The UUSM Board of Directors met on December 10, centered on a mission of fostering a culture of caring.
The board announced a new member, Rita deBoer, and encouraged congregants to welcome them on Sundays and to invite them into our work. In his Minister’s Report, Rev. Jeremiah Kalendae commented that November and December are particularly busy months. He is taking care that staff are not overextended.
With regard to Sunday services, Rev. Jeremiah contacted UUSM Minister Emerita Rev. Judith Meyer for her insight on two services. The congregational survey indicated that about half of us are happiest with one service at 10:00 am; the remainder spread over other options. The board determined that UUSM will continue with one service only on Sundays at 10:00 am, for the foreseeable future.
Jeremiah also reported that his 8 Elements of Effective Congregational Ministries has been well-received. The idea is for individual groups in the church to consider how to include each of the eight different elements in their ongoing work and relationships.
Our new-member program, Faith Forward, completed its first 9-week run. One of the best attended sessions included a conversation with the minister. Rev. Jeremiah reported that it was fun, and that he will start a practice of having a conversation with each prospective new member.
Rev. Jeremiah has been approached by We Are Uno, an outreach program committed to feeding the homeless. As part of their mission, they serve vegan meals and could potentially use our kitchen.
Taking a step toward fostering a culture of caring, Rev. Jeremiah is seeking a congregational chaplain, who may receive a per diem through ministry funds. This person would need to be knowledgeable in counseling and other pastoral care services.
In her treasurer’s report, UUSM Treasurer Vilma Ortiz stated that pledge income is up this month, as expected. She proposed three policies regarding 1. rollover pledges, 2. how to determine member numbers for UUA reporting and the UUSM Fair Share contribution, and 3. new member pledges. During budgeting, we give our best estimate of future pledge income, and instituting policies could help. After some discussion, the proposals were moved to the January agenda.
UUSM Board of Directors President Jacki Weber reported that a Stewardship Committee is now reconstituted and energetic, thanks to the profound impact of the shared study of the book The Soul of Money. The pledge calendar and beginning budgeting will start on January 7. Likewise, Member at Large Eileen McCormack reported that the ad hoc Health and Safety Committee has six energized members and will begin its assignment to implement new policies.