2018 Annual Meeting: Summary

The October 28, 2018 TMC Annual Meeting was called to order by Senior Pastor Bill Bertsche as he read from Psalm 136; Elder Phil Zahn followed with prayer.


MINUTES: A video presentation was shown containing the Clerk’s reports of both the annual and semi-annual meeting minutes. The church has 2,233 current members; during the past year, the church recorded 65 new members, 83 associate members, and 28 baby dedications


VOTING MATTERS: Pastor Bertsche confirmed that a voting quorum was present with 495 members counted. Paper ballots were distributed for election of church officers. Photos of candidates for various leadership roles were displayed on the Sanctuary’s video screens. When the votes were counted, 444 of the ballots were cast for the unanimous slate of candidates.


TREASURER’S REPORT: Treasurer Jonathan Hauser reported that fiscal year 2018 giving was $6,235,465, which was short of budget by approximately $535,000. Expenses were under budget by approximately $450,000. The spending breakdown was 36% for ministry, 31% for facilities, 21% for administration, and 12% for missionary support. Complete financial details can be found on pages 16-18 of the printed 2018 Annual Report.


Pastor Bertsche returned to the platform and introduced a video about last year’s TLC on the CLC project. He said that the upcoming Thanksgiving offering will be used for facilities upkeep of the Sanctuary and legacy building, which logically follows last year’s refresh of the Christian Life Center and emphasizes Moody’s mission of warmth and witness.


PASTORAL SEARCH DISCUSSION: Turning to the pastoral search subject and guided by a series of overhead slides, Pastor Bertsche summarized the committee’s recent work but said that no candidate would be presented at this meeting. Citing Isaiah 40:31 as an encouragement to wait on the Lord’s timing, he gave a chronological outline of how the process and decision-making of the Elders and Search Committee evolved over time. He reviewed the shared leadership model as well as formal and informal preaching arrangements that would have included himself, Michael Best, and others. In early October, the Elders proposed that Bill Bertsche be the senior pastor and preach approximately three Sundays per month. The church constitution requires that 75% of the Leadership Council affirm the proposal but only 64% voted favorably.


Because the proposal did not garner enough votes to pass, the Elders asked Leadership Council members to take an anonymous online survey so that they can ascertain future direction. In the meantime, the Sunday preaching schedule for the next four months has already been finalized, so the congregation can look forward to upcoming teaching on Acts, Christmas season messages, and a seven week “Explore God” series during the first two months of 2019.


Speaking candidly about his own emotions during the search process, Pastor Bertsche said that, despite some feelings of disappointment, he and his wife continue to stay focused on the Lord and rest in His sovereignty. He reminded everyone to keep their eyes fixed on Jesus so that the devil does not have an opportunity to divide us as a church.


Michael Best came to the platform and shared that, while he and his wife have found the last year both exciting and tiring, he recently has been focusing on Joseph’s story in Genesis as it emphasized the perfect nature of God’s purpose as well as His timing. He encouraged everyone to continue to trust the Lord completely because He has been faithful to bless The Moody Church since its founding in 1864.


MISCELLANEOUS: The floor was opened for comments; approximately ten people came forward to comment and ask questions about the pastoral search process, missionary support, future vision, and other matters.


CLOSING REMARKS: Pastor Bertsche exhorted the church members to remain encouraged and united, then closed the meeting at 12:30pm with prayer.

2017 Annual Meeting Summary

The October 29, 2017 Annual Meeting was called to order by Senior Pastor Bill Bertsche as he read from Matthew 16:13-18, followed by Elder Tony Durns with prayer. 455 members were in attendance. Members overwhelmingly approved the full slate of leadership candidates and Deaconesses.


In the report from the Finance Committee, Treasurer Jonathan Hauser reported that fiscal year 2017 giving was $6,162.209, which was short of budget by approximately $680,000. Expenses were under budget by approximately $418,000. The spending breakdown was 35% for ministry, 30% for facilities, 22% for administration, and 13% for missionary support. Complete details of the Treasurer’s Report can be found on pages 16-20 of the printed 2017 annual report.


In the Ministry Report, Pastor Bertsche said the church is focusing on the theme of Warmth and Witness in the coming year. He said that a warm welcome is the “secret sauce” that makes visitors feel comfortable and inclined to return to the church. Our personal witness for Christ is an equally important priority because, according to statistics, most believers have a difficult time sharing their testimonies with others. This coming year, The Moody Church is striving to equip members to share the gospel more naturally and organically.


The upcoming Thanksgiving Offering will be directed refurbishing the Christian Life Center (CLC). After a decade of heavy usage, the CLC needs refreshed carpeting and furniture. Other plans include the installation of a canopy at the 1635 LaSalle entrance as well as exterior digital signage to promote ministry events to neighbors and other passersby. Interior digital signage would be installed in areas of the church that were previously wired but not built out.


Speaking on behalf of the Elders, Bev Peterson outlined a proposal for a Shared Leadership Structure. The proposal directs the Pastoral Search Committee to focus on finding a new Lead Teaching Pastor for the church. A full write-up of the proposal is available here.


The floor was opened for comments. Many of those in attendance stepped forward to ask questions, seek clarification on certain details, and share their own perspectives.


After the Q&A, Pastor Bertsche returned to the platform to thank everyone for their input and to offer his own thoughts about how the Lord might work through this shared leadership model. Michael Pitts called for a vote of affirmation of this plan: 312 members were in favor and 32 were opposed. Mr. Pitts thanked the members for the robust discussion and reminded everyone to continue to pray for the work of the Search Committee and the Elders.

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