May 15 2009

April 2009 SC Minutes

FIRST PARISH UNIVERSALIST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF CHELMSFORD

Standing Committee April 14, 2009 7:00 p.m. – 9:48 p.m

Attendance: Carole Russell, Ellen Spero, Tom Coffey, Marybeth Bush, Ron Deschenes, Dave Seltz, Tom Wight, Carla Corey, Cornelia Kirkpatrick, Joanna Paulsen

1. Call to order and centering

2. Open Forum
Church Sign – Chris Boucher – Showed the standing committee the final design for the sign that will go in front of the church.
– The sign will have two lines of pre-printed text.
– It will have double circle rainbow logo.
– The town has approved most of the sign already (PVC, rainbow logo).
– We just have to go back in front of the town one more time.
– Motion made to accept sign as presented by Chris B. Approved by all
– The Church will sponsor a social hour to show the sign to the congregation and get their feedback.
– The sign should be installed in June some time.

3. Review and approve meeting minutes from March 10 – Approved by all

4. New Business

– Ellen Spero Performance Appraisal
o We are going to do an abbreviated appraisal process this year. Ellen would like some feedback.
o Cindy Gist will get Appraisals to Standing Committee members.
o Feedback will be put together while Ellen is on Sabbatical and then reviewed with Ellen in late summer.
o Motion made that the Chair of the Standing committee gets to sign off on performance appraisals – All Approved
– Next Fiscal Summit
o [ACTION]: Ron Deschenes and Tom Coffey will talk and come up with a plan for the next fiscal summit on May 9th at 9:30
o Finance sub-committee will meet a week or two before May 9th to come up with a financial plan once the canvass is in.
– Canvass update
o 61 pledges received so far. (Last year we had 65 at this point, the year before we had 72 at this point)
o We still have 79 pledge units that pledged last year that have not pledged last year.
o Realistically we are looking at $200,000 at most from pledges.
o Canvass committee will have to try to contact people who have not pledged.

– May 1st Fox is doing a live broadcast from the Common (5-9 in the morning) – We want to spruce up the church and maybe get the sign up before hand about may breakfast – [ACTION] Joanna Paulson

5. Review subcommittee reports
– Ministers report
o It has been very intense lately.
o Request was made to move some cubbies used by choir to the left side of the balcony area to make more room (cubbies are too crammed together) – We discussed it and decided that at this point things will stay as they are.
– DRE/RE
o RE Council attendance has been spotty
o Volunteers have backed out of commitments
o New Orleans Mission trip has added extra work for Sadie
o Joan Coyne is stepping down as chair – there is not someone to replace her yet.
o We should encourage Sadie to come to the Standing Committee for help especially while Ellen is on Sabbatical. – [ACTION] Ellen Spero will speak to Sadie about what the Standing Committee can do to help out.

6. Review and approve Treasurer’s report
– Last year the merit increases were overestimated in the budget. They show up in the budget this year as being unspent.
– The youth program coordinator was counted twice.
– We made a mistake and overpaid pensions for the year. Credit will be applied to the next year.
– Move to accept the Treasurer’s report – All Approved.

7. Old Business
– LRP rechartering/ combining and possible elected positions – Tom Wight update (Carol, Tom Wight and Tom Coffey worked on this)
o Back in 2002 Paul Taylor was the lead in “clustering groups”.
o The problem is there is not a clear way to combine committees and get them to move in the same direction
o The group working on this thinks that the physical building master plan should be included in the committee-rechartering plan.
o Each cluster might be lead by a standing committee member.
o We really need someone who can get this started and past the ambiguity of starting.
o At Lexington the standing committee members were taken from clusters from the church. For instance the Finance committee would select a member to be on the standing committee.
o Carole, Tom Wight and Tom Coffey will meet again to try to draft a plan for how they will proceed with this effort. This plan will be more programs based.
– Alternative Service discussion update – Ellen
o Second service time: 6:30
o The services would run for 45 minutes
o Center, Sermon, and Joys and Sorrows are shared across services
o Collection instead of Offertory
o The second service would be Simple, meditative, prayerful, more intentional.
o More prayerful service – silent, quiet gathering – simple acapella hymns/music
o Prayerful, personal space
o More contemporary
o Less formal
 Chapel vs. sanctuary
o Ellen would like to make sure it is a Worship service
– Kitchen Plan – Ron Deschenes
o We got two bids – we decided to go with Metro Clean for $575
o Wash all tile surfaces, wall surfaces, overheads, exhaust hoods
o Three people will do work next Tuesday May 21st.
o Ron Cook is going to touch up tiles that are loose
o Everything needs to be removed off of counter surfaces.
o Johan Mackenzie recommended proactively having board of health come in after we clean the kitchen.
o We replaced the light bulbs so it is brighter in the kitchen.
– Sabbatical, including sabbatical minister (Jonathan Rehmus) – Cornelia
o Pamphlet has been put together explaining what is going on with the sabbatical.
o The Sabbatical committee is still establishing office hours for Sabbatical minister.
o Jon is going to visit on April 23rd and an all-church potluck dinner will be held in the vestry so that the congregation meet and welcome Rev. Jon.
o Standing Committee should pay attention to how everything goes during the Sabbatical so that we can give feedback at the end. The Sabbatical committee will do the same.
o Ellen and Jon will lead the Sunday morning worship service together on April 25th.
o Some newer people think Ellen is going on sabbatical longer than she is and we should give them more attention.
– Second Cell Tower
o What should be our use of the second cell tower money?
 Put it with the first cell tower money?
 Fund capital campaign?
 Target it towards temporary positions – for instance RE assistant?
 The philosophy in the past has been that we should pay for the expenses for the church today with funds from members.
 We will meet again to discuss before the fiscal summit.
– 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 March September 09 Oct 08
4 Find out from LRP what is priority of Kitchen issues and what needs to get done right away. Tom April 14 Open Dec 9
5 Make sure we publicize getting the new credit card problems with by-laws Carole March 10, 2009 Open Feb 10
6 Send a Thank you to Chelmsford woman of today Ellen Feb 10 Open 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 Open 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 Open 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 Open 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 Open 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 Open March 10
14 Send a thank you to Moira for help with Kitchen Ron Deschenes April 14 Open 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 Open 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 Open April 14
17 Speak to Sadie about what the Standing committee can do to help out. Ellen May 12 Open April 14

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.