Category: Standing Committee Minutes

Nov 21 2011

October 2011 SC Minutes

Standing Committee Meeting Minutes


Present: Deirdre Heck, Tom Coffey, Ellen Spero, Bonnie Rankin, Ami Hughes,
Russ Menk, Dave Kaffine, Walter Cole, Laura Monteodorisio, Martha Hicks-Courant, Warren Flewellen

Treasurer’s report

· We reviewed and approved the Treasurer’s report.

· We’re behind on pledges compared with this time of year in the past. We will put notice in the Shooting Star, and send a church-wide email, to remind people to fulfill their pledges.


· Work has been delayed because of the rain. The projected finish time is now early to mid-November. There have been no surprises leading to extra expenses.


· We reviewed the timeline. Deirdre will revise it for dates that have changed and make sure we get rooms as needed.

· We should add tentative dates to the timeline for planned milestones in the DRE search.

DRE search/discernment

· There is a DRE Transition Team, consisting of Bonnie Rankin, Deirdre Heck, Tom Coffey, Carlene Merrill, Deb Grad, Elizabeth Valentine, Ruth Whalen, and Maura Snow.

· Karen Bellvance-Grace (our district consultant) came to talk to the Transition Team. Given how strong our program is now, she reinforced our planned approach, to have a year of discernment, and not to rush without knowing what we need in a new DRE. This time of transition is also a time of opportunity, when we can develop a strong intentional partnership between lay leaders.

· The focus of the team will be not the search, but rather asking questions from the balcony (not the dance floor): who/what do we serve in our RE ministry, and why? What’s essential? What can we adapt? What can we eliminate? What can we postpone?

· The team expects to have answers in February and be ready to post the job in March. This should still give us enough time to have a new DRE in place by September 2012.

Congregational conversations

· We will have congregational conversation meetings more frequently this year. The first one is scheduled for 11/20. These conversations will be held from 12:30 to 1:30, the topics being fiscal information, updates on a particular topic, and an open forum.

· The central topic for the November meeting will be an update on the status of our DRE search.

· Walter, Warren, and Tom will organize these.

Standing Committee roles

· We still need a Standing Committee vice-chair, the idea being that this person would take over as chair next year.

· Ellen is often asked what people can do to help her. What she says is that we need a strong institution and solid leadership. Partnership between professional and lay leadership is essential to our denomination. The Standing Committee needs to be able to commit to that leadership.

· Tom will talk to Nominating relatively early this year to help them recruit and target people for SC for next year. Among other candidates, it would be good to identify somebody for the position of Treasurer; Dave will be in that position for only one more year after this one.


· We brainstormed our goals in preparation for our upcoming retreat (10/23) with Doug.

· We deferred discussion about changing our committee name; we will discuss next month.

Next meeting

Thursday, November 17, 6:30 p.m.

Note: This is a change from November 10.

Oct 15 2011

September 2011 SC Minutes

Standing Committee Meeting Minutes –

Present: Deirdre Heck, Tom Coffey, Ellen Spero, Bonnie Rankin, Ami Hughes,
Russ Menk, Dave Kaffine, Walter Cole, Laura Monteodorisio, Martha Hicks-Courant, Warren Flewellen
Committee positions and roles
• We decided on many of this year’s positions, roles, and liaison positions:
Position Person
Chair Tom
Vice-Chair TBD
Secretary Martha
Church Council Leader Deirdre
Church Council Co-chair TBD
Liaison to Music* Dave
Liaison to RE Council TBD
Liaison to Membership Laura (as Clerk; this is specified in our by-laws)
Liaison to LRP Walter
HR Sub-committee Martha
Fiscal Sub-committee Tom
Dave (as Treasurer)
Room reservations Deirdre
* We decided to do away with many of the committee liaison positions we’ve had in the past. They seem redundant and unnecessary, given that committees already have good representation at Church Council. We will keep liaisons only for Music, RE Council, Membership, and Long-Range Planning (LRP).
Treasurer’s report
• We reviewed and approved the Treasurer’s report.
• Dave reported that the audit was done at the end of August. The report will go in the State of the Society report.
Steeple work
• Repair has started, with Yankee Steeplejack as the contractor. Old electrical fixtures have been removed. Scaffolding should start going up next week. The estimate is for the work to be complete in mid-October.
• The town of Chelmsford has asked that a representative from the Board of Selectmen and a representative from the Community Preservation Committee (CPC) work with First Parish (Johan Mackenzie) in overseeing the work. The town has set certain restrictions in the form of a Preservation Restriction Agreement; we’re having a lawyer review.
• We want to have a celebration with the town to rededicate the steeple and the clock when the work is complete. Tom will try to find someone to work with Paul Cohen on this; if nobody else is available, Walter will do it.
• We also want to have a fundraiser to help with the expenses. Bonnie will explore options. Ideas so far include a “steeplechase” event and a bowling night.
Upcoming events
• The State of the Society will be held on 9/25.
• We will have an SC retreat the afternoon of Oct. 23, in the chapel. Doug Zelinski will join us.
RE program
• We voted to approve Sadie’s resignation as DRE. She has chosen to stay home with her son for the time being. Her last day of work at First Parish is Oct. 2.
• The RE Council and REY will host social hour on Oct. 2 to give Sadie a sendoff.
• The RE program is running smoothly. With the help of dedicated volunteers (already in place) and an increase in Jill’s hours, we can afford to take our time in determining what we are looking for in a new DRE. We hope to start a search later this year (January?) and have a new hire in place by September of 2012.
• Jill is currently contracted to work 10 hours/week and budgeted to work 12. We voted to increase her hours to 15 to 20/week. Jill will use this extra time to recruit volunteers, check in with teachers and guides, and organize For All Ages (which Ellen will deliver, with help from Bonnie). Her increase in pay will come out of money already allocated and approved by the congregation for RE staffing.
• We will need to form a DRE Search Committee. Deirdre and Tom will start this process. The RE Council has a vested interest in the outcome, but their focus is on running the RE program; we will leave it to them to decide what their level of involvement in the search should be.
• Without Sadie to oversee a joint OWL program with Bedford and Carlisle, the OWL leaders (Marybeth Bush and David Blackburn) have decided to run a Chelmsford-only program this year, if enough girls sign up to make for a reasonable gender balance. We’re hopeful that there will be enough girls; there are a number of boys for whom waiting till next year would not be a good idea.
Parking restrictions
Given the amount of construction going on the town center, parking is more limited than usual. Warren volunteered to be in the church parking lot on opening Sunday (9/11) to direct people elsewhere. He will also put together a map to show people what other parking places are available within reasonable walking distance.
Other business
• We discussed a proposal to change the name of the committee from Standing Committee – which has a basis in history, but only in New England – to something more easily understood, such as Board of Trustees. If we do decide to change our name, it would require a by-law change. We decided to discuss further and make a decision at the October meeting.
Future meetings
• We will meet the 2nd Thursday of the month, at 6:30 p.m. (this is a change).
• Next meeting is 10/13.

Sep 21 2011

First Parish Standing Committee

The Standing Committee is the executive board of the Church, responsible for the
business affairs of the society. Six members serve three-year rotating terms, and one
member-at-large serves a one-year term. In addition, the Clerk and the Treasurer are
members of the Standing Committee. The Standing Committee meets at 7:00 p.m. on
the second Thursday of every month, and then provides an open forum on the following
Sunday after church to discuss any questions the congregation may have.

Aug 15 2011

July 2011 SC Minutes

Standing Committee Meeting Notes

Present: Walter Cole, Bonnie Rankin, Tom Coffey, Dave Kaffine, , Laura Monteodorisio
Absent: Warren Flewellen, Marybeth Bush, Deirdre Heck, Ellen Spero, Martha Hicks-Courant, Ami Hughes

Open Forum

Ellen’s Performance Eval Review
We voted to go into Exec session to discuss Ellen’s PE document.
Vote on Chair and Vice-Chair for 2011/ 2012
We agreed to not vote until all members were present.

REY Update
Briefly discussed the updated plan for OWL this Fall submitted by Sadie & REY. Respected their decision to go ahead with a joint program with Bedford and Carlisle churches. Still have some concern over lack of familiarity with adult volunteers from outside our church.
Briefly discussed updated Youth Programming plan submitted by Sadie and REY.

We voted to approve John Allison, Bill Drury and Carla Corey as auditors to review our 2010/ 2011 financial records from our Treasurer.
We also discussed that we should also review records from our Collector and BOI. We will make sure this happens next year.

Treasurer’s Report
Fiscal 2010/ 2011 almost wrapped up. We ended up with an $11K surplus and an $18.7K difference between actual and budget. Pledges and unknown donors were $11K over budget.
Contributions to the steeple repair fund are currently at $54K.
Everyone thanked Dave Kaffine for his tireless efforts on managing the church’s finances.
We voted to approve the Treasurer’s Report.

Ministerial Intern
An offer letter has one out to Russ Menck. He has accepted and will be starting in late August. Looking forward to Russ joining us at First Parish.

Tom, Ellen and Bonnie met with Doug Zelinski, a Leadership Consultant from our district to prepare for the upcoming SC retreat on 8/28. Doug will be leading this retreat.
Bids have been received from 3 companies. The overall cost estimates range from $224-245K. Our budget was $228K.
Several meetings will occur in the next 2 weeks before a contractor selection can be made. SC is OK if Johan and Tom make the decision.
We had targeted to start the repair the 1st week of August. This will be delayed 1 or 2 weeks. The repair is expected to take 5-6 weeks.

Action Items (for SC distribution only)
Tom & Walter: Work on timeline including revision to the former fiscal summits.
Tom: Talk to Johan about installing a heater in Russ’s office.
Bonnie: Send out thank you notes to people who’ve donated more than $500 or helped in significant ways for the steeple:
Bob Morse, Ellen Mellen, Bill Drury, Johan, Townsperson who donated $

Jul 15 2011

June 2011 SC Minutes

Standing Committee Meeting Notes

Present: Walter Cole, Marybeth Bush, Bonnie Rankin, Deirdre Heck, Tom Coffey, Dave Kaffine, Ellen Spero, Martha Hicks-Courant, Laura Monteodorisio, Ami Hughes (visiting; will be on SC next year)
Absent: Warren Flewellen

Open Forum
• Sadie, Maura Snow, and Fred Kaffine presented the proposed new plan for Youth RE for next year. They will go on to present it to the RE Council.
RE Staffing
• We voted to accept the HR Sub-committee’s recommendation for staffing for next year: Sadie will start the year working 28 hours/week, with a focus on youth programming, while we figure out how to start a search for a co-DRE (for a possible hire in January).
• We could start a co-DRE in January for a total of 40 DRE hours (20 each) and still have a balanced budget.
• The canvass looks to be about $10K higher than last year; this is better than expected.
• We need to have an audit. To do this we need three auditors, who will present their report at the September Congregational Meeting. Carla Corey has agreed to be one.
• We modified the proposed budget for Cell Tower 2: we will allocate $6000 for service trips, $6500 for Faith in Action.
• We approved the Treasurer’s report and the proposed budget for 2011-2012.
• We approved the proposed changes to HR Manual.
• We discussed the idea of fostering dialog between SC and the congregation next year by holding Town Meetings, only part of which would involve discussion of financial topics. These meetings would include open discussion. Details are to be determined.
• We agreed to hold meetings over the summer. Aside from current business, we’d like to talk about:
Year in review
Our mission
Our priorities for next year
Starting a strategic planning process

• Thank you to all who have donated money and helped in other ways!
• Johan has written up a timeline for the steeple work; this includes (among other things) preparing bid documents, meeting again with the CPC, and selecting contractors.

Standing Committee

The Standing Committee is the Church's governing board. The Standing Committee works to ensure the vitality of our community of faith. There are 10 members of the Standing Committee – nine voting members elected by the congregation and the minister, who is a non-voting member of the Committee. Standing Committee members serve a 3 year term.

The Standing Committee meets on the second Tuesday of the month at 7:00pm. Time is set aside at the beginning of every SC meeting as an open forum for members to bring forward any issues they would like to discuss.

The Standing Committee is responsible for the health and well being of First Parish. This includes maintaining communication among members and committees, managing Church property, and planning for the Church's short and long-term future. And of course members of the Standing Committee develop and manage the budget approved by the Congregation at the annual meeting.
The Human Resources Committee is a sub-committee of the Standing Committee.