FINANCE AND ASSET COUNCIL MINUTES – May 15, 2024

Attendees:  Fr. Rob Howe, Patrick Regier, Pam Gandy, Andy Pasztor, Joe Dostal, Dennis Thiel, Judy Gross, Kathy Fothergill

Reported by:  Fothergill                                                        

Opening Comments: 

Pat announced his upcoming retirement and Fr. Rob said there are two candidates applying for Patrick’s job.  Fr. Rob also announced that the playground has been transferred to the city, which is in talks with playground designers.  We received some grants that reduced our outlay for transitioning the playground to the city.  Separately, the Diocese has set a high assessment for this year’s Christ Mission Appeal. 

Financial Results as of April 30, 2024:  Net Assets for the current fiscal year (which began July 1) increased by $220K as YTD total revenue exceeded expenses. Higher Weekend Collections far exceeded our expenses.  Total expenses were down versus Budget, primarily due to lower employee-related expenses.  We have filled the Maintenance worker position.  We also filled the high school Youth Coordinator position by expanding Melissa Kato’s role (she currently works with RCIA and Young Adult programs).  Lay ministers will take over working with Baptisms. YTD Weekend Collections through April were higher than Budget by $35K.  Christian Service balance for the current year to date reflects claims for emergency assistance.  

2024 – 2025 Budget Assumptions:

We will use the current year budget as the basis for planning the upcoming fiscal year budget. 

  • Weekend Collections – flat vs. Current Budget; lower than Current FY Estimate
  • Other Income – reduce by $4K, due to higher interest income
  • Salaries – Merit and COLA increase of 7%, partially offset by filling Faith Formation position internally; Effective July 1, Clergy salary and benefits will be paid by Diocese.  Parish will be recharged a flat amount per quarter.  Total charge is $67.8K
  • Medical Benefits – increase 9% (Michigan Catholic Conference guideline)
  • Non-Medical including Dental – small change from current year
  • Christ Mission Appeal payment of $45K has been built into the Budget

Patrick reviewed details of the upcoming budget.  Compared with Current Year Budget, Proposed Budget assumes Weekend Collections flat with Current Year Budget and Interest Income slightly higher than last year.  Excluding Major Expenditures, Total Expenses for the Proposed Budget are roughly in line with Current Year Budget.  Major Expenditures for the Proposed Budget are expected to be significantly lower than Current Year Budget, which includes expenses related to the playground replacement project.  The timing of the playground transition may shift the final Current Year Budget and Proposed Budget.

The Proposed Budget proposal was unanimously accepted by the Council members.

Facilities Update: 

In April, we purchased new audio equipment for the church, which will be installed in June.  The new technology will be Bluetooth compatible.  We have finalized the playground donation / replacement agreement with the City on May 4.  We received $22K in donations from the community to offset a portion of the cost of that donation.  The City will send us conceptual designs of the new playground structures. 

Roundtable:

An Internal Control Review was conducted by the Diocese and an outside CPA firm (Marner CPA) on

May 7.  The review is routine, and reviews are being done across all parishes.  The reviewers spent a day with Pat Lautner (bookkeeper) and Patrick on reviewing invoices and reviewing procedures.  We will get a report after a follow-up meeting on May 21, which Pam, Fr. Rob and Patrick will attend.  When issued, the report will be shared with the Finance Council.

Andy made two suggestions for minor interior changes in the church.  He noted that the area near the font is relatively dark, and could benefit from improved lighting.  Also, he suggested that the collection baskets be raised higher so parishioners don’t have to bend over to add their contributions.

There will be a joint meeting of the Pastoral Council and the Finance Council on June 12th @ 6:30 pm.

 Meeting adjourned at 7:45p.m.

Recap of Our Annual Taste of Summer Event

This past weekend, we hosted our much-anticipated annual Taste of Summer bike ride, and it was a fantastic success! About 30 enthusiastic participants joined us for a delightful day filled with biking, delicious food, and great company. All food donations will go to the Midland County Food Assistance Network.

The Ride

Our adventure began at the Tridge, a favorite local landmark known for its picturesque views and three-way wooden footbridge. From there, we embarked on a scenic 3-mile bike ride, enjoying the beautiful summer weather and the camaraderie of fellow cyclists. Even the youngest participants had fun making their way down the Rail Trail!

The Destination

Our destination was Cottage Creamery, where a world of summer treats awaited us. Participants had their choice of indulging in creamy, delicious ice cream from Cottage Creamery or savoring the smoky flavors of barbeque paired with refreshing beer from Midland Brewing Company. All the ice cream, both in a cone or dish, was delicious! 100% of ice cream eaters recommend. Fr. Rob recommends the OPE! Michigan Hopped IPA, the Glomski’s recommend the pulled pork nachos, and Kristyn enjoyed the refreshing Three Mile Marker Hefeweizen from Midland Brewing. Whether you opted for a sweet or savory treat, there was something for everyone to enjoy.

A Community Gathering

The event was more than just a bike ride; it was a celebration of our parish community for our parish feast day. It was wonderful to see both familiar faces and new ones, all coming together to share in the experience. The Body of Christ was on the move in downtown Midland!

Thank You!

We extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who joined us for this year’s Taste of Summer. Your participation and enthusiasm are what make events like this so memorable. We look forward to many more rides and gatherings in the future. Until then, keep biking and enjoying the tastes of summer!

Mark your calendars for June 22, 2025, for our next Taste of Summer bike ride. Happy summer to all!

Praying in Nature

All creation is a song of praise to God!
St. Hildegard of Bingen


On Wednesday, June 12 at 10:00 am and 6:30 pm, join Christy Granda at the Chippewa Nature Center for prayer and a song before heading out to the trails. Please register with Christy to ensure she has enough prayer guides.

Spend time with God in nature by praying with your senses!

The prayer guide has recommended trails at the Chippewa Nature Center, but the guide can be used on any walk or trail!

Nature Walk Prayer Guide

Dear Mother earth,
Who day by day unfolds rich blessing on our way,
O Praise God! Alleluia!
The fruits and flowers that verdant grow,
Let them his praise abundant show.
O praise God, O praise God, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.
– St. Francis

MACC @ the Loons!

Get Ready for Loon’s Baseball!

DIVE IN and make your way out to Dow Diamond on

Friday, July 12th
7:05 pm 

to watch the Great Lakes Loons battle the Fort Wayne TinCaps. 

Enjoy the ball game and listen to our very own MACC Choir sing the National Anthem.

We have reserved the Northern Lights Pavilion. Tickets are $27 each and include the buffet.

Or order tickets from Travis Webb at the Loons ticket office at 989-837-6173 or by email.

Y2Y

LADIES OF BLESSED SACRAMENT (LBS) MEETING MINUTES – Tuesday, April 2, 2024

President Eileen Foster opened the meeting by welcoming the 30 ladies in attendance. We welcomed first-timer Teresa Chisholm to our group. Prior to the business meeting, everyone enjoyed 15 minutes of snacks and conversation. Snacks were provided by Aimee Kopiwoda, Judy Greene, Dorothy Kociba, and Carol Osier. Connie Latuszek and Dorothy Kociba set up the refreshment table.

Happy April birthday to Sue Gibson (04/08), Maria Quereizaeta (04/10), Chris Sharp (04/20), Eileen Foster (04/23), Mary Stutelberg (04/23), Joyce Cushman (04/28), Fran Davis (04/30), and Jan Morrone (04/30).

Copies of the minutes of our March meeting were placed on all the tables for everyone to read. The minutes were previously posted to our parish website and to our FaceBook page. Secretary Elaine White announced again her resignation effective June 2024 ending six years in that role. Elaine asked everyone to consider volunteering to be the next secretary and becoming a member of the Ladies of Blessed Sacrament board. It’s a volunteer job so no need to commit for years. Try it out to see if this position would work for you. We’ll have an election in November for the secretary position. In November 2025 we’ll vote for a new president and in November 2026 we’ll vote for a new treasurer. The board decided that LBS would benefit from new ideas from additional people.

Judy Kawiecki than introduced our guest speaker Beth DeVries, founder and director of Phoenix Community Farm (PCF). The mission of PCF is to meet the basic need for fresh, healthy produce. PCF grows and shares produce on their one acre farm located at 919 Smith Rd, the site of Windover High School. This non-profit was formed in 2019 and operates with three paid positions and lots of volunteers. Phoenix Community Farm produced and donated over 29,000 pounds of produce in 2023. They also educate the public about growing, harvesting, preparing, and preserving vegetables. For further information and/or to volunteer, please go to their website at phoenixcommunityfarm.com or call 989-875-9451. Judy Kawiecki then presented our speaker a check from LBS and also various gardening tools that were donated by the ladies.

Ramona Lalka then gave an update on our Tuesday, May 7th annual spring potluck lunch. All are welcome, bring a friend. More volunteers are still needed for our annual rummage sale to be held June 2nd through June 8th. Items can be dropped off on Sunday and Monday, Tuesday is reserved for sorting and pricing, Sale days are Wednesday and Thursday. Friday is half price and bag day. Please come and volunteer for any length of time. Lunch for all workers will be served each day.

Treasurer Tana Zemanek reported our current balance is $9377.95 as of the end of March. Anne Boyd then led us in a closing prayer and a bonding exercise where each person was asked to give their greatest strength. Please join us at our Spring Lunch on Tuesday, May 7th.

Respectfully submitted,

Elaine White, Secretary

LADIES OF BLESSED SACRAMENT (lbs) MEETING MINUTES – Tuesday, March 5, 2024

President Eileen Foster opened the meeting by welcoming the 29 ladies in attendance. Prior to the meeting, everyone enjoyed 15 minutes of snacks and conversation. Snacks were provided by Joanne Tanner, Sue Gibson, Linda Wilson, and Gail Schroeder. Dorothy Kociba and Connie Latuszek set up the refreshment table. Ladies were asked for prayer requests and then an opening prayer was said.

Ramona Lalka passed around a sign-up sheet for April refreshments. Ramona then thanked everyone who brought paper products and personal care items for Emmaus House in Saginaw. She reminded everyone that our annual spring potluck lunch will be Tuesday, May 7th at noon in the social hall. Mark your calendar now and please plan to bring a guest. Ramona also gave us an update on our annual rummage sale to be held 5th June through 7th June. A sign-up sheet was passed around for rummage sale workers. Items for the rummage sale can be dropped off starting Sunday June 2nd at noon.

Happy March birthday to Tana Zemanek (03/01), Char McDermott (03/15), Sharon Capriccioso (03/17), Linda Graf, Dorothy Kociba, Elaine Warakomski (all 03/22), and Rose Mikols (03/27).

Copies of the minutes of our February meeting were placed on all the tables for the ladies to read. Secretary Elaine White announced she will resign as secretary effective June 2024 ending six years in that role. Anyone interested in becoming the next LBS secretary, please contact President Eileen Foster.

Elaine White then introduced our speaker, Shannon Forshee, director of Camp Fish Tales. Camp Fish Tales is an outdoor, week long, barrier free 67 acre camp in northern Bay County. This camp provides individuals of all ages and all disabilities with opportunities to gain independence, friendship, and life-long skills. To register for summer 2024 camp sessions, go to www.campfishtales.org or call 989-879-5199. Campers swim, boat, and fish every day and get a chance to participate in many other activities. Camp Fish Tales is also in need of camp volunteers ages 18+.

Linda Graf then gave an update on our funeral luncheons. New cloth tablecloths have been purchased. Perfect Potluck is used to recruit workers and to solicit food donations. Linda said we need more women to serve as leaders. Training will be provided by our current leaders. Contact Linda Graf for more info.

Treasurer Tana Zemanek reported our current balance as of the end of February is $8927.95. Tana has a complete list of income and expenses for anyone to view.

Anne Boyd encouraged women to sign-up for Christ Renews to be held April 13th and 14th. This weekend is given for women by women. You can register online at www.blessed-midland.org Wendy Shields asked that we encourage any high school youths to sign up for Youth 2 Youth weekend on April 20th-21st. This is a weekend of self-discovery, faith, and connection with others.

Please join us at our next meeting on Tuesday, April 2nd at 1:15 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Elaine White, Secretary

FINANCE AND ASSET COUNCIL MINUTES – January 17, 2024

Attendees:  Fr. Rob Howe, Pat Regier, Pam Gandy, Andy Pasztor, Joe Dostal, Kevin Spencer, Cathy Ahearn, Kathy Fothergill

Reported by:  Fothergill                                                        

Opening Comments: 

Pat welcomed Cathy Ahearn to the Finance and Asset Council.  Fr. Rob updated the Council on the status of the 2024 – 2025 Christ’s Mission Appeal.  The Bishop has asked his staff to recalculate the targets for the contributions of the parishes.  The Diocese will reduce the overall targets and will need to look at staffing levels.

Financial Results as of December 31, 2023:  Net Assets for the current fiscal year (which began July 1) increased by $216K as total revenue exceeded expenses driven by higher Weekend Collections.  Total expenses were down versus Budget and Last Year Actual, primarily due to unfilled employee-related positions for Faith Formation Coordinator and Maintenance. It has been difficult to find a Maintenance worker who will work part-time, including weekends.  We continue to work on filling these positions. Weekend Collections through December were higher than Budget by $7K, which is a significant rebound from last quarter.  Christian Service balance for the current year to date reflects claims for emergency assistance, which have picked up in January.  In February we will issue grant payments totaling $125K. 

Mass attendance (October count for the Diocese) for all three masses was 1,017, which was up 26% vs. October 2022, but down 14% vs. 2019 (pre-COVID).  The Diocese overall count was 19,662, up 5.1% vs. last year.

Christ’s Mission Appeal 2023/2024 target set by the Diocese for the Parish reflects an increase of 9% vs. Last Year. We are currently at 64% of that target, a shortfall of $98K.  As noted above, we hope to see a reduction in our target in the next fiscal year.

Facilities Update:

The Asset Sub-Team (Joe Dostal, Dennis Thiel, Patrick Regier) conducted a walk-through of the church and parish facilities in November.  No major issues were identified.  There was a follow-up on general maintenance items.  There were some issues with church blowers, which were repaired.  Both blowers are currently working.  The boilers are checked frequently, and are certified every three years.

We continue to work with the City on the playground replacement project, including property transfer documents.  A new property survey was completed.  We applied for grants to community foundations and clubs including Strosacker, H. H. Dow, and Grace A. Dow foundations, Midland Kiwanis and Midland Rotary.  We have received $22K in donations for this project, with potential for additional contributions.  We are working with Diocese legal representation on documents/applications for the City.  We expect documents will be signed in February or March.

Roundtable: 

  • All of the former school classrooms are now in use by local non-profit organizations, including ACT Uganda, Arnold Center, and High School ministry. 
  • We continue to look for a High School Youth Minister Coordinator, which has been difficult given the timing (mid-year) of our search.
  • Father Rob suggested that we move the Asset and Finance Council meeting schedule (currently monthly between September and May) to one meeting per quarter, and add a joint meeting with the Parish Council in December.  All those present agreed with this schedule.

 Meeting adjourned at 7:45p.m.

Ladies of Blessed Sacrament (LBS) Meeting Minutes – Tuesday, February 6, 2024

President Eileen Foster opened the meeting at 1:30 pm by welcoming the 34 people in attendance. Prior to the meeting, everyone enjoyed 15 minutes of snacks and conversation. Snacks were provided by Janelle White, Connie Latuszek, Linda Graf, and Wendy Shields with refreshment table set-up by Dorothy Kociba and Aimee Kopiwoda. President Eileen then acknowledged and welcomed first timers Annette Clark (leader of Blessed Sacrament Faith in Action formerly known as Adult Outreach) and Norma Perry. Ladies were asked for prayer requests and then an opening prayer was said.

Ramona Lalka passed around a sign-up sheet for March refreshments. She thanked all the ladies who came before the start of the business meeting to enjoy refreshments and conversation. She also thanked all those who brought donations for “Aaron’s Gifts from Home”. We’re grateful for our event photographer Elaine Warakomski. Ramona then reminded everyone of our Spring Potluck Lunch on Tuesday, May 7th. Please put the date on your calendar and bring a friend.

Happy February birthday to Sherry Babcock (02/05), Carol Landis (02/06), Diane Kosal (02/24) and Jan Natonski (02/25).

Secretary Elaine White had copies of the January meeting minutes on all the tables. January minutes have been posted to our FaceBook page and to Flock Notes. Elaine encouraged everyone to take one of the LBS brochures that Kristyn Russell from the parish office made for us and to use the brochure to encourage other ladies to come to our meetings and special events.

Judy Kawiecki then introduced our first speaker of the day, Donna Clarke who is the Executive Director of Saginaw Emmaus House. Emmaus House now has five transitional living homes for safe, sober housing for up to 33 women. They only accept women coming out of prison, jail, or a 30 day rehab facility. They currently have a waiting list. Women must be sober in order to stay in one of their homes. They require all women to attend a daily 12 step meeting, meet with their therapist weekly, acquire a sponsor and recovery coach, and attend the church of their choice on Sunday. Because of this religious requirement, Emmaus House is not eligible for government funding. Donna talked from her own personal experiences. Drugs took her to hell and back. It is very difficult to get off drugs but it is even more difficult to stay off drugs. Emmaus House encourages their guests to stay with them until they are prepared to live independently. It’s a tough program where recovery comes before family at this stage of overcoming addiction. We thank Donna Clarke for updating us on Emmaus House and sharing her personal experiences with us.

Linda Graf gave an update on our funeral lunches. The parish has purchased white round tables that seat eight. We have purchased colored place mats to go on the white tables and new trays to hold the centerpieces. We’ll be looking into buying some new cloth tablecloths for the food and dessert tables.

Treasurer Tana Zemanek reported our current balance is $8855.95 as of the end of January. She has a complete report of income and expenses for anyone to view.

Tana Zemanek then introduced our second speaker Debi Bartley-Ullum, Director of Aaron’s Gifts from Home. Her son Aaron Ullum was killed in Afghanistan in 2011 and the family created this non-profit in his memory. This 501 (c) (3) organization is made up of volunteers who lovingly pack goodie boxes for our troops deployed overseas. Care packages are sent four times per year. Their biggest expense is postage for all the donated gifts.

Judy Kawiecki then closed the meeting with a team building exercise and an inspirational message.

Please come to our next meeting on Tuesday, March 5th.

Respectfully submitted,

Elaine White, Secretary

Lent 2024

Lent is a time of going very deeply into ourselves… What is it that stands between us and God? Between us and our brothers and sisters? Between us and life, the life of the Spirit? Whatever it is, let us relentlessly tear it out, without a moment’s hesitation.
~Catherine Doherty

Please consider joining us for prayer this season of Lent. Below you will find a list of prayer opportunities at the parish.

Mass:

Wednesday & Thursday: 8:30 am
Saturday: 4:00 pm
Sunday: 8:30 am (livestreamed)
Sunday: 11:00 am

Evening Prayer:

Wednesdays at 6:30 pm

Stations of the Cross:

Friday, February 16 at 7:00 pm
Fridays beginning February 23 at Noon

Reconciliation

Communal Reconciliation

March 10 | 2:00 pm | Blessed Sacrament

Individual Reconciliation

First Saturday of the month at 2:30 pm.

Taize Prayer

Wednesday, March 13
Prayer at 6:30 pm

Holy Hour with Bishop Gruss

Wednesday, March 20
7:00 – 8:00 pm

2nd Stations of the Cross, Jesus is given his cross, Church of the Holy Trinity in Gemunden am Main, Bavaria, Germany

Around the MACC

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Our Lady of Grace
St. Brigid of Kildare

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