Our next congregational voters meeting will be on Monday, December 7, 7:00 PM at St. Luke, Ann Arbor. The agenda includes three important aspects of our life together.
1. Proposed 6-Month Ministry Plan/Budget
Our leadership council, the SLC, has approved a 6-month ministry plan and budget to be submitted to the congregation. Last June, we recognized the fact that we were in transition and approved a short-term spending plan. Now we need to pass the second half of this fiscal year’s ministry plan and budget.
We are still in transition, and our ministry plan and budget reflect that. At the same time, we get to talk about the exciting things we see Jesus doing next, how we can join Jesus in His kingdom work, and how we plan on financing our efforts.
The proposed 6-month budget for St. Luke–Ann Arbor and Living Water combined will balance as part of the current fiscal year. It also maintains our current staffing levels, and includes a short-term return to interest only payments on our mortgage. University Lutheran Chapel will be chartering as an independent congregation and will pass their own ministry plan and budget for 2016.
2. Proposed Election Date of January 10, 2016
Our recently amended bylaws require an annual direct election of congregational officers and three at-large members of the SLC as well as the affirmation of our Board of Elders. Normally, this election process would take place in early or mid December. The SLC is requesting that the congregation allow our election to take place on Sunday, January 10, 2016. This would give us time to get the new election process in place and allow our Living Water site time to vote on whether they believe God is calling them to move forward as part of a reformed multisite or release from the St. Luke congregation in order to pursue an independent ministry. Depending on that decision, our slate of congregational leaders would change. Moving the election date back allows us to hear back from Living Water before elections in time to install congregational leaders in in January. The alternative would be a late December election.
3. Proposed Amendments to St. Luke Bylaws
At our last congregational meeting, we recognized the need to polish a few of the bylaws as they were presented. The following changes, available in print form in our church office, will be brought to the congregation on December 7.
Article II.B.1.a (replacement)
The Voters Assembly shall hold at least one (1) regular meeting during each calendar year at a date established by the Spiritual Leadership Council. Special meetings may be called by the Spiritual Leadership Council. The Voters Assembly shall also be specially convened within thirty (30) days following the receipt by the Secretary of this fellowship of petitions from at least 3% of the voting members. All meetings of the Voters Assembly shall be announced during services at least two Sundays in advance of each meeting, by electronic notice to the voters and by publication in a document available at weekend worship services. Publication on the St. Luke web site and e-mail to members each constitute proper electronic notice.
Article II.B.1.d (replacement)
Proxy votes may not be cast. Absentee paper ballots may not be used for the calling of pastors and commissioned workers, voting on the annual ministry plan/budget, and matters requiring other than a simple majority. When approved by the Spiritual Leadership Council, absentee paper ballots may be used in other instances, including the election of Congregational Officers, at-large Spiritual Leadership Council members, and Elders. At least ten percent (10%) of the voting members of this fellowship must vote for the decision to be valid.
Article I.B.6 (new)
In January of each year and at such other times as the Spiritual Leadership Council may deem appropriate, the Spiritual Leadership Council will 1) appoint at least three appropriately qualified members of the congregation who are independent of the Spiritual Leadership Council and the ministry staff to review all aspects of St. Luke governance, and/or 2) engage an independent assessment firm to perform such a review or audit. The results of such examinations, reviews, and audits shall be reported to the Spiritual Leadership Council and become part of the records of its meetings.