Sep 15 2009

August 2009 SC Minutes

Standing Committee Retreat August 1, 2009
In attendance: Ron Deschenes, Carole Russell, Ellen Spero,Tom Wight, Tom Coffey, Carla
Corey, Joanna Paulsen*, Cornelia Kirkpatrick*, Marcia Allison, Marybeth Bush, Walter Cole+ and
Bonnie Rankin+. Past members*, new members+
Recorded by Bonnie Rankin
Welcome by Ron
Chalice lighting by Marcia
Team building led by Ellen- Sharing a spiritual time in your life
Standing Committee Committee Liaison Assignments:
Chair – Ron
Vice-Chair – Tom Coffey
Secretary- Bonnie
Finance Sub Committee- Carole, Carla, and Tom Coffey
Policies and Procedures Sub-committee-Marcia
Human Resources Committee-Tom Wight, Marybeth,
Long Range Planning-Walter
Board of Investment -Carole l (meets quarterly)
Music- Carla
Building Use- Marcia
Outreach Ministry- Bonnie
Religious Education- Marybeth
Green Ministry- Walter
Welcoming- Ron
Church Council Chair – Walter
Grounds and House Management- Tom Coffey
Ron urged us to keep the line of communications open.
Ron- Action item ask Cindy to keep a list of Standing Committee Liaisons posted on the
door and put together binder bylaws, H.R., S.C., Phone Directory for new folks on
Meeting Change
We changed the night we meet to the Second Thursday of the Month: September 10th,
October 8th
Standing Committee:a year in review- presented by Carole
All Church Gathering- Living Our Covenant (Retreat)
Homeless Dinners
New Orleans Service Trip
New Furnace/ Dishwasher
Septic fixed
New Cell Tower
Second Service
Architect Interviews
Dissolving the Growth and Space task force
Sabbatical Committee
Pastoral Care Team
Pastoral Care of congregation with respect to the loss of Jane Drury
Economic impact of the recession on the community
Fiscal Summits
What we did well:
Fiscal Summit/ Budget
Pastoral Care Team
Homeless Dinners
Deciding to do second service
New Orleans
People supporting each other in light of this economy
What could we have done better:
Organizing for the service trip to New Orleans.
Creating deadlines for major purchases dishwasher and furnace.
Follow- up after all church gathering retreat- revisit members interests
Standing Committee needed to have more involvement with Architect interviews
After dissolving the Growth and Space Task Force- SC needs to include task force
members as we move forward. Original goal of GSTF “ how we could modify our existing
Space” has now evolved into needing a master plan. We should focus on handicap
access, increasing space and by how much, modify the elevator.
Ellen suggested that we be intentionally aware that we are good at being in the moment
but we need to be more proactive.
Communication is key, between committees, Standing Committee liaisons and staff.
The Fiscal Summits represent a good model of moving information outward.
To value good will and trust and gain clarity on what we will be making decisions about
are ways to help us become more efficient in decision making.
Our driving force should be we are looking out for the congregations best interest.
We will hold an open forum in the Chapel during coffee hour once a month after our
Standing Committee meeting to let the congregation know what we discussed and to
take any questions that may arise. The Standing Committee Up-Date Forum
announcement will appear in the satellite and the morning announcements.
Committee Surveys
Tom Coffey presented the results of a committee survey that went out to all committees.
Findings suggest that the 7 committees who responded were happy with their structure
and that they needed more members, 4 of them felt there was overlap with other
committees. Although members of the Standing Committee still feel there are areas in
the committee structure that need improvement they decided that resending the survey
to non-participating groups would not be helpful.
Tom C- Action Item- Send thank you notes to committees who participated in the survey.
It was also suggested that committees with overlapping missions should be clustered or
podded together using a fiscal summit model.
Outreach Ministry- new group headed up by Cornelia. Ellen suggested that Social
Outreach will encompass much more than it has in the past.
Ways and Means- doesn’t exist as a committee at this time, although there are
individuals who run different fundraising events. Historically Ways and Means
Committee funded capital campaigns; currently individuals run fundraisers and don’t feel
supported. May Breakfast, Holiday Fair, Auction,Fourth of July Breakfast are our major
fundraisers. We discussed the need for an overarching group to encompass all
fundraisers and that adds a needed element of support to move forward.
Long Range Planning (LRP)- we briefly discussed the need for leadership on
this committee.
3 Year Vision Team came out of conversation between Tom Wight, Tom Coffey
and Carole Russell. They would like to see a team of 7 people come together to
brainstorm and dream of what our program here at first parish might be in three years,
looking outside space and monetary limitations.
It was discussed that this was a similar role of the Committee On Ministry. Ellen suggest
that they be included in this process, but wanted to think more on the topic. Ellen
stressed that “Our greatest resources are our people and our ministry”, thus it is a good
idea to dream, redress the long range program plan.
Questions arose: How would you test the pulse of the congregation? Ellen has a fair
idea of what the congregation needs are: her job is to listen, and to challenge us to be
who we claim we are, to follow our UU roots and our covenant. We are able to look at
patterns/ Resource. Ellen voiced that this is very much inline with what the Committee
on Ministry does.
Should we move forward with the 3 year vision piece? Tom W. is interested in moving
forward with this, Bonnie likes the idea but has not committed to be part of the team at
this time.
Once a 3 Year Vision has been decided. We would need to give this group a deadline to
report back to the Standing Committee and decide what are next steps will be, if it
moves forward.
The Board of Investments Report- presented by Carole Russell
Our investments are bouncing back after economic decline. As the treasurer Carole
asked that the Standing committee make a modification to two areas of the restricted
endowment operating budget contributions, as they are currently listed.
Every year we have to reconcile our spending from the endowment money. Some of the
endowment money is restricted; the donor asked that this money is used for certain
In the past, every restricted donation was given a new line item. Leaving us with 4 line
items for flowers and 5 lines for money left to help the needy. At this time the Treasurer
and the Board of Investments are asking the Standing Committee to vote on combining
these line items into a single line for Flowers and a single line the Needy listing all
donors under each line.
The Standing Committee voted to combine the 4 lines of the flower funds as
listed in the restricted endowments used in the operating budget into one line “Flowers”:
a motion was made by Tom W. and seconded by Walter Cole. We also voted to
combine the 5 lines of needy funds as listed in the restricted endowments into
one “Needy”: a motion was made by Marcia Allison and in was seconded by
Carla. The body voted unanimously in favor of both of these changes.
The A.G Edward Fund executor has been transfered to Carole Russell; the Clerk, Carla
Corey will also be given signing power.
The Treasurer will draw from the endowment fund on an as required basis.
$28,000 in pledges have been collected in the current years budget.
There was a surplus of $10,095 left over from last years budget.
Standing Committee Goals for 2009/2010:
Items- Person Responsible- Report Due
Alternative Services- Standing Committee- early October.
Kick Off, 3 Year Vision Team- November
New Piano- Ask music for recommendation- Carla- October
Paint Steeple- LRP- Walter- September
Kick Off, Outreach Ministry- Bonnie- September
Plan for Ministers Intern, Start Committee- Carole- September
Hire Architect for Master Plan- February
Restart Ways and Means – Need more discussion
Transition of committees to pods/ Charter and Job descriptions from committees- Walter
and Tom W.?-December
Sabbatical Debrief- Bonnie- September/Oct
Better Communication- On Going
Establish an Standing Committee Up-Date Forum during coffee hour- September.
Planning for Formal Summer Service- Carole to re-write Ellen’s letter of Call- February
Follow up on last years retreat: Finance group- Carole, Mentoring – Carla, Green-
FUUN group is up and running, Outreach Ministry is being headed up by
Correct By-laws to reflect new fiscal year- before January
Define second cell tower money for future use- Recommendations from finance subcommittee-
before January
Have a Special Congregational meeting in January- to vote on second cell tower money
and corrected By-laws.
ReCap Goals with Progress Report- Everyone- January
Annual All Church Gathering
We Talked about having our Annual All Church Gathering in the Spring.
Topics that were suggested:Where do I fit in and how can I be of service, Our
Commitment: Time, talent, and treasure, increasing Congregational participation (How to
make service part of worship) or Vision Team ideas.
Chalice Lighting- for first Sunday
Covenant between us and the congregation- What is commitment: Part of our
stewardship, our worship our UU tradition.
We picked a date to go over Ellen’s Review
Marcia made a motion that the meeting be adjourned and Tom W. seconded the motion.
Next S.C. Meeting Thursday, September 10th, 2009.
These minutes were approved at the September 10th, 2009 meeting.
Respectfully submitted,
Bonnie Rankin
Standing Committee 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.