Year in Review 2002

Report of the Moderator   [Will be given in the Spring]

Report of the Minister

2002 Budget Results and Proposed Budget for 2003

Digest of 159th Annual Meeting of January 20, 2002


Report of the Moderator

[Will be given in the Spring]

Cindy Payette, Moderator

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Report of the Minister for 2002

As I look back over the first seven months of my tenure, I am reminded of the words of Paul to the Thessalonians, "We give thanks to God always for you all, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ." [1st Thessalonians 1:2-3]  What I experience as your minister is a healthy church, a church beginning a new cycle of growth and, a church experiencing some 'growing pains.'

Why do I say a healthy church?  First Congregational Church demonstrates all of the marks of a healthy church.  There is a strong core of active, dedicated members.  That core is 'inter-generational' and intentionally so.  Those who are long-term members reach out to new members and guests and invite them into the fellowship.  It is a church that is 'child-friendly' and 'community-oriented.'  It's a fellowship that is seeking to grow and to deepen in its sense of self and its own identity.  It's a healthy church . . . and like all living things, healthy churches grow!

So, we are beginning a new cycle of growth - evident to me by the number of guests we have on a Sunday morning and especially in the slow, but steady growth of the eleven o'clock service.  This cycle of growth is going to show itself in the next year or so in many different ways, but I am most hopeful that it will show itself in the congregation's growth in depth - both spiritually and intellectually.  Congregationalists are not only believers, we're thinkers, and this must show in our worship, in our stress on education at every level, an in our approach to stewardship.  Here is where I want us most to grow.

Growth pains?  Well, I'm hearing complaints about parking - a good and holy thing!  I see a budget shortfall for the coming year and that's a growth pain.  We're trying to figure out how to grow as good stewards of the gifts God has given us.  I see the leadership of this church grappling with the budget shortfall with a concern for honesty, openness, and education.  Some may have been seen the Columns article or the various letters as offensive, I'm sorry for that.  I' sorry for that.  What I hope would be the response, and this is what I've heard most, is that "at last we're being honest."  Honesty, openness, a willingness to "bring it to the congregation" are among the hallmarks of our Congregational Way.  I want us to model them here at First Church.  What do the exercise folks say, "No pain, no gain"?  We're growing.

2002 has been a year of transitions.  I came as your new minister in June as you bid fond farewell to Doug Lobb.  Earlier in the year, Kathy Rust departed to begin her ministry in Mukwonago.  Most recently we've said goodbye to Chris Rygh as he leaves us to take up a new ministry in Iowa.  Now we're in 'search mode' again, looking for the 'right fit' to take up the various duties our associates carry.  I want to thank and command the people of this church, leadership and otherwise, for the way everyone is pulling together to 'fill the holes' during this transition.  It's yet another sign of health and growth.

Some time ago I gave a list of short term and long term goals to the Church Council.  I would offer them now to the total membership.  This is what I purpose to do in the days ahead and I hope to be able to come to you next year with this list 'crossed off.'

Short Term:

Long Term:

First Congregational Church is entering its on hundred and sixty-first year as a covenant community.  One hundred and fisty years ago the little company that had gathered this church paid the sum of fifty dollars to Charles Hart for his blackberry patch.  In October. 1853 they dedicated their first meetinghouse.  We're still using it - it's the Social Hall.  Beloved, we're the reason there's a Church Street!  2003 offers us abundant opportunities and reasons to celebrate.  I think God for you and for the privilege of being your minister.

Reverend Steven A. Peay, Ph.D., Minister


Budget 2003  Approved in special meeting on 16-March-2003

Budget 2002
Actual 2002
Approved 2003
     Deferred Maintenance
$133,250 $132,580 $165,000
Deacons $3,700 $3,494 $3,700
Congregational Care $1,000 $1050 $1,100
Christian Fellowship $4,350 $4,506
Christian Education $11,750 $13,463
Stewardship  $1,750 $2,494
Canvass $2,500 $1,768
Communications $31,000 $27,625
Music $6,250 $6,218
Personnel $455,950 $435,985
Sub-committees $1,500 $496
Operating Expenditures $653,000 $629,680
Benevolences    ** $45,000
** $53,436


Budgeted Expenditures $675,000
Pledge Base  
Other Receipts  
Income from Heritage Endowment Fund  




** In 2002, the Benevolence Giving was not included in the Budget figures but rather was founded in Special Offerings.  The budgeted amount was for Church relations.

Minutes of the 159th Annual Meeting on January 20, 2002

Rev. Chris Rygh gave the invocation.  Moderator Dick Koch called the meeting to order at 1:35 PM and led us in the unison reading of the covenant.

Pat Schwai made a presentation to Michelle Jackson in recognition of her service as Parish Nurse.

Barb Dunham presented a gift to Beej Wakefield on behalf of the congregation for her faithful service as Kitchen Coordinator.

Rev. Kathryn Rust was recognized by Mary York for her loyalty and solid work ethic and presented her with a gift of three stoles.

Doug Lobb gave the Minister's Report.  the Boards have functioned well and we were able to finish the year in the black.  Doug recommended that we hire a member of the congregation to be the lay Christian Education Director.  The person hired would be re-evaluated once the new Senior Minister is hired.

The minutes of the 158th Annual Meeting were approved as printed.

Diane Houriet gave the Treasurer's report,  The motion to accept the Treasures's Report was passed unanimously.

Steve Russ gave the Stewardship Report.  Steve was pleased to present a balanced budget for 2002.  Of the 386 pledging units, 382 made a pledge.  The average pledge is $1665.

Cindy Payette presented the Long Range Plan Report.  Doug Lobb, ex-officio, suggested to the committee that the new Senior Minister may have a plan to implement, therefore no further changes were recommended.  It was moved and seconded that the new vision statement be accepted.  The motion carried.

Cindy Payette presented the Budget and Finance Report.  It was moved and seconded to accept the budget as proposed Discussions followed.  The question was called.  A vote was taken on the calling of the question, to end discussion of the proposed budget.  The ayes carried.  A vote was then taken to approve the 2002 budget as printed.  The motion carried.

Dave Swanson reported on the Search Committee progress.  Once a candidate is chosen, the name will be given to the Church Council for approval, followed by them determining a date for an All Church Meeting to vote on the candidate.

Dick Koch thanked everyone for their attendance.

There was no unfinished business.

New Business: Steve Hayes moved and it was seconded, that the Budget and Finance committee review Benevolent giving for 2002, when setting the budget for 2003.  Discussion followed.  A voice vote was taken.  The motion was carried.

The meeting was adjourned at 3:20 PM

Respectfully submitted,
Sally Boyle