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Bethlehem Blogs

July 28, 2021

All-Church Quarterly Strategy Meeting (July 25, 2021)

Amanda Knoke

Director for Communications

Meeting Highlights

  • “Fill These Cities: 25 x ’25” Updates
  • Membership Report
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • New Business

‘Fill These Cities: 25 x ’25’ Updates

Global Outreach Report

  • Pastor Brad Nelson presented the Global Outreach report. Reunion ’21 for our global partners kicked off the same day as this QSM (July 25, 2021) to provide an opportunity for global partners to be refreshed and get to know one another—as well as for the church to interact with and get to know them.
  • Pastor Brad introduced Global Partner Jon, who grew up at Bethlehem, and whom Pastor Brad recalled as a “squirrely eighth-grader.” Jon gave a brief overview of the ministry his family has been doing around the world over the last decade. 
  • The Global Diaconate has sent $160,000 to global partners to be distributed in places where COVID-19 has hit especially hard in recent months (such as India).
  • Global Partner Vijay shared an update about his ministry in India amid the second wave of COVID-19. The global diaconate allowed him to provide food and medicine for poor people in the city in lockdown. (See June 2021 update on the Pastors Blog.)
  • Pastor Brad honored the lives of other global partners, including John Jenstad and the Pals family. (See a PDF of the August 2016 Bethlehem Star article on the Pals family’s passing.)

Church Planting Report

Pastor Kenny Stokes presented the Church Planting report. 

  • Please pray for our residency program. Lately, recruitment has been slower. Pray for wisdom for the South elders as they consider a candidate at the elder meeting in August.
  • Marshall & Becky Posey and family are planting Living Hope Church in the northwest metro and are launching soon.
  • James & Betsy Lecheler and family have now moved to California to plant Center City Church in San Diego.
  • Pastor Kenny shared a video update from Tom Boyer and Emmaus Church in White Bear Lake, Minnesota.
  • Please pray for the resolution of conflicts and turmoil in church plants.

150th Anniversary Update

  • Pastor Jon Grano presented a 150th anniversary event update. All are invited to a gathering at Grace Church Eden Prairie on Sunday, August 22, at 6pm to celebrate Bethlehem’s 150th anniversary.

Membership Report

  • Pastor Ken Currie presented the membership report. After the April & May Campus Quarterly Strategy Meetings, the membership stood at 2,434. Since that time, 40 members have been added.
  • Total members at the start of the July Annual Business Meeting: 2,474.
  • A member of the Downtown Campus made a motion to remove herself from membership by amending the membership report motion. The motion was approved.
  • Another member of the Downtown Campus made a motion to remove himself from membership by amending the membership report motion. The motion was approved.
  • The membership report was approved with amendments, resulting in 82 members being removed. Membership stands at 2,392.

Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer Tim Brinkmann presented the Treasurer’s Report, including the following highlights.

Second Quarter 2021 Summary

Giving was $2.11M

  • Down $179K when compared to Q2 2020 giving (-7.8%)
  • Prior 3 year Q2 avg = $2.39M

Spending was $2.45M

  • Down $43K when compared to Q2 2020 spending (-1.7%)
  • Prior 3 year Q2 avg = $2.58M

Spending exceeded Giving by $338K

  • In Q2 2020 spending exceeded spending by $202K

Comments on Ethics and Financial Accountability

  • Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability: Bethlehem is a member of the ECFA and just completed re-application
  • Independent oversight: Elders (more than half are independent, non-staff elders), FPA’s (financial and property administrators), and Treasurer (elected by the congregation)
  • Bethlehem conducts an annual audit

New Business

A motion was made from the floor by a member during our new business. After extensive discussion, the congregation rejected the motion by more than a two-thirds majority.

Thanks to Church Clerk Bobby Ratliff for his assistance in preparing this update.