Annual Congregational Meeting
August 18, 2018
Minutes by Jordan Hall
Opening prayer: Donnie Lindsay
Fall Festivals: Paul Kofchock
- Paul called on all Beit Simcha members and regulars to use the upcoming Jewish holidays for outreach to Jewish friends and family to attend.
- Eric, Tim, and Paul volunteered to blow shofars at Rosh Hashana (Sept 9).
- Jason K, John W, and Tim B volunteered to build the Sukkah (Sept 23), and decorate for fall foliage. They will determine the start time and notify us.
- Both worship teams will play on Sukkot Hoshanah Rabbah Service at Livingstone Fellowship (Sept 30)
- Sept 30 will feature two additional events:
- Becky and Tim B will be hosting a Sukkot party. RSVP. Invitation open to all congregation. Dinner at 6pm, but please arrive by 4pm and bring a side dish.
- Erev Shemini Atzeret service: location TBD (estimated turnout 8-10 people)
Ministry Needs: Pericles Gabriele
- Weekly greeters needed for Shabbat services. What’s required: come 15 minutes prior to start of service and be there to greet, take down info of newcomers, and follow up with them (connect them with local member/regular if possible). Don K and Jason K volunteer to be greeters.
Erev Shabbat Fellowship: John Wikkerink
- Erev Shabbat in the first week of each month will be used for inviting outsiders to get to know us so that we can continue growing the congregation. The third week it will be focused around worship for Beit Simcha regulars and members, with young leadership at the helm. There will be sign up sheets and eventually a web page for publicity and signup.
Treasurer’s Report: Aaron Levy
- Back account assets are now highest ever at $378,238, reflecting steady congregation growth and generous donations to building fund. $62,508 has been given to the building project so far this year.
- Total general tithes and for the fiscal year since last September has been $125,129, an average of $11,375/month, a substantial increase over the prior year of $97,695 or $8,881/month.
- Beit Simcha gave to 26 different missions during the fiscal year, for Messianic Jewish ministries in the USA (Tikkun America, IAMCS, etc.) and Israel (Maoz Israel, Mekor Chaim (pregnancy), MJAA Joseph Project, etc.) as well as humanitarian ministries (such as Bright Hope Pregnancy Resources, Jewish Family services, Samaritan’s Purse for hurricane relief, etc.
- Conference fund continues to help people attend Messianic conferences such as Tikkun RESTORE.
Building Project: Rabbi Glenn Blank
- M&T Bank gave a verbal yes to our project in July. Next, bank needs to review financial docs,
which Rabbi is putting together, with help… Glenn reviewed all the documents needed and who is helping to produce them (especially Sue Levy, Nick Negoescu, Tim Basehore & Jordan Hall).
- It is miraculous to get this far, due to recent growth of the congregational finances, investments from members and friends in Promissory notes (contact Rabbi Blank at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to invest), our partner New Covenant Christian Community Church (NC4) making a substantial investment as pre-paid rent—all total we now have over a million dollars up front, plus a bank willing to consider future income of the Community House.
- Many people in the wider community outside the congregation are helping, notably Nick Ciccone who agreed to be our Owner’s Representative Contractor, Bob Hoppes who agreed to help with surveying and engineering pro bono, Ray Demerjian who agreed to help with construction, and many who are praying for and donating to the project.
- The plan is to build both the Synagogue and the Community House over the next year, prioritizing the Synagogue so that hopefully we can get a certificate of occupancy next spring, and then complete the Synagogue next summer.
- The elders have approved Rabbi Blank seeking a loan to begin the construction.
- Some features will not be financed up front, but depend on fund-raising or possibly balance of contingencies funds borrowed for the project: full kitchen (a basic kitchen is included), tile floor in foyer, rolling dividing wall between Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall, fancy stone arches in front of main door (congregants will be able to purchase Jerusalem stone for the central arches and put their names on the inside of the stones), deck behind the Community House and finished basement.
- Prayer requests: Pray that total cost of construction will firm up at the best possible price, that the bank approves the loan request, and that construction can begin in October.
Celebration and Fund-raiser for new Synagogue: Angela Lindsay
- October 6, 6pm at Leithsville Fire House (venue for Passover Seder and other celebrations).
- Donnie L will circulate RSVP info shortly. See beitsimcha.com/building-celebration.
- Glenn B suggested sending event info to WJCS for advertising.
- Keep in mind the event is for wider community, so invite people! Goal is to allow people to know who we are, what we’re doing, and how they can help.
- Please keep event in prayer that it will be fruitful fundraiser for Beit Simcha.
Website Developments: Donnie Lindsay
- Online payments have been improved with better security and data collection for bookkeeper.
- Adam and Donnie put web site on a dedicated server last year, which has improved our web presence and helped attract more visitors.
- Donnie and Sharon are working on a new web site.
- Donnie L will simplify access to Membership site & Directory and will distribute info to Beit Simcha members so that login instructions are clear for all. (Visitors do not have access. Consistent, long-term regulars granted access on case-to-case basis.)