Jun 15 2009

May 2009 SC Minutes


Standing Committee May 12, 2009 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m

Attendance: Carole Russell, Tom Coffey, Marybeth Bush, Ron Deschenes, Dave Seltz, Tom Wight, Carla Corey, Cornelia Kirkpatrick, Jon Rehmus

1. Call to order and centering

2. Open Forum

3. Review and approve meeting minutes from April 14 – Approved by all

4. New Business

– Ellen Spero Performance Appraisal
o The SC should try to have Ellen Spero’s appraisal back by June 1st.
o The appraisal should go to Carlene Merrill.
o It would be appreciated if as many examples (of things Ellen has done) can be used.
o Comments from appraisals will be put together by HR into a report that can be reviewed with Ellen when she comes back from Sabbatical.

– Next Fiscal Summit
o It was remarked by Standing Committee members who attended the Fiscal summit that the people who attended worked very well together. The environment was good and a lot was accomplished.
o We have collected $1000 more then last years canvas.
o There is a $20K gap in the money that is available (compared to last year) because of the downturn in the market.
o There is also an extra 19K in the budget making the budget shortfall 39K.
o Merit raises were not recommended.
o The hours for the Religious Education assistant were cut to 8-10 hrs.
 RE committee was happy with the cut in hours because they still got to keep the position.
 The RE committee believes that 8-10 hours of work by the assistant would be very useful.
o Cindy Gist’s extra hours were approved.
o Vote at the meeting was unanimous.
o People at the meeting agreed that the items in the budget were important and they did not want to cut out anything.
o Committees are coming in with smaller budgets to help out.
o We discussed using surplus money from the second cell tower to bridge the 39K gap.
– Canvas update
o We brought in more money in this year’s canvas
o Next year we want to make sure that the pledge campaign does not overlap with any holidays. It is less effective when it does.
– Fiscal budget hearing meeting
o Room has been reserved.
o Budget overview sheet that Carole Russell has put together will be presented.
o Scheduled for Sunday May17th
o Carole Russell will have the budget ready by May 25th.
o The Standing Committee will be to review the budget before church on May 24th.
– Update on rear Septic tank.
o The tank has been emptied but it is in very bad shape
o The trap next to the sink still needs to be dealt with.
o No one remembers when the septic tank was last cleaned.
o The septic started to back up at the May breakfast.
o We are waiting to hear from the town of Chelmsford to see what we will have to do to address the problems with the Septic tank.
– Old Town Hall
o The town of Chelmsford contacted us to see if we could use space in the Old Town Hall
o We talked about maybe using it as temp space
o We even looked at the possibility of purchasing the building.
o If we renovate our current space we can possibly use the Old Town Hall for space.
o Members of the SC will take a tour of the Old Town Hall to look at what space is available.
– Standing Committee Summer retreat
o We will wait until Ellen Spero gets back so that she can attend.
o Want new and leaving Standing Committee members to attend.
o Considering Saturday August 1st.
o Carla will check the date with new members and Joanna Paulson.
o The retreat will take place at Carole Russell’s house.
o Marybeth Bush will be in charge of food.[ACTION]
o Ron Deschenes will draft an agenda. [ACTION]
o Ron Deschenes will add to the Summer retreat agenda a review of the year and how it went (He will just add this to the agenda). [ACTION]
– Annual Meeting
o Carla Corey does not have enough time to get by law change ready by the Annual Meeting.
o By law dates don’t agree with the new church year.
o Basic Agenda:
 Vote on new members.
 Vote on nominees.
 Long Range planning budget presentation.
 Congregational budget presentation.
o Warrant may have to have Septic removal cost added.
o Carla Corey will finalize the warrant by May 24th.
o Ellen usually gives a thank you to outgoing elected officers. Carole Russell will do it this time.
o Carole Russell will also take care of getting a gift of the rest of the staff.
o At one of the last services end of the year gifts will be presented.
– Another Company contacted First Parish about cell Towers
o They want to buy out our cell tower lease.
o They would pay us seven years of payments to take over lease for 40 years. This would be a payment of approximately $375K.
o They might try to add other cell towers.
o Tom Coffey will go through quote in detail and report at next Standing Committee meeting.
– May Breakfast
o Local cable crew came in during the May Breakfast.
– Fire Drill
o First Parish has not conducted a fire drill in some time
o A fire drill needs to be discussed by involved parties: Ushers, RE, house management.
o We agreed that we need to have a Fire Drill in the near future.
o Ron Deschenes is on the emergency response team where he works to can give guidance.
o We can also get suggestions from the Fire Department.
o Cornelia will own this until the end of the year.
o Ron will help Cornelia.
– Nursery
o First Parish is not charging the nursery market rates for the space they use but we have been raising the rent over the past few years.
o Currently the Nursery pays $937/month for nine months for half a day of use.
o Last year the rent was increased by 25%.
o The church has expenses associated with the usage of the space ( heat, water, cleaning) that might cost as much as we are getting in rent (on a per hour basis we are getting about $15/hour.
o 4-5 years ago someone at first Paris looked at what the Market rate was for renting a similar space. We don’t know today what the Market rate is.
o Carla Corey will call Ron Cook and ask what he found when he looked at market rates. [ACTION]
o Carla Corey will contact Cindy Gist to see what the Nursery School’s enrolment is. [ACTION]
o Carla Corey has been given the responsibility to determine the appropriate increase in rent for the nursery school.
– Chair for July Breakfast.
o Cornelia will contact Caroline McMullin about chairing the 4th of July breakfast [ACTION]

5. Review subcommittee reports
– Ministers report
o Jon Rehmus has felt very welcome at First Parish.
o He feels that he is already starting to get to know the people in the church.
o So far everything has gone smoothly.
 Worship services have gone well.
 Jon will be present at all services except for one.
 Jon was impressed with how well the budget discussions went at the financial summit.
 Jon has offered to meet with the staff to give them the opportunity to talk with another minister who has experiences at another church.
 Jon has been involved in six pastoral care situations. He is really just helping the pastoral care committee.
o Jon is concerned with the First Parish Policy on disruptive behavior.
 Jon has experienced bad behavior at other churches and he also mentioned the tragic occurrence at the Knoxville congregation.
 People are very stressed these days which could lead to more disruptive behavior
 Jon thinks that our policy should mention other church members and their role should any disruptive situation occur (for example the ushers can show people to the exits. What does the SC do, etc).
 Jon will check with other ministers to see what they do in these situations
o Jon has put in more hours than he has contracted for.
o Jon has said that he is happy to review and help with special services.

o Maura Snow and Tom Coffey have volunteered to be one of the OWL teachers in the coming year.
o Deb Grad has agreed to be the RE chair in the next year.
o Maura Snow has agreed to be the REY chair in the next year.
o Sadie asked when she could start the interview process for the assistant position. She would like to start now even though the position will not be approved until June.
o Sadie wants to know if the Standing Committee would like to be part of the interview team.
o Marybeth Bush as the Standing Committee representative to the RE committee will be part of the interview team for the assistant position.
o The Standing Committee decided it is OK for Sadie to start to get resumes from potential candidates for the RE assistant position as long as it is made clear to these candidates that it is a “potential” position.
o Sadie should not have interviews until after the June 14th meeting.
o Marybeth will communicate when and how to start interview process to Sadie. [ACTION]

6. Review and approve Treasurer’s report
– Carole Russell still needs signature authority from Fidelity.
– The Standing Committee does not know if all of the money set aside for the New Orleans trip was used. It looked like they were close to using all of the money.
– If there is a little money left over from the trip the Standing Committee may ask the people who went on the trip what to do with it.

7. Old Business
– LRP rechartering/ combining and possible elected positions – Tom Wight update (Carol, Tom Wight and Tom Coffey worked on this)
o No update. The team will get together some time in the next week to restart the process
– Action item list update

8. Other staff reports

9. Adjourn – Motion to adjourn – passed by all – 9:48pm

Action Items
# Action Owner Due Date Status Creation Date
1 Come up with a procedure for checks and balances of the collection plate Carla Oct 7 In Progress Sep 9
2 Plan to insure that LRP is included in audit Carla June (plan) New March
3 Cornelia will work with the Standing committee to put together an intern Minister committee. By next SC meeting Cornelia August In Progress Oct 08
4 Find out from LRP what is priority of Kitchen issues and what needs to get done right away. Tom April 14 Closed Dec 9
5 Make sure we publicize getting the new credit card problems with by-laws Carole March 10, 2009 Closed Feb 10
6 Send a Thank you to Chelmsford woman of today Ellen Feb 10 Closed Jan 13
7 Communicate with Jeanne Thompson to let her know what actions are being taken to make sure Kitchen passes inspection. Marybeth April 14 Closed March 10
8 Look into the Good Samaritan law and how it applies to legal issues with serving food in church Marybeth April 14 Open March 10
9 Look into insurance for serving food in church Dave April 14 Closed March 10
10 Give music director a heads up that Farmers market will be going on when she is using the church. Dave April 14 Closed March 10
11 Draft a note to thank Sadie for the work being put into the New Orleans trip Marybeth April 14 Closed March 10
12 Write a note to thank the Sabbatical committee for work they have done on helping prepare for Ellen’s sabbatical Cornelia April 14 Closed March 10
13 Dave will write thank you note to Walter and Johan for the work they did on the new dishwasher and the furnace Dave April 14 Closed March 10
14 Send a thank you to Moira for help with Kitchen Ron Deschenes April 14 Closed March 10
15 Ron and Tom will talk and come up with a plan for the next fiscal summit on May 9th at 9:30 Ron Deschenes and Tom Coffey May 12 Closed April 14
16 Before Fox news is in Green we want to Spruce up the church and maybe get the sign up before hand about may breakfast Joanna May 12 Closed April 14
17 Speak to Sadie about what the Standing committee can do to help out. Ellen May 12 Closed April 14
18 Communicate when and how to start interview process to Sadie (start getting resumes but do not conduct interviews until after June 14th Annual meeting). Marybeth June 9th Open May 12
19 Plan food for Standing committee summer retreat Marybeth August 1 Open May 12
20 Draft an agenda for SC summer retreat Ron Deschenes June 9th Open May 12
21 Add a review of the year and how it went to the SC summer outing agenda (Just add to the agenda) Ron Deschenes June 9th Open May 12
22 Call Ron Cook and ask what he found when he looked at market rates for space that the Nursery uses Carla Corey June 9th Open May 12
23 Contact Cindy Gist to see what the Nursery School’s enrolment is Carla Corey June 9th Open May 12
Contact Caroline McMullin about chairing the 4th of July breakfast Cornelia Kirkpatrick June 9th Open May 12

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.