In recalling my own history with our church, it has not been that long ago that I had no idea who or how the church operated. So to that end, I’d like to explain our governing structure here at St. Charles United Methodist Church (SCUMC).
We’ll begin with the person that I use to think did ALL the work. The Minister of our church. Pastor Danny is positioned here by the Louisiana Conference who appoints ministers to churches every spring for a year beginning in July. Annually, appointments are reviewed and decisions are made as to who will serve where, to best suit the make-up of all churches in the state of Louisiana.
Nominations and Leadership Development Committee
All other jobs at the church are chosen at the church level by a committee of up to 9 people led by the pastor, better known as the Nominations and Leadership Development Committee. Our current members for this committee are Karen Seifert, Ronda Knox, Al Martin, Etta Petit, Jim Adams, Karen Garrison, Lee Wilkins, Dan McNeill and Debbie Deal. Members are asked to serve for 1 year to up to 3, beginning in January for at least a year.
So what is a lay leader, you ask. He is responsible for communication between the local church and the community. He serves on the Church Council, Finance, Nominations and SPRC committees. Ronda Knox is the Lay Leader for 2016.
Lay Member to Annual Conference
The lay member of annual conference has a primary focus of linking the local church to the connectional United Methodist Church and God’s worldwide church. Our Lay Member is Pam Waguespack.
Besides the Pastor, the Church Council is another dominant source of presence overseeing the operations of our church. This group of leaders guides and furthers the ministry of the congregation. They envision, plan, implement and annually evaluate our congregation’s ministry and mission. It has also been known as the Administrative Council and/or Council on Ministries. Members include Chris LaBure as Chairperson, and 9 Members at Large- Janice Blocker, Guy Favaloro, Max Suitt, Bill Green, Cheryl Mender, Maria Lambert, Meredith Hamilton, Babs Schultz, and Lee Wilkins. Other members include Financial Secretary, Dave Lambert; Church Treasurer, Ray Cesta; Membership Secretary, Karen Nauck; Lay Member to annual conference, Pam Waguespack; Lay Leader; Ronda Knox and all committee chairpersons; (listed by their committees below).
Committees that lead our church include a chairperson, appointed by the Nominations/ Leadership Committee, and groups of up to 9 members serving for a 1 to 3 year commitment.
The Finance Committee is responsible for identifying, perfecting and managing the finance system for the congregation by raising, managing, and dispersing the finances of the mission and vision of the church. Members include the Chairperson Cynthia Ruffin; Financial Secretary, Dave Lambert; Treasurer, Ray Cesta; and Members at Large, Wayne Desselle, Jessie DePriest, Evelyn Guertin, Susan Meyer, Rob Gilbert, Frank House, Keith Keller, and Kay Cammarata. View the Resource pages for more information.
Staff/Pastor-Parish Relations Committee (SPRC)
The Staff/Pastor-Parish Relations Committee duties include focusing on building strong relationships between the staff and the congregation, and between the congregation and the district superintendent (DS). The chairperson is Dane DePriest and members are Onni Cesta, Charlene Peoples, Kent Treas, Hylton Petit, Leah Woolf, Kay Wilkins, Karyn Kienitz, and Nick Cammarata.
Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees supervises and maintains all property of our church. Their chairperson is Ronnie Schindler who is elected among its current members. They are Henry Mender, Bill Hamilton, Evelyn Treas, Johnny Marino, Kurt Kienitz, Mike Ebeling, Bobbie Botsay, and Malcom Moore. View the Resource pages for more information.
Our Children’s Council oversees the ministries of children from nursery to 5th grade. Our Chairperson is Lisa Waguespack and Members on this committee include Luana Hinchman, Renata Lombardi, Jamie Napolitano, Onni Cesta, Evi Orgeron, Amanda Thomas and Ellen Hartline. View the Resource pages for more information.
Evangelism invites all who are interested in sharing the love of our Lord Jesus! Please contact Chairperson, Jerry Schultz, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 504.201.4006 if interested. Committee Members are Beverly Barrios, Ronda Knox, Al Martin, Janet Spitler, Karen Seifert, Julia Kokemor, Kevin Orgeron & Lakisha Chandler All are welcome!
The Worship Committee’s members include Bill Hamilton, Chris Hazeltine, Cheryl Mender, Meredith Hamiliton, Lisa Waguespack, Beverly Barrios, Janet Spitler. Pastor Danny and April Ebeling, Music Director also are huge assets to this committee. View the Resource pages for more information.
Our Congregational Care Committee, nurtures and cares for all who worship at St. Charles. The Co-chairpersons are Kim Favalora and Susan Green and other members include Onni Cesta, Lee McNeill, Earline Guidry, Jan LaBure, Dawn O'Quinn, Peggy Martin and Al Martin. View the Resource pages for more information.
Our Mission Committee consists of Chairperson Jim Miller, members Kurt Kienitz, Babs Schultz, Ronda Knox, Pam Waguespack, Lettie Pleming, Chris Hazeltine, Darlene Viola, Bobbie Botsay, Janice Blocker, and Mary Anne Schindler. This committee’s charge is to inspire and excite people about God’s mission by creating awareness and educating our congregation and community about global as well as local missions. View the Missions and Resource pages for more information.
Max Suitt leads our adult education team with many classes offered throughout the year. Other members of the committee include Bill Green, Gwen Keller and Alisa House.
Other Groups and Organizations
Other committees who are represented at Council meetings include our Scouting Representative, Doug James, SCRIP Coordinator and Matthew 25:35 Food Pantry Director Mary Anne Schindler.
There are many others who serve our congregation in various capacities from running our stewardship campaign, to leading prayer ministry, singing in our choir, performing in our praise band, tending to family ministries and caring for our congregation, teaching Sunday school, working the sound booth, and recording the history of our church.
Whether it is participating in an outreach program or manning a hospitality tent, contacting visitors, going door to door to place flyers, or leading a Bible study in sharing your faith; we need you. All who have a heart for sharing the Gospel are welcome.
If you feel drawn to help with any of the areas of leadership in our church, be bold enough to ask. It is sometimes nice to be asked, but it also can be a responsibility to volunteer if you have the time and or talent to help shape the ministries of our church. Speak to Pastor Danny or Gwen Keller, Ministry Coordinator, and they will get you involved at where you feel you can help the most.
So you are overwhelmed with life at this time. Your job takes you out of town; you just had twins and are up half the night, and can’t manage one more responsibility. There are two very important ways you can assist with our ministries. One is pray for various ministries and the people who lead them. Lastly, let those serving know how much you appreciate what they do to make us a church who is fulfilling the Great Commission as stated by the United Methodist Church, by making disciples for the transformation of the world.