Summary by Larry Weiner | Board Secretary
The UUSM Board met on Tuesday May 10th, 2022, by way of Zoom, to review committee work and the congregation’s overall operations.
Eileen McCormack called the Board Meeting to Order. Linda read the First Principle (about the inherent worth and dignity of every person). She also quoted from the Second Source (words and deeds of prophetic people which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, urging compassion and the transforming power of love). The Church theme for the month is “Nurturing Beauty” and Jeremiah suggested a theme-based check in: “What makes a beautiful soul?”
Membership: Elyse Hook is a new member.
The following people are no longer members: Sanna Egan (deceased). Audrey Lyness, Teri Bond, Todd Withers, Margot Page and Ian Dodd resigned.
Total Current Membership is at 254.
Standing Monthly Reports
A motion was made and unanimously passed to accept the Standing Reports and the April Board minutes as written.
Minister’s Report: – Reverend Jeremiah Lal Shahbaz Kalendae
Jeremiah announced the “Soul Matters” theme for the month which is “Nurturing Beauty.” He acknowledged us as having a community filled with so many beautiful souls. UUA General Assembly and the end of the regular church year are rapidly approaching. Our pledge drive is wrapping up and our annual meeting is nearing. We are in transition with our office staff and we are finalizing our new website.
Jeremiah was delighted to attend the dissertation defense of Susan Hendricks-Richmond who is the co-chair of our IARAO Commission. He notes that our ministry is really at its heart the nurturing of spiritual beauty.
In a section on Worship, Jeremiah remembered the month’s four services to a “socially distanced” “full house” assembly. He also announced there would be no GLAM summer road trip this year and that he is working on filling our summer services with wonderful speakers.
Our Pastoral Care leaders are joining forces. All Pastoral Care members will now be designated as “Pastoral Associates.” They will be presenting two Circles of Caring later this month.
Jeremiah led two Bylaws Refresh Town Halls, one in person and one online. With the new feedback from these gatherings, we will be delaying finalization of the new By-Laws until a Special Congregation Meeting in September.
Our Leadership Development Team met to discuss a 9-month program for the next church year. Jeremiah consulted with our Board and Nominating Committee Leadership to develop our consultative process. They will assemble a slate of candidates for the upcoming election.
There will be a Women’s / Reproductive Freedom March this coming Saturday at downtown City Hall. We are working to have a good showing.
We are looking to hire a new person for a Communications Coordinator Position. We are saying goodbye and a giant thank you to Sibylla for all her great work always, especially in the difficult last 2 plus years. She will be leaving us later this month.
Jeremiah has reached out to Reverend Janet at the Church at Ocean Park in the spirit of doing whatever we can to help them during this difficult time as they will need to fix their collapsing roof.
Jeremiah intends to begin attending the meetings of the Santa Monica Interfaith Council and will report back to us what he learns. He also will continue to participate in the UCLA Hospital Ethics Committee meetings monthly.
In conclusion, Jeremiah gives thanks for the spiritual beauty that all of us offer to our beloved community.
Jacki reported on a women/reproductive rights march scheduled for this coming Saturday, May 14th at downtown city hall from 10-12. A discussion followed about the logistics of getting a large number of participants from our church. An email will be sent out tomorrow. Joyce Holmen can put an article in the newsletter.
Jacki and Beth reported that about 37% of our households had pledged approximately $182,000 leaving us short of our goal by approximately $165,000. We will continue to make phone calls reaching out to folks who have not pledged. Jim Cadwell’s matching grant (up to $5,000) for new pledges and additional pledges after April 27th has been met and exceeded to the tune of $5,692. We discussed the difference between autopay and rollovers.
Norm reported for Lois Hutchinson and the team.
- The member sign-in issue has been resolved.
- Security issues have been identified.
- Our SSL certification has been finalized. (This is the technology that enables our website to have the “https/” before our uusm.org address. This indicates that it is a secure website, safe from hackers and fraudulent predators on the internet.
- We are in the process of uploading our archives.
Vilma said she had not done the monthly report but had an annual report available. We will have a shortfall of around $100,000 this year, due mostly to loss of income from rentals and fundraisers. Last year, we did better because we had PPP loans from the government. Without them this year, the full toll of the pandemic was felt. If we can get up to 50% of our past rental income and generate clever fundraisers, she hopes that the deficit for next year will be closer to $40,000. Vilma also mentioned we should think in terms of employing a website specialist on an ongoing basis to keep our new website fresh.
Abby reported that our building permit has been granted for the repair of the Arizona Street door. The contractors are ready to begin. She will facilitate the communication with the contractors for the time being until Nurit can take over and oversee the remainder of the project. Nurit was out sick and was on vacation so she has a lot of annual meeting preparation on her plate.
Covid Steering Committee:
With a bit of normalcy returning to the congregation, the committee will temporarily morph into an advisory team. Linda and Eileen will continue to do research and stay on top of this moving target. Discussions are scheduled on the art wall.
Youth RE reopening:
Beth reported that we now have a team (not a committee) to get youth Religious Education (RE) moving forward. The team consists of Shanna Shaked, Eric Paesel, Beth, and JoAn Peters. There will be a beach cleanup and Volleyball clinic on May 22.
There was a discussion about what we need to do to be in compliance with rules about adults hanging around with children. Do we need everyone to be live scanned or have a different kind of background check? Jeremiah talked to Melissa from the region. She did not think live scanning was necessary but will investigate further. Meanwhile, Indigo and Sophia will continue to serve the community by taking care of the children during the services.
Social media specialist:
We discussed the hiring of a social media specialist.
It was moved and unanimously passed to adjourn the meeting.
Larry Weiner, Board Secretary