Summary by Larry Weiner | Board Secretary
The UUSM Board met on Tuesday March 8, 2022, by way of Zoom, to review committee work and the congregation’s overall operations.
Beth Brownlie called the Board Meeting to order. Eileen read the 7th principle (Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part) and the first source (Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life). Norm did a reading. The church theme for the month is “Faith.” All present shared a personal and a themed-based check-in.
Our membership remains at 261.
Standing Monthly Reports
The board unanimously passed a motion to accept all the Standing Reports and the February Board minutes.
Minister’s March Report
Jeremiah introduced this month’s theme from the “Soul Matters” theme resource, “Renewing Faith.” He said that the theme is timely, given the approach of springtime and the reopening of the sanctuary for worship. He spotlighted Women’s “Herstory” Month and reminded us of our interconnectedness with the Ukrainian struggle. We were asked to pray for peace. He also spoke of all the many spring holidays and how the congregation is receptive to renewal as we are coming out of the difficult COVID winter.
- In speaking of Worship, he highlighted the three services for the month of February on the theme of “Widening the Circle,” including one led by Kikanza, and the first service of this month on “The Faith of Julian of Norwich.”
- As our technology needs continue to grow, he talked of establishing a formal Tech Ministry, noting that interviews will be held to find a new contractor to lead in this important area.
- Pastoral Care will be revamped as the Pastoral Associates and the CareRing groups join forces.
- Jeremiah will be reaching out to the Spirit-Level Foundation to see if they can provide us additional financial support to help us make up for lost income.
- The IARAO Commission is promoting the next Beloved Conversations program.
- The Bylaws Refresh Task Force submitted a draft of their proposal to the Nominating Committee for consideration and feedback. They will provide their feedback to the Board. One key here is to continue to develop consensus on what leadership development will look like in our congregation as we move forward.
- Jeremiah met with Vilma and Nurit to begin creating the Budget for the next fiscal year.
- The COVID Steering Committee has decided to allow people to be in the sanctuary during the Sunday services. They have created a protocol for this. We will continue to have virtual services and virtual coffee hours.
- The report from the Committee on Ministry will be delayed.
- Jeremiah continues working with the UCLA Hospital Ethics Committee.
In conclusion, Jeremiah thanked the Board for their continued leadership and lifted up the people of Ukraine, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Palestine, and all places around the globe where suffering is great.
Jacki provided a timeline for the Stewardship Drive. The drive will be announced at the service on April 10. The stewardship letters to the membership will be mailed and emailed early in April with follow-up correspondence to follow. There will also be telephone trees for further contact. Eileen will be helping Jacki with the process. The stewardship drive will conclude by May 1.
The presentation of the budget will be around May 10. The Board will have a special meeting on March 23 at 7 to discuss budgetary issues. The projected date for the Annual Meeting is June 19.
Vilma indicated that there are no major surprises this month and that the work on next year’s budget has begun. The income side is where the struggles are and we need to make decisions in this area. We were able to fund the $10,000 Spirit Level matching grant for technological upgrades in the sanctuary. Our budget shortfall this fiscal year will be around the $60,000 and that had been projected.
Vilma reported that due to increases in materials and labor, the construction cost for the work on the area around the Forbes Hall exit doors on Arizona will cost more than was originally planned. These repairs are critical in making the building areas safe. When completed, these changes will enable our return to rental income normalcy. Motion: The board unanimously passed the motion to sign a contract with Oakmont Builders in the amount of $211,471.20 to make the necessary repairs.
COVID Steering Committee
The committee decided on a safety protocol to reopen the sanctuary for congregants to attend to the Sunday services in person.
Larry told the board that the new process would be that he will have the minutes ready for review within 48 hours. He requests that all Board members look at the minutes and make any corrections within the next 72 hours. The draft minutes will be turned over to Philip Siddons so that he can write the “Splinters from the Board” for the UUSM Community News Magazine. Larry also reported the results of an email poll regarding the Boards signing of a letter to President Biden entitled “Build Back Fossil Free.”
Youth Program Reopening
Beth reported that we are looking for social justice activities in which the kids can participate through the “Lunches for Bunches” program. We will also focus on getting OWL up and running. Beth Rendeiro will facilitate and we will reach out for youth to fill these classes.
The Board conducted an executive session after which the board meeting was adjourned.