St. James United Methodist Church

St. James United Methodist Church

St. James United Methodist Church

225 Armstrong Boulevard So

Saint James, MN 56081-1775 

Phone 507 375-4383 

Reverend Clint Firstbrook III

Cell Phone-507-822-0251

Email Address
Church Website

May 7, 2019

To All Members,

On May 5th there was a very important Congregational meeting with the District Superintendent in order to make some important decisions regarding our future in our present location. It is important that everyone realizes that our present building is too large and that we need something smaller and more accessible for our older and handicapped members.

We will be having a church conference at St. James UMC on June 9th, 2019 at 11:30 with District Superintendent Fred Vanderwerf presiding.

The first step has been taken to start the process of abandonment and discontinuation. The church has been listed for sale and an active search for a buyer has started.

The second step is to schedule a church conference immediately to vote on discontinuation as a local church and or building abandonment this meeting will be on June 9th at 11:30 following worship.

If it becomes evident that the building doesn’t have any interested buyers, then we should consider an auction (like a farm auction) no later then the end of summer. All proceeds of the sale will be turned over to the conference new congregational development fund.

Since the recommendation for discontinuation as a local church family is the one that is supported by some members here are some thoughts.

  1. Given that the church can no longer pay its apportionment’s, and that by discipline proceeds from any capital sale cannot go towards general operating budget, there should be a vote for discontinuance.
  2. This doesn’t mean current members cannot continue to gather and even contract privately with the pastoral services from Pastor Clint, but it does mean it would end its relationship with the United Methodist Annual Conference.
  3. The preference of the District Superintendent would be that upon discontinuation the remaining members would consider transferring as a group to Madelia or Trimont UMCs. Between now and June 9th we could have the pastor and some members of those churches come and meet our congregation and invite us into that possibility. In this way, remaining membership that choose to transfer would be supporting another local congregation that is invested in the conference through apportionment giving. The DS has spoken to Pastor Dan Dempster in Madelia and he is open to this.
  4. The feeling is that in reality that the Minnesota Annual Conference will likely have to inherit the burden on the building while the church gets off “scot free” because the impression that we gave was that the church was not seriously looking to alleviate the building expenses SO THAT we could free up funds to take seriously again the paying of apportionment’s.

      You are encouraged to come and vote on June 9th, 2019 after worship.

      We may endeavor to return items to families that have been donated to the church or allow members to obtain emotionally significant keepsakes from the church.

Yours in Christ,

Jeanne Schuett, Lay Leader and Secretary to the Board

Clinton F. Firstbrook III, Pastor