Jun 15 2008

May 2008 SC Minutes

Approved Standing Committee Meeting Minutes
May 13, 2008

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

Others Present: Joanna Paulsen, and Chris Sweetnam

Call to Order and Centering:

Open Forum: There will be a joint meeting of the Standing Committee and the Task Force on Growth and Space on Friday, May 16, 6:30 PM at Debra’s house. Chris Sweetnam, as chair of the Task Force, was asking for a commitment from SC to provide leadership for growth and set up a ministry. Chris is presently writing a brief from the architect’s visit.

Review and Approve Meeting Minutes: Peggy reported that the March Minutes have been posted and emailed by Cindy Gist. The April 8, 2008 Meeting Minutes were not ready for approval. Peggy left the meeting before it ended and so she and Carla had to consolidate the notes.

Review and Approve Treasurer’s Report: Cash flow is fine. Minister’s Discretionary Fund has been increased from $488 to $810 as a result of some specific donations. Fidelity Investments is $57,000 because of the reserves and the T-Mobile money. That money will decrease as the bills start coming in for the oil tank removal, window replacement, and the stair repair in the attic. The $18,000 in the checking account is actually for next year, from early pledges. $23,000 of reserves has been identified for items to be voted on at the Annual Meeting by the congregation, the rest remains for emergency use. Balance Sheet: The money in the Fidelity Account – Ordinary Dividends is interest earned. The Maintenance Escrow will be used for small projects like installing the window in the Chapel loft.

A motion was made and approved to accept the Treasurer’s Report.

We discussed how we might in the future help parishioners attend GA.

Staff and Committee Updates and Reports:
• Minister’s Report: June 7-8thth is Gay Pride weekend and the Welcoming Congregation Ministry will be lighting the chalice at the June 8th Sunday Service and would like to have a collection for PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.) It was this time last year that we took a vote to become a Welcoming Congregation. Ellen will put an announcement in the Shooting Star to give people time to think about it.

A motion was made and approved to have a second collection on June 8th to benefit PFLAG.

Ellen is really excited about the covenant writing, there is a draft. Ellen has invited members of the Standing Committee and their families to dinner on June 14th as thanks for serving on the Standing Committee.

• DRE Report: Sadie discussed her credentialing and the restructuring of the Religious Education Committee.
• Church Council Church Council received a Faith in Action Grant Application for $200 from Katrina Munichiello for a fully accessible playground to be built in Westford, MA. The Church Council voted to increase the grant to $400.
• Standing Committee Chair and HRSC: Human Resources Sub-Committee has asked that all Standing Committee members complete a performance review form for Ellen which will be due to Cindy Gist by May 23. Also from HRSC came a request to continue with the practice of having performance evaluations for staff reviewed and signed by SC Chair.
• Nominating Committee Update: Marybeth Bush and Tom Coffey have accepted the nomination for 3 year Standing Committee terms. Carole Russell has accepted the 1 year position. Joanna Paulsen has been trained to become treasurer. Johan will be tremendously missed.
• Clerk: The Warrant was written and posted by May 9th (see attached Warrant.) It was disseminated as an email as well as posted. It was posted with 30 days notice, in accordance with our by-laws, because Article IV proposes changes to a by-law. There will probably need to be a by-law change for next year. The by-laws state that we are supposed to have a report by auditors by the annual meeting, but books are not closed so the language needs to change so that the report is due in September for the State of the Society Meeting. We need to define terms such as: “State of the Society,” “Annual Meeting.” We need to change the language to state that warrants may be emailed and/or mailed.
• Policies and Procedure Sub-Committee: Ron communicated with Leila about the fees that various groups give for use of the church during the year. Leila was going to look at what other churches charge. Ron, as Building Use Liaison is beginning to set up a process for tracking and recording fees for church usage.
• Welcoming Congregation Ministry: Nothing more to add.

Old Business:
• The Budget: Pledges are below our goal and so the Finance Subcommittee will have to make recommendations on where to cut the proposed budget for the Fiscal 2008-2009 Year. The Standing Committee has to approve the budget before the Annual Meeting. It has to happen before June 4th when Johan leaves to travel. Carla recommended that we pull out the membership fee for Interfaith Power and Light into a separate line item so that it is highlighted.
• Dishwasher: Kirk Kirkpatrick has ordered relays that will hopefully fix the dishwasher for the time being. As a back-up Kirk has found a $2,000 used dishwasher that has been refurbished. There are a number of sources from which we can get money. We have $32,000 in reserves, of which $23,000 has been earmarked. There are funds available where money can be borrowed that have to be paid back over time. It was felt that we need to do more research before purchasing this refurbished dishwasher.
• The Oil Tank: The oil tank is gone and it cost a little more than expected but there is no further clean-up involved.
• CPR Training: It was agreed that we would pay for CPR training with money from the staff development line item.
• Nursery School Lease: It was determined that the lease did not have to be signed before August 31, 2008 when it terminates. This allows for some more time to understand the legal consequences of the Option to Renew Clause. Debra will ask Leila if she knows any real estate lawyers who could help us with this contract and update Jan on our decision making.
• July 4th Breakfast Leadership: Rosemary is not sure if she and Caroline can commit to running the breakfast. Debra will ask again.
• New Cell Tower: Progress has slowed down on the new cell tower. Tom expects that they will start up again soon.

New Business:
• Budget: The budget is not ready. HR has to review their figures and the Finance Subcommittee has to meet. Presently the pledges are $13,000 short of budget figures.
• Safe Child Policy: There are a number of issues that are associated with the Safe Child Policy and it was decided to table this discussion for the moment.

Adjourn: The meeting was adjourned at 9:50 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Peggy Stephens-North

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.