Minutes for June 4, 2020


Minutes for June 4, 2020

Opening Prayer – Meeting started via Zoom online at 6:30 PM with an opening prayer by Rev. Jeffrey.

Board members, Barbara Bauml, Rev. Jeffrey Fowler, Lisa Hagen, Michele Millsap, Ruth Rogers, and David Sandall-Hill were in attendance. Linda Guay was absent.

Check In – Board members checked in with one another.



Counting Tithes Sign ups/Check Signing – David and Michele expect that they will be available to sign checks during the month of June.


Secretary Report – It was confirmed that the May Minutes were approved by all after being shared via email.


Tithe Report – Barbara reviewed the Tithe Committee Report with the board for the month of April.  The USS April tithe is $1125 and the Children Defense Fund is in the rotation.

MOTION – Michele moved to accept the recommendation. Barbara seconded. Motion passed unanimously.


Treasurer Report – Lisa reviewed the Balance Sheet, the Budget vs. Actual (expenses) for April and for the year-to-date. Although March was strong, we are down $4000 in Tithe receipts overall. Web donations are up, however. We are $11,300 behind in total tithes and $16,900 ahead of budget for net-operating expenses at present. While some categories of expenditures have increased, over all we are spending less as a result of the governor’s Shelter-in-Place orders. We are $7500 under budget in total expenses. If we keep our expenses tight, USS will be able to sustain the financial impacts resulting from the pandemic. The need for fundraising this year remains. The board will continue to monitor USS finances.


Lisa is increasing her communication with Heidi about finances. Because our insurance is paid in ten payments throughout the year, Lisa is working to adjust our accounting to reflect actual real time payments and our current financial status. Thank you, Lisa.


Volunteer Committee Report – Rev. Jeffrey shared that it was a joy to meet with the time outdoors. The picnic outdoors with masks and distancing is being planned.


Minister Report – Rev. Jeffrey said that this has been a time of tremendous inner growth in work and personally. His pastoral care work continues to deepen. Family is well and Simon is growing. This has been an especially tumultuous week in our nation and in the world. Jeffrey reached out to congregants of color and is grateful for what people shared. The Sunday Service celebration of our high school graduates and outdoor recognition afterwards was excellent. Coffee is going well. Jeffrey is proud of the Sunday service team and it has been stellar to work with Amy and Serni.


Social Media Report – Jeffrey shared the highlights from Jenny’s Social Media Report Card. Our Facebook followers are nearly 2000 persons, but our engagement, views, and reach have dropped about 55% compared with last month. Jenny has done more ads and is trying a new strategy to invite local persons’ familiarity and interest in USS.  People are still responding well to having the Sunday Service reminder and link sent to them just before 10 a.m. on Sunday morning. The shares count of our fb page on May17th was high and Jenny is encouraging board members and congregants to share this page with friends on Facebook. The Open rates on eBlast are higher this month.




Edward Jones – Lisa received the paperwork, filled it out and sent it in. Presumably Lisa has been added to the account by now and Robin O’Day is no longer getting the mailings. Lisa will check in with Linda about that.


Tall Round Tables/Folding Bar Tables – This item was tabled until next month.


Venmo – Jeffrey shared that Heidi is working with this system. The board reviewed the online donation process with a real-life example. USS can also receive funds via e-checks and bill paying services. Lisa is monitoring the process of Heidi’s receiving and releasing funds via notice from Venmo. Heidi is not involved in balancing the account financial statements, however.


Fund Raising – Ideas were floated and reviewed regarding fund raising.

•     Online Auction – Stannette has suggested a virtual Raise the Paddle event.

•     Drag Queen Auctioneer – The Drag Queen online auction or several-day telethon was discussed. It is envisioned as a separate event from the Talent Show. David had not heard back from his inquiries and Ruth reached out to the friend of her daughter who is an auctioneer and used to attend Unity, but has not heard back yet.

•     Divine Dining – Plans were tentatively considered in light of the Phase 2 application and likely approval. Phase 1 currently doesn’t allow gatherings. Phase 2 allows for 5 or fewer people to gather, and Phase 3 will presumably allow for more. Six houses hosting eight to ten persons could raise $2500 - $3000 and may be doable. Jeffrey will reach out to Stella and other potential hosts.

•     Other Fundraising Ideas – An outdoor BBQ, Outdoor Recreation events, Blueberry Picking events with distancing, masks, and hygiene were considered.

•     Summary – The state guidelines and probable timelines and allowable crowd sizes were divdiscussed. Safety consideration are of paramount importance. Barbara will share an article by Dr. Atul Gawande about what the public can learn from medical facilities who have figured out how to prevent transmission and create safety.   

USS Signage – David shared that he had reached out to the owners and that the banner is currently on hold pending the approval of Jeff and John. The standard process for contacting the owners was reviewed. Heidi is expecting to hear back from them. The cost of the banner is $168 and the Sign is $107. David generously volunteered to cover the sign. Ruth agreed to donate $50 for the banner and $100 remains.

MOTION: David moved that USS approve the expense for marketing our church services. Jeffrey seconded. Motion passed.


Online Services – Do we Continue?

The board considered this matter and in consideration of the pandemic chose to continue with online services.


Acknowledgement of Improvements and Technology Upgrades – The board considered how to acknowledge and thank Amy. She has researched options, made appreciable improvements in our streaming process and sound quality. The board agreed to give Amy a $25 gift certificate and Rev. Jeffrey will acknowledge her excellent work during the upcoming Sunday service on June 7.


Return to In-person Services – The BOT scheduled a special meeting to address the Governor’s directives, a timeline, the steps USS will take, and the steps we will take.


Second Round of Calls to Congregants – The lists were recently sent out to the BOT by Linda and this item will revisited next month.




Summer Class – Jeffrey shared his thoughts and plans regarding a Summer Class and Fall Book Study. With the feedback received, he chose to feature the book, The Yoga of Jesus, during the summer class.  The Fall Book Study will lead into the Holiday Season.


Ethics Review Update – Jeffrey informed the board about the Ethics review and responded to board questions. He has a positive regard for the process and shared his impressions of the review process, the committee meeting, and the upcoming six-month Plan of Action. In tandem with the committee’s recommendations, he will be meeting with Rev. Robert Brummet once a month and submitting an additional two of three papers. He shared the committee’s sabbatical recommendations for self-care.  


Board Training Canceled – Jeffrey shared that the Board Training scheduled for later this month has been canceled. Our trainer is sheltering in place and unable to do Zoom in her location. In any event, the board is functioning well and this will be one less expense.

Closing Prayer – Rev. Jeffrey closed the meeting with a prayer at 9:25 p.m.


Upcoming events

June 10, 17, 24, and July 1st  

Coffee with Rev. Jeffrey Wednesdays at 11 a.m. to Noon

    (Note: Click the link in your eblast or on the USS website)

June 11th – Next (Special) Board Meeting

July 2nd – Next Regular Board Meeting

        The Youth Recycle Fundraiser – has been postponed in cooperation with the Governor’s Stay-at-Home directives. Please continue to collect items and stay tuned for a revised date. It may be possible to drop items off on Wednesdays during office hours and stored in our overflow room on the 3rd floor.  



Respectfully submitted by Barbara Bauml, Secretary

June 13, 2020

(Including a correction on June 13, 2020)