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June 15, 2010

Voters Meeting Report

by Rev. A. J. Iovine

Last night, our Voters’ Body met for the final time before summer break. While some pastors I know light a candle or two prior to going to these meetings, I am probably only one of the few clergy people who actually like attending. It is not that we agree on everything or that all that we want to get done gets accomplished, but that each meeting everyone who attends knows that their brothers and sisters in Christ have the best interests of Saint Matthew’s at heart.

In fact, I like to say our Voters check their egos at the door.

Last night we talked about a few important items that have been accomplished after much discussion:

1. The roof on our education wing of the church was finally replaced. We’ve needed a new flat roof for a number of years; the patchwork we were doing wasn’t going to cut it any more. The church contracted with a Layne Roofers in our borough of New Milford and they performed the replacement task in two days last week. My guess is that they did a good job — after all the rain we’ve had since last Wednesday, there are no leaks, especially around our chimney in the library.

2. Church landscaping was recently upgraded. For many years, a number of parishioners have complained about the messiness of some of the landscaped areas of our property. This year, our Voters moved to spend a considerable sum to clean up the messy areas, plant new floral arrangements and trees, and give the property a nice sprucing up. Even with the considerable bill before us, the needed work was completed and looks beautiful.

We also took some time to discuss the upcoming Synodical convention in Houston, Texas. I attended the New Jersey District’s meeting for delegates and alternates to review each of the final resolutions that will be placed before the convention. I won’t get into here since it requires more time and explanation, but suffice to say my congregation is concerned with a number of issues being laid before the convention, particularly when it comes to changing the governance of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.

Other issues we discussed included: the possibility of establishing a committee to deal with future capital expenses; the incredible offer of a donation of a large air conditioner for our Fellowship Hall; a July Baptism; the memorialization of new Fellowship Pads for our pews; reviewing our current bulletin production by possibly reverting our legal sized bulletins to 8.5 x 11 inch sized booklets (it’s a copier issue that took up much discussion last night); and, of course, our congregational picnic on Sunday, June 27th.

All of our boards and committees reported on their work. Our Ladies Aid held a very successful Strawberry Luncheon on June 5th, the first time in the 115-plus history of the event where it was held on a Saturday. Our Youth Group and Vision team held an equally successful Pancake Breakfast the next day, June 6th, where the tab was picked up by Thrivent for Lutherans. Our Trustees worked on a number of projects, including repairing the water spout on the outside of the parsonage. And our Samaritans ministry reported of their excitement on receiving nearly $500 in donations from a free will door offering we collected on Pentecost Sunday and a reimbursement for a homeless dinner project we held earlier this year.

Overall, the meeting was productive and as is usual here at Saint Matthew’s, we just worked together for the furtherance of the church and Kingdom.

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