Congregation Council

Council Minutes
Meet the Council Members

The 2017 Congregation Council of First English Lutheran Church is comprised of 13 elected members. These dedicated members are the governing body of the church. Back row: Chris Kennedy, Doug Moard, Colny Gretzinger, Jeff Bemis (Vice-president) and Jon Hagen (President). Middle row: Derek Jones, John Zweig (Secretary), and Bruce Doerfler. Front row: Christina Skowen, Deanna Sanders, Judy Forseth and Allison McGinnis. Not pictured: Mark Van Beek (Treasurer).

Meetings: The Council meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month, with the exception of July. The meetings in January through June are held in Room 110 at the Downtown Site. Meetings in August through December are in the Sanctuary at the North Site. Check the church online calendar for times.

Contact your council members here.




First English Lutheran Church Constitution & Bylaws 10-02-2016: Follow this link.

Covenant & Principles of Conduct: Follow this link.

2017 Annual Progress Report: Follow this link to download the pdf.

2016 Annual Progress Report: Follow this link to download the pdf.

2015 Annual Progress Report:
Follow this link to download the pdf.

2014 Annual Progress Report:
Follow this link to download the pdf. 

2013 Annual Progress Report: Follow this link to download the pdf.  View in booklet form here.

Council Meeting Minutes:

2018 Council Meeting Agendsa

January 23, 2018

2017 Council Meeting Agendas

December 19, 2017
November 28, 2017

October 24. 2017

September 26,2017

August 22, 2017

NO July Meeting
June 27, 2017
May 23, 2017

April 25, 2017

March 28, 2017

February 28, 2017
February 12. 2017
January 24, 2017

2017 Council Meeting Minutes

December 19, 2017
November 28, 2017

October 24, 2017

September 26, 2017

August 22, 2017

June 27, 2017

May 23, 2017

April 25, 2017

March 28, 2017

February 28, 2017

February 12, 2017
January 24, 2017

2016 Council Meeting Agendas

December 20, 2016

November 21, 2016

2016 Council Meeting Minutes

December 20, 2016

November 21, 2016

October 25, 2016

September 27, 2016

August 30, 2016

July, 2016: NO MEETING
June 28, 2016

May 24, 2016

April 26, 2016

March 22, 2016

February 23, 2016

January 26, 2016


December 15, 2015
November 23, 2015

October 27, 2015

October 12 2015

September 22, 2015

August 25,2015

No July Minutes
June 23, 2015

May 26, 2015

April 28, 2015

March 24, 2015

February 24, 2015
February 8, 2015
January 20, 2015


December 16, 2014
November 24, 2014

October 28, 2014

September 23, 2014

August 26, 2014

June 24, 2014
     Vision Notes Addendum 6/24
May 27, 2014

April 29, 2014 (with Vision Ideas)

March 25, 2014
February 25, 2014
January 28, 2014


December 17, 2013
November 25, 2013
October 22, 2013
September 24, 2013
August 27, 2013
June 25, 2013

May 28, 2013

April 23, 2013

March 26, 2013
January 22, 2013


December 18, 2012
November 27, 2012

October 23, 2012

September 25, 2012

August 28, 2012

June 26, 2012

May 22, 2012

April 24, 2012
March 27, 2012

February 28, 2012
January 24, 2012


December 20. 2011
November 22, 2011

October 25, 2011

September 27, 2011
August 23, 2011

June 28, 2011
May 24, 2011 
April 26, 2011

March 22, 2011
February 22, 2011
January 25, 2011


December 14, 2010
November 30, 2010
November 16, 2010
October 26, 2010
September 28, 2010
August 24, 2010
July 27, 2010
June 22, 2010  
May 25, 2010
April 27, 2010
March 24, 2010
February 23, 2010
January 26, 2010
January 14, 2010
January 5, 2010

FELC Personnel Committee Minutes

March, 2017

FELC Trust Committee Minutes

Second Quarter 2011
First Quarter 2011


Meet the 2017 Congregation Council

Jeff Bemis and his wife Diane have been members at FELC for 32 years and enjoy all the worship services. They have three children who grew up in the congregation and were confirmed here. Megan and her husband, Jim live in Frisco CO with their 3 children.  Jenna and her husband Tom, currently are in Appleton and enjoying their 2 year old son. Kyle and his fiancee, Brittany live in Milwaukee and will be married  in 2017.  Jeff retired from Secura Insurance last year.  He served on the council for 3 different terms and has been the FELC council President. Jeff is on the Board of Directors for Harbor House, our local domestic violence agency.  Diane and Jeff enjoy golf, snow shoeing and being on the water for skiing and fishing.  They love to spend time with their 4 grandchildren and enjoy traveling to see them.  

Bruce Doerfler and his wife, Julie, have been members of First English for 46 years. They have two daughters who were baptized, confirmed and married at First English. Jessie and her husband, Jake, have three sons and Abby and her husband, Timm have a daughter and two sons. Bruce and Julie attend worship at both sites and enjoy the different worship styles offered at each service. Bruce is a graduate of UW-Oshkosh and is retired from Packaging Specialties Inc. where he was in sales, selling packaging machinery and materials. Bruce has served two previous terms on the Church Council and has been an 8th grade Sunday School teacher, usher, Communion server and reader, He has also been a Confirmation small group leader and trip chaperone for youth service trips, National Youth Gatherings and Seraphim Choir trips. Bruce also helped organize the Car Folks Life Group and church picnic car show. He is a member of the Tuesday morning men's Bible study and is on the north site mow patrol. Since retiring Bruce has enjoyed volunteering at the Fox Valley Warming Shelter and tutoring at LincolnSchool. He also enjoys golf, woodcutting, reading, history and spending time with his grandchildren. Bruce and Julie enjoy their home, their garden and yard, travel and time with friends and family.

Judy Forseth was baptized and confirmed at FELC and has been a member for 43 years.  She primarily worships at the Downtown Site, however, in the summer she enjoys the Wednesday night services at the North Site with the summer interns.  Judy has two children who were also baptized and confirmed at FELC.  Travis (21)  is a junior at UW-Madison and Krista (16) is a junior at Appleton East High School.  Judy has been with Thrivent Financial for 37 years and is currently working in Human Resources as a Talent Management Specialist.  Judy has served FELC by being a member of the Personnel Committee and volunteering as a Sunday School teacher, Welcome Host and Greeter.  Judy also volunteers for Habitat for Humanity, Feed My Starving Children, Feeding America and Loaves and Fishes of the Fox Valley.  Judy enjoys reading, fishing, golfing, watching the Packers and Badgers, and spending time with family and friends.

Colny Gretzinger and his wife Jill have been members of First English for the past 25 years. Their three grown children, Laura, Craig and Sean, all grew up at First English. The Gretzingers actively worship at the Downtown Site and Colny serves as an usher at the 9:15 a.m. worship. He is employed at U.S. AutoForce, a division of U.S. Venture, as their Director of Finance. For the past six years Colny has served on the FELC Trust Fund Committee and the last few years served as the Chair of the committee. Having volunteered for many years on the Casa Clare Board in Appleton, he served as both Treasurer and Chair. Colny is an avid runner, having completed 11 half-marathons with his daughter and sharing a goal of training for a full marathon in the next few years.  

Jon Hagen
has been a member of FELC since he and his wife, Joy, moved to Appleton in 1986. They currently worship at the Downtown Site, but have primarily attended the North Site in the past. They have four children: Kate, Ted, Eric and Dan who were actively raised in the FELC family and are now on their own. Through the years, Jon has served FELC as usher, reader, communion assistant, Sunday School teacher and Confirmation small group leader. Jon grew up in Iowa, went to Augustana College in Sioux Falls, attended University of Iowa Medical School, and completed family practice residency through the University of Wisconsin in Appleton. He has been a family physician in Appleton for 25 years and is a former president of Primary Care Associates of Appleton, where he currently practices. Jon has a passion for providing personalized care for his patients and promoting healthy lifestyles. He has served on the Board of Directors for Touchpoint Health Plan, Bellin Thedacare Healthcare Partners, and YMCA Camp Nan A Bo Sho. Jon has volunteered as a physician at the Fox Cities Community Clinic and at various sports activities in the community. In their free time, Jon and Joy enjoy traveling, spending time with family, and going to their cottage "up north" to bike, hike, paddle, and cross-country ski.
Derek Jones, his wife Ann, and their two daughters Olivia (14), and Grace (12) have been members of First English for over nine years. The Jones family lives in Freedom and primarily worships at the North Site, but enjoys the opportunity for variety that the Downtown Site offers. Derek trained as a biologist at the University of Wisconsin Madison, and worked for a short time with Wisconsin DNR, before becoming a full time stay-at-home parent shortly after Olivia was born. Currently the chairperson of the Intern Enrichment Ministry Team, Derek is also in his third year serving as a Confirmation small group leader. Derek, and the rest of the Jones family can often be seen volunteering at North Site worship services as communion servers, readers, acolytes, greeters, and ushers. Derek’s other interest include: coaching soccer, triathlon, traveling, cooking, fishing and hunting.

Chris Kennedy
has been an FELC member since 2008. He and his family joined FELC after a one-year search of churches when they moved to Appleton in 2007. They primarily attend the  8:15 a.m. service at the North Site.  Chris works for Wolf River Media based out of Shawano, serving as Regional Sales Manager. He has worked in the newspaper industry since 1996 and moved to various papers and locations throughout the country.  Chris and family have lived in: Decatur, IL, Helena, MT, Appleton, WI and Champaign, IL (this is there second stop in Appleton!).  Chris has been married to Jennie for 16 years. They have a son Jake (15) and a daughter Kellyn (12).  The family loves Appleton and the Fox Cities area. Chris has been active at FELC in service as a Media Tech, helping his wife teach Love and Logic classes and other things that Pastor Mary suggests (strongly) that he be a part of.  (Just kidding - joke in the Kennedy household is that Chris cannot say ‘no’ to Pastor Mary.)  In free time Chris enjoys coaching AEYBA 6th Grade Girls team (Kellyn’s team), cheering on Jake at cross-country meets and listening to his performance with band, sports, reading, walking dogs and spending time with family. 

Allison McGinnis
has been a member of First English since 1988. Allison was confirmed and married to her husband, Aaron, at First English. She, Aaron and their two children Aiden (6) and Asher (2) predominately worship at the Downtown Site and Aiden attends Sunday School. She served as a summer intern, has previously been a council member, has taught Sunday School, and served on various other committees.  Allison is employed with the YMCA of the Fox Cities as the Member Services Director for the Apple Creek Y and Camp Specialist for Camp Nan A Bo Sho. In her spare time Allison enjoys spending time with her family, running and biking. 


Doug Moard
and his wife Sherrill have been members of First English since 1985. They generally worship at the downtown site.  Both of their children were confirmed at FELC and one of them, Michelle, is still a member of FELC.  Both children are now married with children of their own. Doug is currently a family physician working at the Darboy office for Thedacare.  Doug is a member of the Thedacare board of directors and is also an associate medical director for Thedacare. Over the past several years Doug has developed an interest in mental health, and as a volunteer currently coordinates classes for local physicians which are aimed at improving the knowledge and skill level of local physicians when they care for their own patients who have mental illness.  He and a couple of local psychiatrists and a psychologist then teach these classes on a monthly basis free of charge during the school year. Doug enjoys time with his family and his dogs.  When time allows he likes to hunt or bike.

Deanna Sanders and her husband, Mark, have been members of First English for almost 20 years. They have two daughters, Gwynn (15) and Claire (11), that participate in FELC youth education.  The Sanders family primarily worships and volunteers at the 10:30 a.m service at the Downtown Site.  Their volunteer roles include communion server/set-up, welcome host and soundboard. Deanna served on the Learning Ministry Team, co-taught 7th and 8th grade Sunday School, and participated in several adult classes and studies. She has been employed by Bemis Company for 17 years and is currently a Marketing Product Manager.  Deanna enjoys spending time with family and friends, baking, movies, music and reading.  


Christina Skowen has been a member of First English since 2012 and worships primarily at the Downtown Site. She has been married to Chris for almost four years and has two children, Lauren (15) and Ryan (14). Christina has been with Thrivent Financial for over 20 years, most recently in the General Counsel’s Office as a Senior Compliance Analyst. She serves at the Downtown Site as worship assistant, communion server and greeter. Christina has also served on a church council and taught religion classes prior to joining First English. Christina volunteers with Habitat for Humanity and is the treasurer for her son’s soccer team. Outside of First English, Christina enjoys spending time with her family, triathlons, traveling and camping. 


Mark Van Beek and his wife, Sara, have been worshiping at FELC for 23 years.  Their two boys, Cory (19) and Kent (16), were baptized and confirmed at FELC.  They worshipped at the Downtown Site for several years and then switched to the North Site when the boys were in early grade school (the boys loved the up-beat music).  Mark has been employed by Kimberly-Clark for 24 years and is currently a technical leader on a global personal care team.  Mark is one of the volunteers who run the soundboard at the North Site.  He served as an adult leader for twelve years in the Boy Scouts as a Cubmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster.  In his spare time, Mark enjoys spending time with his family, canoe camping, hunting, and other outdoor activities. 

   No Photo Available

John Zweig has been a member of FELC for 17+ years and worships primarily at the North Site. He is married to Margaret and they have three adult children Jimmy, Robert and Christina. John served in the Army for 30 years as a dentist with the family moving to Appleton after he retired. John continues to practice dentistry as a Clinic Director in a group practice. John remains active in many church activities. He serves as a Worship Assistant at the North Site, as well as helping in many volunteer worship roles and adult education classes. John chaired the Self-Study Task Force in 2004/2005, he chaired the Support Ministry Team, served on the Congregation Council, been a church officer and served on various committees/task forces. John works in community dental health programs providing care and education to those in need. As many know, he is terrible at golf but he keeps coming back for more!