Sep 15 2008

August 2008 SC Minutes

Standing Committee Retreat Notes
Sunday August 3, 2008 1pm – 6:48pm

Attendees: Carole Russell, Ron Deschenes, Dave Seltz, Carla Corey, Marybeth Bush, Tom Coffey, Tom Wight, Joanna Paulsen, Cornelia Kirkpatrick, Ellen Spero

Meeting Notes

Centering (Cornelia)

Team building exercise (Ellen)

Covenant (Ellen)
1) Define type of covenant we are working toward.
2) Reflection
a. Continuing Members:
i. When did we work together well? What were our best practices?
1. Committed to time-frames
2. Open discussion – all opinions on the agenda
3. Engaged and prepared discussion
4. Everyone prepared
5. Staying focused
6. Strong leader – decisive
7. Mutual respect, camaraderie, fun, bring joy
8. Taking responsibility, meeting commitments, accountability
9. Nurture/mentor other people
10. Balancing the needs of individuals and the congregation
11. Focus on priorities
12. Being Flexible
13. Not trying to do too much
14. Remember we are a religious organization. Ground ourselves first.
ii. What were our challenges, obstacles?
1. Time – lack of time
2. Attention – lack of focus
3. No Fun all work
4. Lateness
5. Lack of decisiveness
6. Lack of accountability
7. Lack of organization or preparedness
8. Can’t move on
9. Not balance of decision and listening
10. Too much consensus
11. Silent when you disagree
12. Lack of trust.
b. All:
i. What goals do you see for the SC
ii How do we work together to meet them?

3) It was agreed at this point by members of the Standing committee that

Congregational Covenant (Ellen and Carla)
1) Review history
2) Ways to present: 1) service on Sept. 14th and social hour chat after?
3) Congregational Vote: Sept. 21st?
4) Anything else need to be done?

3:00: Space and Growth: Where we are (Carla and Ellen)

3:15: Interpretive Model of Governance and Congregational Growth (Ellen)
1) Present the Model
2) Use it to discuss understanding of growth
a. Naming the situation
b. Interpreting meaning
i. Process – Space
1. Gather context history for Space and Growth Task Force, and present report to congregation – Tom will talk to with Chris Sweetham about this. [ACTION]
a. Change “report on Growth” to “report on Space”.
2. Join LRP and Space Task force getting together to talk about what they have in common and what they can do together.
3. Make sure there are no low hanging fruit issues that we should address now.
4. Tom and Joanna is on the LRP/space taskforce
5. The task force report (and info from (1) will be rolled out at that state of the church meeting.
6. RE needs an update on the space and growth plans – Marybeth [ACTION]
ii. Process – Growth
1. Half day congregational retreat to discuss how we can live out / interpret our covenant. – Carole will help plan the retreat. – Tom, MB, Ellen will help.
2. Rename Growth to “Living the covenant” initiative.
c. Responding faith-fully (key point where we are?)
d. Evaluation and reflection
3) Develop timeline for leading congregation on discussions and decisions regarding growth
a. Set goals?
b. Develop process? Some pieces below
i. Nuts and bolts work continuing with S&G Taskforce
ii. Growth Ministry
1. Worship service (Sept. 08)
2. Leadership retreat? (Fall 08)
3. Dessert and Dreams/Challenges vis a vis growth (Fall 08-Winter 09)
4. Cottage Meetings? (Spring 09?

5:15: Any other Business (Carole)
1) Carole will do the chalice lighting at the first service and will introduce the SC
2) Nursery school lease
a. Will change the lease to read “payments for 9 months” not “10 months”.
b. Renewing the lease with the nursery school of the relationship is not just monetary but it is also about the long relationship between the church and the nursery school.
c. Motion made by Tom Coffey to change the lease from 10 monthly payments to 9 monthly payments and also to accept the change to the name in the lease from Jan to the open door Nursery Inc and that the church will not try to get past rent (due to the 10 vs. 9 month change).
i. 7 for, 2 against. Motion passes.
d. Carla will have lawyer look over changes. [ACTION]
3) The church has started a new copier lease
4) Joann has started the process to renew the insurance policy for the church (the old policy ran out).
5) There will be a sabbatical committee that will focus on what the church will do while Ellen is not here.
a. Ministerial coverage
b. Want to define what this committee will do to give them direction.
c. This needs to start soon. – This will be done at the next standing committee meeting on September 9th
i. Come with recommendation of who should be on the committee.
6) Jeanne Thompson, Martha Hicks-Corrant, and Marybeth Bush will be available for policies and procedures.
7) Jeanne Thompson and Carla Corey will be auditor and Carla will ask Debra Grad to be one. [ACTION]
8) Tom is trying to contact people working on the website. Tom reached out to the IT committee to make sure they at least know what is going on.
a. Carla mentioned that certain people should be able to update the website independently.
9) We are opening a bank account with a new bank to get additional services (pay bills online).
10) Carole mentioned that we should pay employees on time and if it changes the employees need to be informed ahead of time.

Motion to adjourn seconded and passed at 6:48

Action Items
Action Owner Due Date Status Creation Date
Ask Deb Grad to be an auditor Carla Next Meeting New Aug 3
Have Lawyer look over new contract for nursery school lease Carla Next Meeting New Aug 3

RE needs an update on the space and growth plans Marybeth First RE meeting New Aug3
Talk to with Chris Sweetham about gathering context history for Space and Growth Task Force, and present report to congregation Tom Coffey Sep 1 New Aug3

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.