Council Column

Reveille UMC

February & March 2017 Council Column

February and March Meetings

News from your Church Council

In February and March, the Church Council focused on moving forward with utilizing the $1 million gift to make a difference in God’s world. 

In February, the Council learned more about Asset Based Community Development (ABCD), a way to use a community’s strengths to tackle the issues most important to that community. Our Swansboro ministry team and our Swansboro partner churches, Koinonia Christian Church and Love Center of Unity Full Gospel Church, International are exploring an ABCD proposal from the organization Embrace Richmond. The ultimate goal of this effort would be to empower those living and working in the Swansboro area to use their gifts to solve the issues that are most 
important to them. The three churches would walk alongside the residents in this journey, and the eventual goal is for the residents to run their own neighborhood organization. If the three churches agree to move forward with the ABCD proposal, the gift would be used to fund the development plan.

Also in February, the Council reviewed data on giving and attendance trends at Reveille. While giving has remained fairly consistent over the past 10 years, worship attendance has changed. Attendance has increased at the 8:30 am service, but is decreased at the 9:30 and 11:00 am services. This reflects the national trend for most mainline Protestant churches.  The Worship Team and Council are in prayerful conversation about worship attendance. See page 2 for an opportunity to join this conversation.  

At the March meeting, the Council considered a list of the ministry proposals that have been brought forward for the $1 million gift to date. The proposals were categorized by time commitment. The Council approved by consensus the creation of a gift task force of nine people, with at least two from Council, to evaluate and move forward with short-term initiatives, utilizing $200,000 of the gift. Council members were asked to submit names of prospective task force members to the Lay Leadership committee, who will in turn submit a proposed slate of committee members to the Council for approval at its April meeting. 

The Council also approved by consensus a plan to use the interest earned on the gift money for potential needs during the summer of 2017, such as Westview on the James camperships or financial assistance for youth mission trips. 

The approved February Council minutes are now available. If you would like to review them, please send a request to Terri Edwards.  The approved March Council meeting minutes will be available following the April Council meeting.

January 2017 Council Column

January Notes 

New Year, New Goals
In January, the Church Council met twice, for the normal monthly meeting on the 24th and for a retreat January 27 and 28. 

At the January 24 meeting, Council welcomed C.J. Johnson, our new Church Council chair. In preparation for the retreat, the Council reviewed Reveille’s 2017-2020
goals set by the November Charge Conference:
     1. We need to develop a more invitational spirit so that we may better focus upon outreach to our immediate neighbors (i.e. Malvern Manor, and the museum district).

     2. We need to discern what the needs are of the people we serve, especially in Swansboro, so that we are not simply doing what we think needs to be done, but developing relationships with the people we serve, so that we are truly meeting their actual needs in our local missions.

     3. We need to develop a sense of “inreach” to our congregation so that we may better activate our
existing membership for ministry.

At the retreat, Council focused on developing objectives for each ministry area to support the above goals. Over the next month, Council will pray and reflect on the retreat discussion in order to determine focused objectives for each ministry area. 

In addition, the Council enjoyed a time of learning as Rich Schweiker reviewed the consensus decision-making process used favored by our church. Finance Chair Ted Cox shared that preliminary year-end results showed a surplus of about $64,000. SPRC Chair Steve Knockemus told the group about a promising candidate for the open director of youth ministries position. 

If you would like to review the complete approved January meeting minutes when they become available (following the February Council meeting), please send a request to The approved October minutes are now available.

November 2016 Council Column

October Notes 

At the October meeting, the Church Council received guidance from the Finance Committee on reducing the 2017 budget deficit. By consensus, the Council approved the Finance Committee’s plan, and approved the revised 2017 budget. 

The Council also worked on discerning Reveille’s response to the following questions posed by the District Superintendent for the upcoming Charge Conference:
What is God’s will for Reveille UMC for the next four years?
How will we know it?
What will we do about it?
As part of this process, the Council reviewed and discussed several proposals which were based on feedback from the congregational time of prayer, listening sessions, submitted ideas, and the October Church Council retreat. These proposals included growing our youth ministry, developing relationships through local missions, engaging inactive members, increasing worship attendance, and completing a ministry audit.  
If you would like to review the complete approved October meeting minutes when they become available (following the January Council meeting), please send a request to The approved September minutes are now available.

October 2016 Council Column

September Notes 

At the September meeting, the Church Council focused primarily on the 2017 budget and the $1 million gift. The Council:
  • Reviewed the 2017 draft budget and received guidance from the Finance Committee regarding next steps before finalizing the budget.
  • Reviewed a letter from the anonymous donor of the $1 million gift. The letter stated that the gift was given for unrestricted use as directed by the Church Council.
  • Decided to explore creative ways to rethink funding of the outreach ministries of the church at the Council retreat on Saturday, October 1, in conjunction with discerning a recommendation on the use of the $1 million gift.
If you would like to review the complete approved September meeting minutes when they become available (following the October Council meeting), please send a request to The approved July meeting minutes are now available. The council did not meet in August.

August 2016 Council Column

July Notes 

This month, the Council focused mainly on administrative items, including:
  • Director of Youth Ministries Kate Rhodes was present to share that she will be following the call to a new position with The House of the Carpenter in Wheeling, WV. Her last day at Reveille will be August 25, and a search for her replacement is beginning.
  • Reflected on the Planning, Ordering, Reflecting process used by the age-level councils and visioning teams. Feedback indicated a need for adjustments, and a task-force will meet to review, discern, and report on what changes would make the process more fruitful and efficient.
  • Trustees informed council of two property concerns: adequacy of staff office space and potential walkway renovations.
Note: The Church Council did not meet in August so there is no Council Column for September. 
If you would like to review the complete approved July meeting minutes when they become available (following the September Council meeting), please contact  the Director of Communications. The approved June meeting minutes are now available.

July 2016 Council Column

June Notes 

This month, the Council began the budgeting process for 2017. All committees were asked to complete a visionary worksheet detailing their overarching priorities, key initiatives, and areas where increased, or decreased, funding were warranted. They were also asked to think of big, new ideas, to further their ministry in 2017. The committees will use these documents in the next two months as they prepare preliminary budgets for the August meeting.
Council received feedback from the discernment listening sessions and discussed next steps in the process. The consensus was for the Task Force to reconvene and lay out relevant questions for Council to address in a September retreat specifically devoted to this topic. The goal of the retreat is to establish guidelines and direction for developing proposals on how best to use the money.
If you would like to review the complete approved June meeting minutes when they become available (following the July Council meeting), please contact the Director of Communications. The approved May meeting minutes are now available.

June 2016 Council Column

May Notes 

This month, the Council continued our visioning work as we focused on the fall season at Reveille. Many great opportunities are being planned by the committees and we are excited for all to partake. In addition, the Council:
  • Reviewed the budget visioning document for each committee to use when planning budgets for next year. The completed documents will be reviewed at the June Council meeting.
  • Discussed open staff positions and provided the Staff-Parish Relations Committee with guidance for how to proceed. Click here for an announcement about our new director of children’s ministries, and look for additional information forthcoming from SPRC in future communications.
  • Reviewed the results of the "Christian conferencing" for the installation of a stained glass window in the chapel. Consented to decline this proposal due to insufficient support in its favor.
If you would like to review the complete approved May meeting minutes when they become available (following the June Council meeting), please contact the Director of Communications. Please note that the Council did not meet in April. The approved March meeting minutes are now available.

Please note: The Church Council did not meet in April, so there is no Council Column for May.

April 2016 Council Column:


The Church Council met on March 22 and had a very fruitful discussion utilizing our new planning strategy from Barbara Day Miller’s book, Encounters with the Holy. A few of the highlights from this meeting are below:
  • Approved a proposal from the Vision Task Force recommending an intentional season of prayer and holy conversation from Easter to Pentecost so Reveille may best discern who God is calling us to be and how we can best utilize the gifts he has bestowed upon us.
  • Reflected on Advent and the many ministry opportunities available to the congregation during this time. Discussed the possibility for additional calendaring and planning around these activities.
  • Planned for fall and the opportunities surrounding Reveille Day and our church-wide study on Robert Schnase’s book, Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations.
  • Discussed plans for Wonderful Wednesday, combined Sunday school, and other summer activities to keep the congregation, and our community, active at Reveille.
  • Update from the Staff-Parish Relations Committee on positions at Reveille that are open or will be open soon (Executive Pastor, Director of Children’s Ministries, and Financial Administrator).
If you would like to review the complete approved minutes when they become available (after the May Council meeting), please contact the Director of Communications.

March 2016 Council Column:

January and February

Welcome to Council Column. Check this feature each month for a recap of the most recent Church Council meeting.

Since the start of the year, the Church Council has met twice, a regular monthly meeting on January 26, and the annual retreat, February 26-27. A few of the key outcomes from those meetings are below:

 Approved an 11-person committee to recommend a process of discernment for Reveille in regards to the recent anonymous gift of $1 million. Members of the committee are: Bo Bowden, Kevin Bruny, Stephen Coleman, Mary Davis, Sheelagh Davis, Doug Forrester, Jill Gaynor, Katie B. Gooch, Blake MacIver, Rich Schweiker, and Clark Williams.

 Committed to the following three areas of increased focus at Reveille:
  1. Connect with our community by growing our ministry of glorifying God through the arts. 
  2. Support and empower all life-stages in ministries of Worship, Grow, and Serve, with an increased focus on young adults, adults, and senior adults.
  3. Grow relationships in Swansboro and witness God’s work and God’s kingdom to others.
 Formalized and trained on a strategy for proactive planning by the three Visionary Teams (Worship, Grow, Serve) and the four Life-Stage Councils (Children, Youth, Adult, Senior Adult). This model is based on the book, Encounters with the Holy, by Barbara Day Miller. 

If you would like to review the complete approved minutes from the January meeting, please contact the Director of Communications.

Council Column is a monthly feature with the latest news from Reveille's Church Council.

Gift Discernment Update
Thank you for sharing what God has revealed to you for the future of Reveille at our gift discernment conversations earlier this year. If you were unable to join one of the conversations, or if you have additional thoughts to share, please contact Lead Pastor Doug Forrester, or (804) 359-6041, ext. 112.

The Church Council will continue the gift discernment process in 2017. The Council will review notes from the gift discernment conversations, as well as any additional ideas submitted, to develop our church’s vision for the future and the gift that has so generously been bestowed upon our congregation.