|ATTENDEES:||Shepherds : Jimmy & Deborah Ogunshakin, Bob & Maureen Truman, Trevor & Maxine Dennis, Andy & Helen Torbet, Scott Bryden, Warner Baker (in part)|
|Finance : Victor Odusanya, Ade Desalu, Lesrine Edwards, Paul Bourke (Benevolence)|
|APOLOGIES:||Claire Bryden, Kay Baker, Duncan & Juliette Lawrence|
The meeting began at 7.50pm and opened with a prayer.
|1.||Matters Arising from Previous Minutes|
|2.||Search for New Venue|
|HT was able to confirm that she had obtained details of two possible venues; Aston Events Centre (previously known as Aston Villa Leisure Centre) and Birmingham Sports Centre. She would visit the venues and report back as to suitability and cost.||HT|
|VO raised the issue of whether or not a venue was really needed for Sunday worship and if meeting in Houses was more beneficial and in line with first century practice. The group then had a lengthy discussion regarding this. On the whole it was felt that meeting together as a congregation helped people communicate better. If we didn’t meet this way, it may fragment the congregation and this was not desired.||VO/SB|
|VO also felt that we were still following a ‘worn out’ traditional and monotonous worship format and this was not currently meeting the need. It was agreed that further study was needed in order to see how the service could be changed in order to engage the congregation more.|
|(8.10pm – Warner Baker joined the meeting)|
|The discussion turned to general communication between the Shepherds Group and the congregation. PB felt that this was not satisfactory and that he had spoken to several people who also felt the same way. This was noted. However, it was also noted that there were several avenues of communication open at present. There is the newsletter, there are the house groups and also the Shepherds themselves could be approached at anytime if people would like to know more about what was happening.|
|AT confirmed that although he had been posting the minutes on the ‘Birmingham’ section of the message boards on the ‘UpCyberDown’ website, it was not really a suitable format and we had ceased doing this. However, HT confirmed that she had in mind to present the minutes in presentation folders to be left open for inspection at the church meetings and also create a sign up list for email distribution.||HT|
|It was suggested that the Shepherds make an extra effort where possible to ask how people were feeling.||Shepherds|
|It was suggested that perhaps an update slot could be put into the monthly meeting like we did during the transitional period back in the summer.||Shepherds|
|It was also suggested that perhaps a questionnaire may be helpful in ascertaining the feelings of the congregation.||WB|
|AD was able to report that he was working on a set of ‘working standards’ in regard to financial standards for the accounts. He commented that he needed to establish income and expenditure figures before he could put together a set of accounts and perhaps a membership list. It was suggested that at this stage we could wait until at least the end of this month when a regular pattern of income was established. We could also work out how many people (not who) were giving simply by inspecting the bank statements or contribution records. There was not a need to know who was giving but just how many.
An issue was raised as to whether or not a trust was really required. It was agreed that this was required in order to regulate our actions in so far as such things as finance were concerned. We were following the minimum effort route to avoid being tied in by regulations. It was felt that it is important to present ourselves as competent and trustworthy to the congregation and to outside authorities.
It was confirmed that the current balance at the bank on10th October 2003 was £4,551.50. LE mentioned that a few people she had spoken to were still giving to the ICOC/ICCM because they had not heard previous announcements in this regard. It was agreed to make an announcement to let people know about the bank account and that if they wished they could pay by standing order. This announcement would also include an explanation of why we asked people to consider stopping their standing orders to ICOC and transferring to Midlands Churches of Christ.
It was likely that there would be a surplus on the account at the end of the year. At some point we would need to discuss how the congregation wishes to use this.
It was agreed that Roy Carter would seek some insurance for the PA system. A sum of £30 was suggested by JO.
HT raised the issue of indemnity insurance and public liability insurance and whether it is required this at present. It was agreed that this was not required until we have trustees in place. Public Liability insurance was not required because this was covered by the insurance of the venue where we meet.
|4.||House Groups (inc. Coventry) and Youth Ministry|
|WB was able to convey the greetings of the Coventry church. They ask for our prayers in helping them to remain unified, but report that they are currently happy. There is the possibility of new people arriving from Africa over the next few weeks. More details will be forthcoming shortly.
Youth Ministry was going very well. The teens were very keen to be on time and attend the group. There is an encouraging atmosphere.
All other house groups appeared to be going well.
|Unfortunately, Duncan & Juliette were unable to get to the meeting due to car problems. However, an email had been received by AT from DL reporting that Roger Spence would be preaching in Leicester on 19th October whilst D&J were away. Derek Edmundson and his family would visit to preach on 26th October. 9th November Leicester would join Birmingham for the Remembrance service. Bob & Maureen Truman would visit on 16th November to preach.
They were also in favour of the suggestion to alternate the Shepherds meeting between Tuesdays and Thursdays.
|6.||Any Other Business|
|There is a musician who is a Christian in a sister congregation in USA who will be on tour in the UK in November. He wanted to know if we would like him to perform in Birmingham. The cost would be around £150 and would take place on 15th November because he will be in Walsall at this time. It was agreed to ask the congregation on their view.|
|At this point (9.30pm) WB asked if he would speak with the brothers only, regarding a sensitive pastoral matter.|