Barbara Williams, Council President
“Final Vote on Council Changes Ahead“
Change again is in the air and not only in terms of the season. Some major alterations in the structure of St. Johannes Church Council are on the agenda for final approval at the upcoming congregation meeting.
Our By Laws say that our annual fall meeting must be no later than the last Sunday of November. Council has set the meeting for the 19th, mindful that the last Sunday of the month comes a few days after Thanksgiving when many will be traveling.
The meeting will include such regular fall agenda items as the approval of the annual budget. But the most significant items involve a final vote in a two-part process to amend the St. Johannes Constitution.
At an Oct. 1 special meeting the congregation unanimously agreed to the amendments that would reduce the length of time Council members may serve as well as the size of Council. But those votes were only the first step.
Constitutional amendments must also be ratified at a required annual meeting. What’s more, ratification of the amendments must have more than a majority vote. Instead, two-thirds, or a “super majority” must agree.
Currently Council members may serve for six years without taking a break. The change would reduce the number of consecutive years to four. The change also would reduce the first term of new members to two years, with the right to seek re-election to a second, two-year term. No change is proposed in the required one-year break after serving two consecutive terms.
The Constitution also now requires a nine-member Council, in addition to the pastor. In order to allow more flexibility, the amendment would allow Council to have between five and nine members. Any adjustments in the size would have to be approved by the Congregation. The current Council favors a seven-member body.
If the constitutional vote on a more flexible council is approved on the 19th then the congregation would immediately take up Council’s recommendation to decrease the membership to seven, beginning in 2018. Since six of the current members still have unexpired terms that would mean the election of only one other member at our November meeting. But if the congregation votes to stick with nine members, then it would need to elect three new members on the 19th.
As you can imagine, the unknowns have made the task of contacting potential Council candidates a bit more complicated. The nominating committee, headed by outgoing Council member Marc Williams, must be ready with one candidate if the seven-member council is approved, but also must have two additional nominees on standby if the congregation maintains the status quo. As always, there may be nominations from the floor.
If you are willing to serve or have a recommendation please don’t hesitate to contact Marc. The committee would be very grateful for your input.