Update for May 7, 2020 St. Johns Lutheran Home for Children Board of Trustees Meeting
Mission Statement: Our mission is to perpetuate the historical ministry of St. John’s Lutheran Home for Children to area children and youth.
Vision Statement: We exist to review and evaluate selected children and youth ministries within the 4th Judicial Department of New York, providing financial assistance to approved programs from the income generated through the wise and prudent investment of our assets.
Prayer - MY LORD GOD, we have no idea where we are going. We do not see the road ahead of us. We cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do we really know ourselves, and the fact that we think we are following your will does not mean that we are actually doing so. But we believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And we hope we have that desire in all that we are doing. We hope that we will never do anything apart from that desire. And we know that if we do this you will lead us by the right road, though we may know nothing about it. Therefore we will trust you always though we may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. We will not fear, for you are ever with us, and you will never leave us to face our perils alone. Amen.
There was no meeting in April, therefore no minutes.
The Executive Committee did meet via ZOOM on May 6th. Items discussed and agreed upon are: Scholarship presentations; we agreed to ask St. John’s Member’s at the given churches where the scholarship winners attend, to present the $1,000 check during a Church Service, once the churches open up (Hopefully June!); 2021 Grant Budget; given the economic conditions, it was decided to wait until August to discuss the 2021 budget grant projections. Quite honestly, as you should be able to see by the attached reports, we’re not down too bad, roughly 8% since December 31, 2019. Board Meetings; The Executive Committee will meet again on June 5, 2020 at 10:00 am and (hopefully) we can meet again together on June 11, 2020 at 2:00 pm at Crossroads, utilizing “Social Distancing”. We may have to meet in the Nave vs the meeting room to accomplish that. Current Grantees; Ron will stay in touch with all of them (current reports are below), remind them of the CARES PPP provision and follow up on quarterly Grant Recipient Meetings.
Correspondence: All pertinent correspondence is listed under the organizational headings below
Financial Reports – For April, are attached
Family Promise – From their lasted e-mail - I want to thank St. John's Lutheran Home again for their support. We applied your generous $1,000 directly to some our program's most critical needs this winter, from refreshing linens for our guest rooms (we give graduating families complete sets of bedsheets so we always need more) or making sure we could keep the building at a comfortable temperature in those cold months to assisting with security deposit assistance and transportation costs to graduated families. I'll mention a few things in particular. First, in order to brighten up the spirits of the children in our program, we are trying to purchase fun, brightly-colored, child-themed sheets like mermaids or spaceships which the children can take with them when they leave. We were able to purchase several sets with the funds from your donation. Second, we got a call from a hotel that was closing in February asking if we needed any furniture. We were able to mobilize a small army of volunteers and rent two U-Hauls with the funds you provided to go "rescue" dining tables, chairs, dressers and couches that we immediately delivered to 6 of our graduated families. How awesome! I can imagine that in some of those apartments, the children finally had a table to eat dinner off of.
Lutheran Youth of WNY: Presented by Nick Stroczkowski – they are participating in Sunday morning services with, Parkside, St. Paul’s Eggertsville and Zion, Clarence Center at 10:00 am on MeTV. LYWNY has shifted most of its programming online
Our Leadership Team meetings are continuing as planned on Zoom.
We have a bi-weekly game night over Zoom. Each time we bring in a different youth group from our conference. This coming Tuesday we are partnering with St. John's Lancaster.
We will also continue with our "Cooking in Community" ministry by dropping off all required ingredients and cooking tools to each youth's home, and then lead a cooking class and devotions over Zoom.
Here's a few more thing we have been up to:
Our confirmation program is being carried out by each individual congregation. The pastors are using the curriculum we wrote and the teaching resources we provide.
The portion of time I would normally spend planning and coordinating our large events is now spent filming, editing, and distributing the Sunday worship videos for the conference.
As you know, part of my role is to support and be a listening ear for our youth. I have been actively checking in and ministering to youth in need. We have been able to refer one young man to a great counselor, and I believe he will have a more positive life experience soon.
We have a tentative "Bonfire Party" scheduled in mid-June at St. John's West Seneca, but we are waiting to see what the state says. If they give the green light on gatherings, we will have hand sanitizing stations and we will primarily remain outdoors. This is certainly a "play it by ear" situation.
It's an interesting predicament to be in when this organization is essentially built to bring people together, but right now that is illegal! I believe we have shifted quickly and are able to minister to any youth that need care, and we are still having fun and talking about Jesus. If this continues into the Fall, Abby and I are developing a more involved "distance ministry" plan.
LCLC: Lee Lindeman- Here is an exert from Lee’s latest newsletter. If ever there was a time when your support was needed, this is it. Your gift of any amount will help us "roll away the stone" that might hinder our mission of sharing the gospel of Christ Jesus in ways that give life. Please join us and take comfort in the words of 2 Corinthians 4:1, "Therefore, since it is by God's mercy that we are engaged in this ministry, we do not lose heart."
Here's our Current situation: First, we have preemptively canceled Week 1 and Week 2 of our summer season. We believe these weeks will still be too close to the pandemic's major effects.
Second, we're still waiting for an official decree from the State and or Department of Health for whether or not we can operate summer camp. My guess is this will be a State decision and the various counties will follow suit. That being said, until we're told "NO" from the State, we're still planning on having an abbreviated summer season. At best 4 weeks but maybe just 2-3. This is all dependent on the DOH and State though.
Membership: Phil Buchanan – Continues to look at new ways to enhance our membership
Niagara Lutheran Home – (not supported by St. John’s) – From their web site - Based on guidance from the CDC and other health agencies regarding COVID-19, and an abundance of caution, The GreenFields has STOPPED ALL VISITATION at this time (for the foreseeable short-term future). We understand that connecting with family members is incredibly important, and there are a variety of other ways you might consider connecting with them. These may include telephone, email, text, or through Skype or Facebook. They are also seeking a fulltime Chaplin.
Picnic - Pastor Tim Freed chairman & Toby and Kim Mansfield committee. Update – THE PICNIC HAS BEEN CANCELED FOR THIS YEAR. Public Relations – NF Conference has been postponed & USNY Synod Assembly’s, has been rescheduled to August 30th-September 1st, 2020.
Peace of the City – From their latest news letter – Every POTC family has been entrusted to the care of one staff member who is checking in regularly to make sure the following needs are met: FOOD: Buffalo Public School breakfast and lunch pick-up locations & grocery gift cards. HEALTH: Understanding the COVID-19 symptoms & where and when to go for help. EDUCATION: “Face Club”, Face Time tutoring TECHNOLOGY: Helping families get set up for this new reality of remote learning so no one is left behind. EMPLOYMENT: Who is hiring & how to receive unemployment insurance? SAFETY: Who is home with your children? MENTAL HEALTH: How are you feeling? What do you need? We are here.
Ragtime – Funds on hold until June 2020, as budgeted – Nothing new to report, as of this writing!
Revive Night Ministries – From e-mail – Thank you for the donation, it is mainly utilized for gas to be able to transport our youth to youth events and church. It is also utilized to cover the cost for food and drinks during our fellowship hour. As for on going donations, Revive Youth has not gathered together as of March 13th due to the COVID19 pandemic so therefore there has not been any expenses. On behalf of Revive Youth, we would like to thank St. John’s for the support.
Scholarship/Awards Dinner Committee – The Awards Dinner has been canceled. A suggestion has been made to award the recipients for 2020 in their home congregations. More to follow!
Seneca Street CDC – From their latest newsletter - The SSCDC staff works closely with the children enrolled in our after school program. As you can imagine many strong bonds have been formed over the years, spending at least 12 hours a week together! It was important to us that their needs were being met after school was canceled for a very long period of time. Many families relied on the Buffalo Public School meals that were offered every day. Staff has been working hard to pick up breakfast and lunch on the days the food is available and deliver it to 20 children in our program. To ensure no one falls behind on school work we handed out our laptops and with help from the WNY Foundation we were able to purchase the additional laptops needed, hotspots for internet access, and snacks. Everyone knows kids like to stay busy and after being home for an extended period of time it’s easy to run out of things to do! From Cheryl Bird’s e-mail to the SSCDC Board, the timing couldn’t be better - I am writing to share some wonderful news for the Seneca Street CDC! After trying for four years to get funding through the Cullen Foundation, we were notified that we finally received a grant from them of $35,000 for salaries and programming.
Somali-Bantu (One time grant for 2020) - The SBCO used the $1000 grant from St. John’s, along with those received from Lutheran Charities, for its after school literacy program to pay for the space used specifically for the Somali Bantu children at the organization’s new location in the West Side Community Services building. In addition, these funds have helped pay for transportation home for the children, as they would not be able to attend otherwise. Mahamud Mberwa has been receiving a small stipend from the after school program for oversight and transportation.
Old Business – None
New Business – Total Grants Budget for 2021 – Currently this is on hold. As you can see by the Financial Reports, we really need to wait a few months before making a decision for 2021. The By-Laws state that the budget must be presented one month and the voted on the next month. The thought is: to present the budget in August and vote at the September meeting. Grant requests are received in September and Grant approvals sent in October. So there’s the time frame.
Good of the Order – The Executive committee is investigating ZOOM meetings. If all goes well we’ll try them, 1st for the Finance Committee and then maybe for all of you, we’ll see!