Board Meeting Minutes for August 30, 2022

UUFRC Board of Trustees Meeting


August 30, 2022

Location:  UUFRC Sanctuary

Trustees Attending: Brian Ferguson, Peter Hartzell, Rob Davis, Jeanne DeShazo, Dick Edminster, Jason Laderman, Julia Mogilev, Erika Pretell

Guests:  Jen Gill, Jessica Stoutamire

Absent:  None

Call to order – Peter

Chalice lighting; Opening words; A moment of centering – Jeanne

Anti-Racism Learning

This month’s reading:

  • Each month, Brian will send a reading a week to our meeting; we will take turns leading the discussion.  Purpose is to share thoughts and bring awareness to our decision making

Consent Agenda 

  • The following reports were accepted 
    • Last BOT Meeting highlights – Retreat – 8-13-22
    • Connections Coordinator Report – August
    • Minister’s Report – August
    • Finance Committee Report (including quarterly financial report (Oct., Jan, April, July)
    • Personnel Committee Report 

Strategic Discussion – Peter

  • Brainstorm:  What should be our 5 goals for the year as a board?  Ideas:
    • Address volunteerism and burnout
    • Successful launch of new Sunday format (including getting most of the congregation on board)
    • Higher attendance
    • Bond as a board; trusted partnership; have different opinions, balance each other
    • Cohesive communication strategy inside and outside congregation
    • Sustainable financial model
    • Strategic plan
    • Stay on the pulse – monitor, tweak as needed; be proactive in helping people accommodate
  • Suggestion to focus on what would be specific to us in our role as board:
    • Communication of the board to congregation and outside
    • How we work together as a team
    • Stay on the pulse – monitor, tweak as needed; be proactive in helping people accommodate
  • Next steps:  Peter to revise and share with the group for editing prior to vote next meeting

Operations – Board Oversight

Clarify Board roles and Liaison responsibilities

  • Erika will serve as OGNS liaison; we are leaving parliamentarian role open

President-Peter Hartzell

Vice President – Rob Davis

Recording Secretary – Erika Pretell

Treasurer – Dick Edminster

Corresponding Secretary – Julia Mogilev

Trustee at Large – Jeanne DeShazo

Trustee at Large – Jason Laderman-Jones

Personnel Liaison – Jason

Program Council Liaison – Rob

Finance Committee Liaison – Dick

OGNS Liaison –  Erika

Compliance Reviewer – Jeanne

Parliamentarian – (do not fill from BOT, ask outside expert as needed: David Stoutamine, Chris Stovall)

YFC Implementation Liaison – Brian

Board Reports – Items for Discussion as Needed

Program Council Update – Rob

  • No one currently marketing space rentals; this is an open issue
  • Leadership program

OGNS Update – Erika

  • Erika and Kristi will meet after back-to-school is over
  • Attic and Boyson Room cleanup still needed

Personnel Update – Jason

  • AB506 requirements – may need volunteers to proactively do fingerprinting and background checks prior to reaching certain number of volunteer hours 
  • Martha, Leslie and Brian will figure this out
  • Will follow UUA guideline to help make Brian whole for taxes owed on moving expenses we reimburse
  • Dick Edminster moved to pay Brian $4736.01 for taxable moving expenses; Jason seconded; no discussion; unanimous approval

Financial Update – Dick

  • Dick made motion to approve of final 2021-2022 financials and transfer of the $6,524 FY 2021-2022 surplus to the unrestricted operations reserve; Rob seconded; no discussion; unanimous approval
  • Dick made motion that head of staff establish policy that church credit cards may be used only by person whose name is on the card; Jason seconded; discussion, unanimous approval
  • Dick proposed approval of the revised “Board Proposal Form” prepared by Rob Versluis; Peter seconded; no discussion; unanimous approval

Task Force Updates

  • Covid TF (Dick) – See later in agenda
  • YFC Implementation Team Update (Brian)
  • Marketing Task Force (Erika) – To begin mid-Sept when she returns from vacation
  • Atrium (Peter)
    • Trying to get a group to tackle; small group will meet Sunday to figure out; not urgent 


Annual Auction Plan and Discussion – Jessica 

  • Jessica presented an overview.  The auction party will be live and in person this year, with theme “Happy Together Again” and featuring old-time activities (bingo, cakewalk).  We’ll keep online format for silent auction due to popular demand
  • Jessica presented the proposed budget.
  • Jeanne moved to approve the proposed budget not to exceed $4560 including estimated expenses of $3K for catering; Rob seconded; discussion; unanimous approval
  • Discussion 
    • Suggestion to have people bring food. We will ask for dessert donations.
    • Suggestion to order only vegetarian food to be in line with climate goals.  Peter will meet with Jason to come up with a process for creating a proposal.  Request from Jessica to include the party planners.
    • How to handle serving alcohol to potential drivers?  Tell people please to arrange other transportation if you drink

COVID protocols 

  • Task force discussing next phase of protocol
  • Proposal:
    • Masks recommended but not required
    • Everyone must be vaccinated down to 6 months old
  • Goes into effect week after Water Communion
  • Two elements:  1) communication, 2) content and how it’s laid out
  • Some concerns about vaccination requirement for young children
  • Concerns about/from choir (people singing without masks)
  • Concern about saying you have no symptoms that could be allergies, etc. – maybe focus on sore throat or fever
  • Waiting for feedback from YAF

Leadership and Member Integration 

  • Issues related to volunteerism, leadership, burnout
  • Engagement:  Brain kicked off with video, from pulpit
  • Volunteerism – how encourage to step in
  • Leadership – leading a committee or task force – 2 levels of training.  
    • Leadership 101, a recorded video already available.  All chairs should watch.
    • Leadership 102 – Brian will do outline for what should be in video
  • Who should we ask to fill leadership holes? 
    • Jen created a spreadsheet with members and friends, profiled by roles and level of involvement. Board members should view and add comments. 

Wrap Up – Peter

  • Topics to include at September Board Meeting:
    • Strategy Implementation – how will we do it?
    • San Mateo update – what do we need to know as board members?
    • Marketing Task Force – if ready
    • Bylaws revision … create a parking lot of things to think about

Action Items Review – Erika

  • From tonight’s meeting 
    • Review Jen’s volunteer spreadsheet and add comments by end of week
    • Peter and Jason to think about ethical food purchase proposal
    • Rework our list of board goals brainstormed today – Peter will send to all of us, co-edit in Google doc, approval at September board meeting
    • Please consider attending allyship program and talk it up (you can watch the free part of the program on YouTube or attend September 8)
    • Peter and Brian to share feedback on proposed COVID plan with the COVID task force
    • Brian to make sure only staff use their credit cards
  • From previous meeting
    • How to communicate to congregation on monthly basis. Julia volunteered to draft something – she and Peter will discuss what to communicate, to whom and how

Thank You Notes (Julia)

  • Jo Mutch, George Chitouras and Jack Stovel for their years of service on the Finance Committee (Dick)
  • Two new teachers – Welcome notes

Next Meeting

  •  BoT Meeting -Tuesday, September 27,  7 – 9:30pm, Sanctuary

Closing Circle – Jeanne

Meeting adjourned just after 9:30 pm 

Message from Jason Laderman after the meeting:

I was thinking more about the Auction item and wanted to capture my thoughts so they’re not forgotten. I am also not advocating we derail the train that’s already going for this auction.

As I mentioned, my old congregation self-catered their auction events. It was hot food (we utilized the on-site kitchen of the UCC church we rented out and also a lot of hot-pots/crock-pots). The clean-up was also done by a team, though the effort was always bolstered by those left at the end (much like Jeanne’s suggestion, “Hey, can you give us a hand” ). In addition to saving money, I believe this helped build community in a few ways:

*  It gave those without much expendable income (fixed-income seniors, in particular) a way to contribute to the auction. They may not be able to bid on much, or even offer much in the way of items, but they can donate their time to setting up, providing food, etc. We had several people that were really on the edge financially, but really made up for it with food, setup, clean-up, etc. I believe there’s a sense of belonging that arises when we donate, and sometimes donating money is not feasible.

*  Our auctions were truly a group effort. The planning committee was small, but the day-of group was. Not everyone, but many people contributed in some way and having that shared activity and shared sense of purpose (in the immediate, tangible sense) invoked a powerful sense of belonging and togetherness.

SFUU, my old congregation, has a very strong intergenerational community despite being geographically challenged. And I think working together to put on the auction, rather than just having a party that few host, helped build that community.

I don’t know how much control the BOT has on this, but I think we should push future auction committees to strongly consider this to help build community, and raise more money.