Board Highlights for March 2019: Website Renovation and Support for LGBTQ Methodists

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The UUSM Board of Directors met on March 12. After check-in, the board approved the consent agenda and discussed some of the changes to this Newsletter you’re reading. With the resignation of the Newsletter Editor-in-Chief Abby Arnold, after a 3-year term (many thanks, Abby!), the Newsletter Committee is proposing to name Pam Teplitz and Barbara Andres as co-managing editors. This change in structure would be part of new policies and procedures for the new online Newsletter format. The board asked that the Newsletter Committee submit a charter and revised policies to the board for review.

There are two new members from February: Todd Withers and Leo Forrester.

The board agreed that Faith in Action would be involved with raising funds toward a more-permanent Black Lives Matter/Siding with Love banner that would be hung in a safe place.

There was a long discussion regarding the ongoing stewardship campaign. Connectors have been reaching out to virtually all of the membership. Although continuing pledges (“roll-overs”) will still be honored, there is an effort to encourage pledgers to be more active in their commitment by turning in a pledge card. The Connectors are having many conversations with the “Connectees” they have been assigned. The one-on-one conversations gives each party a chance to know someone better and build community. The end of the campaign is Sunday, March 24, and on that day, following the 11 am service, there will be a financial update from the board. This meeting will inform about possible ways to deal with any shortfall.

UUA General Assembly in SpokaneWe are getting closer to this year’s Pacific Southwest District Assembly April 26-28 in Long Beach, CA. The UUA General Assembly is in Spokane, WA, June 19-23. in mid-June. If you are interested in being a delegate from UUSM, speak with the Rev. Greg Ward. Offsite participation and scholarships are available.

Our treasurer reported that our current deficit is about $40,000 more in the red than predicted for this time in the year. The Ray Goodman bequest came up as a topic of discussion.

The board authorized up to $5,000 toward funding a new office telephone system, which will be drawn from the Capital Building Reserve.

As has been the case recently, there was a discussion involving ongoing, important tasks, “Big Rocks.” As charters and committee responsibilities have become clearer, it is apparent that some changes to policies are in order. There are also places where policies will require changes to the bylaws. This work will involve continued deliberation, as this step requires congregational approval.

Mission and Vision (Big Rock #2) is in a very early stage. It was proposed that board-sponsored quarterly congregational conversations would be helpful. Big Rock #3 relates to being a healthy congregation, where we become a “We” congregation, instead of an “I” congregation. This work requires moving from a “safe space” to a “brave space” by going beyond hospitality to being intentionally inclusive. Leadership development continues to be discussed; Beth Brownlie is piloting a leadership class. Toward the Big Rock dealing with safety, Rev. Greg has a draft document.

The Website Team has been busy developing a plan to renovate our website, in large part to make our online presence more appealing. Toward that end, they requested additional funding beyond the remaining Project Dazzle monies. The board approved $6000 from a fund to be determined. The Website Team expects to present more detail as the plan progresses.

The board voted to support a request from the local United Methodist Church to co-sign a letter to the editor supporting LGBTQ rights within their denomination. The letter was published in the Santa Moncia Daily Press.

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