Jul 15 2008

June 2008 SC Minutes

Draft Standing Committee Meeting Minutes
June 10, 2008

Members Present: Carla Corey, Ron Deschenes, Debra Grad, Cornelia Kirkpatrick, Dave Seltz, Peggy Stephens-North, Tom Wight

Others Present: Joanna Paulsen as Treasurer-Elect, Carole Russell, Tom Coffey and Marybeth Bush as members-elect, Carlene Merrill as member of the Committee on Ministry.

Call to Order and Centering:

Debra asked that we each introduce ourselves and mention some of the leadership positions that we have filled.

Distribution of Material: Debra distributed the following materials to new members of the Standing Committee: The Standing Committee Handbook, updated By Laws, and The Human Resources Manual.

Executive Session: We adjourned into Executive Session at 7:20 PM to read and discuss the Minister’s Performance Evaluation. As allowed by Article 5, Section 5.4.4 the new members and member from the Committee on Ministry were asked to join us. We returned to the regular meeting at 9:00 PM.

We took some agenda items out of order.

• Nursery School Lease: Neal Lerer, a lawyer and husband of Rose Lerer, looked at the Lease and after reading his suggestions, Debra proposed that we keep the Option-To-Renew Clause in the lease and to add additional clauses. Debra will work with Neal to use language which makes it clear that the lease is not transferable to another owner of The Open Door Nursery should Janice Domey sell it.

The Standing Committee is aware that the Religious Education Committee made recommendations in March of 2008 that included, as a top priority, the recommendation that First Parish “discontinue rental contract with Pre-School as soon as practical, to permanently regain on-site classroom space.” The Standing Committee has determined that it is not practical to discontinue the lease at this time.

A motion was made and unanimously approved to reconsider the vote to remove the Option-To-Renew.

A motion was made and unanimously approved to accept the proposed changes to the original lease.

New Business:

• Sadie’s Request for General Assembly: Sadie asked to use some of the funds in her Professional Agenda Line for unexpected expenses associated with attending General Assembly. It was agreed that Ellen as Sadie’s supervisor can approve her use of the remaining available funds. Joanna will make sure that Ellen communicates with Cyndi.
• Covenant: There was discussion about the proposed covenant.

A motion was made and unanimously approved to endorse and promote this covenant:

“We, the members of First Parish of Chelmsford, covenant together to sustain and strengthen our beloved community by:
Honoring and celebrating the Spirit of Life
Nurturing all souls in our search for truth and the sacred
Caring and being present to one another in our joys and sorrows
Bearing witness through service to justice and peace
And being good stewards of our congregation, our heritage our Unitarian Universalist Principles and our earth.”

• Request for Church Use: We discussed the request by Deacon Anthony Silvia to use our church on a regular basis for his small, independent Gnostic Christian church. It was agreed that Leila could proceed after checking with the UU Haverhill Church where they met last.

• Cell Tower: Metro PCS has applied for a building permit and it has initially been denied. This is routine. They have communicated with Tom that they are still serious and moving forward. First Parish has not yet signed a contract.

Staff and Committee Updates and Reports:
• Minister’s Report: Ellen submitted her report and in it thanked outgoing Standing Committee Members for their service with a special thanks to Johan MacKenzie for her years serving as First Parish Treasurer.
• DRE Report: Sadie’s report was submitted.
• Church Council: One Faith in Action Grant was awarded to the First Parish High School class for students to participate in the “Relay for Life.” Another grant has been awarded to the Florence Crittendon Agency to help them attain their license for international adoptions.
• Standing Committee Chair and HRSC: Dave Kaffine is going to work towards making electronic funds transfer available for pledges.
• Staff Evaluations Update: The HRSC solicits feedback on and from each staff member. Trends are mentioned on the evaluation. The Standing Committee Chair approves the evaluations as SC representative, which Debra has done and then the employee, Ellen and HR Rep sit down to have discussion. There is opportunity for feedback and then the evaluations are signed off by the Standing Committee Chair. The goal is to get all evaluations done in June. Then the merit raises will be determined. Cyndi Bliss’ was done today.
• Lead Paint: Paul Taylor gave an update about lead paint during the Annual Meeting.
• Dishwasher: LRP is working on this issue.
• Safe Child Policy: This discussion was postponed.
• Check signers : First Parish checks can presently be signed by the Clerk and Treasurer. Carla asked if it would be a good idea to add a third person who can sign checks. Joanna will ask Cindy Gist about this issue.
• General Assembly:
A motion was made and unanimously approved that we appoint Brenda Rogers and Carla Corey as delegates to General Assembly in Fort Lauderdale.
• Dates for Standing Committee Retreat: There was a discussion about what dates provided a good chunk of time for a retreat, it should be a Saturday, a Sunday or two evenings. It was agreed that Sunday, August 3rd at 12:30 PM for four to six hours.

A motion was made and unanimously approved to accept the SC Special Committee Meeting Minutes for June 1, 2008.

Adjourn: The meeting was adjourned at 10:12 PM.
Respectfully submitted,
Peggy Stephens-North, 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.