Given these extraordinary days of COVID-19 and physical distancing, we will not be able to come together at church for our 2020 Annual Meeting. But more than 100 of us have been “assembling” weekly to enjoy worship and music and fellowship during the Facebook Live services on Sundays. Staff and volunteers, contributing hundreds of hours, have produced the messages of care and hope we need at this difficult time in our lives.
Following on the success of streaming Sunday worship, our Annual Meeting will likewise be presented on Facebook Live on Sunday, June 28, 2020 at noon. We will hear reports from UUSM Board of Directors President Jacki Weber, Treasurer Vilma Ortiz, and the Rev. Jeremiah Kalendae. We will look at the past year to take stock, and then envision the future with thanks to our leadership and all those who support our church home and our fellow members.
We continue the work of the church. Note that this virtual Annual Meeting will be considered an “interim” business meeting. We will vote in advance, by mail and online, and the results will be announced at the June 28 virtual Annual Meeting. UUSM leadership has done its level best with respect for our traditions and bylaws, conforming them to our commitment to keep each other, and those in our wider community, safe. We will ratify the results of the June election at a future meeting when the congregation is able to come together once again, in real life, and be physically present for one another.
This month we will elect a new Board of Directors and pass a budget for 2020–21. Three online events are scheduled as we consider our votes. Note that these will be our opportunities to ask questions and express concerns and appreciations prior to the close of voting June 22. Of course, staff and leadership will take questions on an individual basis, but we hope you will Zoom-in for these presentations.
Meet and Greet the Candidates
Join in a Zoom meeting with candidates for the board and Nominating Committee. Candidates will be available on Thursday, June 11, 7:00–8:00 pm and Friday, June 12, 6:00–7:00 pm. Because this is a large group, we will have two meetings to accommodate everyone. You are welcome on one or both dates to engage with the candidates. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for Zoom or phone-in information.
Finance/Budget Informational Meeting
Come to discuss the financial status of the church, reviewing the past church year along with proposed changes and the budget for the 2020–21 year. You will have received your election packet in the mail, so Zoom- or phone-in for this meeting on Sunday, June 14 at 11:30 am. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for the Zoom info.
This year there are two methods of voting.
Vote by mail—As in past years, an election packet containing a paper ballot has been mailed to each member, including a stamped return envelope. Just complete your ballot, place it in the return envelope, and mail to the church office, with your name on the outside of the envelope. You may also drop your ballot in the mail slot next to the church’s front doors on 18th Street.
The deadline to submit a paper ballot to the church office, in a sealed envelope with the member’s name on the outside, is Monday, June 22, at noon. Drop it off or make sure to leave plenty of time for the US Postal Service to deliver. UUSM election officials will accept any ballot received by June 22 at noon or postmarked on or before June 15.
Vote online—Following a recommendation of the Unitarian Universalist Association, UUSM has enlisted ElectionBuddy to allow members to vote, securely and confidentiality, online. On or about June 5, ElectionBuddy will send each member a “Vote now” email. It will be sent to the email address the church office has on file for every member. That email will contain a link for the election along with an identification key that is just for you. Do not share the link with your unique key with any other party. Just complete your ballot online and click Submit. If you do not vote online right away, ElectionBuddy will send you one reminder that includes your unique key. Online voting ends Monday, June 22, at noon.
If you do not receive a “Vote now” email from Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica (via ElectionBuddy) by June 11, check your email spam folder. If you do not find the email, then go ahead and vote by mail.
If, for any reason, a member votes both by paper ballot and online, the mailed-in (or dropped-off) paper ballot will be discarded. There will be no proxy voting in the June 2020 UUSM election.
If you have questions or need help with voting, contact Board of Directors Vice President Beth Brownlie, Board of Directors Treasurer Vilma Ortiz, or volunteer parliamentarian Lois Hutchinson; they’re all in the Member Directory. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office at (310) 829-5436 and leave a message; a staff member or volunteer will get back to you.
Whether you vote by mail or online, vote! We want your voice to count.
2020 Annual Meeting
Join in the group experience of the Annual Meeting on Sunday, June 28 at noon, streamed on Facebook Live @UUSantaMonica (just as we do our Sunday services). Light a chalice in your home, and together we will remember those who have passed this year. The results of the election will be announced, and we will “swear in” the new board. It will be a time for looking forward with hope for the future and with gratitude for those who serve our community.