Annual Congregational Meeting

Gather with us this January and help us make the big decisions for Poky UCC

Every year on the last Sunday in January we gather together as a Church and vote on important things as a congregation. Things such as the annual budget. We review reports for the last year. This year our Annual Meeting is on January 29th, 2023.

Annual Report

January 29, 2023

UCC Congregational Meeting Agenda


  1. Opening Prayer
  2. Review and approve July 17, 2022 minutes
  3. Review and approve Annual Reports
  4. Review and approve proposed 2023 Budget
  5. Pastor Starr on Leave March thru April Discussion
  6. Update on Church and Parsonage sale
  7. Nominations and Appointment of Council Members
  8. Moderator: Greydon Wright
  9. Vice – Moderator: Vanessa Mehlhoff
  10. Clerk: Mike Rowe
  11. Treasurer: Norman Wright
  12. Financial Secretary: Kathy Wright
  13. Member-at-Large: Grant Thomas
  14. Member-at-Large: Travis Thompson
  15. Member-at-Large: Amber Wright
  16. Adjourn in prayer

17 July 2022 Congregational Meeting Minutes

First Congregational UCC


  1. Convening the meeting and establishment of a quorum. Moderator Greydon Wright opened the meeting and declared that there was a quorum of members to conduct the business of the church.
  2. Approval of January Congregational Meeting minutes. Grant Thomas moved and Dona Busacker seconded that the 30 Jan 22 Congregational meeting minutes be approved. Motion passed.
  3. Review and approve Vision and Mission statements. The Church has not been following our current vision and mission statements. Both need to be refreshed. The national church has both a vision and mission statement. Adopting the national church’s vision and mission statement follows closer to what we have been doing as a church. Cross Reardon moved to adopt the national church’s vision statement – United in Christ’s love, a just world for all – as our vision statement. Norman Wright seconded. Motion passed.
  4. Cross Reardon moved to adopt the national church’s mission statement – United in Spirit and inspired by God’s grace, we welcome all, love all, and seek justice for all – as our mission statement. Norman Wright seconded. Motion passed.
  5. Pastor Starr Reardon provided a slide collage of church activities of the last several months.
  6. Nominations and appointment of replacement Council Member. Travis Thompson and J.D. Elmore were nominated to serve on the Council. The nominations were seconded and both were approved with no nay votes.
  7. Future of the Church discussion. At our current rate of income and expenses we have less than 18 months to survive as a church. Norman Wright showed slides depicting church expenses and income since 2018. Expenses over income from Jan – Jun 2022 was about $2500 to $5000 per month. We were down a total of $20,591.03 for that Jan – Jun period. We currently have $6,910.15 in checking; $3,929,41 in savings; $61,883.84 in stock; and $547.01 cash at the broker. Not being ADA-accessible hinders trying to rent the downstairs.
  8. Grant Thomas asked if we have an idea of what the church is worth. That is not known. Grant then asked what do we do if we sell the church? Options include renting or buying an existing building. We may need to rent until we find the right place to buy. Discussion followed on what we do if we sell the church. Curtis Leyvas provided a name and number of a person (Chris Petersen [435.363.5048]) he knows that deals in commercial property. Grant Thomas moved and Norman Wright seconded we get going on an appraisal and selling the church. Motion passed with one nay vote and one abstention. Cross Reardon moved and Travis Thompson seconded that updates on selling the church would be provided the first Sunday of the month during the potluck to start in September. Motion passed. We also discussed the possibility of selling the organ separately. Moderator Greydon Wright asked if anyone was interested in serving on a committee to sell the church to let him know.
  9. Stained glass repair. Amber Wright stated there is a group that has looked at our stained-glass windows as to repairs. We will be receiving a report from them as to what will be needed.
  10. Moderator Greydon Wright thanked folks for their enthusiasm shown in today’s meeting: it was great to see so many folks showing up.
  11. Pastor Starr Reardon adjourned us in prayer.


Thrift Store Report

As many of you know the last part of 2022 Lois Johansen fell ill and was unable to run the Thrift Store. Amber, Starr, and Tera took up some of the slack for a time. Now Tera has taken over with help from Vanessa Melhoff and her children. Last year the Thrift Store made just over $2400.

-        Amber

Sales have gone up! We have new and regular customers as well as daily donations. We have been selling online locally, in store sales, eBay sales, and local Auctions. We are getting more organized each day. We’ve been changing up the store and repricing some items. The store has new hours and days, Tuesday -Thursday 1:00-6:00pm. Our goals are to make over $1,000 per month and to help out the shelter if needed.

Thank you for all your support.

-        Tera Tracy


Pastor’s Report

What a year we have had!

Some things went amazingly well and some things have fallen FLAT. We continue to be a social justice church grounded in scripture.

As most of you know, I have had a family health situation that requires me to be away for 2 months. As my contract is up in February, I will be taking March and April to take care of my family member in Arkansas. That said I am finishing strong by running 3 small group classes/Bible studies in addition to running a member’s class and a baptism class/rite. The small group class is currently being held at the Salvation Army on Wednesdays. There’s a women’s men, and youth groups. The youth group is about to split into two groups!!

I have also set goals here at FCUCC should my contract be renewed. That includes expanding the shelter to serve in some capacity in a year-round basis. To run a discipleship class here in April. To strongly encourage the Council to set a series of goals for the new year, they will be:

3 building goals and 3 Ministries goals.

I have done the same thing with the Refuge Team. This is what we have:

3 Building Goals

  1. Bathroom / shower
  2. Paint space- Loaves and Fishes
  3. Plant flowers

3 Ministries

  1. Rooted program
  2. Off season retreat
  3. Off season street ministry

In some respects, we are only now truly coming back from the pandemic. We are back in the groove of outreach to the neighborhood and planning ideas to attract businesses to utilize the church properties. It is beginning to feel like spring has come to the Church even though there is snow and ice abounding. In every facet of church life, we are feeling the movement of the Holy Spirit. Truly, I say to you sisters and brothers, God is up to something at First Congregational Church UCC- something mighty.


Pastor Starr Reardon



Moderator’s Report

Thank you all for your support of our church this past year.


Here are some of the things we have accomplished in the last year along with other activities we have participated in. I hope I got most everything and I apologize in advance if I inadvertently forgot to thank you for your donation or participation.


  • Renewed Pastor Stars designated term ministry agreement
  • Continued with our 1st Sunday potlucks
  • Participated in the annual 4th of July parade and the Chubbuck Days Parade
  • Continued with the Thrift Store. It is now under new management and doing well.
  • Continued to host noon Alcoholics Anonymous meetings
  • Hosted the Portneuf Valley Interfaith Fellowship blanket drive
  • Church Camping outing at Pilgrim Cove Camp in McCall
  • Continued to support the HIS Ministry to Pocatello High School
  • Put on the Alternative Gift Market to raise over $6000 for local non-profits
  • Continued with hosting a warming shelter at the church during the winter months (The refuge). This outreach helps 15-20 homeless folks every night and is beneficial to all that attend from the clients to the volunteers.
  • Adopted a new Vision and Mission Statement for the church to be more in line with our outreach and what we really are doing as a church.


Greydon Wright and Mike Rowe have been continuing to meet with Pastor Starr as an ad hoc Pastor-Parish Relations Committee.


This past year the council has done everything we can to cut costs and keep us functioning as best we can as our funding has been dwindling. Last September we did move forward and have the church building and parsonage appraised to see what things are worth. We have since created flyers and handed out to potential investors in the area. As we continue to move forward this year, we will have tough decisions to make. However, I know that the council wants to keep the church moving forward as we believe that God is still speaking in Pocatello. We have seen some good things come up this past year to help us with that. If you look at this from a national level, we are not alone as many churches are facing financial issues.


It is fantastic to see new faces at our Sunday morning services. I hope that we continue to see this growth in the new year.


Thank you for letting me serve as your moderator for the past year. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to anyone on the Council or myself.

  • Greydon Wright

Treasurer’s Report

Every year seems to bring good and bad news when it comes to our budget. It seems with prayers being answered we have made it through another year. We had projected the final outcome as to having a $38873.23 deficit at year’s end. Due to expenses not being as high as expected only $85,063.40 (projected at $94,174.02). We projected our income to be $55,300.79, but our actual income was only $49,093.88 (includes apartment and interest income), our deficit was $35,969.54. To balance our budget and pay our bills for 2022 we had to close out our remaining Cornerstone Funds and transfer $17,020.48 from our stock account.

As we look forward, we are projecting total income to be $49,500.00 plus $7801.00 (apartment and interest income) equals $57,301. Total expenses are projected at $95,756.00; our deficit would be $38,455.00. We will have a known increase in specific expenses of medical insurance for the pastor of $9840.00. This was authorized in our contract, and was finalized in January 2023. Our other expense line items are either decreased or increased slightly. One new line-item no. 62 is for thrift store sales tax that we have to pay. We closed out the checking account for the thrift store and run all receipts and expenses through the church budget. There was already a line item for income but none for expenses. The only extraordinary expense we are aware of is the sales tax we are required to pay on gross sales. 

I project we will be close to our projected expenses, of $95,756.00, then we have been in the past. That being the case we will have to have an increase in income or we will be cashing out more of our stock account to pay our expenses. (Note baring any major capital expense.) That leaves us with only three feasible options I know of closing the gap, increasing income, reducing expenses and using our reserves to operate in the black for 2023. It will probably be all three in some manner.

As of the end of the calendar year on December 31, 2022.

Checking Account - $14,824.22                    

Savings Account - $2,929.75

Stock Account - $53,342.47

Total - $71,096.44

As you can clearly see projecting a deficit of $38,455.00 this year, at this rate of loss we only have 1.5 years of reserves left to operate at most, unless something big changes. Just a side note we have said this in the past, we only had two years left, but prayers have been answered. But the fact is we are draining our reserves and our known expenses are increasing. Time is running out, that is mid-2024.

We have been gradually increasing our income, but expenses are also increasing. We have been trying to maintain our building, by doing what patching that is absolutely been required. Let us all face facts, it is by and large a very old building that has numerous problems that need major upgrades. Which should include new HVAC system for the narthex, gym, kitchen and the corresponding rooms in the basement, new windows, new lighting, upgraded plumbing and wiring. Just to name a few. Nothing $250,000 would not fix.

So, is it time to make a decision now? I do feel we can wait longer. We do not want to be in a position where we need to make a quick decision.

Maybe the most important question we face: Is the UCC in Pocatello, Idaho the building or the people who attend church in the building?


Respectfully submitted, Norman Wright Treasurer

budget 2023