Year in Review 1998

Report of the Moderator

Report of the Minister

Church Clerk's Report

Digest of 155th Annual Meeting of January 21, 1998

Proposed Budget for 1999

Report of the Moderator


I recently heard a caller on one of radio's many talk shows refer to 1998 as "this post-Christian era."  How could he be so blind? Christianity, as a religion and as a way of life, is growing, not disappearing!

This is so very evident in the life of First Congregational Church of Wauwatosa.  In 1998 our membership has grown, the number of youth being served by the church has increased dramatically, and our activities have expanded.

Growth within the church is wonderful, something we seek and desire.  It doesn't happen, however, without our active participation.  You have responded magnificently during the past year to the church's call for your help-most notably in assistance to the Honduras mission after their hurricane/flood disaster, and in sponsorship and participation in the "Past With a Future" symposium.

As we grow in numbers and program, we also grow in the need for people to share in God's work, and for operating funds to carry a growing budget.

This is the second year that the Nominating Committee has been unable to fill all of the Board positions.  Perhaps the three-year term of the Board is too much for these busy times; perhaps the Board should be smaller.  Long Range Planning will look at this in 1999.

While our annual stewardship campaigns have brought forth pledges that kept up with the rate of inflation, we need to grow beyond that if we are to support expanding programs.

The staff of the church, and the congregation have been outstanding in their support of the Moderator and the Church Council in this past year.   I am honored to have served as your moderator for this past year and most grateful for this support.

As the Lord is our refuge and our strength, so we must be the Lord's strength and the Lord's servants in making this church work, in making it tend to the spiritual needs of the congregation and in making it reach out to others as we promise in our Covenant.  This, then, is our accomplishment of the past year and our challenge for the next.

Karl Stieghorst

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Report of the Minister for 1998

Rev. Lonnie A. Richardson

January 18, 1998

Values to Bring into the Next Millennium

In their book "Built to Last" James Collins and Jerry Porras reported their findings on the characteristics of great gold medal organizations that have consistently prevailed over the decades.  They discovered that companies who knew what their core values were, who knew what their purpose was and then were relentlessly committed to consistency and alignment with their vision, made them enduring great companies.  By knowing what shouldn't change, necessary change in other areas occurred more efficiently.  This accurate observation forces the question: What should not change here?

I have identified five core values that are operative and normative at First Congregational Church.  These values make this a great church. The church will prevail in the decades ahead while remaining faithful to our tradition as we allow them to be the criteria for future mission, ministry and building.  This year will be a year of vision casting and organizing around these values.  Study them. Ask God what you can do about them. Then live the vision as we help people connect with God with a new vision for a new day to be able to reach our world in our day.

Core Values of First Congregational Church

* Jesus Christ is the head of the church.

* The grace of God frees us to be followers of Christ.

* God is honored through worship and service.

* Faith develops through prayer, studying the scriptures and celebrating the sacraments.

* Fellowship binds the church together.

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Church Clerk's Report



as of Dec. 31, 1997 1217

Members deceased 25

Members transferred 23

Total removed 48

New Members Received

Covenant Class 4

May 31, 1998 29

December 13, 1998 32

Total received +65


as of December 31, 1998 1234

Ministerial Services

Baptisms 40 Marriages 24

Funerals and Memorial Services

Members 13 Non-Members 7


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Minutes of the 155th Annual Meeting January 21, 1998

Rev. Dr. Steven Peay led us in prayer; Tom Jarchow showed slides of latest Honduran trip. Moderator Peter Holtz called meeting to order; Covenant read; Minutes of 154th Annual Meeting accepted. Rev. Lonnie Richardson gave report, thanked staff, gave vision of future; need to "connect" people with God; many searching for traditional church. Last year's goals realized; lighting, audio/visual equipment in Social Hall; implementation of WEB site; formation of "Ministry for Men;" Nave sound system; Chris Rygh hired as Director of Student Ministries; Michelle Jackson joined staff as Parish Nurse. Rev. Richardson envisions three Task forces: 1-study remodeling basement, third floor; 2-communicate endowment needs; 3-review By-laws, organizational structure. Treasurer Butch Boyd reviewed reports; accepted as printed. Merrill York presented Stewardship Report: 195 pledging units, total of $598,299; 52 new units. Karl Stieghorst reported on "Projected Revenues;" accepted.

Dale Engstrom summarized history of Cong. Home from beginning to present addition; Michelle Jackson hired as part time nurse; new Administrator Charlie Nelson. By-laws changed, allowing Board members from other N.A.C.C.C. churches. Open house Feb. 8, 1998 for new addition.

More Honduran slides; groups, individuals thanked for contributions of time, money, support. Moderator Pete Holtz noted areas critical to church's success: building, new programs, and people of church. Take time to meditate on blessings. Honored to have served as Moderator. Ddg Wakefield recognized for 15 years service to church. Retiring officers, board, committee members recognized. Carmen Berte thanked Nominating committee for securing people to serve; introduced nominees for Council, Boards. Slate accepted. New Moderator Karl Stieghorst thanked Pete Holtz for serving as Moderator. Karl and Barb enjoy church's warmth, fellowship. No new business. Ralph Ehlert reported for Music Committee: need for larger grand piano in Nave. Social Hall piano, built in 1900, could be rebuilt at half cost of new Steinway. New electric organ needed to replace 40 year old Chapel organ; a Digital Electronic Organ is approximately $35,000. Karl declared meeting adjourned. Jim Santelle, Board of Deacons chair, presented benediction prayer challenging church leaders to be torchbearers in serving.

Respectfully submitted, Elizabeth A. Isenberg, Church Clerk

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Trustees $101,300 $104,365
Deacons 3,825 3,840
Congregational Care 1,800 1,843
Christian Fellowship 2,700 3,599
Christian Education 13,450 13,249
Stewardship, regular 1,900 1,287
canvass 2,725 2,258
Communications 30,610 32,262
Music 5,675 4,423
Personnel 432,223 415,590
Council Sub-Committees 1,900 2,546
Benevolences 59,800 58,000

Facilities Renewal Projects



Expected Pledge Payments $593,208  
Other Receipts 49,700  

Facilities Renewal Projects


Income from Heritage Endowment Fund 15,000

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