UNITY OF SOUTH SOUND BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEETING
Minutes for January 7, 2021
Opening Prayer – The monthly meeting of the Unity of South Sound (USS) Board started at 6:30 PM (online via Zoom) with an opening prayer by Rev. Jeffrey.
Board of Trustee (BOT) members, Barbara Bauml, Rev. Jeffrey Fowler, Lisa Hagen, Michele Millsap, Ruth Rogers, and David Sandall-Hill, were in attendance.
Check In – Board members checked in with one another.
Counting Tithes Sign-Ups/Check Signing – Barbara Plans were arranged to cover the week that David is absent in January.
Secretary Report – Barbara shared that the December 2020 Minutes were approved.
Tithe Report – The Tithe Committee recommendation for the December Tithe of $3125 was approved with much gratitude.
Treasurer Report – Lisa presented the finalized 2020 budget and
reviewed the initial 2020 trends via the January budget. We were $4400 under budget — January tithes and contributions are often light this time of year. Lisa also described how the budget has been straight-lined over the whole year in the past. She is initiating budgeting on a monthly basis so we can see what’s coming in and going out and to more accurately reflect the church’s actual, current financial affairs. She also reported that the USS investments are doing better than previously due to the board changing how the funds are managed. The board will identify a new person next month to be the Edward Jones contact person.
Minister Report – Rev. Jeffrey shared that this the
he reports feeling centered and solid. Asked how the board can be of help, check-ins would be appreciated. Areas of potential delegation were discussed.
Social Media Report – Jeffrey shared that it’s been wonderful to work with Jenny. She is really creative, has many ideas, is expanding our outreach, and is willing to try new things. We have better than 200 people in the Unity e-family. Our paid ads reached 22,750 persons. Jenny is stepping back from Instagram and will check out Tik Tok as an online avenue for generating interest in USS and the spiritual message of Unity in general. Lisa shared how to check numbers of views on Facebook. Jeffrey shared that Jenny has added photos of USS and that many people are clicking on and looking through photos of our church through Google searches online. There have been as many as 2000 searches per month. Map searches in December were about 6000. Jenny will attend our annual meeting.
Fund Raising – Updates were made.
• Masks – Michele shared that the style options have been selected (Namaste, BLM, Seahawks, the Douglas Fir tree) and an order form has been created. The board discussed having masks on hand and pre-ordering them. The mask-maker has been busy lately and Michele will follow up with her about obtaining product when masks are ordered.
• Cookbooks – The board reviewed the cookbooks fundraiser. Forty cookbooks have been sold and there are 60 cookbooks in stock. The board chose to make them available via the eBlast at present or on special occasions. When we meet in person again and people can lay their eyes on them, they will sell themselves.
• House Party Concert ideas – The board reviewed a proposal that Jeffrey shared. We have a unique opportunity to host an outdoor concert by Rona at a large, architecturally cool home in Seattle. Much depends on the pandemic, of course. After much discussion, the board decided that gathering to celebrate in-person services again will be held at the Spire. This venue holds great potential and the board will decide on this event as public safety matters become clearer in the months ahead.
Valentines Drive by 2/14 – Rev. Jeffrey shared that Jennifer has organized another excellent event involving the kids. On Valentine’s Sunday, they will be handing out grab bags with Chocolate Bingo games, valentines, a letter from the Board, and more between 11a.m. to 1 p.m. Board members will come to the church office to sign about 30 valentines which will be included in the bags.
Chaplain Prayer Gathering – Ruth shared that the chaplains will be hosting a trial half hour prayer service (online) on Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. beginning in January. The chaplains have worked hard and are excited about these events. Depending on the response by congregants (or others who avail themselves of this service) it may continue beyond the opening run. The service is short and seeks to create a prayerful experience. Jeffrey and the Prayer Chaplains are holding a high intention for the events. People are requested to arrive on time so people can receive the most from the service.
New PPP Grant – David shared information about the new round of PPP; smaller churches may be likely beneficiaries of the new funding. Lisa shared that Heidi’s work at another church is dovetailing on this subject. Between Heidi and Lisa, the contingencies are covered. USS will apply if we fit the criteria when they are made available. This looks hopeful.
Budget Approval – Lisa shared a Summary of the Budget and a Summary of the Budget Changes and reviewed all the changes and updates. Some adjustments/corrections were made and specific items were revisited (insurance adjusted, the Edward Jones distribution, the chaplain retreat, workshops and supporting multiple but smaller fundraising events). She presented an overview that compares the financials for 2019, the pandemic year of 2020, and our vision and goals for 2021. The 2021 budget is situated “midway” between a stellar 2019 and 2020.
The final Budget 2021 amount is $219,465. The total decrease in Expense was $9,153 down from our 2020 Budget and our net income is budgeted to be $5335 less in 2021. These figures reflect the changes in expected income and lower operating costs. Our vision for 2021 and the working assumptions for operations were also addressed. The PPP Grant will be recognized as income in 2021 (when the loan is officially forgiven). In considering the possibility of adverse financial developments, we have a nice cushion in our checking account — without dipping into our savings. We will monitor the cash balance in 2021 and utilize savings (first) and savings (secondarily if needed for operations. We’re holding a vision and our account balance is going to hold us. Last but not least, Lisa shared a pdf file of the complete and final budget with the board.
MOTION: Barbara moved to accept the 2021 Budget as adjusted; Michele seconded. The motion passed unanimously!
Annual Meeting – Jeffrey took the lead to continue to work on and iron out the details of facilitating the Annual meeting on Zoom. Michele shared a link for voting on board candidates. The board served as a good cross section for testing the online technologies, voting online, and options in various technological avenues. Michele will create a (Google Forms) questionnaire and send to Jeffrey to test out the tool and collaborative work online. The form will be shared in a chat for congregants to link with the document. The mail-in ballots will be an option.
The board discussed nominees from the floor and decided that this option will not be available this year due to the difficulty of managing an online board meeting. In light of our policies, all board members will participate from home. The agenda was reviewed and amended. How-to-manage the meeting and Zoom Etiquette will incorporated. We anticipate thirty or more people attending. Jeffrey will monitor the chat and Heidi will be available to answer voting questions and take attendance. Michele will attend to the voting forms. Barbara will attend to questions via chat or telephone call. Lisa will share basic Zoom instructions. Start time will be noon.
By-laws revision – Barbara shared proposed wording in Section 4.04 of the by-laws to clarify filling board vacancies. After discussion, the wording was as follows:
Section 4.04 Board of Trustees ‑‑ Election.
(d) Election. Written ballots are required if there are any partial terms to be filled or there are more than two nominees. The two nominees receiving the largest number of votes will be elected to full three (3) year terms. The candidate receiving the next highest number of votes will be elected to the longest un-expired term, etc. All persons elected in such a manner will be considered to be fulfilling a term of office. The candidate receiving the next largest total number of votes in the election shall be elected to a one-year term as an “Alternate Trustee.” An Alternate Trustee may only be installed as a member of the board in the event of a vacancy and the incoming Trustee’s term will last for the remainder of the board position that has been vacated.
MOTION: Michele moved to accept the changes as adjusted; Lisa seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
Closing Prayer – Rev. Jeffrey closed the meeting with a prayer of gratitude.
Next Month’s Board Meeting
March 4th – Next Board Meeting
Respectfully submitted by Barbara Bauml, Secretary
February 4, 2021