Year in Review 1997

Report of the Moderator

Report of the Minister

Church Clerk's Report

Digest of 154th Annual Meeting of January 22, 1997

Proposed Budget for 1998

Report of the Moderator



In this age where society spends a lot of time "doing" we don't often take time to look back and appreciate our accomplishments.  I would like to take time and look back at the 155th year of the First Congregational Church of Wauwatosa.  We once again have accomplished much...we continue to move forward within an atmosphere which allows change, while recognizing our heritage.  There are three areas which are critical factors in the success of this Church; 1) the Building; 2) the Programs, and 3) the People (staff, volunteers and congregation).

The Building: We continued to make great strides in improving and maintaining this building, both inside and out.  Just look at the Social Hall and its redecoration and lighting. It is a far cry from its former use as a basketball court.  A necessary improvement, but not nearly as exciting was the upgrading of the boiler and air conditioning systems.  Overall the building is in great shape... some more needs to be done but we have taken great strides to preserve and upgrade this critical symbol of religious freedom in the community.  Take time to look around and appreciate this facility and all it represents.

The Programs: Just take a look at the monthly calendar in the Columns and you have an idea of the breadth and diversity of the programs offered by this church for all members.  Just to name a few...this year we successfully added a Men's Ministry and more recently a Women's Ministry has been started.  We have continued and expanded our adult education activities which, this year, ranged from the history of the Congregational Church toThe Screwtape Letters.  These efforts have been so successful that we have moved the early service up 15 minutes to allow more time for activities.  This is in addition to the inspirational messages provided each Sunday by Lonnie, Steve and Chris.  Take time to reflect on what you have participated in and the messages you have heard.

The People: Our greatest resource is the people of this Church (the Staff, Volunteers and Congregation).  We are blessed with a marvelous and dedicated Staff who are committed to serving this Church.  Their value cannot be measured.  The Volunteers are those who serve on the boards and committees and help at the myriad of activities.  Their contributions are huge.  The Congregation, all of you who attend worship, participate in the activities and provide your support through stewardship.  Take time to thank the people around you.

Finally, I would like to thank the staff and the Congregation for their support.  As Moderator, I am honored to have served you throughout 1997.  Most of all I wish continued blessings on this Church and its People.

Peter Holtz

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Report of the Minister for 1997

Rev. Lonnie A. Richardson

January 18, 1998

This was a year for congregational depth and facility renewal with more going on and more people participating in a variety of activities.

The development of an internet web site has provided exhaustive access to information and communication and allowed us to be a ready congregational resource to members and interested visitors from six countries. Eleven members served our mission in Honduras and installed a dental facility, medical laboratory and constructed a building. The significant television coverage of the project presented our church in a very positive way.

A new Wednesday morning outreach for men, focusing on faith, integrity and fellowship, has involved over seventy-five men and continues to be a strong addition to the church. Two new gatherings for women have also been introduced and well received. Over one-hundred-fifty women and children from various congregations meet each Tuesday throughout our facilities to participate in Bible Study Fellowship. Since this is also the morning for the Retired Men's Club, we have almost as many here on Tuesday as Sunday.

The goal of developing a Director of Student Ministries position was realized with the hiring of Chris Rygh. Chris has provided creative visionary leadership in our ministry to children and families. The addition of Michelle Jackson as Parish Nurse has increased our ability to care for the health and welfare needs of the congregation while strengthening our relationship with Congregational Home.

The Social Hall has been completely renovated including the addition of theatrical lighting and a video projection system. This space which has the characteristics of a grand ballroom is truly a multi-functional space allowing us to incorporate today's technology with our historical message that people matter to God. The sound system in the sanctuary was also replaced. All the renovation projects have been fully paid and there is no debt. The combined increase in pledges from the last three stewardship campaigns is over 29% with our highest for the coming year at 12.7%.

This has been a rewarding year and I am thankful to be your senior minister. The future will be an exciting adventure as we continue to believe in the God who believes in us!


Rev. Lonnie Richardson

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Church Clerk's Report



as of Dec. 31, 1996 - 1212

Members deceased - 28

Members transferred - 16

Total Removed - 44

New Members

Covenant Class - 8

2/9/97 - 9

5/4/97 - 18

10/19/97 - 14

Total New Members + 49

Total Membership as of 12/31/97 - 1217

Ministerial Services

Baptisms 24
Marriages 23
Funerals and Memorial Services
Members 15 Non-Members 2


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Minutes of the 154th Annual Meeting - January 22, 1997

Rev. Dr. Steven Peay gave invocation; Lee Jacobi led singing. Moderator Marion Petersen called meeting to order; we read the "Covenant." Tom Godfrey will serve as Parliamentarian. Beej Wakefield and meal helpers were thanked.

Corrected 1996 minutes should read: "3,400 meals were delivered in the Mobile Meals' Program during 1995."

Minister's Report: Lonnie Richardson said past year had many possitive activities. He listed his personal goals and shared those of Steve Peay, Chris Rygh, Rani Gusho, Ddg Wakefield.

Treasurer's Report, presented by Butch Boyd: "The Congregational Investment Trust" is a new fund set up by the N.A.C.C.C. as an Endowment Fund. Moved to accept report. Stewardship Drive Report, presented by Jane Jacobson, reported 1997 campaign was 9.9% increase over 1996, with pledges totaling $564,567. Peter Holtz presented Budget and Finance Report: budget of $602,280; moved, seconded, accepted.

The Congregational Home Report, presented by Burleigh Jacobs: 1996 had high rate of occupancy; ground broken for new addition; completion scheduled for 1997, will provide increased living options. Sally Wells' 115 volunteers were thanked as were Mobile Meals volunteer drivers under director Alice Krebs, 6,122 meals delivered. Former Administrator, Bob Hankins, and Carrie Laubenheimer, Director of Admissions, have retired. New C.H. Administrator, Charlie Nelson, was introduced.

Doug Jacobson reviewed financial report of "Restore Our Heritage."

In her Moderator's Report, Marion Petersen said the past year was rewarding. The church's exterior appearance has greatly improved. With Social Hall improvements, our building will be beautiful inside and out. A Heritage Endowment Fund, a Program Development Fund and a Facilities Renewal Fund have been established.

All retiring officers, Board and Committee members were recognized. Nominating Committee introduced nominees. Moved, seconded to accept report.

Unfinished Business: Charter and Financial Policy reports of Heritage Endowment Fund, Facilities Renewal Fund and Program Development and Special Events Fund included in Growth and Development Fund, were reviewed. Voted to keep John Moore "in-care" of the church.

New Moderator, Peter Holtz, looks forward to 1997. We have entered a new era: Long Range Planning Committee received considerable input in setting future direction: increase number of small groups within the church, increase educational opportunities, evaluate size of church boards. The Nominating Committee had difficulty recruiting members for boards. Many people joined the church this past year and it is hoped they will become active members. Peter looks forward to serving as Moderator.

No New Business presented.

Motion for adjournment made, seconded, accepted. Lee Jacobi led singing "Blest Be the Tie That Binds." Laura Anderson, new Board of Deacons' Chairperson, gave benediction.

Respectfully submitted, Betsy Isenberg, Church Clerk

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Trustees $104,200 $93,465
Deacons 3,575 2,894
Congregational Care 1,800 637
Christian Fellowship 2,700 2,713
Christian Education 13,100 10,400

Sunday School Benevolences


Stewardship, regular 2,150 2,079
canvass 2,600 3,045
Communications 26,800 26,690
Music 5,475 4,998
Personnel 415,000 392,009
Council Sub-Committees 2,250 1,877
Benevolences 58,000 59,874

Facilities Renewal Projects



Expected Pledge Payments $602,506  
Other Receipts 23,300  

Sunday School Benevolences
Facilities Renewal Projects


Interest from Heritage Endowment Fund 11,824

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