Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of St. Ursula's Church, Berne

held in the Church on Sunday 10 April 2016 at 12:00

  1. Welcome and Apologies for Absence
    Chaplain Peter Potter welcomed all present and led us in prayer.

    The meeting was attended by:
    Angus Carrick, Patricia Carrick, Koshy Chittazhathu, Hector Davie, John Eze, Susan Faillettaz, Ruth Freiburghaus, Art Funkhouser, Esther Hutchison Funkhouser, Donna Goepfert, Hans Goepfert, Sue Higson, Kathy Hoag, Chloë Hodler, Andrée Kamarys, Mary McKinley, Mary Mead, Brian Morgan, Lynn Morgan, Liz Perrett, Pieter Perrett, Elisabeth Pfyffer, Hans-Karl Pfyffer, Mark Pogson*, Peter Potter*, Shareene Potter, Rosalind Richards, Libby Stewardson, Annemarie Walthert, Janet Wenger, Adoree Weibel, Nick Weibel*, Isabelle Wienand, Mark Wienand, Edi Wildhaber and Maxine Wildhaber.
    * - Not on the electoral roll.
    This includes 33 electoral roll members, two clergy and one guest.

    Apologies were received from:
    Doreen Bangerter, Dorothy Beriger, Linda Bisig, Annamma Chittazhathu, Yojena Kurian Kuruvilla Chittazhathu, Jacqueline Holloway, Archana Jacob-Chittazhathu, Emil Jacob, Sonia Klein, Cecily Klingler, Rolf Klingler, Cibin Kurian Kuruvilla, Jana Kutesko, Tony Read, Marianne Simon.

  2. Reception and Approval of the Electoral Roll
    There were six additions and two deletions making a total of 116 members.

  3. Approval of the Minutes of the last AGM held on 26 April 2015
    The minutes were approved nem con by the congregation and signed by the chairman.

  4. Approval of the Audited Accounts for the Year 2015

    4a Treasurer's Report
    The treasurer, Hector Davie, presented the consolidated accounts for the Church and the Charitable Association, which had been approved by council and displayed for over eight days.

    The treasurer drew attention to the deficit of over 29,000CHF, which largely occurred because income from the community is way below expenditure. The treasurer presented a graph of church finances since 1990 which showed up and down fluctuations but indicated that in the past few years the financial year has ended in a deficit.

    Janet Wenger expressed thanks to the treasurer for the faithful keeping of accounts. The chairman also thanked the treasurer on behalf of the congregation for his excellent work and the congregation applauded.

    4b. Auditors' Report
    Angus Carrick reported on behalf of himself and Koshy Chittazhathu, the appointed auditors, that both and full accounts and the consolidated account statement provided to the AGM give a true and fair view, in all material respects, of the financial situation ending 31 December 2015 of the Association of St Ursula's Church and of St Ursula's Charitable Association.

    Approval of the Accounts
    Approval of the 2015 accounts was agreed to unanimously by the congregation.

  5. Presentation of the Budget for the Year 2016
    The treasurer presented the budget for 2016.

    Hans-Karl thanked the treasurer for the budget and asked if we should perhaps present the yearly budget showing a deficit as a wake-up call rather than presenting a balanced budget. The chairman responded that a balanced budget is clearly an aspiration and that there are arguments for and against presenting a budget with a deficit. However, practice has shown that presenting such a budget doesn't seem to have an effect on giving.

    Pieter asked the treasurer if he can observe trends regarding decreased attendance and income. The treasurer thought not.

    Sue Higson wondered if St Ursula's has a sub-committee on pledging. The chairman said we don't have one but will keep it in mind as a positive idea.

    Brian asked about any trends in the number of pledges and amounts but the treasurer said they vary.

    Sue Faillettaz wondered if it would be an idea to give a weekly report in church via overhead to inform the church of the pledging situation.

    Brian encouraged us all to thank God for all things and encourage generosity.

    Brian proposed that the budget be accepted and Ruth Freiburghaus seconded the motion. The budget was accepted by the attendees and the chairman thanked the treasurer for his work.

  6. Elections

    Two Churchwardens
    Nomination Proposed by Seconded by
    Isabelle Wienand Maxine Wildhaber Hans Goepfert
    Maxine Wildhaber Hector Davie Mary McKinley

    As there were no other nominations, the chairman declared Isabelle and Maxine duly elected and their election was greeted with applause. They were then presented with their staffs of office and formally admitted into office for the council year 2016-2017. The chairman thanked Isabelle and Maxine for their loyal service during the past year.

    Six Council Members
    Nomination Proposed by Seconded by
    Patricia CarrickHector DavieMaxine Wildhaber
    John EzeMaxine WildhaberHector Davie
    Sue FaillettazHector DavieMaxine Wildhaber
    Hans GoepfertMaxine WildhaberHector Davie
    Sue HigsonJana KuteskoJohn Hutchison
    Tony ReadMaxine WildhaberJohn Eze
    Edi WildhaberJohn EzeHans-Karl Pfyffer

    As there were seven candidates for six positions a vote was required. While the votes were being counted by Nick Weibel and Mark Pogson the congregation could partake of light refreshments in the Upper Hall.

    Patricia Carrick, John Eze, Hans Goepfert, Sue Higson, Tony Read and Edi Wildhaber were duly elected. The chairman thanked Sue Faillettaz for her time on the council and all applauded.

  7. Auditors
    Angus and Koshy agreed to continue as auditors for the upcoming council year. Rosalind Richards proposed they be accepted and Chloë seconded the motion. The congregation accepted the proposal unanimously and the chairman thanked the auditors for their thorough and efficient work.

  8. Reports

    8a. Sue Higson - Fundraising
    Sue Mentioned the very generous anonymous donation of 250,000CHF which is earmarked for improvements of the church buildings' infrastructure.

    She continued by reminding us that we need to raise more money to balance the budget and support the church in its mission. Sue is gathering fund-raising ideas, will work on a web page and will create handouts. She quoted Joyce Meyer: "We will do what we can do and God will do what we cannot do".

    The chairman thanked Sue and reminded us that all efforts on the part of our mission can bring the congregation closer together. He encouraged us to give our thoughts and ideas to Sue and to think and pray about how we can bring our financial household into order.

    Pieter encouraged us to think how we can involve younger age groups in fundraising events or how they can initiate their own projects.

    8b. Annual Reports 2015
    The chairman mentioned the annual reports and thanked all those who wrote them and who contribute towards a vibrant church life. The reports give an insight into our active lay ministry which is not only inward but also outward looking.

    Hector encouraged a revamping of the church website and the consequent maintenance of it.

    8c. Chaplain's Report
    Father Peter announced his resignation as chaplain, approved by the bishop, as of 13 July 2016. His last Sunday at St Ursula's will be 26 June 2016.

    His shared hopes for St Ursula's are that we will experience growth that springs from worship well done, that we will help children be at home with regular worship in the church and that the church will be open for prayer, learning and welcome. Father Peter also reminded us that we have "USP" which translates as "Unique Selling Points": The church offers English liturgy, collective sacramental worship and much more.

    Hans-Karl expressed thanks on behalf of the congregation for Father Peter's ministry with us and the congregation agreed with applause.

    Brian asked for God's blessings and leading for the council and wardens, and guidance in choosing the person God wants us to have as our new chaplain.

  9. Close
    The meeting closed at 13:50 with the grace

Donna Goepfert (Council Secretary)