Bethesda Council Update

by Steve Peters on February 09, 2024

Dear friends,

It has been a privilege to serve as your council president this past year. As we close out the year, it is worth noting some of the milestones of 2023.

We continue to sponsor two young families with children to resettle here in Ames as they fled war and political persecution with little more than the clothes on their backs.

We welcomed Prairie Flowers Children Center as a tenant in our education wing under the terms of a lease approved by your church council.

We made important revisions and updates to our congregational bylaws and approved continuing resolutions that keep the organization up to date and relevant in today’s ever-changing environment. We also brought new attention to and set new policies for the administration of our Bethesda endowment. Special thanks to immediate past council president Larry Otteman for his diligent work in these complicated matters.

We continued our very important community centered ministries with the Food Pantry, Clothing Room, and Saving Suds, setting new annual records for the number of people served. Special thanks go out to Daryle Vegge and the Stewardship Committee for the campaign they mounted through temple talks to remind all of us of the important community services Bethesda provides thousands of local community members each year. Then they capped that effort off with another wonderful
stewardship kickoff event.

Through your generosity Bethesda was able to end the year in the black. Giving during the holiday period more than made up for the slippage we had experienced earlier in the year.

The council has been involved in researching the potential for two new capital items suggested by members – a digital outdoor sign on Northwestern Avenue to replace the current sign, and the installation of solar panels on the church roof or lawn. At present the funds are not available for replacing the sign. Our task force continues to research the long-term cost benefit of investing in solar panels.

For this new year of 2024 I am happy to announce that Mif Grotnes will serve as Congregational Council president-elect. Larry Otteman has accepted the Congregational Council Secretary position. Lise McKillop will serve as the Board Chair for the Worship, Music, and Arts Board. And Trace Houge Brakke has accepted the Congregational Council seat on the council. At this writing, we are still looking for people to chair the Stewardship Committee and the Administration/Finance Board.

As we review this past year, it rapidly becomes obvious that nothing would happen at Bethesda without all of you. Thank you for so generously giving of your time, talents, and finances to support our Bethesda community. And thank you for so graciously allowing me to serve as your council president. It has been an honor and a privilege. Together, we gather, grow and go!

Steve Peters

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