Annual meeting

April 30, 2017

Alter Guild - Katie Langston

The Alter Guild and our fearless crew of Badass Rebels for God are the ones who set up communion and hospitality (coffee and tea) before each service. Some of our wonderful Alter Guilders have recently retired--special thanks to Barb, Willie, Aaron, Matthew, and Phil and Alissa (who are finishing up in June) for all their help. And welcome to our new Alter Guilders who have so graciously volunteered to serve with us: James, Kari, and Alauna. Rounding out the crew are Neal, Jo, and me. You may remember Katie’s story of growing up in a church where only men were allowed to touch communion elements. Or maybe you grew up in a church where only clergy touched the elements. You too, can be freed from this elitist pedagogy of our Lord’s table. We would be happy for any other volunteers who are looking for a small but exciting way to be a Badass Rebel for God! langston.katie@gmail.com

Blood Washed Band - Quillan Roe

2016 was a fun year for the Blood Washed Band. We played a handful of shows at local clubs like the Turf Club, Icehouse, the Aster Cafe, the 331 Club, and others; we didn't record our own music, but we did do several recordings backing up other performers like Matt Arthur and Miss Becky Kapell, all recorded at our drummer, Levi Stugelmeyer's, recording studio.

More importantly, as we've played together longer and longer, we've gotten to know each other better, both as people and as musicians. Our "sound" has started to gel and we're having more and more fun playing together. quillan@houseofmercy.org

Front of the House (FOHs) - Erin Bowley

This is the intrepid crew of people welcoming you at the front door, answering questions, and selling HOM merch and guest artist merch now and then. Even though it is a once-every-other-month job, this same dedicated group has done this for a long time (thank you Neal, Barb, Kristine, Sean, Monica, Kenny, Kriss, Chris, and Sonja). We would heartily welcome a few new helpers, please join us! erin@erinb.org.

Hospitality Guild - Kristine Bjerkaas Friesen

Hospitality is one way we seek to cultivate welcome and care within our House of Mercy community. The Hospitality Guild is a group of folks who volunteer to make and take a meal to folks in the HoM circle who may welcome a little extra help for one reason or another - a new baby, a family illness, a lost job, a particularly trying time. Some good food from a friendly face can bring some light into the darker days.

You don't have to make a meal every time for every need - just when you can. We can always use some more lovely volunteers to help with this important practice in our community life. Contact Kristine Bjerkaas Friesen at kkbjerkaasfriesen@gmail.com or 651-587-8078 if you'd like to learn more, or are aware of someone in the community who might benefit from some hospitality!

And a big thanks to Ben Ashley-Wurtmann and Kristen Boelcke-Stennes for their previous rock star coordinating of HG efforts!

House of Mercy Recordings - Erik Brandt

From March 2016 - April 2017 House of Mercy Recordings released the following recordings:

We hosted a couple label showcase events, including the upcoming afternoon label showcase at Barely Bros Records on Sat, May 13 from 2 - 5, featuring The Urban Hillbilly Quartet, Wilkinson James and The Blood Washed Band. office@erikbrandt.com

Youngsters - Susie Abramson

Our youngsters come from different schools and different parts of town. They are busy with sports, music, social activism, and social groups. Their parents are even busier! So each week, the amazing volunteer teachers and helpers present a Bible lesson while building a sense of community and belonging at House of Mercy. Most of our youngsters do not attend House of Mercy each week, so the challenge is to create events outside of church for kids to connect. Swimming at the Natural Pool in Minneapolis, sledding at a park, meeting at a youngster’s house for fun and crafts and playtime, book club, and the ever popular Trunk or Treat, all give kids a chance to mingle and create shared experiences together.

God’s radical mercy and love for these youngsters is super evident in our volunteers’ patience and commitment - thank you to Nancy Abts, Kristen Boelcke-Stennes, Susan Douglas, JoAnne Garbe, Steve Garbe, Dan Hoisington, Emily Hoisington, Rebecca Johnson, James Keuning, Jen Patrick, Dawn Petroskas, David Rudolph, Phyllis Solon, Leif Stennes, Marty Tanquist, and Christy Wetzig. We couldn’t do this youngster thing without your dedication and time! youngsters@houseofmercy.org

Youth - Anne-Britt Mulberry

This school year the 6th-12th graders have been learning Biblical stories in chronological order.  We are very fortunate to have Bruce Johnson, Lance Abramson, Erin Maurelli, and Carrie Noble volunteer to teach on Sundays.  Besides Sundays, we have had many youth events for learning, volunteering, and fun.  Valleyfair, catechism class, game nights, spring and fall retreats, fundraisers, and making and eating puppy chow were some of the highlights.  Just so you all know, the 6th-12th graders are some of the best people at HoM.  They are a fun, creative, and wonderful group.  I feel very fortunate to know these amazing kids.  youthgroup@houseofmercy.org

Treasurer’s Report - Luke Finsaas

In 2016, House of Mercy broke even—and then a little. We received approximately $178,093 in income while having expenses of $174,319, leaving us positive $3,774. This is more income than HoM has ever seen, up $18,707 from last year—an 11% increase. In the past, House of Mercy has typically seen 7% growth year over year. If that trend holds true, we should see $190,500 in 2017 while our expenses grow to around $180,000 or so (increases in rent and insurance). It is our hope that in 2018 we will be able to put money towards programs that ought to be receiving more funding; for instance, the Youngster program spent less than $750 on supplies last year.

That said, the beginning of 2017 has been rough on House of Mercy. We’ve seen a significant drop in revenue from the beginning of the year—more so than in previous years. Spring is always the hardest (or second hardest) time of the year for HoM, and the dip in cashflow has caused $$$ shortages that have led to delays paying Russell, Debbie, and the very part-time staff (Quillan Roe, Jason Woolery, Heather-Marie Nestrud, Trischa Heitman Ochs, Susie Abramson, Anne-Britt Mulberry); delays paying rent; etc. Not fun stuff. We just received  a large donation (5% of our yearly income), but we will need to keep working to resolve the cashflow issue before we hit our second tough time of the year (late summer). Pledgers should expect Q1 updates on their donations YTD in early May.

In the meantime, we have a few requests for everyone who calls House of Mercy a home of sorts:

1) Review your bank statement to ensure that you’ve been paying your pledge.

2) Think about paying ahead on your pledge or giving a special donation.

In short, the future looks good for House of Mercy, but turning that future into a reality requires vigilance and commitment from our community. Thanks to our volunteers who count the offering after church each week: Bruce Johnson, Rich Swedberg, Jenny Kramm, Matthew Max and Matthew Schneider.

Thank you for making the mercy happen.

P.S. We should be appointing a new House of Mercy Treasurer in the near future and I (Luke) will be saying goodbye to the job. I’ve had the honor of serving as your Treasurer for the past two years, with the help of our exceptional, diligent Counters and our invaluable, brilliant Bookkeeper, Trischa Heitman-Ochs. See y’all around the bend. #Peaceout  treasurer@houseofmercy.org

For a more detail look at House of Mercy's 2016, Money-wise, see below:

Income from Pledges: $128,452

Big Donation: $26,550

General Fund & Miscellaneous: $12,090

Summer Special Ask Income: $10,500

Income from ELCA: $5,000

Total Income: $178,092.73

Salaries: $127,638.34

Insurance: $29,034.37

Rent: $11,100

Feast & Event Supplies: $1,354.31

Bank & Payroll Fees: $1,349

Printing & Reproduction: $1,265.39

Software: $810

Youngster Supplies: $720.23

Coffee Supplies: $559.52

Conferences & Meetings: $250

Musician Fees: $200

Office Supplies: $38.02

Total Expenses: $174,319.18

Net Income: +$3,773.55