On January 27, Signal Crest kicked off a new year with our first Church Council meeting of 2019. Church Council is the governing board for Signal Crest business and is made up of representatives from all ministry areas of the church, lay leaders, committee chairs, and at large members. Your 2019 Church Council representatives can be found  here .
Going forward, Church Council meetings will be agenda based, with the agenda being shared with the Congregation of Signal Crest prior to the meeting.  All are welcome to attend to Church Council.
This first 2019 Church Council meeting was comprised of general church business and committee reports.
General Church Business:
  • In the minister's report, Doug Fairbanks commended Signal Crest for being "champions" for Christ. Signal Crest has risen to our challenges, and our next pastor should be thankful for such strong lay leadership.
  • On behalf of the Nominations Committee, Doug Fairbanks recommended Jeff Norwood for approval as the Signal Crest Treasurer. Church Council voted to approve this nomination. Jeff will be responsible for reviewing the financial books of the church, overseeing gifts received from stock transfers, reporting on the finances of the church, and will have signature authority for checks.
  • As has been communicated previously, David Robertson has resigned from his position as the Crest Worship Leader, and Staff Parish Relations Committee is actively seeking his replacement. More information about this position and how to apply may be found here.
  • Staff Parish Committee reported that the search has begun for our new Senior Pastor. The committee met with District Superintendent Randy Martin to discuss this process and give input into the attributes we hope that our next Senior Pastor will have.  At this time, the committee hopes to be able to share the identity of our new Senior Pastor with the congregation in mid-April.
The Finance Committee (Tina Close) shared that:
  • It is apparent that Signal Crest had its best year in history in general giving, exceeding $1 million. The turnaround in our church’s financial condition compared to six months ago is nothing short of remarkable. We are pleased with how God has moved this congregation to engage with our stewardship call and look forward to what God has planned for Signal Crest in 2019.
  • Signal Crest hired a local, independent contractor to provide church accounting services on-site. This person will work on-site Mondays 9am-2pm most weeks. The Finance Committee was also pleased to acknowledge an upcoming staff change which will positively affect the processing of our accounts payable and payroll. More information will be distributed next week about these two new hires.
  • Membership, giving, and communications functions are being moved onto a new database platform (TouchPoint) to better equip and empower church laity and staff in managing member and contributions data, as well as to provide new ways to connect each other and support our vision. With these changes, the church continues its progress toward more transparency and better stewardship.

Our Ministry Highlights include:
  • Our Vision teams of Trusted Leadership, Elevated Warmth, Discipleship, and Hospitality are well underway implementing changes to support the vision of Signal Crest.
  • Trustees (Mike Garvich) reported that we have reached agreement with a buyer to sell the former parsonage (117 Arrow Drive) for $273,000. The proceeds from the sale will be used to offset the expenses to upgrade 308 Laurel Street, our current parsonage, and to pay down the debt on our facilities. (117 Arrow Drive sold on February 2).
  • Stewardship (Anne Pitts) reported that our 2019 campaign is well underway. Consecration Sunday was this upcoming Sunday, February 3. Packets of stewardship materials, including giving plan cards, have been mailed to the congregation. 
  • Missions Team (Doranne Lane) reported that the Missions Fair was successful and gave newer visitors to Signal Crest a chance to see the breadth of our missions ministries. 
  •  Children's Tteam (Chrissy Gray) reported that everyone loves the newly renovated Fellowship Hall. Over 300 people attended Breakfast with Santa, and the new space was utilized for that event. Marti Wayland is the new chair of the Children’s Team.
  • Our Youth returned from Resurrection 2019, a large youth gathering of the Holston Conference with over 10,000 youth in attendance. We had 43 students, 7 chaperones, and 3 cooks attend over the weekend. The students learned about God's grace and how to shine our lights to the world. A new Youth Parent Advisory Board is forming this month, and we are excited to have this level of parent involvement as we look to the future of our youth program.
  • United Methodist Women are excited to celebrate 150 years of existence with over 800,000 members world-wide. Signal Crest has 3 active circles which support ministry needs both in service and financially in our community.
  • The JOY group (Just Older Youth - June Bilbrey) have some fun events planned quarterly for 2019, starting with a soup and salad luncheon in March. They also pack bread once a month.
  • Congregational Care (Bill Thornton) reported that we have set a great foundation in place for taking care of our members in crisis. We want to remind members that if they know of needs in our congregation to please reach out to Bill Thornton (423-580-0892) or Mitchell Johnson (904-460-8879).
Doug and Carolyn Fairbanks thanked Signal Crest for allowing them to serve here again. They are thankful to be living in our parsonage at 308 Laurel Street and state that this parsonage is the "one of the best in the conference!"
In Partnership,
Mark Smith
Chair, Church Council
P.S. The next Church Council meeting will be held on March 3, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. pm in The Interpreters classroom. Everyone is welcome to attend.
The “as approved” Church Council minutes from December 9, 2018 can be found  here .