On Sunday, August 9, 2020, Riverside had the opportunity to meet together (in person!) for a semi-annual meeting to review the financial and spiritual health of the church body. Here is a summary of the discussion and outcomes from the meeting. Please feel free to email LT at [email protected] if you have additional questions.
Fifty-one members of Riverside met outside on the Moeschberger’s property in physically-separated groups. In addition to passing a budget for 2020-21, the church affirmed several new committee members (Kelly Blanchard as a new member of the Leadership Team, Richard McClurg as a new member of the Pastoral Relations Committee and the following new members of the Pastoral Search Team: Amanda Braun, Elizabeth Fassel, Nicole McClurg, Chuck Moeschberger, Andrea Patrie, Kevin Riggenbach and Dan Ritchie). Dan & Tracey Zehner were also welcomed as new members at Riverside.
For many in attendance, this was the first in-person introduction to Interim Pastor Corey Johnsrud and his wife, Gretchen, although he has been serving as interim pastor at Riverside since March. Discussions during the meeting centered on two main topics: the budget and Pastor Corey’s initial report as interim pastor.
Given a decrease in giving over the last year along with the continued uncertainty of COVID-19 restrictions, Riverside’s leadership team proposed a budget that was $50,486 lower than the 2019-20 budget. While the budget for 2020-21 reduces spending (most notably reduced allocations toward a property fund that has been growing in recent years), there was concern that anticipated giving for 2020-21 might remain below proposed spending for the year. If projected incomes continue to fall short of expectations, the Leadership Team will ensure fiscal responsibility and will not spend more than Riverside has income to support. At this point, neither ministry nor staff budgets have been reduced.
The proposed budget passed as presented, and the Leadership Team welcomes any additional questions about the budget.
Interim Pastor Report:
Pastor Corey opened discussion about his interim report by clarifying that his report refers to the “interim” time after Pastor Ralph’s departure, not to the circumstances of Pastor Ralph’s resignation. The report summarizes his observations after having spoken with several members of the Leadership Team, staff, and the congregation.
Based on the questions asked and concerns raised at our meeting, it is clear that Pastor Ralph’s resignation from Riverside came as a surprise to some in our congregation, and many of us are still processing that change. Although there were requests for a more detailed explanation for Pastor Ralph’s departure, those were not fully answered due to confidentiality requirements in personnel issues. Similarly, requests for specific examples that led Pastor Corey to reach some of the conclusions in his initial report (about Leadership Team and staff interactions in particular) were unfulfilled for the same reason. While lack of information is understandably frustrating, from the Leadership Team’s view, it is most important that Pastor Corey’s report identifies a path for improved communication and interaction among staff, Leadership Team, and the congregation.
After a time of prayer and continued discussion, Pastor Corey emphasized that Riverside has incredible potential, and the love we have for one another is abundantly clear. Pastor Corey will continue to provide quarterly reports to the congregation, and we look forward to pursuing God’s will for Riverside with you all. Please feel free to contact the Leadership Team at [email protected] with any additional questions or concerns.
The Leadership Team is working on setting up various “Backyard Conversations” which will be facilitated by members of the congregation as we look forward to confirming who we are as a church and what our mission is. Specifics on those meetings will be shared in the coming weeks.
The Leadership Team,
Mark Kirgiss, Brett Giltmier, Kelly Blanchard, Kelly Marshall, Joel Sieplinga and Roxie Zuercher