Category: Standing Committee Minutes

Dec 15 2010

November 2010 SC Minutes

Standing Committee Meeting Minutes
November 11, 2010

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

Open forum
Johan MacKenzie presented issues and possible solutions to do with space in the kitchen and the storage room behind the kitchen. Table of Plenty needs more space than we have allotted them. For the time being, while researching additional possibilities, we can do the following:
• Install a rack for hanging pots and pans over the kitchen island; this will free up storage space underneath.
• Get a rolling Rubbermaid cabinet for additional storage.
• Look into the acquisition of a freezer (to replace the refrigerator/freezer that’s in the storage room now).

Old business
• Widening our Worship: Bonnie presented the slides she will be showing at the cottage meetings. We talked about how this is a process; we need to be intentional about what we are doing and discuss ways we might widen our worship (which does not necessarily mean moving to two services).
• SC timeline: We should all look at the latest one Tom sent out, and let Tom and Laura know if we have corrections.
• Ministerial Intern search: The church’s profile has been posted on the UUA web site for candidates.
• Table of Plenty: Seventy people attended the most recent dinner, up from 37 the week before.
• AIT: The AIT will be holding meetings to present the architect’s plan on 11/21, 11/28, and 12/5.
• Leadership conference: The conference was really good, and we all got lots of good ideas of them. Now we need to use those ideas!
• CVL (Commercial Video License) fee: The cost this year is being shared by several committees. (Next year it will have its own line item in the budget.)
• Community Table: There are a couple of possible volunteers to take this over from Linda Newhard.
• Steeple: We need to seek grants and go to local businesses as well as the town to raise funds for this.
• Stewardship (Canvass) Committee: We still don’t have anyone willing to chair this committee. The Fiscal Sub-committee will come up with a plan for covering this work this year (in a bare bones way, as necessary). We will discuss this more next month.
• Church logo: We voted on and approved a new logo for the church web site, letterhead, and so on.

New business
• Nominations: The Nominating Committee has asked us for names of people who might be good candidates for the open positions on Standing Committee for next year.
• Welcoming Congregation: Our church is holding a vigil on Saturday 11/20 to mark the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Staff reports
• We reviewed reports from the Minister, Director of Music, DRE, and Church Council.
• Ellen would like feedback on her goals.

Treasurer’s report
We reviewed and approved this report. Details include:
• We’re about $10,000 to $14,000 behind in collections, given the time of year.
• Tom and Dave will send a reminder to people to make their pledges, and to let the collector know if their circumstances have changed such that they need to adjust their pledges.
• The increase in this year’s deficit is not because we don’t have a good process but rather because we didn’t follow our process last year. We will follow it going forward, and we’ve added some new checks and balances so this doesn’t happen again.

Next meeting
December 9

Nov 15 2010

October 2010 SC Minutes

Standing Committee Meeting Minutes
October 14, 2010

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

Minutes from past meetings
• We approved meeting minutes from September 9.
• In the interest of being able to distribute meeting minutes to the congregation in a more timely fashion, we decided to review and approve them by email, within 10 days of their having been distributed to the committee.

Open forum
Moira Gillis and Joan Coyne presented several new church logos for us to choose from. We will give them a decision after our next Standing Committee meeting.

Old business
• AIT: The architect is ready to present a proposal to the AIT group within the next 10 days, to be followed by a presentation to the Standing Committee.
• Widening our Worship: The survey deadline is 10/24. Seventy-five have been completed and returned so far.
• Table of Plenty:
o The number being served is up to 45.
o Don Hayden went through the required Serve Safe course at Ferry Beach, so he, as well as Tim O’Hara, will be able to oversee the food preparation.
o The church is going through cleaning supplies at a faster rate than in the past because of their use by Table of Plenty. We decided not to ask ToP to reimburse us for this cost but simply to cover it ourselves.
• Ministerial Intern search: The committee is updating the candidate book and other materials from last year’s search. Andrea Long has resigned from the committee, but there are still enough people to cover the work.
• General Assembly delegation: If we sign up before April, we get a $45 discount on registration. However, we need to provide actual names, not just numbers. Marybeth plans to start publicizing (Shooting Star, Satellite, posters) in January.
• House Management:
o MetroPCS has finished installing a second air-conditioning unit but is now installing other equipment. There has not been good communication between them and their contractors, and the resulting work has been disruptive, both because the contractors don’t always know where the work is being done and because they haven’t been good about cleaning up after themselves. Tom will follow up.
o The new stove has been delivered, and the gas line has been installed. We are now just waiting for the electrician.
o A variety of work has been done recently: Colleen Leary has been fixing the hymnal racks; the gutters have been repaired; the rope-and-pulley system for the chandeliers has been made more secure; and the boiler room has been cleaned out.
o The quilts for the chapel walls should be put up soon.
o Tom will bring to Johan’s attention:
 The toilet in the ladies’ room won’t stop flushing (she knows about this already).
 There is wood debris next to the church that needs to be removed.
 We would like motion-detector lights installed in the parking lot.
• SC timeline:
o Edith Murphy and Cornelia Kirkpatrick have agreed to run the auction again. The proposed date is 3/19.
o Joan Keane will run the May Breakfast. We will know the date soon.

New business
• Community Table: Linda Newhard is stepping down after many years of running this for First Parish. So far, nobody has stepped up to take this over. Marybeth will work with Linda to help find a replacement.
• Fiscal Sub-committee:
o Tom has not yet found another non-SC person for this sub-committee.
o At their next meeting, they will look in detail at our larger-than-expected deficit, so everyone knows what went wrong, and so they can present and explain it at the upcoming Fiscal Summit.
o This committee will make a recommendation about how to pay for the CVL fee (see below).
• Leadership conference:
o As of now, we have 25 attendees from First Parish and 25 attendees from Groton.
o We would like to increase the number attending from First Parish. Everyone has agreed to make targeted phone calls to invite people who haven’t responded yet.
o The caterer will provide coffee and breakfast, as well as lunch. They are planning for 60 people.
o The conference will be in the vestry. We need to set up tables and chairs, and set up a projector and screen. Walter and Warren volunteered to be there early to do this.
o We will have childcare.
• CVL (Commercial Video License) fee: By law we are required to pay a fee of about $200 in order to play videos at the church. This was not budgeted for, and it involves more than one committee, so it’s unclear where the money should come from. (Next year it will have its own line item in the budget.) The Finance Sub-committee will review and make a recommendation.
• Steeple status: The steeple is not in imminent danger of falling down, so we have a few months to figure out how we might fund its repair.
• Stewardship (Canvass) Committee: Marybeth has agreed to do the lunch on Canvass Sunday, but we still don’t have anyone willing to chair this committee. Kirk is willing to help but will not chair again. Tom will make some calls to possible candidates. We might also ask the Nominating Committee for help. We need to make sure that all critical committees are covered.
• SC Email policy: We did not have time to discuss this.

Staff reports
We reviewed reports from the Minister, Director of Music, DRE, and Church Council.

Treasurer’s report
• We reviewed and approved this report.
• Fidelity requires us to officially certify the church officers whom we want to authorize to transact account business on behalf of First Parish. We voted and approved to authorize Dave Kaffine (Treasurer) and Laura Monteodorisio (Clerk).
• We have a larger deficit than expected when we voted on the budget in June. This is mostly due to discrepancies in Human Resources line items, including benefits calculations, staff hours, and payroll taxes. The Finance Sub-committee will look at this in more detail and help us figure out how to change our process going forward so this doesn’t happen again. In addition, the HR Sub-committee already plans to work more closely with the Treasurer when they review staff salaries and make raise recommendations in the spring.
• Tom will draft an announcement of the Nov. 6 Fiscal Summit for the upcoming Shooting Star and next two Satellites. The announcement will include a brief description of topics to be discussed, including the deficit.

Action items
• Tom will follow up with MetroPCS about issues with their contractors.
• Tom will bring to Johan’s attention:
o The toilet in the ladies’ room won’t stop flushing (she knows about this already).
o There is wood debris next to the church that needs to be removed.
o We would like motion-detector lights installed in the parking lot.
• Marybeth will work with Linda Newhard to find a replacement to run Community Table.
• The Fiscal Sub-committee will make a recommendation about how to pay for the CVL fee.
• The Fiscal Sub-committee will make a recommendation for how we might change our process going forward to as to avoid unforeseen deficits in the future.
• Leadership conference:
o Everyone will make invitation calls.
o Walter and Bonnie will be liaisons to the Committee on Ministry to organize this event.
o Walter and Warren will set up tables, chairs, and the projector and screen.
• Laura will revise and maintain the timeline.
• Tom will look into possible candidates for chairing the Canvass.
• Tom will draft an announcement for the Fiscal Summit.

Next meeting
November 11

Sep 15 2010

August 2010 SC Minutes

Standing Committee Meeting Minutes

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

Standing Committee voting policy
We need to establish norms on how we vote. Until we decide on an official policy, we have agreed not to carry out votes by email (except to approve meeting minutes).

As discussed previously, we have been offered the donation of a 6-burner stove, which will require an expense of up to $1800 to run a new gas line. This expense was voted on and unanimously approved.

RE Youth Forum
This summit was held August 28 at a cost of $500. We officially voted, and unanimously approved, funding it from the Programs & Outreach bucket of the Cell Tower 2 money.

Note: According to the church bylaws, the Standing Committee can spend up to 2% of the operating budget without a separate congregational vote. However, there is no explicit policy on expenditures from moneys not in the operating budget. This is an issue to be addressed at some point as part of a broader look at fiscal issues.

Air conditioner
Metro PCS installed a new air conditioner in the cell tower weighing 300 lbs and did so without first consulting Tom (as Standing Committee Chair).

Chelmsford Independent interview
Somebody from the Chelmsford Independent wants to interview us about our grant application for $250,000 to redo the church steeple and, if necessary, the clock (owned by the town). According to church policy, only the Minister and Chair of the Standing Committee may represent the church publicly. We will consider doing this interview after the grant process is complete.

Treasurer’s report
• Metro PCS will start submitting their cell tower rent by direct deposit.
• The UUA is moving retirement funds from Fidelity to a different company; there is some paperwork for Ellen to complete for this.
• The money from the July Fourth fundraiser has not been deposited yet.
• There is currently a surplus of $11,000 ($3000 of it from July). The plan is to roll $10,000 of this into the operating budget.
• The financial audit is scheduled for August 30.

Next meeting
Thursday, September 9, 7 p.m.

Jul 15 2010

June 2010 SC Minutes

Standing Committee MinutesFirst Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, ChelmsfordJune10, 2010

In Attendance:Marybeth Bush, Tom Coffey, Walter Cole, Carla Corey, Bonnie Rankin, Carole Russell, Ellen Spero, and Tom WightAbsent: Marcia Allison, and Ron Deschenes

Open Forum: Membership: John Fisher presented the new purpose and goals or “Charter” of the Membership Committee and asked permission to update the website with this new information. The Standing Committee asked that he clarify the statements in a few lines. A motion was made to support the change of Membership content on the website, it was seconded and we all voted in favor of this.*Committee Action Item: Church Council will be looking at everyone’s charters in the Fall, before they are brought to the Standing Committee.New Orleans Mission Trip (NOLA): Johan MacKenzie, Lynn Cole and Ellen Rowse Spero presented a proposal to the Standing Committee asking for our endorsement to send another mission trip to New Orleans in 2011. The total cost of the trip is expected to be between $22,000 and $25,000. It cost about $1200/ person. They plan on doing one fundraiser next year; a coffee house or a yard sale. A motion was made to support this program and to offer $5000 from Cell Tower 2. There was a request that we vote on these items after we have a chance to review the budget. This was agreed upon. Long Range Planning (LRP) Budget: Johan MacKenzie Asbestos Removal $ 1,200.00New Vestry Door $ 4,000.00Alliance Furniture $ 7,500.00Septic connected to street $ 4,000.00Structural review/ Scope for steeple & Roof $ 5,000.00Long Term Capital Projects $19,685.53(Steeple Restoration, Portico Etc…)Total $45,385.53-The Asbestos removal was slated for 2010, it should be completed by September.
– The architects will be consulted before we purchase the new vestry door, in hopes that it can be reused as part of the renovations.
-Furniture will be purchased for the Alliance Parlor. The goal is to make this room a usable parlor. The old furniture is being appraised and the Ladies Alliance will decide what happens to it. We must respect this space as a parlor and remove the tables and stack the chairs when we are done using it.-Due to the backups of our dry well, we will be connecting the septic to the street. It seem that we will be able to run a line and connect with the town septic on rt.110.-The structural review and scope of work for the steeple are being done to assess the integrity of the roof due to the buckling. Once we have the scope of work we will be able to send it out to bid. We have submitted a short grant form to the Chelmsford Preservation Committee (CPC) in hope to obtain some historic preservation money to help in the repairs to our roof and steeple. Johan will also contact the town about repairing the Clock.Action Item- Tom Coffey will check to see if Metro PCS has done any structural reviews.A motion was made, it was seconded and we voted all in favor to accept the LRP budget.Distribution of materials – Agenda; reports from Treasurer, DRE, etc.May Minutes:
A motion was made to accept the minutes as amended, it was seconded and we voted to accept the minutes as amended with one abstention.It was suggested that we post the unapproved minutes to let everyone know what we are working on. We will discuss this with the new Standing Committee in the Fall.Treasurer’s Report: Carole RussellWe have collected 93% of our pledges for the current year.Our Clara Barton fees are now paid up.Money is being transferred from LRP into the operating budget to replenish the cost of the emergency repairs that had been done to fix the slate on the roof. This was voted on at the Special Congregational Meeting in January 2010.A new microphone will come out of the current years equipment cost, instead of out of the Worship Committee budget in the next fiscal year.Action Item- Church Council will ask committees to spend money as needed throughout the year.The treasurer’s report was reviewed and discussed. A motion was made and seconded to accept the treasurer’s report. We voted to accepted the treasurer’s report.Budget FY11:Profit and Loss summary shows a deficit of $3692.After reviewing all the details and discussing the surplus we will have in FY 2010 (~$10,000) and have had in previous years, we came to this agreement:”The Standing Committee approves the FY2011 budget as submitted with a deficit with the full belief that we will not end up in deficit, due to the overall good standing performance of the congregation. If the deficit comes to fruition then there are numerous areas we can tap to balance the budget.”There was a motion made to accept the FY11 Budget, it was seconded and we voted all in favor. Cell Tower 2 Program Budget FY11This budget will be presented and voted on at the Congregational Meeting.Current Balance $42,436.78Allocated for FY10 and not touched to date $12.954.65Allocated for Ministerial Intern $20,000.00New Orleans Trip FY11 $ 5,000.00Faith in Action $ 6,000.00General Assembly $10,000.00Remainder TBD(Estimated monthly income $2,150.00)After settling on a programming budget, a motion was made to endorse the New Orleans Mission trip (NOLA) and give them $5000 from the Cell Tower 2 money. This motion was seconded and we voted all in favor of endorsing the NOLA trip.General Assembly will be in North Carolina at the end of June next year and we would like to send a delegation from First Parish. It cost ~$300 to register plus room and board. We would like to give full or partial scholarships as needed to youth and adults who are interested in attending.
Old Business:Standing committee time line:6/13 Congregational Meeting6/20 Last service7/1 Start of new church year7/5 4th of July Celebration
Action Item: Carla Corey will ask Deb Grad to moderate the Congregational Meeting.
Fourth of July- Rosemary McMullin will chair the 4th of July Breakfast on the 5th. She will be doing a full breakfast.T-Mobile changed over to a fiber optic cable which they ran along the side of the building, instead of burying it as they first proposed.Nursery School lease- After speaking with Jan Domey, she does not wish to use the chapel. With that in mind the standing committee is recommending a 10% increase in the rent for next year. Tom Coffey and Carla Corey will work with the nursery school.Performance Evaluations for the staff will be review by Tom Coffey and Ron DeschenesAction Item- The Standing Committee needs to vote on tonights minutes at Ellen’s Review.We will be meeting on Monday June 28 at 7 p.m.
Action Item- we will look for a date in July for the year in review meeting.

Table of plenty – Bonnie RankinThe Table of Plenty requests permission to have an information table to pass out flyers and to sell cookies on the side of the church during the Fourth of July festivities. A motion was made to approve this request, seconded and we voted all in favor.

Staff and Sub committees reports-Minister’s report was discussed and accepted- Ellen and Tom Coffey will be leading COA. The worship committee will be stepping up to help Ellen with the evening service. Ellen will be stepping out of committee work for a month so that she can hold some Adult RE classes in the coming year.-DRE report and REAA job activities was discussed and accepted-Music directors report was discussed and accepted There is a conflict between intermediate choir and lego league and OWL. Cyndi Bliss and Sadie Kahn Greene will meet to discuss possible options. All three endeavors are worth while. Can we sustain the youth choir? Maybe parents could be polled and they could meet another day? Also Cyndi has reported that piano has been moved, causing tuning issues.A motion was made and seconded and we all vote to adjourn.

Mar 15 2010

February 2010 SC Minutes

Standing Committee Minutes First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, ChelmsfordFebruary 11, 2010
In Attendance:Tom Coffey, Walter Cole, Carla Corey, Ron Deschenes, Bonnie Rankin, Carole Russell, Ellen Spero, Tom Wight, Marcia Allison, Marybeth Bush Guests: Joan Coyne and Moira Gillis Gray
Call to order and centering- Ellen
Open forum:
Joan Coyne and Moira Gillis Gray: Church website update. They presented 10 First Parish logos for us to look at. They ranged from UUA approved chalice to just a single flame. We will study these logos and get back to “the web design team” with what we decide. The logos read First Parish in Chelmsford, it was discussed that it should be First Parish of Chelmsford. We talked about adding colors and Moira showed us some examples. They also showed us how the website will be set up. They divided it into 7 sections: Newcomers, Worship, Membership, News and Events, About us (History and Staff), Religious Education and Miniseries (outreach and committees). The service times will be listed on every page, and there will a link for the rites of passage or special services page. Although it will still be a bit of a process to edit the newsletter and put it on the website, it should be easier to maintain and update. We also looked at some screen shots of how the pages will look.Distribution of materials – Agenda; reports from Treasurer, DRE, etc.
Treasurer’s Report:
We reviewed and approved meeting minutes from January. After amendments, a motion was made, seconded and we all voted in favor of approving the minutes.
We reviewed and approved the Treasurer’s report.
Carole Russell reported that she pulled $35,000 from Wells Fargo (formally A G Edwards). The Board of Investments met with a Wells Fargo representative. In the past we had 1.1 million dollars in America Funds, they split the funds moving $500,000 into a more conservative and diverse fund. This will give us a better portfolio. A motion was made, seconded and we voted all in favor to approve to the treasure’s report.
Old Business:
Architect Interface Team- Carole Russell reported that at their first meeting they went over visioning and the space and growth and task force report. They chose 8 themes that they will be working with. Each theme will focus on a goal, issues or concerns, and what needs to remain the same.
They broke up in groups and each group took a theme to work on.
1. Welcoming environment 2. Greening of the church
3. Develop a productive staff environment 4. State of the art Religious Education Section 5. Create a larger space to host community events 6. Follow the historic and disabilities laws in town 7. Create a better use of our outdoor space
The congregation was asked “What part of the building would they like to see changed”, during the Sunday Service. The Narthex Stairs and the Choir Loft were the areas most mentioned.
Ministerial Intern Update-Carole Russell reported they have set up an interview for the end of the month. It was also discussed that if we don’t find a candidate that would be a good match we will not have a Ministerial Intern this year. 2009/2010 SC timeline-March 11, GA Delegates; May 20, Fiscal Summit; April 4, Easter; April 11, Canvass Sunday and May 8, Fiscal Summit.
Fire drill will be held on June 6th.Request to replace/repair damaged hymnals and pew racks-For a temporary fix the racks have been taken off the pews in the chapel and the hallways. Carla Corey spoke with David Allen about making /extending pew racks. He said if was a small job he would do it, but if it is going to be a larger job then he could recommend someone who does that kind of work.
Long Range Planning (LRP) status re-chartered committee- Ellen meet with Jeanne Thompson and will set up a meeting with Walter Cole, Johan MacKenzie, Chris Boucher, and Alan Jefferson. The role of LRP will be to take feedback and decide how to prioritize the physical building. They will not be concerned with the vision or outreach.
February Auction- Carole Russell reported that it is one of our biggest fund raisers. Bell Choir Bells- Music members and bell choir members will begin fundraising for the bells after the NOLA trip. They have $1800 in pledges for the new set of bells. Cyndi Bliss will do a family concert to raise money for the bells on June 13th.Visioning Team- Ellen spoke with Larry Peers on how should the Visioning Team, The Architect /Interface Team and LRP work together. Ellen drew a diagram with Building, Ministries and Outreach moving from where we are, to where we want to be. What can we imagine ourselves to be? More welcoming? The Visioning Team will continue collecting data from the larger community with a table at coffee hour. Carol Russell suggested that they set themes/goal for programming. The data they are collecting is “brainstorming” which will be filtered, and when they have enough data it will be broken down into the 3 groups mentioned above: Buildings, Ministries and Outreach.
New Business:May Breakfast Planning-Joan Keane will head up May Breakfast.The creation of May baskets are scheduled to begin soon.Nursery Lease is currently $9375/year, $1075/ month. We will revisit the possibility of increasing their lease at our next meeting.Safe child policy revisions- a motion was made, seconded and we voted to approve the Safe Child Policies with RE revisions. Tom Coffey abstained.SC nominations for next year- The search is on going. Kirk Kirkpatrick is looking for folks for the Canvass Committee. Ellen has asked Sadie to recommend someone involved in RE for the Canvass Committee. Some names were put forward and Ron asked us to let him or Ann Marie Sigdestad know if anyone else comes to mind.The Next Fiscal Summit will be March 20th.Second Service has a small but steady attendance. It is more centering and has an attendance of ~10-20. This service is not really welcoming for new people. Ellen will ask if we could have some music for this service. Questions came up: What is the purpose of the this service? Do we keep it going? Do we start to plan for a second morning service? Many standing committee members said that it is not the time to push for a second service, and we can’t do it by the Fall 2010. Ellen was also feeling the pressure of time with so many things going on. She doesn’t feel she has the time to give this the attention that she needs to make it happen by the Fall. We discussed possibly going to two morning service in 2011. The Master Plan should be complete and presented in the early Fall.
Staff, subcommittee, and liaison reports – all the reports were in orderMinister’s Report-Ellen Spero ReportedDRE’s Report-Sadie Kahn GreenChurch Council and IT Reports- Walter Cole ReportedOutreach- Bonnie Rankin ReportedA motion was made for the meeting to be adjourned, it was seconded and we voted all in favor to do so.Next meeting is March 11, 2010

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.