Category: Standing Committee Minutes

Feb 15 2010

January 2010 SC Minutes

First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, Chelmsford
Standing Committee Meeting
Thursday, January 14th 2010

In Attendance:Tom Coffey, Walter Cole, Carla Corey, Ron Deschenes, Bonnie Rankin, Carole Russell, Ellen Spero, Tom Wight, Marcia Allison, Marybeth Bush
Guests:Johan MacKenzie
Call to order and centering- Ellen
Open Forum:Dee Halzack stopped in to let us know about the anti-gay events that happened at Chelmsford High and asked if we would consider making a statement.

Johan MacKenzie- Gave us an overview of the Menders, Torrey and Spencer letter.
They can begin collecting plans and making onsite visits as needed, while we put together our architect liaison team. They will provide us with a cost estimate if they have to use outside source. They would like 3 designated meetings meetings with us.
Distribution of materials – Agenda; reports from Treasurer, DRE, etc.
Review and approve meeting minutes from December- A motion was made, seconded and we voted all in favor to approve the December Standing Committee meeting minutes with a few spelling corrections.
Review and approve the Treasurer’s report
Presented by Carole Russell
PLEDGES SEEM TO BE BACK ON TRACK. CAROLE HAS NOT HAD TO PULL MONEY FROM WELLS FARGO OR CELL TOWER 2 YET.
FISCAL SUMMIT SUMMARY- EVERYTHING IS LOOKING GOOD, ESPECIALLY THE RECOVERY ON YTD PLEDGES. COMMITTEES ARE BEING ASKED TO PRESENT THEIR BUDGETS AT THE 2/4 CHURCH COUNCIL MEETING. FELLOWSHIP DINNER IS SCHEDULED FOR 2/27. ROOF REPAIR COST $6,600. WE ARE GETTING QUOTES FOR THE STEEPLE. THERE ARE CONCERNS THAT THERE IS STRUCTURAL DAMAGE AROUND THE STEEPLE AND IT MAY HAVE BEEN CAUSED BY THE 2ND CELL TOWER INSTALLATION. IF THIS IS THE CASE, WE SHOULD BE COVERED BY THE CONTRACT WITH METROPCS. TOM COFFEY AND JOHAN MACKENZIE WILL FOLLOW UP. GUTTERS AND DOWNSPOUTS ALSO NEED TO BE REPAIRED SOON. THE ARCHITECT WAS SELECTED IN DECEMBER. A COMMITTEE WILL BE FORMED ASAP TO DECIDE UPON PRIORITIES FOR THE ARCHITECTS WITH INPUT FROM THE CONGREGATION AND SC. THE HR COMMITTEE WILL RECOMMEND MERIT INCREASES AND WILL HAVE MORE INFO AT THE NEXT SUMMIT. KIRK KIRKPATRICK IS LOOKING FOR NEW MEMBERS FOR THE STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE AND IS LOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO TAKE THE LEAD BY NEXT YEAR. KIRK WILL ADVISE IF 4/11 IS A GOOD DATE FOR CANVASS SUNDAY, ASSUME THAT IT WILL BE. A SEARCH COMMITTEE HAS BEEN FORMED FOR A MINISTERIAL INTERN. IT IS ESTIMATED THAT AN INTERN WILL COST APPROX. $15,000. IF APPROVED BY THE CONGREGATION, THE POSITION WILL BE FUNDED FROM THE 2ND CELL TOWER.
Visioning Team-
Presented by Tom Wight
A GROUP OF ABOUT 10 PEOPLED GATHERED ON SUNDAY TO BEGIN BRAINSTORMING THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:WHO ARE WE?, WHO ARE WE CALLED TO BE AND DO IN THE WORLD?, WHO ARE OUR NEIGHBORS? ACTION ITEM: ELLEN WILL FORWARD NOTES FROM THE MEETING. THEY WOULD LIKE TO GET FEED BACK ON THE INFORMATION THAT WAS COLLECTED. THEY WOULD ALSO LIKE TO LOOK AT WHAT OUR VISION IS FOR THE NEXT 3-5 YEARS, TO PROVIDE HELPFUL INFORMATION TO THE ARCHITECT. WE ALSO MUST DECIDE WHAT RELATIONSHIP THE VISION TEAM, THE ARCHITECTURAL TEAM, AND THE LONG RANGE PLANNING (LRP) HAVE WITH EACH OTHER. WE ALSO MUST DECIDE HOW THE CELL TOWER 2 MONIES WILL BE USED. ACTION ITEM: ELLEN AND WALTER WILL MEET TO TALK MORE ABOUT LRP.
2009/10 STANDING COMMITTEE TIMELINE- ON JANUARY 24 THERE WILL BE A CONGREGATIONAL MEETING.
FEBRUARY 4TH COMMITTEE BUDGETS ARE DUE AT CHURCH COUNCIL. FEBRUARY 6TH WE WILL HAVE OUR ANNUAL AUCTION.
HUMAN RESOURCES ASKED WHEN THE MERIT RAISE BUDGET WAS DUE. FEBRUARY 4TH.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY,GA, WILL BE HELD IN MINNESOTA THIS YEAR JUNE 23-27, IF ANYONE IS INTERESTED IN GOING. THERE IS NO MONEY SET ASIDE TO SUBSIDIZE THIS YEAR’S TRIP TO GA. NEXT YEAR IT WILL BE HELD IN NORTH CAROLINA. IN THE COMING YEAR WE CAN LOOK INTO SENDING DELEGATES TO CLARA BARTON RALLIES, DISTRICT MEETINGS AND GA. WE MAY BE ABLE TO SUBSIDIZE SOME OF THEIR EXPENSES. MARCH 20 IS THE NEXT FISCAL SUMMIT- THE FINANCE SUBCOMMITTEE WILL PRESENT THE BUDGET.
WE HAVE DECIDED TO POSTPONE THE ALL CHURCH RETREAT. WE DID HAVE SOME FEED BACK FROM THOSE WHO WENT THE CLARA BARTON MEETING: ELLEN SUGGESTED WE COULD HAVE A RETREAT WITH OTHER LOCAL CHURCHES WHO ARE HAVING SIMILAR GROWTH ISSUES. SHE ALSO SUGGESTED WE HAVE A FUN RETREAT AND GO TO FERRY BEACH.
APRIL 11 IS CANVASS SUNDAY.
MINISTERIAL INTERN UPDATE-
PRESENTED BY CAROLE RUSSELL
THE INTERN SEARCH COMMITTEE PREPARED A CHURCH BOOK DESCRIBING WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR. THIS INFORMATION HAS BEEN PUT UP ON THE UUA WEBSITE. FOUR CANDIDATES HAVE RESPONDED (3 MEN AND 1 WOMAN). THEY HELD A FORUM ON SUNDAY AND 20 PEOPLE WERE IN ATTENDANCE. IF THIS IS APPROVED BY THE STANDING COMMITTEE AND AT THE CONGREGATIONAL MEETING AT THE END OF THE MONTH THEY WILL MOVE FORWARD WITH THE INTERVIEWING PROCESS. IT WAS ALSO DISCUSSED THAT IT WOULD COST $16,000 FOR 10 MONTHS.
THERE WAS A MOTION, IT WAS SECONDED AND WE ALL VOTED IN FAVOR TO SUPPORT THE HIRING OF A MINISTERIAL INTERN.

CELL TOWER 2: WARRANT ARTICLE 6
States that cell tower 2 money will not be used for operating costs but for programing, unless it is needed for a major emergency.
There was some discussion of this and there was a motion that was made to support the article, it was seconded and we voted all in favor.
Faith in action will come out of Cell tower two.

It was discussed that we should take Articles 4 and 5 out of order during the congregational meeting. A motion was made, seconded and we voted all in favor of taking articles 4 and 5 out of order.
We also discussed who would be in charge of the cell tower two money. It was decided that the Standing Committee will decide what happens to it.
Fire drill/ evacuation plan- Sally Seekings and Ron will be meeting to plan a fire drill, RE suggested doing it on June 6th. Ellen may have a conflict with doing it on the 6th, Mother’s day was suggested.

Nominating- We discussed who might be a good choice for the Standing Committee.

We also talked about the trouble of not using off the shelf software programs within church system. We spoke briefly about all church software programs (Church Windows) that would encompass many different functions of the church: Membership, collector, treasurer, nominating, etc….

Damaged hymnals and pew racks
There was some discussion of the damaged hymnal racks and hymnals. Tom Coffey spoke to Johan and Ron Cook has looked at them. We will write down any damage we see when we are in the sanctuary and report back. It was also discussed that we need to make larger pew racks so the hymnals and trifold brochures fit.
New business
We must form a Master Plan Committee which will need a charter. We discussed who we might ask to be on this committee. It was also discussed that there be a larger committee of 10-12 people and a smaller committee of 5 or 6 that report to the architects. Carole Russell agreed to chair the committee for the first 2 months, Ron Deschenes and Tom Coffey have also agreed to help. Action Item Ron Deschenes will draft a charter.
REQUEST FOR LRP TO BECOME A CHARTERED COMMITTEE- ACTION ITEM WALTER AND ELLEN WILL MEET TO FURTHER DISCUSS.
BELL CHOIR OCTAVE BELLS- CARLA COREY
THE BELL CHOIR IS GROWING AND THERE HAS BEEN A REQUEST TO PURCHASE A 3RD OCTAVE (12 BELLS). ONE OF OUR BELL CHOIR MEMBERS, DAVE EMMERICH, HAS MADE A GENEROUS OFFER TO PURCHASE 4 BELLS ($1,200), IT WOULD COST AN ADDITIONAL $2,300 TO COMPLETE THE SET. IT WAS ALSO SUGGESTED THAT THE MUSIC COMMITTEE PUT IT IN THEIR BUDGET AND FUNDRAISE IF NECESSARY. THERE WAS A MOTION THAT THE MUSIC COMMITTEE MOVE FORWARD WITH THIS, IT WAS SECONDED AND WE VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO SUPPORT THEM.

Carla Corey also told us about a UUA grant program called Chalice Lighter, where individuals who sign up are asked to give donations, these donations go toward growth projects that are submitted to and approved by the UUA. We are a little late to apply this year, but we should keep it mind for next.

Minister- Ellen Spero reported worship has suffered a bit due to the weather. She has been very busy meeting with committees, Staff and Pastoral Care Team. She has asked for vacation from February 15th through February 22nd and it was granted. She will also be leading a workshop on Islam, Wednesday evenings.
DRE- Sadie will continue with her credentialing. She also gave a detailed report of REAA activities as well as an attendance report.

MINISTER OF MUSIC- CYNDI BLISS SUGGESTED MOVING THE TIMES OF THE CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICES, TO GIVE EVERYONE WHO IS PERFORMING IN BOTH SERVICES TIME TO EAT DINNER AND REHEARSE AND SET UP FOR THE SECOND SERVICE. AFTER SOME DISCUSSION MANY OF US SUGGESTED HAVING SERVICES AT 7 AND 11 P.M. CHURCH COUNCIL- WALTER COLE REPORTED THERE WERE NO FAITH IN ACTION GRANTS. HE ALSO SUGGESTED THAT WE SHOULD HAVE 2 STANDING COMMITTEE MEMBERS ON CHURCH COUNCIL: ONE AS CHAIR AND ONE IN TRAINING, THIS WOULD MAINTAIN A LEVEL OF CONSISTENCY FOR THE NEXT YEAR. HE ALSO MENTIONED THAT THERE WAS SOME DISCUSSION ON LIMITING THE FAITH IN ACTION GRANTS. AS MENTIONED BEFORE IN THE TIMELINE, THEY WILL BE COLLECTING COMMITTEE BUDGETS FEBRUARY 4TH.

RE- MARYBETH BUSH REPORTED THAT THE SAFE CHILD POLICY HAS BEEN LOOKED AT AND WE WILL RECEIVE A COPY WHERE THE CHANGES APPEAR IN RED TO REVIEW FOR THE NEXT SC MEETING.
HR- REQUESTED THAT WE HAVE MOTION DETECTOR LIGHTS IN THE PARKING LOT. AS FOR STAFFING OFFICES, THEY WOULD LIKE THE MINISTERIAL INTERN’S OFFICE TO BE IN THE CHAPEL’S NARTHEX CLOSET.
IT Report- Walter Cole reported that they have set up a secure Wifi connection.
Action item list update- All but 1 action item has been completed.
Adjourn-a motion was made and seconded and we voted to adjourn the meeting.
Next meeting February 11, 2010

Jan 15 2010

December 2009 SC Minutes

First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, Chelmsford
Standing Committee Meeting
Thursday, December 10th 2009

In Attendance:Tom Coffey, Walter Cole, Carla Corey, Ron Deschenes, Bonnie Rankin, Carole Russell, Ellen Spero, Tom Wight, Marcia Allison, Marybeth Bush
Guests:Johan MacKenzie, and Chris Sweetnam
Call to order and centering- Ellen
In support of the NOLA fundraiser at Applebees Dec 10th we ordered take out dinners which we enjoyed at our meeting.
Open Forum:
No one was in attendance
Architect Hiring:
After seeing presentation from three architectural firms earlier this fall; Carl Oldenburg, Menders, Torrey and Spencer and DSA. We selected weighted criteria for choosing which firm would be selected to prepare our master plan. Johan MacKenzie and Chris Sweetnam were present to give us there input and opinions on each firm since they had been part of the Growth Task Force and had been working with the firms on their original proposals.

Our Process:
We chose 7 criteria to help us select which firm we would choose.
* 3 Criteria were weight higher than the rest. We gave each firm High,Med, and Low score for each question.

1.* Experience- Similar projects, number of years in business, Knowledge of building codes, ability to work with historic and zoning office in town.
2. Cost- how the fees are structured.
3. Language of contract, do we have this in writing, in the letters they have submitted?
4. Presentation and Rapport.
5. The right architect will be the one who can provide the judgment, technical expertise, and creative skills, to help you realize a project that fits your practical needs.
6.* Looking for a firm that puts our goals and ideas first, and will alter their thoughts to conform to what we are looking for.
7.* A good architect should be a good listener, we are looking for someone who can understand our ideas and turn them into functional designs.

The highest score went to Menders, Torrey and Spencer. Johan and Chris agreed that they were they were the most qualified historically and the most connected spiritually.

There was a motion made, seconded and we voted in favor of hiring Menders, Torrey and Spenser to prepare our Master Plan.

Action Item: Chris Sweetnam suggested that we send a thank you to the other architects. He said he would be happy to draft a letter, and Ron Deschenes said he would sign it.

It was also suggested that a Thank you be sent to Johan and Chris.
Action Item: Ron Deschenes will a draft a letter to thank Johan MacKenzie and Chris Sweetnam for their hard work.

Distribution of materials – Agenda; reports from Treasurer, DRE, etc.
Review and approve meeting minutes from November- A motion was made, seconded and a vote made to approve the November Standing Committee meeting minutes with a correction to the spelling of Jeanne Thompson’s name.
Review and approve the Treasurer’s report
Presented by Carol Russell
Profit and Loss report – we are down $2,000 and the pledges are down 5%
We will begin to draw from Cell Tower 2 monies to cover operating costs. We have not began to draw from our Wells Fargo Funds formerly AG Edwards.
* an aside- Share holders were asked by the Board of Directors to vote to not invest in funds that have companies involved with or who support genocide.
(Carole Russell placed a proxy vote to not invest in these funds.)
Dave Kaffine reported that the letter that was sent out only received 4 responses and that there was not significant increase. A motion was made and seconded and the treasurer’s report was approved.
Visioning Team-
Presented by Tom Wight
Tom met with Ellen. It was agreed that we have the energy and money to build programs within the congregation
Tom would like to open the Visioning conversation to a larger audience.
It was pointed out that the architect will ask how are we going to move forward with our programing need adding a sense of urgency to our Visioning plan.
The energy we had from the retreat last year has fizzled.
Ellen mentioned that the Visioning Team is discernment committee, setting the tone for “who are we called to be and do in the world and who are our neighbors.
Sometimes we have to lead the congregation.
The question is how do we make that happen…the foundation is there, … it is the how?
There is a sense of urgency, our congregation is growing we are too big, Sundays are chaos.
We need to schedule Visioning Team meeting after Christmas drawing in some new folks. The team consists of Ellen Spero, Tom Coffey, Tom Wight, and Cornelia Kirkpatrick at this time.
We also need to look to the larger community to determine how we are perceived.
Action Item: Ron asked Tom W. to gather some people together and meet before our January meeting.
2009/10 Standing Committee timeline- January 9th there will be a Fiscal summit and on January 24 there will be a Congregation Meeting.
Ministerial intern update- it was discussed if this is the right time to do this monetarily. The intern search committee has already met 2 times. They would like to present at the congregational meeting. The plan is to use Cell Tower 2 money to fund the intern’s position since it is temporary (1 year). There is a strict schedule that you must following when hiring an intern. January we will have to select a person, February they accept, April they sign a contract.
There is a sense of urgency if we move forward with this. It was said that their is risk that comes with everything…sometimes we have to reach out if we have the funds.
Full time (1 year) vs Part time (2 years) was mentioned, Ellen mentioned that full time was better for all parties; minister, intern and congregation.
We will move forward and let the congregation decide in January.
It was also mentioned that the REAA position would become a position that would have to be funded out of the operating budget.
Fire drill/ evacuation plan- Sally Seekings and Ron will be meeting to plan a fire drill. It was mentioned the importance of an evacuation plan for the handicapped members.
NOLA Fundraising- gold parties will be held in private homes. They are looking for creative fundraisers.
A question was also raised on how the NOLA fundraising is to be used? NOLA trips cost $1000 per person.
Room and Board, they have to pay a fee to volunteer, air fair, rental cars and provide their own materials.
They have sent out a sheet to those who are planning on going asking them what they could afford. Scholarships will be given out to people first, then to rental cars, then money will be used for supplies and equipment. Money is due now for room and board and air fair.

Request to replace/repair damaged hymnals and pew racks- Also it was brought up that their are some nails sticking out. They will be repaired.
New business
Request for LRP to become a chartered committee- LRP ( Long Range Planning) needs to hold a meeting to redesign its purpose and vision. It would have to be a congregation vote if it were decided that its members hold an elected position. We will take it under advisement and it was suggested it follow the financial sub committee model.
Action item Walter and Ellen will meet to further discuss.
Community lunches/dinner-
Our church is being looked at to be part of a new Open Table in Chelmsford. This organization organized by Maureen McKeon is looking for a space to serve weekly evening meals. We would provide the kitchen and the space. She also asked if we could do a monthly rotation it would be late afternoon 3-7 they would need our Kitchen and Vestry. Dinners would be held ~5-5:30 and other churches would serve on the weeks we are not. They are expecting about 50 people per week. This could be a great opportunity for us to do some local outreach.
2nd Fiscal Summit scheduled for Saturday, January 9, 2010
2nd Church Service-
Evening service are very lowly attended ~10, but seem to be going very well. Ellen suggested the need to have a second morning service to relieve the congestion and chaos. Even if we are trying to be welcoming when crowded this is sometimes lost.
2nd Cell tower money-
Christmas Eve offertory – SHIFT collation
Request from Nominating for names- we will think of possibilities and get back to the nominating committee.
Staff, subcommittee, and liaison reports:
Minister- Invites everyone to the Elks club on December 17, Ellen will be Speaking at the Military Covenant Community program in Chelmsford. She is also going to co-author a curriculum Intergenerational Christian Scripture with Jennifer Hamlin Navias.
Healing conversation class- is going well and a great example of what church can be.
DRE- Sadie will continue with her credentialing. She also gave a detailed report of REAA activities as well as an attendance report.

Minister of Music-Cindy Bliss sent a report but it was not received by all before the meeting.

Church Council- Walter Cole reported ~ 10 in attendance, 20 committees were represented.
They have completed a Charter worksheet to help committees rewrite their Charter and have sent them out for all committees to complete and return by the end of February. There were no Faith in Action Grants.

HR- They met and discussed Tiered Vacation Policies. They are revising the assessment form for staff review. The Goals have been completed. They are just beginning budgeting process.
Policy-Marcia talked about reviewing policy and procedure. Nothing has changed.
I.T.- Walter Cole reported a new computer has been installed in Sadie’s Office. Sarah Manning, Dave Kaffine and Caroline Sano now make up this committee. They plan on purchasing 3 new computers this year.They have asked if they can escrow their unused budget in the future.
Action Item Walter Cole will talk to Carole Russell about this.
Music Committee- Carla Corey reported that they were very happy with their musical guests. Will Reiter has started a community outreach choir called the Voices of light.
Action item list update- will be held in till next SC meeting in January.
Adjourn-a motion was made and seconded and we voted to adjourn the meeting.
Next meeting January 14, 2010

ACTION ITEMS:

Chris Sweetnam suggested that we send a thank you to the other architects. He said he would be happy to draft a letter, and Ron Deschenes said he would sign it.

Ron Deschenes will a draft a letter to thank you Johan MacKenzie and Chris Sweetnam for their hard work.

Ron asked Tom W. to gather some people together for the Visioning Team and meet before our January meeting.

Walter and Ellen will meet to further discuss the request for LRP to become a chartered committee.

Nov 15 2009

October 2009 SC Minutes

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

Open Forum: Johan Mackenzie, Joan Coyne, and Dave Kaffine

Standing Committee Minutes
First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, Chelmsford
October 8, 2009

Call to order and centering- Ellen
Open forum –
LRP recommendation for roof repairs (Johan) -Johan MacKenzie is with us to let us know what LRP is going to recommend for repairing the roof: Yankee Steeple Jack and Mid-MA Renovating are the two Companies they are considering. Both are available to begin right away. Johan will continue to negotiate with these two companies and have them present prices for the same scope of work before deciding on which contractor to use. (Their prices range from 3,200-7,600 but their scope of work vary.) If we repair the broken and damaged slates now it should give us 2 or 3 years before we will have to look at more extensive repairs.

The Standing Committee voted “that the decision on who we hire as the roof repair contractor will be derived by Johan Mackenzie and we approve using up to 2% of the budget for the current fiscal year along with money from the Maintenance Fund to complete this emergency project. The Standing Committee will also ask for a congregational vote at the next Congregational Meeting to have LRP refund this money.” Carole Russell made a motion, Tom Coffey seconded the motion and we voted all in favor of this project.

Architect interviews and hiring criteria-Action item- We will work on the Architect hiring criteria and approve it next month. Johan and Chris Sweetnam would also like to make their recommendations as we move forward in choosing the architects. Ron expressed that Kirk Kirkpatrick has shown an interest in helping Johan with grant writing concerning the steeple. He also let us know there is a grant writing workshop coming up at Northern Essex.

Joan Coyne was also present at open forum to update us on the Publicity/Web Committee- Members include: Joan Coyne, Chris Busby, Dee Halzack, Moira Gillis Gray, Anna Wolf, and Jack Shubert. Many of these folk are writers, in graphic design or in marketing.

She discussed new media they are using as a way to reach new people: the website, Facebook and Twitter. All information they are putting up on these different formats can also be found on our website. They will check with our Website Policies to ensure that they are following them. At the current time there are two people who are acting as administrator on the Facebook Account.
There was a concern that some people didn’t have this technology. Traditional methods of communications will still exist with the newsletters and e-mails.

There was also mention of a Facebook group that exists with First Parish’s name but is run by an individual. It was suggested that it become part of Publicity/Web Committee or change its name.
Action Item Tom Coffey will talk with individual about Facebook account.

Another suggestion was that Publicity/Web Committee could set up templates for the newsletters so that there is more continuity. It was suggested that someone from Publicity/Web also work on editing. The logistics of doing this is quite difficult. They will do their best to edit the website.

Tom Wight asked if we could put the HR Manual on the website. They said they were working on a website www.UUChelmsford.net to put up google docs, and there are other places forms and documents (password protected) will be available.
Chris Busby was also interested in possibly doing video posts for Ellen’s sermons.

Publicity does have a $300 budget.

Dave Kaffine was also present at Open Forum with Joan. He asked if we would like to make Ellen’s recorded sermons available on other UU websites. This is something we will need to discuss with Ellen.

Distribution of materials – Agenda; reports from Treasurer, Minister, Staff, etc.
Review and approve meeting minutes from June and September-
The June Meeting Minutes were approved, Ron Deschenes made a motion, Tom C. seconded the motion and we voted all in favor to accept the minutes.
The September minutes were also approved with one correction, Tom Coffey made a motion, Walter Cole seconded the motion, and we all approved the amended minutes.
Review and approve the Treasurer’s report-
Carole Russell reported that we are 10% behind in pledge collection as compared to last year at this time. Pledge updates went out today. If we continue to be behind in our pledge collection as we move into the colder months, we may have some financial difficulties.
There is a new insurance company that will cover workman’s compensation.
Tom Coffey motioned that the Treasurer’s report be approved, Tom Wight seconded the motion and we voted all in favor to approve the Treasurer’s report.

Staff , subcommittee, and liaison reports:
Minister’s Report- presented by Ellen Spero
Ellen reported that we collected ~$2000 for Pastor Ella O’Neal’s Food Pantry
Pastoral care and sermon writing have taken the bulk of Ellen’s time in the past month.
The Pastoral Care Team has been following up with the families.
Ellen attended an Alban Institute workshop – Shaping Holy Conversation – with Dan Hotchkiss in Connecticut. She distributed manuals from the workshop to Tom Coffey, Tom Wight and Ron Deschenes.

Ellen announced that the Clara Barton District’s Fall Rally will be held in Dudley, MA on November 7. All are welcome to attend, many workshops are available. Sally Seekings will be attending a workshop on creating a Safety Plan. Lynn Thomas is retiring as president of the Clara Barton District.

Average attendance for Sunday Morning Service ~120.
The font on the banners of our new sign is being changed, the old font was too big and hard to read.
Cindy Gist sent out a list of renters and what they pay.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) will not be using meeting space at First Parish as they have located a more central site.

DRE: Sadie Kahn-Greene was unable to submit a report this month.

Director of Music Report: Submitted by Cyndi Bliss. SC reviewed, and expressed their appreciation for Cyndi taking the time to send us a report, especially in light of how busy and full our choirs have all become. Thank you Cyndi!

Church Council: Walter Cole
Church Council was moderately attended (10 people). They promised they would be finished by 8:30 and they were. They are planning to make their own Covenant. Walter began to build a charter statement template that will go out to all committees, to allow for more continuity throughout the church. The Church Council minutes were submitted to Cindy Gist to be published.
Action Item- Church Council will have their Charter Statement complete and the template will be ready for distribution and they will have the different types of committees defined.
2 Faith in Action grants were approved SHIFT Coalition $500 and Food Pantry $500.
Is there a limit for Faith in Action grants? No, the only limitation is the amount of money that is available. At the beginning of the year there was $4,300 available.

Vision team: Tom Wight will gather a team of people by November and present the idea to church council in November.

Computer for Jill Hayes, REAA- There is an old computer in Sadie’s office. Action Item- Walter Cole will look in to getting a newer computer.
Jill has been using a memory stick that stays in Sadie’s office and is using her own computer. The I.T. Committee currently has only one member. Action Item- Walter Cole will look into recruiting additional members.

Policies and Procedures: Action Item- Marcia Allison and Tom Wight will work with Carla Corey on the bylaws so they will reflect the change of the fiscal year.
New business:
Our cleaning person, Jessica Costa has offered to do snow shoveling for us at $50/ trip, which is the same amount we paid out to the person who did it last year.
Carole Russell made a motion that we hire Jessica Costa as our Snow Shoveler, Carla Corey seconded the motion, and we voted all in favor of hiring her.

Action Item- Carla Corey will ask Paul on grounds if the snowblower has been serviced.
Action Item- Ron Deschenes will talk to Martha Sheburne about the placement of snow during plowing this winter.

Green Electricity- Action item-Carla Corey will research the amount that we agreed to pay for Green Electricity. Carole felt that the actual cost of doing this was much higher than we agreed upon. Action Item- Carole Russell will research what the current cost to do this might be. The issue of Green Electricity will be brought before the next congregation meeting.

2009/10 fiscal budget/timeline: Carla Corey prepared a Fiscal Budget/Timeline for 2009-2010. We decided that the time line included much more than just the fiscal budget. We decided to change its name to the Standing Committee Timeline.

There was a discussion of changing when we do the Canvass. Carole Russell questioned why the Canvass remained the same time of year even though the fiscal year changed. She suggested it would be better if we know the outcome of the canvass before we do the budget. Then we have a more realistic idea of what we have to spend. We would give the Canvass Committee targets to focus on.
We will keep 4 Fiscal Summits on the calendar for the year.
Action Item- Carole Russell will look at what date might work and report back to us next meeting.
This being the first discussion of this change, we decided to ask about the Canvass at the Fiscal Summit speaking to the Philosophy of when it is held. Other Churches do their canvass at different times of the year, we will look into how their canvass process work.
Fiscal summit preparation (Ron and Tom C) – Fiscal Summit will be Saturday October 31st 9:30-12
Holiday fair leadership- No one has yet volunteered to run the Holiday fair, Linda Newhard said she would mentor whoever was taking over. Joanna Paulsen said she would be happy to do the food. Action Item – SC will work on recruiting leadership.
Sabbatical debriefing (Bonnie)- The Sabbatical Committee had a final wrap up meeting. Although we did the communication piece of the sabbatical well, it was suggested that next time we put more emphasis on communicating with the teachers. After speaking with Ellen, she has decided that leaving for Sabbatical the day after returning from a service trip did not give her enough time to debrief. She also suggested that if she does it again, she would like to go somewhere. Discs of the all the meeting minutes and agenda from the Sabbatical Committee will be kept in Cindy Gist’s office, Ellen Spero’s office and with Bonnie Rankin for future reference.

Safe Child Policy: Action Item -We were asked to review policies 3,4 and 5 and we will discuss them at the November Meeting.
Fire drill/evacuation plan: Ron Deschenes wrote a draft plan, Sally Seekings has also shown interest in developing a plan.
Ministerial intern: Carole Russell has begun the process of preparing for the search for the Ministerial Intern. She has met with Ellen and discussed who should be on the committee. They also discussed the different types of interns who may be available: candidates from Seminary or from the UUA.
Letter of Call: Carole is also working on rewriting Ellen’s Letter of Call.
Action item- Ron please add Human Resources update to next SC meeting agenda.

Action Items:
Action Item Tom Coffey will talk with individual about Facebook account.
Action item- We will work on the Architect hiring criteria and approve it next month.
Action Item- Church Council will have their Charter Statement complete and the template will be ready for distribution and they will have the different types of committees defined.
Action Item- Walter Cole will look in to getting a newer computer.
Action Item- Walter Cole will look into finding other members of I.T
Action Item- Marcia Allison and Tom Wight will work with Carla Corey on the bylaws so they will reflect the change of the fiscal year.
Action Item- Carla Corey will ask Paul on grounds if the snowblower has been serviced.
Action Item- Ron Deschenes will talk to Martha Sheburne about the placement of snow during plowing this winter.
Action item-Carla Corey will research the amount that we agreed to pay for green electricity.
Action Item- Carole Russell will research what the current cost to do this might be. The issue of Green Electricity will be brought before the next congregation meeting.
Action Item- Carole Russell will look at what date might work for canvass and report back to us next meeting.
Action Item -We were asked to review policies 3,4 and 5 and we will discuss them at the November Meeting.
Action item- Ron please add Human Resourses update to next SC meeting agenda.

Standing Committee Meeting Oct. 2009

Oct 15 2009

September 2009 SC Minutes

Standing Committee meeting September 10, 2009
Alliance Parlor 7 p.m.

In attendance: Marcia Allison, Marybeth Bush, Tom Coffey, Walter Cole, Tom Wight, Carole Russell, Ellen Spero, Carla Corey, Ron Deschenes, and Bonnie Rankin
Ellen led us in a centering.
Open Forum: Johan MacKenzie and Chris Sweetnam were present to talk about the roof, the steeple and the architects.
Johan’s Report:
Started to get quotes for the Steeple renovations-Safety Rail needs to be replaced, Right hand side slates are in bad shape. Contractor recommended that we repair the roof first. Our roof currently is covered with Black Munsen Slate.
Roofing issues will be more expensive if decking needs to be replaced.
Johan has been in contact with Bob Morse who is looking into getting the towns structural engineer to look at the roof and decking.
There have been no signs of water damage on walls or wood or ice dams.
Being a historical building, Johan is also meeting with the Historical District to get their blessings on the type of materials we can use. They meet the first Monday of the month and must approve what we use. The first meeting with them will be educating them on the roofs condition, the second meet we would present what we would like to do.
At our State of Society Meeting on September 20th, 2009 the congregation will vote on using monies to repair the roof before painting the steeple. We are trying to get the repairs completed before winter. At our Annual Meeting in June the congregation approved $15,000 LRP money to be used for painting the steeple.
Roof quotes:
GB Restoration:
Repair the slates missing or broken = $6,700
2. Replace roof in slate = $40,000
Replace with 30 yrs. Asphalt shingles = $27,000
Asphalt looking slate 50 yrs. = $33,000

Old School Roofing:
To repair loose tiles only = $2,800

Better Built:
To Replace with 30 yrs. Asphalt shingles $34,200
Action item: Carole Russell will provide Johan MacKenzie with the name of another contractor.

Steeple Paint Quote:
McGuire (does minor Carpentry work) = $15,000
Johan MacKenzie with continue to get quotes thru early October.

Architects: We will bring in 3 Architects to present their Master Plan at the end of September. We will be meeting Thursday September 24 at 6:30 (for two presentations) and Tuesday September 29th for the third presentation at 6:30 to see their presentations.
Johan has met with 3 qualified architects, interviewed them and received proposals:
DSA, Menders, Spencer and Torrey, Carl Oldenberg
Meeting to Begin
Distribution of Materials-Agenda; reports form Treasurer, DRE and Minister.
Review Minutes from June , and July:
We need to review June minutes and need to clarify the statement “the piano was donated”: Moneys for the current sanctuary piano were donated by Charlotte Wolf and music director Pat Moore selected and purchased the current piano. The language will be changed and we will review the changes at the October meeting.
Action item-Carla Corey will make the correction to the June minutes.
July minutes were reviewed and approved. Tom Wight made a motion that we approve the July minutes. Carole seconded the motion. It was voted unanimously to accept the July minutes.
Treasurer’s Report was presented by Carole Russell
As for the current year we are behind but expect to be caught up by November. Committee expenses have been light. Financially we are doing O.K.
At the end of year money from Sabbatical ($10,000) and Music ($1000)Escrow was taken and put into the operating budget to make ends meet.

There is an audit planned for next Tuesday Morning.

Cindy Gist continues to take care of everyday bills and it is going smoothly.

As Treasurer Carole Russell and clerk Carla Corey will be obtaining signing power for the AG Edward Fund.

As of August 31, 2009 everything was reconciled.

Tom Coffey moved that we accept the Treasurer’s Report, Walter Cole seconded the motion. It was voted unanimously to accept the Treasurer’s Report.

Preparation for State of the Society
Who will we ask to moderate? Bill Drury, Paul Taylor, Deb Grad, and Kirk Kirkpatrick’s names were mentioned.
2 Reports will be handed out:
Treasurer’s Report- Carole asked us to review it and also asked what is a reasonable amount of data should we present.
Annual Report- Standing Committee’s Annual Report listed all that was accomplished in the past year.

We also voted on our minutes from the Standing Committee Retreat August 1, 2009.
Marcia Allison made a motion to approve the minutes, Walter Cole seconded the motion. We voted unanimously to accept the minutes from the Retreat.

We discussed the National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI using our space to hold a workshop for families who have members who suffer for mental illness. It will run for 12 weeks Oct.- Dec. for ~25 people and meet in the evening.
Questions of what to charge them came up; our usual fee for the chapel is $75, for non-profits it is half that fee. Being that they are a non-profit and inviting them to use our space was seen as outreach, Carole Russell made a motion that we should not charge them for the space rental, Ron seconded the motion. It was voted unanimously to allow the NAMI to use the Chapel on Monday nights for no charge.
Action Item: Marybeth will contact Leila and let her know.

Fiscal Budget Timeline-
Action Item Carla Corey will put it together.
3 Year Vision Team- After thinking about what similarities this group might have with the committee on Ministry, Ellen told us to go ahead and start this group. It was suggested that we try to distribute the leadership. Action Item: Tom Wight will lead the group and begin to recruit members. The goal to start the 3 Year Vision Team is October (?).

New Sign is up! Thank you to Chris Boucher.
Action Item: Ron will recognize Chris at the State of Society Meeting.
The Parish Ministers Report
Ellen is working on her goals.
Pastor Ella O’Neal who runs the Food Bank we helped rebuild during our Service Trip will be coming to First Parish On Sunday September 27th. Ellen asked that we have a special collection for this Food Bank.
Ellen will be attending an Alban Institute Workshop, beginning September 29th- Oct 1.
Tom Wight is also considering attending.
Ellen reminded us to read the minutes carefully. We read through the Standing Committee Covenant we will be reading with the congregation on Sunday.
Ellen also mentioned a leadership workshop with Margaret Benefiel, Friday September 18, 9:30-3:30 at Rolling Ridge Retreat Center in Andover.

DRE Report
She asked us to approve hiring Zoe Stevens-North as a Second Primary Nursery Caregiver for the Sunday evening service. Carole Russell made a motion to hire Zoe, Marcia Allison Seconded the motion. We voted unanimously to hire Zoe Stevens-North.

We discussed Sadie idea of forming a “Dream Team” to support the DRE. Sadie will also be attending an OWL Training workshop.
Action Item: Marybeth as liaison to the RE will follow up with the committee.
Committee Liaisons
Marybeth (liaison to the RE Committee) reported that the RE Committee was asking about Fire Drills and the Safe Child Policy (which is already on the agenda for October Standing Committee Meeting). Deb Grad (RE Chair) also brought up two questions: 1.“ Do we have a policy about using personal computers for staff? Two huge issues are being asked: Security and Networking. We discussed having a church computer in Sadie’s office that Jill could use while she is working. Action Item: Marcia will look into the Policy. Question 2. “Do we have a Photo Policy? Yes: It is very broadly covered in our website policy. If the minor is identified then a written permission is necessary. Permission policies are periodically published in the shooting star.

Walter Cole (Church Council Chair) Presented a very complete list of all the committees, and their status. He will be asking all committees to build a format of their mission statements so that they contain # of members. He will be looking for similarities between committees. Next Church Council meeting Oct. 1.

Ellen Spero and Bonnie Rankin (liaison for the Outreach Ministry) Reported that there will be an Outreach Summit Saturday, October 17th.

Ron Deschenes will lead a Standing Committee Forum on Sunday during Coffee Hour. Our focus will be on the roof but will welcome any questions.

Carole Russell motioned that the meet be adjourned and marcia seconded the motion, and we all voted in favor of ending the meeting.
Briefly discussed the new Publicity/Web Committee and Carla Corey volunteered to be their Liaison.

Action Item Summary

Action item: Carole Russell will provide Johan Mackenzie with the name of another contractor.
Action item-Carla Cory will make the correction to the June minutes.
Action Item: Marybeth Bush will contact Leila Pelosi and let her know we will allow the National Alliance on Mental illness to use the chapel on Monday Nights at no charge.
Action Item Carla Corey will put the Fiscal Timeline together.
Action Item: Tom Wight will lead the group and begin to recruit members. Deadline to start the 3 Year Vision Team is October(?)
Action Item: Ron Deschenes will be acknowledge Chris Boucher at the State of Society Meeting.
Action Item: Marcia Allison will look into the Policy for computer use.
Action Item: Marybeth as liaison to the RE will follow up with the committee.

Sep 15 2009

August 2009 SC Minutes

Standing Committee Retreat August 1, 2009
In attendance: Ron Deschenes, Carole Russell, Ellen Spero,Tom Wight, Tom Coffey, Carla
Corey, Joanna Paulsen*, Cornelia Kirkpatrick*, Marcia Allison, Marybeth Bush, Walter Cole+ and
Bonnie Rankin+. Past members*, new members+
Recorded by Bonnie Rankin
Welcome by Ron
Chalice lighting by Marcia
Team building led by Ellen- Sharing a spiritual time in your life
Standing Committee Committee Liaison Assignments:
Chair – Ron
Vice-Chair – Tom Coffey
Secretary- Bonnie
Finance Sub Committee- Carole, Carla, and Tom Coffey
Policies and Procedures Sub-committee-Marcia
Human Resources Committee-Tom Wight, Marybeth,
Long Range Planning-Walter
Board of Investment -Carole l (meets quarterly)
Music- Carla
Building Use- Marcia
Outreach Ministry- Bonnie
Religious Education- Marybeth
Worship-Marcia
Membership-Carla
Nominating-Ron
Green Ministry- Walter
Welcoming- Ron
Church Council Chair – Walter
Grounds and House Management- Tom Coffey
Ron urged us to keep the line of communications open.
Ron- Action item ask Cindy to keep a list of Standing Committee Liaisons posted on the
door and put together binder bylaws, H.R., S.C., Phone Directory for new folks on
committee.
Meeting Change
We changed the night we meet to the Second Thursday of the Month: September 10th,
October 8th
Standing Committee:a year in review- presented by Carole
All Church Gathering- Living Our Covenant (Retreat)
Sabbatical
Homeless Dinners
New Orleans Service Trip
New Furnace/ Dishwasher
Septic fixed
New Cell Tower
Second Service
Architect Interviews
Dissolving the Growth and Space task force
Sabbatical Committee
Pastoral Care Team
Pastoral Care of congregation with respect to the loss of Jane Drury
Economic impact of the recession on the community
Fiscal Summits
What we did well:
Fiscal Summit/ Budget
Sabbatical
Pastoral Care Team
Homeless Dinners
Dishwasher/furnace
Deciding to do second service
New Orleans
People supporting each other in light of this economy
What could we have done better:
Organizing for the service trip to New Orleans.
Creating deadlines for major purchases dishwasher and furnace.
Follow- up after all church gathering retreat- revisit members interests
Standing Committee needed to have more involvement with Architect interviews
After dissolving the Growth and Space Task Force- SC needs to include task force
members as we move forward. Original goal of GSTF “ how we could modify our existing
Space” has now evolved into needing a master plan. We should focus on handicap
access, increasing space and by how much, modify the elevator.
______________________________________________________________________
__
Communications
Ellen suggested that we be intentionally aware that we are good at being in the moment
but we need to be more proactive.
Communication is key, between committees, Standing Committee liaisons and staff.
The Fiscal Summits represent a good model of moving information outward.
To value good will and trust and gain clarity on what we will be making decisions about
are ways to help us become more efficient in decision making.
Our driving force should be we are looking out for the congregations best interest.
We will hold an open forum in the Chapel during coffee hour once a month after our
Standing Committee meeting to let the congregation know what we discussed and to
take any questions that may arise. The Standing Committee Up-Date Forum
announcement will appear in the satellite and the morning announcements.
______________________________________________________________________
__
Committee Surveys
Tom Coffey presented the results of a committee survey that went out to all committees.
Findings suggest that the 7 committees who responded were happy with their structure
and that they needed more members, 4 of them felt there was overlap with other
committees. Although members of the Standing Committee still feel there are areas in
the committee structure that need improvement they decided that resending the survey
to non-participating groups would not be helpful.
Tom C- Action Item- Send thank you notes to committees who participated in the survey.
It was also suggested that committees with overlapping missions should be clustered or
podded together using a fiscal summit model.
______________________________________________________________________
__
Outreach Ministry- new group headed up by Cornelia. Ellen suggested that Social
Outreach will encompass much more than it has in the past.
Ways and Means- doesn’t exist as a committee at this time, although there are
individuals who run different fundraising events. Historically Ways and Means
Committee funded capital campaigns; currently individuals run fundraisers and don’t feel
supported. May Breakfast, Holiday Fair, Auction,Fourth of July Breakfast are our major
fundraisers. We discussed the need for an overarching group to encompass all
fundraisers and that adds a needed element of support to move forward.
Long Range Planning (LRP)- we briefly discussed the need for leadership on
this committee.
3 Year Vision Team came out of conversation between Tom Wight, Tom Coffey
and Carole Russell. They would like to see a team of 7 people come together to
brainstorm and dream of what our program here at first parish might be in three years,
looking outside space and monetary limitations.
It was discussed that this was a similar role of the Committee On Ministry. Ellen suggest
that they be included in this process, but wanted to think more on the topic. Ellen
stressed that “Our greatest resources are our people and our ministry”, thus it is a good
idea to dream, redress the long range program plan.
Questions arose: How would you test the pulse of the congregation? Ellen has a fair
idea of what the congregation needs are: her job is to listen, and to challenge us to be
who we claim we are, to follow our UU roots and our covenant. We are able to look at
patterns/ Resource. Ellen voiced that this is very much inline with what the Committee
on Ministry does.
Should we move forward with the 3 year vision piece? Tom W. is interested in moving
forward with this, Bonnie likes the idea but has not committed to be part of the team at
this time.
Once a 3 Year Vision has been decided. We would need to give this group a deadline to
report back to the Standing Committee and decide what are next steps will be, if it
moves forward.
The Board of Investments Report- presented by Carole Russell
Our investments are bouncing back after economic decline. As the treasurer Carole
asked that the Standing committee make a modification to two areas of the restricted
endowment operating budget contributions, as they are currently listed.
Every year we have to reconcile our spending from the endowment money. Some of the
endowment money is restricted; the donor asked that this money is used for certain
things.
In the past, every restricted donation was given a new line item. Leaving us with 4 line
items for flowers and 5 lines for money left to help the needy. At this time the Treasurer
and the Board of Investments are asking the Standing Committee to vote on combining
these line items into a single line for Flowers and a single line the Needy listing all
donors under each line.
The Standing Committee voted to combine the 4 lines of the flower funds as
listed in the restricted endowments used in the operating budget into one line “Flowers”:
a motion was made by Tom W. and seconded by Walter Cole. We also voted to
combine the 5 lines of needy funds as listed in the restricted endowments into
one “Needy”: a motion was made by Marcia Allison and in was seconded by
Carla. The body voted unanimously in favor of both of these changes.
The A.G Edward Fund executor has been transfered to Carole Russell; the Clerk, Carla
Corey will also be given signing power.
The Treasurer will draw from the endowment fund on an as required basis.
$28,000 in pledges have been collected in the current years budget.
There was a surplus of $10,095 left over from last years budget.
Standing Committee Goals for 2009/2010:
Items- Person Responsible- Report Due
Alternative Services- Standing Committee- early October.
Kick Off, 3 Year Vision Team- November
New Piano- Ask music for recommendation- Carla- October
Paint Steeple- LRP- Walter- September
Kick Off, Outreach Ministry- Bonnie- September
Plan for Ministers Intern, Start Committee- Carole- September
Hire Architect for Master Plan- February
Restart Ways and Means – Need more discussion
Transition of committees to pods/ Charter and Job descriptions from committees- Walter
and Tom W.?-December
Sabbatical Debrief- Bonnie- September/Oct
Better Communication- On Going
Establish an Standing Committee Up-Date Forum during coffee hour- September.
Planning for Formal Summer Service- Carole to re-write Ellen’s letter of Call- February
Follow up on last years retreat: Finance group- Carole, Mentoring – Carla, Green-
Marybeth
FUUN group is up and running, Outreach Ministry is being headed up by
Cornelia.
Correct By-laws to reflect new fiscal year- before January
Define second cell tower money for future use- Recommendations from finance subcommittee-
before January
Have a Special Congregational meeting in January- to vote on second cell tower money
and corrected By-laws.
ReCap Goals with Progress Report- Everyone- January
______________________________________________________________________
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Annual All Church Gathering
We Talked about having our Annual All Church Gathering in the Spring.
Topics that were suggested:Where do I fit in and how can I be of service, Our
Commitment: Time, talent, and treasure, increasing Congregational participation (How to
make service part of worship) or Vision Team ideas.
______________________________________________________________________
__
Chalice Lighting- for first Sunday
Covenant between us and the congregation- What is commitment: Part of our
stewardship, our worship our UU tradition.
We picked a date to go over Ellen’s Review
Marcia made a motion that the meeting be adjourned and Tom W. seconded the motion.
Next S.C. Meeting Thursday, September 10th, 2009.
These minutes were approved at the September 10th, 2009 meeting.
Respectfully submitted,
Bonnie Rankin
Standing Committee Secretary

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.