Church Council - TLC Today

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Wednesday Oasis 6:15 p.m.
11000 France Ave. S. - Bloomington, MN 55431
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Transfiguration Lutheran Church
CHURCH COUNCIL 2018
BETH MERCER
President
TLC Church Council

My family and I have been members of Transfiguration since early 2011.  As a lifelong Lutheran who married a Catholic, I (along with my husband James and our children Mackenzie, Jack, and Ryan) spent years of Sundays visiting churches all over the south metro in an effort to find the right fit for us.  When we happened upon TLC, we knew right away that our long search was over.  I had an immediate sense of "home" here and knew this was where I wanted to raise our family.  Thankfully, James felt the same way.
After years in outside sales and marketing -- almost three years ago I stepped away from my job in order to spend more time at home.  James' work has him traveling most of the time, and the business of handling three energetic children by myself (during the week) is a full time job.
I have a passion for our church and the direction it's moving; for the children of our congregation and their future, and the strong fellowship this church community enjoys.  I am an abundantly proud member of TLC.
JERRY OLSON
Treasurer
TLC Church Council

What brought you here?
My wife and I joined TLC in 1977 after our second son was born and we wanted to have him baptized.  [Then Senior] Pastor Anderson visited us in our home and we did not look beyond TLC for a church home.
What do you like most about this church?
Two things stand out for me; the many amazing people at TLC, both staff and congregation. The second thing is that I have never attended a service at TLC without something positive to take away from it.
What is your hope for the church?
My hope is that TLC will grow, that more people will experience the experiences of church membership and that the church will serve more people in the community.
CAROL HILL
Secretary
TLC Church Council

What brought you here?
My husband and I returned to this area two years ago to be closer to family.  For months I visited several Lutheran and Episcopal churches close to where we live -- most of them only once or twice.  I kept returning to TLC and realized this was where I belonged.  I officially joined in May 2015.
What do you like most about this church?
I can't limit to what I like most.  I felt welcome here from the first time I came.  I worship best at the 9:30 service with its ritual and music and I was looking for that when visiting churches.  I love singing in the choir.  I value the statement of inclusiveness.
What is your hope for the church?
With God's help and the participation of all in this faith community, we will continue to "gather in grace, grow in faith, and go forth to serve."
LAUREL RIIPPA
TLC Church Council

What brought you here?
I was married here in 1979. We moved our family to Bloomington in 1993 and became members at that time.
What do you like most about this church?
The Praise and Worship team and the music we make. It  touches my soul. I have developed many friends in the congregation, and  they have helped me through some difficult times.
What is your hope for the church?
My hope is that: We can continue to grow and prosper; we  will celebrate our successes and directly face challenges as they occur;  and we will unite as a group to be part of the ongoing solution for  serving TLC and God’s work.
DICK HAUGEN
TLC Church Council

Joanne and I joined Transfiguration Lutheran Church in June of 2001.  My involvement with the church is its support of VEAP where I served in their Transportation Program in 2003 and have continued since that time.  My volunteering at church has included greeter, pew crew, communion, ushering and hospitality.  Three years ago I began to serve on the personnel committee.
My retirement in 2015 followed 52 years of hotel, resort and country club management in Minnesota, Ohio, and Arizona.  I have served and led a variety of community and industry boards.  In Alexandria, MN, I served on the board of First Lutheran Church.
GARY LEWIS
TLC Church Council

I have been a member for three years at the church; on the Stewardship Committee, and Men's Bible Study .
I was the Vice President of both Ebenezer and Fairview Hospital Foundations (both Lutheran organizations) for 14 years and before that was a YMCA Director for 31 years.  I have been on many other chruch councils in the past 50 years and know it is an honor to serve on the TLC Council.
EVAN COLLINS
TLC Church Council

I have been a member of TLC since 2008 when I joined with my family. Since then, I have worked closely with the Youth Ministries and with the music ministries. In summer of 2016 I left to serve as a member of the ELCA’s Young Adults in Global Missions program. I served in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, learning many new things about the Lutheran Church in a global perspective.
I would like to serve on the TLC Council to better understand how our church works and to learn new ways in which we can continue to grow as a congregation at TLC.
ZAC SCHNEDLER
TLC Church Council

My family; Abby, Griffin, Grayson, and I have been members of Transfiguration for just about a year and we are fortunate to have found such a welcoming new home. I am excited to get involved with some of the small groups at Transfiguration and would be honored to be a part of the church council.
Growing up I was involved with many programs through Mount Olivet Lutheran Church. For example, I worked at their summer camp, youth center, and various out-reach programs.
My professional experience is primarily in Education and Business. I currently work in Labor Planning at Best Buy Corporation and previously spent 4 years in Accounting.
PATRICIA WEICHSELBAUM
TLC Church Council

I grew up in Bloomington and joined TLC in 2008 with my kids, Kipling & Anton. In 2009, Renee, "encouraged" me to assist with Sunday School. I have enjoyed co-teaching the 4 year old class ever since! I truly love the community of TLC and quickly felt at home here! It is the first church I have ever felt relaxed in! I have had the op-portunity to participate with TLC and going to Feed My Starving Children along with volunteering with God's Work Our Hands! In 2015, I was fortunate to participate at Luther Dell Camp with Anton & Kong, my son and one of my International Students (from Thailand). We had so much fun providing service for the camp! And it was a remarkably beautiful place with bald eagles flying overhead!
I have been a Veterinarian for over 20 years and currently work about 3/4 time. I am currently pursuing a certification in Animal Hospice and Palliative Care. This is a new direction the field is entering. My practice will soon be launching an extensive Animal Hospice program within the Twin Cities!
Our family enjoys hosting International Students and learning about other cultures. We have a busy household, but enjoy what each day brings!




 A Word from Our 2018 Council President  
I am honored to be the newly elected president of our church council. In case you missed the Annual Meeting on January 28th, I won’t bury the lead: the biggest news to come out of the meeting is that we have closed the gap on the budget shortfall we faced this year.
As most of you know, we were looking at a projected deficit of $100,000 in 2018. After three congregational meetings to discuss the unfavorable options under consideration to balance the budget, generous gifts were made to relieve our church of this burden. Over $140,000 in new (or increased) pledges came in during the weeks leading up to the annual meeting.  

This is an amazing testament not only to the strength of our church, but also to God’s work that’s being done here.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that our work is done. Through those meetings and subsequent conversations, we have come up with many new ideas to try and ensure that we won’t be facing this problem again. I am anxious to get this work started and to keep up the momentum we’ve been graced with.

We also held elections and are welcoming three new members to the council this year – Evan Collins, Zac Schnedler, and Patty Weichselbaum. We heard inspiring messages from our pastors and learned about exciting new plans for our church, including an aggressive strategic plan and our intention to bring Stephen Ministry to TLC. [Click Here to watch a video replay of the TLC Annual Meeting]
I am so enthusiastic about what we’re doing as a church, and am looking forward to an exciting year!

Beth Mercer
Council President



What is a church council?
The church council is made up of adult members of the church who have been elected by the congregation to guide the parish for the year, and make plans for the future.

What does the council do?
The council is guided by our constitution and is responsible for specific areas of church life, such as Worship, Education, Evangelism, Fellowship, Property, Public Relations, Social Concerns, Stewardship and Youth. The members deliberate, make decisions about the policies, practices and plans for the future of our church.

What qualifications do council members have?
Council members are male or female baptized Christians instructed in the Christian faith and committed to being disciples of Jesus Christ. They are men and women of prayer, students of the Bible and active members of their church in good standing, regular in worship, supporting their congregation, willing to give of their time and talent for the mission of the church. They are elected by their fellow church members to serve for two years,

What are council members expected to do?
Each council member is the director of his or her area of responsibility as described in the bylaws of the constitution.  

Council members are encouraged to seek other church members to serve on committees and task forces assisting in on going or special projects. Some are directly involved in the work for which they are responsible, such as boards of Fellowship, Properties and Youth. Others are indirectly involved in their charge, such as Education, Stewardship or Worship.

The council is responsible for the annual meeting of the congregation. It is here that church members elect the council members, hear the state of their church, the council's plans for the future and vote on the proposed programs and budget for the coming year.

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