Board Highlights for May 2019: Reimagining RE and Saying Farewell

End-of-the-Year Round-Up

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The UUSM Board of Directors met on the evening of Tuesday, May 14. Because the Board will not meet in June, this was the last meeting of the current board. There were several good-byes and expressions of appreciation.

Two new church members were read into the minutes: John Oliver and Sharon Harrel. They hail from the shores of Virginia. Please look for them on Sundays.

The President’s remarks (Jacki Weber) were a synopsis of some of the big – and continuing – projects that the board has taken on this year. Some of these were expected (Big Rocks) and others were unexpected (staff turnover). These events concern the congregation, and Jacki is hoping we are ready for them.

General Assembly (GA) is coming up in June. We are allotted six delegates. These will be James Witker, Emily Hero, Jacki Weber, Beth Brownlie, Abby Arnold, and Norm Richey.

The Minister’s Report included several items:

  1. The church has received more than 20 applicants for the three-quarter–time DRE position. These have been categorized by qualifications and four have been set for interviews.
  2. Stewardship made a heroic effort this year – having face-to-face conversations with more members than in recent years. But several of the most involved members of the committee will be moving away. We are very sorry to be losing Kit Shaw and Olga Felton.
  3. A comprehensive safety policy will, hopefully, be ready by June 15 – just before Greg’s last Sunday.
  4. Our Director of Music, Saunder Choi, has submitted a proposal for a Children/Youth Music Program.

The members of the search committee, to find a new developmental minister, have settled on a candidate and are currently in negotiation regarding the contract. The announcement will likely be made in the next couple of weeks.

Intern Minister Robin Stillwater was delighted to report that the Young Adult group that she has spearheaded is vibrant. Aubrey Sassoon and Leo Forrest will be taking over the leadership.

UUSM Treasurer Cheryl Sims reported that our 2018–19 budget deficit will be about $48,000 – as opposed to the $23,000 originally budgeted. This is largely due to the loss of a couple very significant pledges. The congregation will likely have to vote at the Annual Meeting to determine where the money will come from to cover the increased deficit. But there is some good news: an anonymous donor has given the $5,000 necessary to match the Spirit Grant that helps pay for the RE assistant. Many thanks!

On Sunday, June 2, the Lifespan Religious Education Task Force (Beth Brownlie, JoAn Peters, Nick Henning, Kelly Hatfield and Erik Paesel) will sponsor a visioning session with facilitator Sarah Gibb Millspaugh, from the UUA regional office. This brainstorming session will reinvent our educational program for youth and adults. Nearly all members participate in one or more of these programs and are invited to encourage and collaborate.

In the Big Rocks discussion within the Board, the most detailed new bit of information relates to the Membership Committee. The committee hopes to bring in a membership consultant from the UUA. Meanwhile, the committee has been systematically trying to improve each of five main aspects of membership development: marketing, hospitality, introduction to UU, integration into the congregation, and retention. June 16 is New Member Day.

In June we will enjoy the bittersweet of several good-bye events: June 16 is Kathleen Hogue’s last day; June 23 is the Rev. Greg Ward’s last day; and June 30 is Robin Stillwater’s last day. Look for details coming soon. Don’t miss your chance to pitch in – and say farewell.

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