Board Highlights for November 2019: Finding Alignment with UUSM Goals and Values

2019-2020 UUSM Board of Directors
Beth Brownie, VP; Barbara Andres, Member at Large; Abby Arnold, Member at Large; Vilma Ortiz, Treasurer; Norm Richey, Secretary; Eileen McCormack, Member at Large; Ron Crane, Past President; Nina Emerson, Member at Large (resigned); Jacki Weber, President.

Nina Emerson has resigned from the Board for health reasons. We send her our caring thoughts.

A new UUSM member was read into the minutes: Boo Domesmuth. Please greet her when you see her.

Bev Shoenberger presented the latest efforts on behalf of Adult Religious Exploration (ARE). ARE is the umbrella committee for all adult opportunities and they are working to increase awareness of the many possibilities at UUSM. To that end, they are developing a marvelous booklet that sorts opportunities to help people more easily find church activities in which they are interested. The booklet will also clarify how each activity is in line with UUSM values. The Board voted to encourage ARE in its restructuring of activities and publicity efforts. Eileen McCormack agreed to be Board liaison to the ARE committee.

In his minister’s report, Rev. Jeremiah stated his desire to have each church group and committee give thought to how they are in line with the fundamental goals of our church (for example, regarding spirituality or social justice). This goal relates to The 8 Elements of Effective Congregational Ministries explained in a separate article. How do our committees reflect these congregational goals and how might we come closer to them? The hope is that each group will have a chance to consider its relationship to the 8 Elements by mid-February.

If you are interested in having Rev. Jeremiah attend your committee meeting, he is willing. Please contact him by email or in person after a service.

Rev. Jeremiah mentioned that he has been receiving feedback on our current single service at 10:00 am. A non-scientific assessment suggests that having a single service is a good idea, but a few people have commented that the service is too early in the morning.  Vilma Ortiz has put together a short survey and has been sending it to the congregation. If you have not already done so, please answer it online. The survey provides an opportunity to state your feelings, beyond the simple questionnaire.

The Board approved a request by Audrey Lyness to support a program offered on Martin Luther King Day entitled “Confronting Structural Racism within Traditionally White Spaces: A Facilitated Dialogue.”

As treasurer, Vilma Ortiz updated the Board on the new Generous Congregation appropriation. Half of non-pledge donations on Sunday will now go to the specified organization for that week (or month). This is an increase from the previous 40%. Our income and expenses are both down from what was budgeted, with the effect that the deficit is about as much as budgeted. Efforts to increase revenue from other sources, e.g., weddings of non-members, are underway.

President Jacki Weber reported that the Stewardship book-study group has regularly had ten attendees. In that group, three have agreed to be part of the Stewardship Committee. The committee is in the process of putting together a timeline for a February pledge drive. The working theme is “Igniting Our Faith.” During December, various congregants will be interviewed for a video. How do we nurture our beloved community? How do we engage multiple generations and display a culture of abundance? These questions are the framework for the video.

The membership of the ad hoc Health and Safety Implementation Task Force is almost complete. This is an important effort. Please speak with Eileen McCormack if you are interested in joining the Task Force.

The Membership Committee’s new program, Faith Forward, has been quite popular. The most recent session was a Q&A with Rev. Jeremiah.

Each month, before a Board meeting, documents that will be referenced are put online and made accessible through a link in Thursday announcements. Sometimes last minute changes are made to these documents that will be available to the Board, but not the guests. If you plan to attend the Board meeting and would like the updated documents, please email Norm Richey before the meeting and he will supply you with the latest information. He will send these automatically to the regular visitors.

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