Oct 15 2008

September 2008 SC Minutes

FIRST PARISH UNIVERSALIST UNITARIAN CHURCH
OF CHELMSFORD

Standing Committee September 9, 2008 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m

Members Present: Carole Russell, Dave Seltz, Carla Corey, Marybeth Bush, Tom Coffey, Tom Wight, Joanna Paulsen, Cornelia Kirkpatrick, Ellen Spero
Others Present: Martha Sherburne

Meeting Notes

Open Forum

Sugar Maple tree in front of church needs to get dead branches cut off.

• John Coppinger – March is the best time to do this, free estimate, if there is a problem the cost would be approximately $500
– It has developed folds instead of being round and full. He recommends we cut just dead branches not the green, collected soil sample to check for soil content (he did this for free). If it is a fungus the tree may not recover.
• Robert Kaknes – acid rain effect, told her he would use spur-less climbers – $400
• All American Tree Service – $675 just dead branches and also estimated Vertasillium wilt
• Community Tree Service – would not quote, said he would provide written estimate.
• Martha Sherburne has supplied a write-up on vertasillium wilt
• Recommendation: get the dead branches off and see if we can improve condition.
• Cornelia moves that Martha may spend up to $500 to remove the dead branches from the sugar maple in front of church. Tom Coffey seconds. It passed unanimously.

Meeting minutes from July 8
• Jeanne Thompson name incorrectly spelled, otherwise correct
• Tom C moves to accept meeting minutes from July 8 as amended, Cornelia Seconded. Passed unanimously

Meeting minutes from August 3
• Also Jeanne Thompson name incorrectly spelled
• Martha Hicks-Courant incorrect.
• Tom C to accept as amended Tom W seconded. Passed unanimously.

Meeting minutes for June 10, 2008
• Vote by previous SC members only.
• Carla moves to accept and Cornelia seconds. Passed unanimously.

Plan for an intern – Ellen
• Ellen can train an intern; she does not need any additional training.
• Need Intern committee – 4-5 people
o People who understand ministry
• Selection committee
o Staff people
• Intern would start at the beginning of the church year
• Ellen recommends the full time internship for one year as opposed to part-time for 2 years
• May be interviewed early – March April timeframe – this would help us to get someone hired for the fall of 2009 before Ellen goes on sabbatical
• [ACTION] Cornelia will work with Ellen to draw up a draft proposal by the next Standing committee meeting. Would include:
o Cost
o What is included: insurance, salary, where to sit.
• May use cell tower money

Congregational retreat
• Group to work on retreat have not met yet (Tom C., Ellen, Carole, and Marybeth)
• Will meet on Tuesday Sep 30th at 7:30 at Carole’s house

Sabbatical Committee Charter
• The committee that will organize the congregation with what to do when Ellen is not here.
• Members:
o Cornelia will be on the committee
o One member at large
o One member from Ministry committee
• [ACTION] Cornelia will give plan for Sabbatical committee by the next SC meeting
• Hope to have first meeting in October
• Will have proposal by December
• SC does not have to be involved

Carla mentioned that it might be a good idea to explain to the congregation why a sabbatical is needed and what work is needed around the sabbatical
• We will mention the sabbatical at the state of society meeting
• There will be a Chalice lighting around this.

State of the Society meeting
• All of the reports won’t be presented, we will vote to accept the annual report.
• Change article 4 to vote to accept the annual report
• Auditors – there was nothing to really audit
o There is not a system currently in place for verification of collection plate receipts
o Maybe one of the two ushers will count the money each Sunday
o [ACTION] Carla will come up with a procedure for checks and balances of the collection plate by the next SC meeting
o There is $450 on the balance sheet in petty cash that does not exist physically.
 [ACTION] Joanna will remove $450 from balance sheet and write it off on the Income Statement
• Dave made a motion that Joanna correct it on the sheet – Tom W. seconded – Passed unanimously
o [ACTION] Carla will talk to Cindy about amending the annual report showing that $450 in petty cash was handled by SC
• [ACTION] Joanna will get year-end financial report from Johan to give to the SC.
• [ACTION] Carla will find out if the LRP portion was part of the audit
• This year we will have people vote on LRP and
• Next year Carole will like the fiscal subcommittee to make sure the treasurers report to include the LRP report.
• [ACTION] Carla will review the Balance sheet
• [ACTION] Carole and Carla will go over what to do with the surplus fiscal funds

Committee on Growth and Space
• Will present at the State of Society meeting
o Origin of the committee
o Recommendations on what topics
o 5 minutes on why it came to be
o 5-10 minutes on the current state
o 5-10 minutes on what will happen going forward – maybe talk about when the report can be discussed with the congregation on space
o So during the state of society meeting there will just be a 15-minute “infomercial” and then there will be a more information available later on
• Possible members for ministerial part of Space and Growth Committee – Ellen, Carla, Tom, Cornelia
• We will tie in the explanation for the Growth Ministry part with Living our Covenant
• [ACTION] Tom C. will come up with the wording explaining the ministry aspect of growth to the congregation

[ACTION] – Carole is going to publish her Chalice lighting in the Shooting Star.
Minister’s Appraisal
• In the past the minister’s appraisal was done by HR committee then brought before the SC – Last time this was done by the Committee on Ministry
• Who should do it this going forward? Everyone should think about this for the next meeting.
• It was split up to the different members of the HR committee.
• Ellen’s letter of call says this should be done every three years.
• [ACTION] – Tom W. will tell the HR committee that they will be in charge of Ellen’s appraisal.

[ACTION] Carla will get everyone a copy of the church year timeline from last year by next SC meeting so we can then work set it up for the current church year

Review and approve Treasurers report
• New bank account at Enterprise is all set up and working well
• Massbank will be phased out (enough left for last payroll).
• $23,000 surplus from 06-07 has been parceled out to long range liabilities
• Motion to accept the Treasurers report was made by Tom W., seconded by Cornelia, all approved

Ministers report
• New small group – Walter Cole will lead another men’s group (small group ministry)
• [ACTION] Cindy, Joanna and Ellen will follow up with All Saints Church to see if new natural gas company really saved them money.
• Can look at Dun and Bradstreet to see if they are a legitimate company.
• Maybe National grid has another rate for a non-profit – [ACTION] Joanna/Ellen will look into it.

RE Report
• Fire Drill – [ACTION] Marybeth will work with Sadie on the fire drill – will take place in the spring.
• There is a LREDA conference in NM and it will overspend the money allotted for Sadie’s professional expenses by around $600 (if she doesn’t get scholarship).
• There are also two credentialing activities that will also cost money (plus travel and lodging).
• So Sadie all in all will overspend her budget by around $1500.
• Increase the overall professional development budget line-item by $2000 (this includes Cindy Bliss bell choir training).
• Cornelia moved to add to warrant for the SOTS meeting an article authorizing an increase of $2000 for professional development to be taken from FY 2008 surplus funds – Second by Tom W.– All approve.

Old Business

Cell Tower
• We are still waiting for a structural report – Should be done by the end of the month
• Process should be done (finalized) by the end of October into early November.

Lead Paint –
• Tests were done and no lead paint was discovered in closets off the vestry hall.
• The paint chips still need to be cleaned up.
• [ACTION] Carole will talk to house management about cleaning up paint chips.

Carole Russell approved the switch of the phone company to Verizon.

Dishwasher
• $3000 – $5000 – small industrial washer with 3 minute cycle.
• Marybeth moved to approve an article be added to the warrant for the SOTS meeting to authorize the expenditure of up to $6000 to buy and install a new dishwasher – Dave second – All approve.

Web site
• Members: John Allison, Joan Coyne, and Eliot Mayer.
• Will not cost the church any money
• Will have plenty of disk space
• Should have a prototype for people to try by middle of September
• Could have committees post information on web site.
• They would like Standing Committee input
• RE registration could be on line – like at Concord Church
• They would like feedback on the website and what content to add given in a couple of iterations and completed by the end of the year.
• [ACTION] Tom C. will ask them to do a presentation of the web site by the next standing committee meeting.

Long Range Planning
Any low hanging fruit?
• Flat panel in the vestry with announcements? Just an idea.
• What to do when someone needs a ride?
o People who already come here
o Bus to UMass Lowell (or something equivalent)
o [ACTION] will bring this up at the Living the Covenant retreat
• [ACTION] Carole will talk to Chris Sweetnam to see what he thinks of LRP vs. Space and Growth
• [ACTION] Carla will find the Charter for the LRP.

Protocol on Congregational meeting minutes
• Carla would like people to think about how the Clerk should go about getting approval of the Society’s Meeting minutes. She suggested that they be approved by the SC Chair.
• We decided that going forward the minutes of the most recent Congregational Meeting would be approved at each meeting of the Society, beginning with the SOTS on September 21st
• [ACTION] Carla will add this article to the warrant
• [ACTION] Carla will ask Deb to be moderator so that Carole will be available to comment.

Motion to adjourn – Passed with one opposed (it was Tom C.!)

Action Items
Action Owner Due Date Status Creation Date
Draw up a draft Intern proposal to have Minister Intern at First Parish Cornelia/Ellen Oct 7 New Sep 9
Cornelia will give plan for Sabbatical committee by the next SC meeting Cornelia Oct 7 New Sep 9
Come up with a procedure for checks and balances of the collection plate Carla Oct 7 New Sep 9
Remove $450 in petty cash that is not there from balance sheet Joanna Oct 7 New Sep 9
Talk to Cindy about amending the annual report showing that $450 in petty cash was handled by SC Carla Oct 7 New
Sep 9
Get year end financial report for SC Joanna Oct 7 New Sep 9
Find out if LRP report was part of audit Carla Oct 7 New Sep 9
Talk about what to do with surplus fiscal funds Carole/Carla Oct 7 New Sep 9
Come up with the wording explaining the ministerial part of Space and Growth to the congregation Tom Oct 7 New Sep 9
Put SC Chalice lighting and covenant into the shooting Star Carole Oct 7 New Sep 9
Tell the HR committee that they will be in charge of Ellen’s appraisal Tom Oct 7 New Sep 9
Get everyone a copy of the Church year timeline by next SC meeting Carla Oct 7 New Sep 9
Will follow up with All Saints Church to see if new natural gas company really saved them money Cindy, Joanna and Ellen Oct 7 New Sep 9
See if National grid has another rate for a non-profit Joanna/Ellen Oct 7 New Sep 9
Work with Sadie on the fire drill – will take place in the spring. Marybeth Oct 7 New Sep 9
Talk to house management about cleaning up paint chips. Carole Oct 7 New Sep 9
Ask Web team to do presentation at next SC meeting Tom Oct 7 New Sep 9
Discuss getting people to church (including bus from Ulowell) at Living covenant retreat Ellen Oct 7 New Sep 9
Talk to Chris S. to see what he thinks of LRP vs. Space and Growth Carole Oct 7 New Sep 9
Find Charter for LRP Carla Oct 7 New Sep 9
Add Warrant for voting on minutes from last State of Society Meeting Carla Oct 7 New Sep 9
Ask Deb to be moderator so that Carole will be available to comment. Carla Oct 7 New Sep 9

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.