Nov 15 2009

October 2009 SC Minutes

In Attendance:Tom Coffey, Walter Cole, Carla Corey, Ron Deschenes, Bonnie Rankin, Carole Russell, Ellen Spero, Tom Wight
Absent: Marcia Allison, Marybeth Bush

Open Forum: Johan Mackenzie, Joan Coyne, and Dave Kaffine

Standing Committee Minutes
First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, Chelmsford
October 8, 2009

Call to order and centering- Ellen
Open forum –
LRP recommendation for roof repairs (Johan) -Johan MacKenzie is with us to let us know what LRP is going to recommend for repairing the roof: Yankee Steeple Jack and Mid-MA Renovating are the two Companies they are considering. Both are available to begin right away. Johan will continue to negotiate with these two companies and have them present prices for the same scope of work before deciding on which contractor to use. (Their prices range from 3,200-7,600 but their scope of work vary.) If we repair the broken and damaged slates now it should give us 2 or 3 years before we will have to look at more extensive repairs.

The Standing Committee voted “that the decision on who we hire as the roof repair contractor will be derived by Johan Mackenzie and we approve using up to 2% of the budget for the current fiscal year along with money from the Maintenance Fund to complete this emergency project. The Standing Committee will also ask for a congregational vote at the next Congregational Meeting to have LRP refund this money.” Carole Russell made a motion, Tom Coffey seconded the motion and we voted all in favor of this project.

Architect interviews and hiring criteria-Action item- We will work on the Architect hiring criteria and approve it next month. Johan and Chris Sweetnam would also like to make their recommendations as we move forward in choosing the architects. Ron expressed that Kirk Kirkpatrick has shown an interest in helping Johan with grant writing concerning the steeple. He also let us know there is a grant writing workshop coming up at Northern Essex.

Joan Coyne was also present at open forum to update us on the Publicity/Web Committee- Members include: Joan Coyne, Chris Busby, Dee Halzack, Moira Gillis Gray, Anna Wolf, and Jack Shubert. Many of these folk are writers, in graphic design or in marketing.

She discussed new media they are using as a way to reach new people: the website, Facebook and Twitter. All information they are putting up on these different formats can also be found on our website. They will check with our Website Policies to ensure that they are following them. At the current time there are two people who are acting as administrator on the Facebook Account.
There was a concern that some people didn’t have this technology. Traditional methods of communications will still exist with the newsletters and e-mails.

There was also mention of a Facebook group that exists with First Parish’s name but is run by an individual. It was suggested that it become part of Publicity/Web Committee or change its name.
Action Item Tom Coffey will talk with individual about Facebook account.

Another suggestion was that Publicity/Web Committee could set up templates for the newsletters so that there is more continuity. It was suggested that someone from Publicity/Web also work on editing. The logistics of doing this is quite difficult. They will do their best to edit the website.

Tom Wight asked if we could put the HR Manual on the website. They said they were working on a website www.UUChelmsford.net to put up google docs, and there are other places forms and documents (password protected) will be available.
Chris Busby was also interested in possibly doing video posts for Ellen’s sermons.

Publicity does have a $300 budget.

Dave Kaffine was also present at Open Forum with Joan. He asked if we would like to make Ellen’s recorded sermons available on other UU websites. This is something we will need to discuss with Ellen.

Distribution of materials – Agenda; reports from Treasurer, Minister, Staff, etc.
Review and approve meeting minutes from June and September-
The June Meeting Minutes were approved, Ron Deschenes made a motion, Tom C. seconded the motion and we voted all in favor to accept the minutes.
The September minutes were also approved with one correction, Tom Coffey made a motion, Walter Cole seconded the motion, and we all approved the amended minutes.
Review and approve the Treasurer’s report-
Carole Russell reported that we are 10% behind in pledge collection as compared to last year at this time. Pledge updates went out today. If we continue to be behind in our pledge collection as we move into the colder months, we may have some financial difficulties.
There is a new insurance company that will cover workman’s compensation.
Tom Coffey motioned that the Treasurer’s report be approved, Tom Wight seconded the motion and we voted all in favor to approve the Treasurer’s report.

Staff , subcommittee, and liaison reports:
Minister’s Report- presented by Ellen Spero
Ellen reported that we collected ~$2000 for Pastor Ella O’Neal’s Food Pantry
Pastoral care and sermon writing have taken the bulk of Ellen’s time in the past month.
The Pastoral Care Team has been following up with the families.
Ellen attended an Alban Institute workshop – Shaping Holy Conversation – with Dan Hotchkiss in Connecticut. She distributed manuals from the workshop to Tom Coffey, Tom Wight and Ron Deschenes.

Ellen announced that the Clara Barton District’s Fall Rally will be held in Dudley, MA on November 7. All are welcome to attend, many workshops are available. Sally Seekings will be attending a workshop on creating a Safety Plan. Lynn Thomas is retiring as president of the Clara Barton District.

Average attendance for Sunday Morning Service ~120.
The font on the banners of our new sign is being changed, the old font was too big and hard to read.
Cindy Gist sent out a list of renters and what they pay.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) will not be using meeting space at First Parish as they have located a more central site.

DRE: Sadie Kahn-Greene was unable to submit a report this month.

Director of Music Report: Submitted by Cyndi Bliss. SC reviewed, and expressed their appreciation for Cyndi taking the time to send us a report, especially in light of how busy and full our choirs have all become. Thank you Cyndi!

Church Council: Walter Cole
Church Council was moderately attended (10 people). They promised they would be finished by 8:30 and they were. They are planning to make their own Covenant. Walter began to build a charter statement template that will go out to all committees, to allow for more continuity throughout the church. The Church Council minutes were submitted to Cindy Gist to be published.
Action Item- Church Council will have their Charter Statement complete and the template will be ready for distribution and they will have the different types of committees defined.
2 Faith in Action grants were approved SHIFT Coalition $500 and Food Pantry $500.
Is there a limit for Faith in Action grants? No, the only limitation is the amount of money that is available. At the beginning of the year there was $4,300 available.

Vision team: Tom Wight will gather a team of people by November and present the idea to church council in November.

Computer for Jill Hayes, REAA- There is an old computer in Sadie’s office. Action Item- Walter Cole will look in to getting a newer computer.
Jill has been using a memory stick that stays in Sadie’s office and is using her own computer. The I.T. Committee currently has only one member. Action Item- Walter Cole will look into recruiting additional members.

Policies and Procedures: Action Item- Marcia Allison and Tom Wight will work with Carla Corey on the bylaws so they will reflect the change of the fiscal year.
New business:
Our cleaning person, Jessica Costa has offered to do snow shoveling for us at $50/ trip, which is the same amount we paid out to the person who did it last year.
Carole Russell made a motion that we hire Jessica Costa as our Snow Shoveler, Carla Corey seconded the motion, and we voted all in favor of hiring her.

Action Item- Carla Corey will ask Paul on grounds if the snowblower has been serviced.
Action Item- Ron Deschenes will talk to Martha Sheburne about the placement of snow during plowing this winter.

Green Electricity- Action item-Carla Corey will research the amount that we agreed to pay for Green Electricity. Carole felt that the actual cost of doing this was much higher than we agreed upon. Action Item- Carole Russell will research what the current cost to do this might be. The issue of Green Electricity will be brought before the next congregation meeting.

2009/10 fiscal budget/timeline: Carla Corey prepared a Fiscal Budget/Timeline for 2009-2010. We decided that the time line included much more than just the fiscal budget. We decided to change its name to the Standing Committee Timeline.

There was a discussion of changing when we do the Canvass. Carole Russell questioned why the Canvass remained the same time of year even though the fiscal year changed. She suggested it would be better if we know the outcome of the canvass before we do the budget. Then we have a more realistic idea of what we have to spend. We would give the Canvass Committee targets to focus on.
We will keep 4 Fiscal Summits on the calendar for the year.
Action Item- Carole Russell will look at what date might work and report back to us next meeting.
This being the first discussion of this change, we decided to ask about the Canvass at the Fiscal Summit speaking to the Philosophy of when it is held. Other Churches do their canvass at different times of the year, we will look into how their canvass process work.
Fiscal summit preparation (Ron and Tom C) – Fiscal Summit will be Saturday October 31st 9:30-12
Holiday fair leadership- No one has yet volunteered to run the Holiday fair, Linda Newhard said she would mentor whoever was taking over. Joanna Paulsen said she would be happy to do the food. Action Item – SC will work on recruiting leadership.
Sabbatical debriefing (Bonnie)- The Sabbatical Committee had a final wrap up meeting. Although we did the communication piece of the sabbatical well, it was suggested that next time we put more emphasis on communicating with the teachers. After speaking with Ellen, she has decided that leaving for Sabbatical the day after returning from a service trip did not give her enough time to debrief. She also suggested that if she does it again, she would like to go somewhere. Discs of the all the meeting minutes and agenda from the Sabbatical Committee will be kept in Cindy Gist’s office, Ellen Spero’s office and with Bonnie Rankin for future reference.

Safe Child Policy: Action Item -We were asked to review policies 3,4 and 5 and we will discuss them at the November Meeting.
Fire drill/evacuation plan: Ron Deschenes wrote a draft plan, Sally Seekings has also shown interest in developing a plan.
Ministerial intern: Carole Russell has begun the process of preparing for the search for the Ministerial Intern. She has met with Ellen and discussed who should be on the committee. They also discussed the different types of interns who may be available: candidates from Seminary or from the UUA.
Letter of Call: Carole is also working on rewriting Ellen’s Letter of Call.
Action item- Ron please add Human Resources update to next SC meeting agenda.

Action Items:
Action Item Tom Coffey will talk with individual about Facebook account.
Action item- We will work on the Architect hiring criteria and approve it next month.
Action Item- Church Council will have their Charter Statement complete and the template will be ready for distribution and they will have the different types of committees defined.
Action Item- Walter Cole will look in to getting a newer computer.
Action Item- Walter Cole will look into finding other members of I.T
Action Item- Marcia Allison and Tom Wight will work with Carla Corey on the bylaws so they will reflect the change of the fiscal year.
Action Item- Carla Corey will ask Paul on grounds if the snowblower has been serviced.
Action Item- Ron Deschenes will talk to Martha Sheburne about the placement of snow during plowing this winter.
Action item-Carla Corey will research the amount that we agreed to pay for green electricity.
Action Item- Carole Russell will research what the current cost to do this might be. The issue of Green Electricity will be brought before the next congregation meeting.
Action Item- Carole Russell will look at what date might work for canvass and report back to us next meeting.
Action Item -We were asked to review policies 3,4 and 5 and we will discuss them at the November Meeting.
Action item- Ron please add Human Resourses update to next SC meeting agenda.

Standing Committee Meeting Oct. 2009

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.