The Words of the Stephens Family

Minutes from the New Hope Family Church Council Meeting

Jim Stephens
August 10, 2014

Here are the minutes from the last council meeting. Our next meeting will be held Sunday 8/24 7:00 pm at the Melford Learning Center.

Attendees: Chairperson Joanne Parrish, Pastor Miilhan Stephens, Asst. Pastor Jim Boothby, Council members: Doug Burton, Miken Jenkins, Jim Stephens

Prayer to Open: Pastor Miilhan

Financial Issues:

Quarterly Report: Miken agreed to put together a Quarterly Report of NHFC Income and Expenses together with Shio that can be distributed at church on the next Sunday.

Tithing Discussion: It was reported that tithing is down this year over last year. The January through June totals for 2014 are $20,000 less than the tithes for the same period in 2013. This represents a decrease of 12.36%.

Possible explanations were discussed as well as what would be good strategies to pursue so that the future trend will be increased giving.

This year NHFC is donating 10% to District 1. In the past it was 30%. This is a substantial change. NHFC is not donating to National Headquarters.

Miilhan agreed to discuss this issue with Liana and Amiel, our Sunday Service Coordinators.

We also discussed ways of better appreciating those who are giving generously to the church.

Lastly, we decided that the Pastor and Council should establish annual financial goals and strategic planning for projects.

We are going to look into re-establishing a Financial Oversight Team similar to one that existed in the past. Miken agreed to send out an email to former members of that Team to ask for their input.

New Hope Academy Not Available on August 31st

August 31st Programs at the Learning Center. New Hope Academy will not be available for Sunday Service on August 31st due to preparations for the new school year. We can not hold Sunday service at the Melfor Learning Center, but the Council and Pastor Team decided to hold a number of programs and events at the Melford Learning Center on that day instead.

It will be a "Team Building Day" and "Open House" along with other activities where ministry organizers can share what their plans are for the coming year. Other educational experiences will be available. A detailed schedule of the activities will be created and available to all members on the website ( <>).

Melford Learning Center

Discussions about a Learning Center Manager and Maintenance Coordinator were put off until all Council members have a chance to look over sample job descriptions.

Pastor Miilhan and Jim Boothby will prepare a list of furnishings and items that are still needed in the Melford Learning Center, i.e. "A Wish List". The list will be distributed to the community and members will have the opportunity to donate the items or contribute to their acquisition.

Employee Activities Reports

The Council discussed the Monthly Activities Reports for July that were submitted by members who are receiving payroll checks from the church.

This was the first month that the Council requested such Monthly Activity Reports.

The Council found the reports extremely helpful and could much better appreciate all the hard work being put in behind the scenes.

Two areas were discussed which the Council would like to have added into the Activity Reports. The Council would like to know approximately how many hours were worked by each of the employees during the past month. The Council would also like more details about the events which are being held which includes how many attendees came to each event, particularly members and guests.

The Council is also interested in fostering a structure where each employee has a clearly designated central figure/mentor person.

Strategic Planning

Strategic planning was discussed and Miken agreed to find the document on this topic which was created in the past Council sessions and email it to the current Council members. This document laid out plans for Communications, Financial Oversight, Young Adult Ministries, and the Learning Center.

Greenbelt Labor Day Event

It was decided that we would not try to have a booth or book table at this year's annual Greenbelt Labor Day Event. Time is short and there are other priorities this year.

Greenbelt Theater as venue for Sunday Service

The Greenbelt Theater has become available for a church to use for Sunday Service since the church that was using it has stopped. The Council did not have enough information to make any recommendation.

Report from the Charter Committee

Joanne reported on the ongoing meetings and deliberations of the Committee that has been meeting to discuss revisions to the Original NHFC Charter along with the National Charter template sent from National Headquarters.

Council Meetings are Open to the Membership

The policy was reiterated that all Council Meetings are open to any members to attend as observers.

The Council decided to post all scheduled meetings on the Internet on our website. They can be located on the page for the Learning Center where all events are listed.

An announcement will also be made in the Weekly Announcements which are emailed to members.

Ukraine, Our Sister Country.

The Council discussed the opportunity to show support for the Ukraine citizenry and it was decided to draft a Statement of Support which will be printed on a large poster and presented at church for members to be able to sign. Pictures will be taken and sent to our members in Ukraine.

Additional activities will be discussed and decided by members who want to be involved. Those interested may contact Jim Boothby ( or Doug Burton (

Application for National HQ Grant for a New Boat.

The Council supported a grant to be submitted to National HQ for $21,600. There has been extensive interest around a "boat ministry" and many have already been involved, especially by young adults. National HQ has offered grant money for worthy projects.

If we are awarded the grant, then we would have to raise a 10% matching amount. The Council felt this would be easy enough to do in our community and supported going forward with the application.

Next Council Meeting was set for Sunday 8/24 at 7:00 pm at the Melford Center.

Prayer to close: Miken Jenkins 

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