The UUSM Board of Directors met Tuesday February 8, 2022 by way of Zoom.
Gathering – Beth Brownlie (President)
Jacki Weber lit the chalice and led in a reflection on the sixth principle and the sixth source. These concepts relate to the earth-centered traditions. They commemorate the sacred circle of life, urging us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature. The end goal is world community that embodies peace, justice and liberty for everyone.
Board members shared events occurring in their lives with mindfulness of the month’s theme of how we might be expanding the circle of life. Members were encouraged to note how others have enabled us to be included.
Membership – Norm Richey
Our membership is 261.
Standing Reports – Beth
The board approved the January Board minutes as well as the following items:
- Membership report for February
- Generous Giving report for February
- Statement of Income and Loss for January
- Balance Sheet for January
- Sunday Service Attendance for February
- Administrator’s Report for January
Minister’s December Report – Reverend Jeremiah Lal Shahbaz Kalendae
Jeremiah introduced the theme “Our Soul Matters theme/Widening the Circle.” He spoke of our commitments to inclusion, anti-racism and anti-oppression as a congregation. Being inclusive involves us not just trying to make others a part of what we are but us becoming more of what others are (citing the author Kyodo Williams).
- The first service taught the 8th Principle about our journey toward wholeness by taking actions which dismantle racism and oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.
- The second service, by Rev. Kikanza Nuri-Robins, was entitled “Footprints,” covering last month’s theme of ‘Living With Intention.’ She described how our life’s goals define the legacy we leave behind.
- The third service was a multireligious service on the Hindu Vaishnava tradition’s “The Bhagavad Gita: The Song of the Divine.”
- On the fourth Sunday we welcomed Rev. Mathew Cockrum who spoke on the topic of “Widen the Circle of Healing.” Unfortunately, our internet was out for this service so we recorded it. We will use it for a future staffing shortage on some Sunday.
There is consensus of both the Pastoral Associates and the CareRing teams to unite into one larger Pastoral Care Team. The combined group will begin meeting next month to work on group responsibilities and goals. Linda van L. and Denise H. will co-chair the newly aligned Pastoral Care Team.
Our Presidential Leadership Team planned the agenda for the Board Retreat. Retreat topics included:
- Budget and staffing
- The first draft of the newly proposed bylaws
- Leadership development and succession planning
- Mission and vision development work (to be studied next year with the congregation)
Jeremiah consulted with Dr. Melissa James on ideas and resources to help our congregation.
Spirit-Level Matching Grant
We are pleased that we have raised $8,800 of the $10,000 matching grant.
COVID Steering Committee
We are still in the Very Severe Risk (COVID ActNow Data) category. The statewide mask mandate will be ending next week but LA County plans to continue to enforce it. The COVID Steering Committee will be meeting to discern when we can reopen for our regular events and services.
Bylaws Refresh Task Force
At the board retreat, drafts of the proposed bylaws were considered and a second draft is under consideration.
Beloved Conversation’s next semester begins on February 22 so we are encouraging people to sign up. Be on the lookout for more information.
Committee on Ministry
The formation of a Committee on Ministry was delayed because of the pandemic. Jeremiah has been working to identify members for this Committee with the intention of presenting the list to the board next month.
UCLA Hospital Ethics Committee
Jeremiah is continuing to meet with the Committee for clinical consultations throughout the month.
Jeremiah thanked the board for their dedicated service, grounded leadership, and compassion for our community and the world.
Stewardship – Jacki Weber
Jacki Weber spoke of preparations for a stewardship drive, similar to last year’s program . It will consist of a direct mail, a letter and response piece in addition to a voluntary phone tree outreach component.
Bylaws Refresh – Patricia Wright
Patricia Wright on the Bylaws Taskforce joined the Zoom meeting from Birmingham, Alabama. The board discussed with Patricia the overall process of the board engaging the congregation in reviewing drafts of the proposed bylaw modifications.
The board thanked Patricia and her taskforce for their many months of hard work on the national bylaws. Their work involved reviewing congregation’s bylaws, reviewing the recommendations and all the many proposals from around the country for improvements.
Treasurer’s Report – Vilma Ortiz
Vilma noted that our pledges are a little lower than budgeted but general income is doing fairly well. While there is a current deficit, it is anticipated that the income level will increase significantly in the coming months. Our expenses will be kept low, reducing the deficit amount. She said that we are operating as predicted.
Facilities – Abby Arnold.
Abby noted that the building plans have been in the city planning office for several weeks, waiting for approval. The city office is understaffed because of COVID but as soon as they confirm that we have made all the changes they requested, the final approval will come and we will begin construction.
The board began an executive session to discuss confidential matters. The meeting was adjourned with the extinguishing of the chalice.