Missional Life Team

Atonement’s Missional Life Team meets every other month (during normal times); minutes of those meetings are posted here.

Minutes from January 27, 2020

Attending: Judy Frey, Bette Croes, Ruth Alrichs, Shirley Foss, Erik Olson, Mollee Enko, Leroy Zimmerman, Stephanie Christensen, Ros Thorpe

Absent: Lyn Bowers, Yvonne Thompson, Carolyn Duncan, Janette Schumm, Elise Smith, Kari Walberg

Stephanie provided an update on the Missional Life strategies that were developed as part of the congregational planning process. It was suggested that we get input from our youth on missional activities they would like to see planned and Stephanie is going to follow up with Eric Foerster on this. The group also talked about inviting Wendy Johnson to join the ML team as she has been very active in planning missional activities for the confirmation class.

1) Establishing missional presence in Johnson County – MLM received a $5,000 donation specifically toward establishing a presence at ALC. They are looking at potentially funding a case worker to work a few hours a week here. Rapid rehousing is an area they would like to focus on. Once we have a small presence established, we could reach out to other Johnson County churches for involvement. It was noted that Blessings Abound provides $50k/month to MLM. It was suggested that Ros talk to Blessings Abound about potentially financially supporting this new MLM in JoCo presence ministry.

2) Connect people to more one time volunteer opportunities – Ros shared that her goal is to provide 2 volunteer opportunities per month; she has been publicizing these in the weekly bulletin and the e-News. We have been strengthening relationships at Hillcrest and been doing more volunteering there.

3) Establish filtering criteria for funding ministries – We discussed wanting to focus funding on ministries where our people can also be volunteering.

We discussed how we want to allocate funding this year. Mitch / Tracy have been allocating funds to different accounts based on previous direction from the ML team. Erik recapped that the benevolence budget has been 10% of the congregation’s revenue budget for the year. Of that, 60% goes to Central States Synod and the remaining 40% goes to the ML team to spend on ministries. Erik reviewed the current allocations with the team. He noted that some of our current ministries have balances that have not been spent – most notably Bessie’s House currently has a $4800 account balance. Yes Way has a $2,200 account balance.

We discussed reducing funding for accounts where we no longer have significant volunteering going on. Specifically we decided we may want to reduce funding or the Mexico mission by one half (from 6.6% to 3.3% of our ML funds). We agreed we would continue normal funding for this quarter but ask Jan Allerheilegen (who has been involved with that ministry) to check with other people who have participated in that ministry to make sure they are comfortable with this. We will then need to communicate this to Pastor Juan. It was pointed out that we can make funds available to the Mexico ministry going forward on more of an “as requested” basis vs as recurring payment we send to them. We also discussed cutting our allocation for Valley View Hope Chest (which is now run by COR) in half as COR has significant funds behind this ministry now and we have limited volunteer involvement. Given the high balance of unused funds in the Bessie’s House account, we also agreed to cut this allocation in half.

And from Pastor Juan and Romelia Mauricio: Dear brothers and sisters in Christ: We want to take a moment and send our gratitude for all the support you have provided us in Mano Amiga all these years. You have been a great blessing in our ministry and with this we want to wish you well. To all our friends, “whatever you say or do should be done in the name of our Lord Jesus.” We continue doing our part in the mission. Your coworkers, Juan and Romelia Mauricio.

The monies that are not being allocated to a specific account will go into a “grants” fund that we can use on a discretionary basis to allocate to new and evolving ministries going forward.

Erik agreed to communicate these changes to Mitch.

Leroy provided on the plans to write Easter cards for inmates this spring. He also told us that we gave $150 for a Mardi Gras meal for the Arts in Prison ministry. He asked that we consider a noisy offering to help Journey to New Life create “move out” baskets for women transitioning out of the program. They have had no participation in the LGBTQ ministry thus far beyond the current members of that team so they are discussing how to move forward with the synod. He also brought up that we may want to talk about diversity at an upcoming 2nd Sunday evening event. He then led us in a closing devotional and read a letter about a woman who was involved in the Journey to New Life program and has faced some significant challenges recently and needs our prayers.

Minutes from November 25, 2019 Meeting

Stephanie provided a summary of the 3 missional/outreach strategies that will be our focus for the next 2-3 years. We are exploring establishing an MLM presence in Johnson County with MLM leadership. The Atonement Foundation has approved a $500 grant in support of this effort. We have offered MLM office space at Atonement where they could function (PB’s old office).

Ros provided an update on her activities. She has established an Outreach Advisory team to support her in defining what she will be focusing on going forward. She attended a homelessness forum where she learned about the seriousness and severity of the problem and the lack of services for the homeless in Johnson County. She has been meeting with Hillcrest Transitional Living to identify ways we can potentially work with and support them. She’s going to be launching an Outreach newsletter. Turkey Eve was a big success with outstanding volunteer support from the congregation. Erik Olson will be stepping down as Yes Way coordinator. Ros is talking to Dawn Greer about taking his spot.

Leroy reported that we will doing Christmas card writing for Journey to New Life which supports women in transition from incarceration. Atonement recently purchased special recovery Bibles for these women and will be providing those during the holiday season. Bill and Ann Say (sp?) are working on defining what it means to be a sanctuary church. The LGBTQ ministry has not had attendance at their support group yet but they did send letters to other congregations to encourage participation.

Ruth reported on the MLM Christmas Store and that gifts were being moved to MLM for store opening on 12/1. They expect to serve 90 families during the holiday season.

Yvonne attended the rededication of the Hope Chest food pantry. They want to continue to partner with ALC. Susie, the director for Hope Chest, is willing to come speak to Atonement whenever we’d like her to. There was discussion on how to guide people looking for food when they come into the church during the week. Ros agreed to come up with a master list of food pantries and days available.

Hollis will be running 3 weeks of day camps next summer with Camp Tomah Shingah.

Ros noted that the annual report is being produced and asked that everyone sends a short summary of their ministry’s activities this year and focus in particular on how their work impacts people in the community as well as ALC members.