Category: Church Council Minutes

Jun 06 2016

2016 June Church Council

Tuesday, June 7, 7pm Alliance Parlor

Agenda

  1. Chalice Lighting (5 min)
  2. Church Calendar (5 min)
  3. FIA Grants (10 min)
    1. WCC booth for Lowell Pride
  4. End of Church Year (10 min)
    1. Reimbursement forms due July 9.
  5. Committee Transition Planning (15 min)
  6. Capital campaign thoughts (15 min)
  7. Committee Reports (5 min)

 

Committee Budget Performance

2016-04-30-profit-loss-committee.pdf

2016-05-31-profit-loss-committee.draft.pdf

 

Faith in Action Grant Action

September – none

October – $750 –  Strengthening our Social Justice Ministries Workshop,;UU Wellspring Workshop

November – None

December – $1000 –  United Teen Equality Center;  Planned Parenthood

January – ?

February – none

March – $540.95 – Composter

April – $2050 – LGBT Asylum Project; The Great Lowell Cleanup

May – $1100 –  Temple Emmanuel of Merrimack Valley; Young Achiever’s Math and Science Pilot School Mattapan; Refugee Immigration Ministry

Remaining Unspent as of 5/31/2016 – $2359.04

 

Recent Church Council Minutes

Church_Council_Minutes_2016_Feb.pdf

Church_Council_Minutes_2016_March.pdf

Church_Council_Minutes_2016_May.pdf

 

Committee Reports

May 03 2016

2016 May Church Council – Annual Reports

Tuesday, May 3, 7pm Alliance Parlor

Agenda

  1. Chalice Lighting (5 min)
  2. Annual Report Guidance (15 min)
  3. Church Calendar (5 min)
  4. FIA Grants (10 min)
    1. Temple Emmanuel of Merrimack Valley
    2. Young Achiever’s Math and Science Pilot school in Mattapan
  5. Committee Reports (15 min)
    1. Grounds – Signs about cleaning up after walking your dog on Church property. Simple but to the point seem to be needed without being offensive.
    2. May Breakfast – Setup/clean up volunteers needed

 

Annual Report Guidelines

These guidelines are from Cindy, who compiles the little reports from each committee into the annual report.

Annual Report Guidelines (pdf)

 

Faith in Action Grant Action

September – none

October – $750

November – None

December – $1000

Remaining Unspent as of 12/31/2015 – $6,088.09

 

Committee Reports

Grounds is in full swing!. New Composter is up and running. Justine’s shrub has been planted in front of the Sancutary.  We have seed sliced our lawn and are fertilizing too. We are in full cleanup mode and planting. Westford St. and as much of the front walk as we have time to get to, will be spiffy. We can use watering help in the evenings for the lawn. Help is needed for the lawn mowing season. Anyone who is available this Sunday afternoon May 1st, and can help during the day May 2nd, 3rd and 4th for grounds is welcomed with open arms!

The Sabbatical Committee held its final meeting On Sunday, May 1st.  Ellen shared a summary of her experiences on sabbatical.  We reviewed the sabbatical survey that 54 members and friends of First Parish completed.  The results were favorable to how the sabbatical was handled and how the church functioned in Ellen’s absence.   A report for the annual meeting will be submitted.

The Music committee voted the buy a new damp chaser for the piano in the sanctuary.  The damp chaser keeps the piano in tune and the pads from drying out.  The one that is in place now is rusting and leaking.  The cost is $550, which we have available in the music budget.  Steve will have it installed by the end of this fiscal year.  The music committee will be helping out with the May 21st concert.  We will collect the donations and help with serving and clean up for the reception afterward.
The RE Council has meet twice since the last Church Council meeting. We had one meeting to discuss changes to the program next year.
The second meeting was to discuss the upcoming RE Family potluck on May 21st, starting at 5pm, preceding Steve’s concert. There will be babysitting provided for both events. Additionally, we discussed May 22nd, where we will be hosting our Teacher Appreciation breakfast, leading the Milestone Intergenerational Sunday service, and hosting Social Hour after the service.
The Young Adults hosted the Canvass Success Luncheon as well as a Seder this past month. We are planning on meeting at some point in May, when schedules allow.
Women’s Alliance is planning on attending Steve’s concert as a group, with a social beforehand. Other events as still up in the air due to recent changes in our membership.
May Breakfast preparations are going well. We currently have enough volunteers for the actual breakfast. I could always use more volunteers to help with set-up and clean-up.
Parish Affairs:  I’m hoping to do a simple coffee hour with compostable cups and just drinks this Sunday, two other openings left, so there has been a pretty good response.
Usher committee is going well—I finally went back on the website to edit an usher assignment and to prove I could still do it.  I think it is helpful to have the Usher assignments there.  Dave and I already have a volunteer usher for Tracy’s service if needed.

The Internship Committee would like to inform the congregation that we are hard at work on Justine’s midterm evaluation to the UUA Ministerial Fellowship Committee.

Thanks to everyone who volunteered their time to give feedback for inclusion in the evaluation, at this time we have obtained a sufficient number of responses and will not be performing further interviews. If you volunteered to be interviewed but were not contacted by the committee, thank you for your offer and please be aware you will have additional opportunities to provide feedback prior to Justine’s final evaluation to the UUA next year. As always, feel free to reach out directly to a member of the Internship Committee with any feedback you have on the internship so far.

We also remind the congregation that our current effort is merely Justine’s midterm evaluation, she thankfully continues onward with us through June of 2017!

The Worship Committee met last week and welcomed Rev Ellen back from Sabbatical.  We reviewed the worship schedule thru the end of the church year and are just beginning to discuss summer services.

We will be paying some attention to the outdoor signs, cleaning and replacing some lettering this spring/summer.

Feb 01 2016

2016 February Church Council

Tuesday, February 2, 7pm Alliance Parlor

Agenda

  1. Chalice Lighting (5 min)
  2. Church Calendar (5 min)
  3. Committee Budgets (15 min)
  4. FIA Grants (10 min)
  5. Committee Reports (5 min)

 

Faith in Action Grant Action

September – none

October – $750

November – None

December – $1000

Remaining Unspent as of 12/31/2015 – $6,088.09

 

Committee Reports

Grounds Committee is quiet. The only force in action is Nature! Bulbs are poking up and new green growth on perennials are showing. Our Mantra to Nature is too soon, slow down!

Committee on Ministry has not met due to Ellen being away on sabbatical.
Sabbatical Committee continues to meet monthly.  The committee led the January 10th Sunday service.  The rest of the worship schedule during the sabbatical has been finalized.  Sabbatical guides are available in the pew racks.  We miss Ellen, but things seem to running smoothly here at First Parish.

CFAM finally had its fall meeting last week.  Our upcoming events are:

  • Justice Sunday Service on March 6th
  • a joint reading of Between the World and ME by Ta-Nehisi Coates March 6th and 13th
  • Spring Common Read  – Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
  • Solar panel information session – we hope to bring together church members who have installed solar panels, or joined the solar farm, with those who are thinking about installing solar for a question and answer session about the home solar process.
  • Mother’s Day Walk for Peace is on May 8th

 

The Young Adults had their first meeting of our new year, as we run by the calendar year and it was the first meeting run by our new leader, Sam Morse. The meeting was lunch and a discussion in which we planed for the upcoming months. It was a productive lunch. Currently, the Young Adults are planning on sticking with our monthly luncheon and discussion. Additionally, we are considering hosting another dance at the end of June. Young Adult budget for next year is increased. Please keep in mind, our budget has grown as our group attendance has grown.
Women’s Alliance is having a meeting this upcoming Saturday. We will have a social with a short business meeting and then as a group attend Steve’s concert. The Women’s Alliance does not submit a budget, as we have our own funds.
The Religious Education Council meet in January. We had a productive meeting where we planned our Family Gatherings for the rest of the year before the calendar was full. We helped the Music Committee with the Talent Show. Our January RE Family Gathering was well attended and had a different mix of people. We are currently planning the Ice Cream Social which will be held on February 14th this year. Dolores handles submitting the budget with input from the Council.
Jan 05 2016

2016 January Church Council

Tuesday, January 5, 7pm Alliance Parlor

Agenda

  1.  Chalice Lighting (5 min)
  2. Church Calendar (5 min)
    1. Talent Show/potluck: Saturday 1/23/16 7:00pm. (Snow date 1/30)
    2. Concert 1: “Steve Zocchi in Concert”. Saturday 2/6/15 7:00 (snow date 2/27)
    3. Concert 2: Saturday 3/12/15 7:00
    4. Auction 3/19
  3. Budgeting for committees – Treasurer (15 min)
  4. Committee Budgets (5 min)
  5. FIA Grants (5 min)
  6. Committee Reports (5 min)

 

Documents for this meeting : SampleCommitteeBudget.pdf , 2015-12-31-profit-loss-committee.pdf[DRAFT], BlankCommitteeBudgetFY17.xls

Minutes from last meeting   :  Dec 2015 Church Council Minutes.pdf

 

Committee Reports:

Grounds is at rest. We were able to fill in the ruts with soil and grass seed in December. The lower half of the daffodil beds were also turned back to grass. We are now in snow shoveling season. A reminder; if you have any suggestions for a replacement tree, please forward to the Grounds Committee Mailbox, or my email at the end of this report by March 15th 2016.

Parameters for Tree Suggestions:
Height, Width of Tree Spread, Not on Massachusetts Invasive List and Root Growth if you can find it (deep, shallow, etc). Grounds will be reviewing the suggestions during the Winter Months. The Ruts in the front lawn are behind in being filled in by one week. Please be careful walking in the vicinity of the sugar maple tree grass area when the snow has melted.

Spring should be full of color and surprises!

Membership Committee:
Met on Dec 10th.
Reviewed list of newcomers
No new signatures in the Membership Book, but there are a couple of people to approach about signing.
Planning on presenting a New UU course; Peggy SN has agreed to lead with support from Neil and other committee members
Dates and attendees to be finalized
Looking into obtaining specifically colored mugs for newcomers to use during fellowship to help identify them for approaching.

Greeter Roles were well filled during December;
Greeter assignments are set for the remainder of the church year.

Next Meeting, Jan 14.

Canvass Committee:
Met on Jan 2nd.
Lost one committee member, now down to 3; committee must recruit 4 more members
Jim to request suggestions from Church Council and Standing Committee
We need 2 full committee members and 2 or 3 limited involvement members
Still need a committee lead for next year
Reviewed draft timeline of canvass activity leading up to Pledge Sunday and after.
Agreed on the theme for this year:  Stone Soup
Will create a tri-fold handout this year with information for mailing/e-mailing prior to Kick-off Sunday.
Jim to meet with Capital Campaign leaders to discuss potential conflict/impact on pledging levels
Lots to do – next meeting, Jan 16

Sabbatical:
The Sabbatical Committee continues to meet monthly and will do so through April.  The committee has completed the Sabbatical Guide and is planning a lay led service for January 10th.  All the worship services are covered and the pastoral team is in place with direction from our ministerial intern, Justine Sullivan. The committee sent Ellen on her way at the Dec. 27th pancake breakfast with a gift basket of goodies contributed by the following committees: worship, music, pastoral care, ministry, and sabbatical.  We are anticipating a successful sabbatical for Ellen and a zestful one for all our church ministries.
Committee on Ministry:
The committee met on December 18th.  We discussed the then upcoming financial meeting with Joe Sullivan that would address norms/culture around money and roles/responsibilities in financial matters.   Ellen asked us to stay involved in balcony issues around the health of our congregations.  We will also support and promote the work of the Sabbatical Committee as we all share our ministries in our congregation.
Internship Committee:  All is going well.
Ushers: All is going well.  We have a new chalice bulb/insert that is much easier to fill.
Parish Affairs:  We can use more sign-ups.  No one signed up this past Sunday, so I got out the compostable cups CFAM bought for us about 2 1/2 years ago and limited food severely so that we didn’t need to run the dishwasher.  I brought the cups home to our compost pile as they may not compost quickly enough for the church pile.  I have ordered more compostable hot cups in case we have to do this more frequently.
Auction:  Coming on 3/19.  Jeanette Moreau, Theresa Poplowski, and I will be chairing.  Dee Halzack  will be starting publicity in this Sunday’s announcements.
Worship Committee:

Worship Schedule/Sabbatical: As reported at the last meeting, all dates have been filled on the Worship Schedule during Rev. Ellen’s sabbatical.  The Sabbatical Guide was completed in December, with copies placed in all the pew racks, mail slots, and on bulletin boards throughout the church.

The Sabbatical Committee and Worship Committee have been working hard together as a team, and I am happy to report things appear to be going as smoothly as anticipated.  The Worship Schedule for the remainder of the month is as follows:

  • January 10th: Sabbatical Committee
  • January 17th:  Neil Harmon
  • January 24th: Matt Meyer
  • January 31st: Justine Sullivan

Evening Service Team:  The Evening Service Team could still use one more team member to help with planning and setting up for evening services.  If you are interested, please contact our Ministerial Intern Justine Sullivan.

Website:  I will begin updating the Worship Schedule on our website beginning in February, job-sharing with Edith Murphy.

Music Committee :
The organ has been fixed and the organ and 4 pianos have been tuned.  We are having the piano in the sanctuary appraised to possibly add a rider to the building insurance policy to cover accidental damage.
The Talent Show is being organized for the end of this month.  Steve sent out an email to all people who participated in last year’s show and musical contributors to the evening service.  A few people have expressed an interested;  it is anticipated that now that the holidays are over more people will sign up.
Steve’s fundraising concert is scheduled for February 6th, with a Feb 27th snow date.
Nov 30 2015

2015 December Church Council

Tuesday, December 1, 7pm Alliance Parlor

Agenda

    1. Chalice Lighting (5 min)
    2. Sabbatical Information  (15)
    3. Committee Budgets (5 min)
    4. Church Calendar  (5 min)
      1. Talent Show/potluck: Saturday 1/23/16 7:00pm. (Snow date 1/30)
      2. Concert 1: “Steve Zocchi in Concert”. Saturday 2/6/15 7:00 (snow date 2/27)
      3. Concert 2: Saturday 3/12/15 7:00
      4. Auction 3/19
    5. FIA Grants (5 min)
      1. $500 for the United Teen Equality Center in Lowell, a job training program for at-risk youth
    6. Committee Reports (5 min)

Committee Reports

Grounds:

Grounds is not at rest, but closing in on it. Our Sugar Maple tree is down and the stump has been ground. If you have any suggestions for a replacement tree, please forward to the Grounds Committee Mailbox, or my email at the end of this report by March 15th 2016.

Parameters for Tree Suggestions:

Height, Width of Tree Spread, Not on Massachusetts Invasive List and Root Growth if you can find it (deep, shallow, etc). Grounds will be reviewing the suggestions during the Winter Months. The Ruts in the front lawn are behind in being filled in by one week. Please be careful walking in the vicinity of the sugar maple tree grass area and extra cautious when the grass seed has been laid down this week.

Thank you to those helpers who have made the huge projects of the fall more manageable to finish before the snow. Very much appreciated!!!! Spring should be full of color and surprises!

 

Canvass:

  • The Canvass committee met for the 1st time this new church year in November.
  • The committee is currently comprised of Dee Halzack, Cornelia Kirkpatrick, Pricilla Lévesque, and Jim C. We are looking for another 3 or 4 committee members; once of which will be chair next year.
  • Per previous discussion with Ellen, Jim noted that the Canvass Pledge kickoff Sunday will be March 20th, Palm Sunday.
  • Success Luncheon is scheduled for April 17th or 24th – TBD
  • Our theme is up for discussion, to be decided on next meeting (December)
  • Concern was expressed with how the Pledge campaign will be impacted by the Capital Campaign. This needs discussion.
  • As many of the committee members who can, will attend the Fiscal Info Session

 

Membership:

  • Gerry Hirsh & Aaron Van Hooser both signed the book in November
  • We held a Newcomer Session; 5 newcomers attended
  • We continue to have three greeters at the morning services
  • We are planning on holding a New UU class this winter season.
  • Times and days to be determined with potential attendees and class leader
  • Theresa is working through an update of the Welcome Guide
  • Neil and Jim will update the Greeters Guide
  • Next meeting will be in December.

 

The Sabbatical Committee has been meeting monthly to plan for the three months that Ellen will be away on sabbatical.  In conjunction with many committees, worship services have been planned, coverage for pastoral care has been addressed and church operation details have been discussed.  The Sabbatical Guide/Brochure will be ready this week.  This will provide details of all the whats, wheres, whos and whens that our congregation will want to know during Ellen’s absence.  The Committee is looking forward to this opportunity for all of us to share our ministries as we continue to live out our covenant during the winter months.

Committee on Ministry did not meet since our last C.C. meeting.
Music Committee:  The only thing other than the concerts scheduled for early next year, is that the organ repairs are done.  It still needs to be tuned.  The pianos will be tuned by Dec 1st, so by the time of this meeting they should be complete.
The RE Council hosted another successful Family Gathering Potluck, with a cook-in, in November. The cook-in part was so successful we are planning on having another cook-in as part of our January Family Gathering. At our November meeting, we focused on gratitude and wrote cards to all of the RE volunteers so far this year. We will not have a meeting in December as a holiday present to the committee.
The Young Adults are a very vibrant bunch. We had a regular meeting in November, where we shared a meal and had a nice discussion. The Spirit of Life class will be wrapping up in December and the we are looking for other engagement activities in the Spring. Finally, we will be holding a special turning service in the middle of December to mark our change in leadership.
Women’s Alliance did not meet in November. Meetings will resume in March.
Usher committee — Things are going well.   Dave Kaffine has joined me as co-chair.  We are working with worship to purchase an insert for the chalice that will be easier to fill.   We will be reaching out to RE to find youth ushers for the Christmas Eve service and are also looking for adult ushers to help with the service.
Parish Affairs — the first open slot for coffee hour is in January, though I need to find someone to help Rose Lerer and Jessica Leonard on 12/20.  We will be purchasing equal exchange coffee through Sheila to have available for use.  There were a lot of items in the wrong places in the kitchen this Sunday including arts and crafts supplies thrown into the cupboard where serving dishes belong.  This may just be one of those things involved in sharing the kitchen, though I did speak to Joan Keane about whether one of the TOP serving groups may have done that.  The back of the kitchen is still in disarray waiting for new shelving.  Joan asks that parishioners not place donations back there without speaking to her first.  I would like to be able to access my parish affairs storage box.
There is still an unopened coffee pot with the coffee pots in the kitchen, so we are ready for the next breakdown.
TPC/Intern committee — We are meeting regularly and have a strong group.  We are thrilled with how well Justine is doing and especially how she is so at home in the congregation and the congregation is so happy with her.  Justine has just delivered her second sermon.

Worship Committee Report:

Worship Schedule:

December 20th    Morning Service:   Winter Solstice Celebration

                                         Evening Service:    Longest Night

December 24th    5:00 PM:                   First Christmas Eve Service/Pageant

                                                8:00 PM:                   Second Christmas Eve Service

Colleen Leary is looking for 6 to 8 readers for our 8:00 PM Christmas Eve Service plus at least one reserve. If you would like to participate, please contact Colleen Leary

Worship Schedule/Sabbatical:  All dates have been filled on the Worship Schedule during Rev. Ellen’s sabbatical.  The Sabbatical Committee will be providing a report, along with the Sabbatical Guide, at this evening’s meeting.

Evening Service Team:  The Evening Service Team could use one more team member to help with planning and setting up for evening services.  If you are interested, please contact our Ministerial Intern Justine Sullivan.

Chalice Lightings:  We could use some help with chalice lightings during the months of January, February and March.

Soul Matters monthly journal:  The Worship Committee has been using the Soul Matters monthly theme during “check-in” time at our meeting.

 

Faith in Action Grants Approved

September – none

October – $750

November – None

 

Recent Church Council Minutes

ChurchCouncil_minutes_2015_Sept.pdf

ChurchCouncil_minutes_2015_Oct.pdf

ChurchCouncil_minutes_2015_Nov.pdf

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.