challenging, exciting and sometimes difficult for all of us.

Since our last Annual Meeting, we have experienced the retirements of our Senior Minister, Phil Mouth, and our longtime Administrator, Les Grube. As we wished each of them well for the future and celebrated their time with us, we turned to the task of planning our future. We established a Search Committee and charged them with the task of involving the entire congregation in determining our future needs. We gathered in small focus groups led by the Rev. Denise Tracy of the Alban Institute to discuss our dreams and our concerns. We gathered in two very large groups and were energized as we received Rev. Tracy’s report and recommendations for the futures. In December, we gathered again at a Congregational Meeting and began charting our course for the futures.

All of this, while maintaining our usual busy schedule of worship services, educational and fellowship activities and service to our congregation and community. Quite a year. For me, it has been an honor and a privilege to share in the leadership of this congregation with the many dedicated people who devote their time and energy toward making our church the wonderful place that it is. Thanks to all of you.

Finally, I would especially like to acknowledge continuing dedication to excellence and the extra efforts put forth by our entire staff during these very challenging times. I’m sure I speak for the entire congregation when I say thank you for job very well done.

Doug Jacobson, Moderator

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Report of the Ministers for 1993

1993 has been a year of transition at First Congregational Church. After 28 years of service, Les Grube retired in January. In that same month, Dr. Muth announced his retirement which became effective in December. Additional personnel changes were make when Rick Koch and Rani Gusho moved to split responsibilities that had previously belonged to Mr. Grube, and in April, Rob Fredrickson became the church’s first full-time Youth Director.

In anticipation of Dr. Muth’s departure, a Search Committee began its work in the Spring. Through the services of consultant, Denise Tracy, focus groups were held in the Fall involving over 400 members who reported by a wide margin that the most appreciated ministry of our church was Dr. Muth’s preaching, followed by the music ministry. Currently, the Search Committee is engaged in a pursuit of an Interim Senior Minister.

It is expected that such transitional dynamics will be reflected in changes in a congregation’s worship attendance and finances. Attendance was down in 1993; (about 82 people per Sunday) and the 1994 budget is substantially reduced from the ‘93 budget (approximately $60,000.) Additional expenditures of approximately $230,000 were authorized by the Council for retirement benefits, capital improvements, consultation fees, search efforts, etc., to be paid out of various church holdings. Given our history, commitment to our mission and the generosity of our people, it is expected that these trends will be effectively reversed.

In spite of the significant transitions, the year was nevertheless busy and full, programatically. Adult education offerings were expanded, various training and educational events were offered to the congregation, area churches and our community. The church parlor and church offices have been remodeled and effectively equipped. However, the church is finally its people. Its mission shines through the countless hours of engagement in many ministries including: music, Sunday School, P.F., Mobile Meals, fellowship, Partners, ushering, greeting, kitchen and office help, St. Vincent’s, ongoing involvement with committees and boards, to those who pledge generously and pray devotedly. The challenges facing the church in today’s society are substantial and each member’s commitment is critical if we are to faithfully respond to God’s call to effective ministry now and in he future. May God bless you all,

John Strassburger and Rick Koch

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Church Clerk's Report

Membership as of December 31, 1992

Members deceased

Members deceased (service not by our ministers)

Members transferred or removed by request

Total removed
- 53

New Members
Spring Class 19
Fall Class 18
Covenant Class 13
Total New Members + 50

Total Membership as of December 31, 1993

Ministerial Services

Baptisms, 29
Marriages, 17
Funerals and Memorial Services
Members, 20
Non-members, 9

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Digest of 150th Annual Meeting of January 20, 1993


Moderator Doug Jacobson opened the meeting. Laura Roberts, Board of Deacons’ chairperson, gave the blessing, and introduced the head table. The Covenant was read in unison; minutes accepted as published; Joe Berte gave the Treasurer’s Report. Marion Petersen presented the Proposed Budget for 1993, which was accepted. Dr. Muth announced that he will retire at the end of March, 1994. Joyce Orr presented a report for the Congregational Home. Susan Barth read the slate of Council officers and Board members; motion make, seconded, accepted. Dr. Muth reviewed "in-care" ministerial status of three church members: John Moore, Wendy Sue Earle and Gail Miller.

A motion to adopt the Certificate of Reorganization was voted unanimously. The Constitution of the Church was affirmed as presented. The proposed By-Laws were accepted as restated, including changes to Page 2, 4, redefining "Quorum" and an addition to Page 4, "8. Voting by Proxy shall not be allowed". It was proclaimed that Sunday, January 24, 1993, be a day of Recognition for Lester E. Grube, Jr., at which time a reception will be held for Les and Marcia Grube.

The Rev. Rick Koch spoke of "new things" coming to this church, including a Small Groups’ Ministry during Lent. He encouraged us to take a bigger, more active part in the life of our church.

Doug Jacobson spoke of this 150 year old free and independent church having touched many lives. He announced that Rani Gusho and Rick Koch will assume the duties of Les Grube, as well as retaining many of their present duties. A new Youth director will be hired in the near future. Dr. Muth’s retirement will arrive as he assumes the duties as chairman of the N.A. Executive Committee. In asking for our help and support, he reminded us that we have unlimited potential. After Lee Jacobi led us in singing, the benediction was given by Butch Boyd, new chairperson of the Board of Deacons. The meeting adjourned at 10:35.

Respectfully submitted, Betsy Aspinwall, Church Clerk

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Trustees $70,500 $68,996
Deacons 3,350 3,241
Congregational Care 1,000 742
Christian Fellowship 2,825 4,573
Christian Education 5,500 4,589
Stewardship, regular 1,700 1,700
canvass 1,500 1,426
Communications 19,000 22,760
Music 3,625 3,114
Personnel 404,512 413,120
Council Sub-Committees 800 7
Benevolences 70,050 80,431
Funded Project from:    
Growth and Development   90,505
Expected Pledge Payments $520,425  
Other Receipts 27,600  
Interest from G&D 15,000  




Budget and Finance Committee: Tom Godfrey, Chairman; Marion Petersen, Mark Lemke, Charlie Wakefield, Ed Probst, Peter Holtz, Joe Berte

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