Minutes for March 5, 2020


Minutes for March 5, 2020

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

All board members, Barbara Bauml, Rev. Jeffrey Fowler, Linda Guay (who chaired the meeting by phone), Lisa Hagen, Michele Millsap, Ruth Rogers (by phone), and David Sandall-Hill were in attendance.

Welcome New Members – Linda welcomed David and Michele to the board with great expectations for what they will add to our community and welcomed Barbara back.

Check In – Board members checked in.  

Election of Officers – Linda facilitated the election of officers (President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer) by reviewing the positions, responsibilities (per the information sheet Jeffrey had shared), and inviting any questions about the offices. Discussion about serving on the board in various capacities ensued; the elections occurred by consensual votes after persons volunteered for positions. The results were as follows:  Lisa will serve as Treasurer, Barbara will serve as Secretary, Ruth will serve as Vice-President, and Linda will serve as President. Congratulations and gratitude to all.



Secretary Report – Barbara shared that the February Minutes were promptly approved online following their publication and expressed thanks to the board.  

Treasurer Report – For the benefit of new board members, Lisa reviewed the February 2020 Monthly Income (Budget vs. Actual) Report, the February 2020 YTD (Budget vs. Actual) Report, and the Balance Statement as of February 29, 2020 in some detail. Categories in which expenses were under and over budget were identified.


The Unity of South Sound (USS) Net Operating Income is $5934.28 ahead of budget at this point in the year, but that figure does not reflect outstanding payments including the $3300 February lease payment. In summary, we are $30.26 in the black. Lisa continues to work with Heidi to create an accounting system that reflects when expenses are due in the year rather than an annual budget averaged by twelve months. Trends are fine. Balance Sheet looks good.


Tithe Report – The Tithe Committee Report to the board for the month of February was discussed. After a brief review of its committee members and the process by which Unity of South Sound determines tithes to local, regional/national, and global non-profits, the board considered the tithe of $1385.  

MOTION – Lisa moved to accept the Tithe Committee recommendation and approve the $1385 tithe. Michele seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Counting Tithes Sign Up – Barbara finalized a counting schedule. The schedule posted below completes all but one date, March 15th, for which Barbara will request help from the backup team to complete.





1. March 8




2. March 15




3. March 22




4: March 29





Volunteer Committee Report – Rev. Jeffrey shared that Misty Carmen is now on board; she has a degree in managing non-profits! Dianne and Stella are still involved. All is well with the teams.


Minister Report – For the benefit of new board members, Rev. Jeffrey shared that the Minister’s Report used to be rendered as a formal written report; in an effort to reduce his workload about two years ago, this was changed to a verbal accounting of how he was doing personally, his ministerial work at large, and his assessment of where Unity of South Sound is at as a spiritual community.


Overall, he’s feeling centered and resilient. His family has been sick and Orchid is better. It’s anticipated that his sleep will improve as Simon will soon be moving from the bed to a crib. The last couple of months at USS have been very busy and Jeffrey shared his perspectives on current events that are in the works. He is reviewing new materials for teaching an Abundance Class; there are some trade-offs to in doing something new rather than relying on established programs, but he feels like it is a good fit for our community.


Social Media Report – Jeffrey shared the Social Media Report Card. He has changed the date he meets with Jenny so that it occurs prior to the board meeting. Jenny remains creative and full of new ideas. Facebook Live continues to be the most popular venue with 135 views. The Google Ad words have been honed so that we have had 11,900 views since November 26th. There was much discussion around how this translates into community involvement and local visitors. One of Jenny’s recent ideas involved text ads (more in New Business) and there was a robust conversation about how they could be used, the cost, people who would respond well to them, and so forth. Linda shared from her recent experiences of Unity of San Diego, such as a 5-minute synopsis of a Sunday message on Monday.  Jeffrey will follow up with Jenny regarding Social Media and this issue is ongoing.




Church Directory Electronic Version – Ruth shared that the new Directory project is wrapping up. She’s been concentrating on the final format of the printed directory and its production is imminent. USS will receive thirty-five copies (thirty are a donation from Ruth) of the new directory. These are earmarked for use in New Member classes. If Unity wanted more hard copies, is there a minimum order? Ruth will ask her contact person. LifeTouch will update the directory when we have 18 new members.


In addition to the hard copies, there is the online directory:

•    It is designed to make connecting with others easy while on-the-go.

•    It allows directory access from any device.

•    It has security features that include custom settings and a password protection option.

•    The online directory can be updated and keep it current as needed (new members, change in address, etc.).

•    Unity of South Sound is able to download a PDF file of the directory for printing and sharing.

•    The online directory complements the printed directory and it is how most congregants will access the directory.


Tall Round Tables/Folding Bar Tables – The board reviewed three different options for tall tables to be used in the Fireplace (Nursery) Room adjacent to Wesley Hall. The intention is to purchase three tables to increase the social conversation space after the service and provide a place to set cups and plates. The ins and outs of the features were discussed (trip hazards, adjustable height, handicap accessibility, storage, price…). Lisa will research the prices and present the best options next month.


Talent Show – Jeffrey shared that event date has been confirmed. Jeff and John approved both Saturday evening, May 9, and the Friday evening “walk-through” on May 8. Jeffrey has met with Starr regarding the planning for the Talent Show and shared how the planning process is intended to facilitate people having a good time, enjoying the company of others and the show. Enriched by many perspectives and much experience, the board is very supportive of a more streamlined and simplified process than has been generally used in the autumn auction fundraiser. It also reached some consensus about the structure needed to meet our goal and to support our community. We affirmed that we could meet our $22,500 goal. Linda operationalized the discussion and Jeffery asked for a liaison. Ruth shared her perspective of what’s involved (on phone, in-person meetings, etc.) and Michele volunteered to be the board liaison. Lisa volunteered to support Michele. All those who have additional ideas, please email them directly to Michele.  


Need for a Second Event – Jeffrey shared that we have a need to raise an additional $8500. The board discussed various ideas, all of which sound fun and promising. A decision will be made at the May board meeting. The general plan at this point in time is that these would occur in late October or early November.





Edward Jones and Alaska Credit Union Signature Designations – Linda shared that she and Robin O’Day are currently the points of contact for our Edward Jones account; an update is needed. The responsibility and time involved is minimal and was discussed. Linda has had few contacts totaling 2 hours last year, but it involved changing our investment structure. Brent is available by telephone or email during the day and can occasionally meet in the evening. As the Treasurer, Lisa is willing to be the point of contact. Karen (at Edward Jones) will mail forms to Heidi who will forward them to Lisa.

MOTION: David moved to change the contact person from Robin O’Day to Lisa Hagen; Barbara seconded. Motion passed unanimously.


Banking – Jeffrey asked if David and Michele are willing to become signers on the Alaska Credit Union account. Both confirmed that they have been trained in the process of signing checks and are willing to become signatories. The Alaska Credit requires formal notice requesting the change in the BOT Meeting Minutes to make changes. 

MOTION: Barbara moved to remove Robin O’Day and Carl Andrews as signers on the Alaska Credit Union account and to install Michele Millsap and David Sandall-Hill as signers on the USS account. Lisa seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

Linda has the necessary form and will email it to Heidi so it is available locally. Michele and David will fill it out and go into an Alaska Branch with a Photo ID and a copy of the March Board of Trustee Minutes.


Text Advertising – Jeffrey shared about Text Ads, another of Jenny’s ideas, and a couple of samples (“Hello, this is Jeffrey, here is this week’s newsletter & link” or “Hello, this week’s message is on Topic X and we hope to see you.” The cost is $20/month for 400 text messages. A variety of perspectives on this method of outreach and how it would and wouldn’t be effective were discussed.

MOTION: Lisa moved that we give the Text Advertising a try for 6 months. Michele seconded.

A conversation of what could be done with 400 messages per month and tailoring messages for specific age groups or newcomers ensued. David made a case for going all in.

MOTION: David moved to amend Lisa’s motion to commit to this program a minimum of a year. Linda pointed out the in November and December we have to look at budget so there will be a “built in” review at that time. Lisa was fine with the change. Barbara seconded. Motion passed unanimously as amended. Jeffrey will work with Jenny to implement. Lisa will check where in the budget $200 can be allocated.

Teen Volunteers – In that the intention of the board is to grow Unity of South Sound and share what Unity has to offer, the board supports efforts at outreach. Rev. Jeffrey shared that the preliminary plans for outreach out to teens in our community who have high school volunteer requirements was a concern for our communication liaison and shared the nature of the concerns with the board. The board affirmed its responsibility to listen to concerns by members and to set policy and to make decisions in the best interests of Unity.

This topic of outreach led to a robust conversation about including and involving teens in the Sunday service and making our outreach and their involvement relevant to their lives.


For follow-up, Linda, Jeffrey and Barbara will arrange a telephone call. Jeffrey and Barbara will follow up.

Coronavirus COVID-19 – Jeffrey shared information prior to the BOT meeting and the conversation started online continued. Unity Worldwide Ministries (UWM) has made recommendations for responding to the pandemic in addition to the information coming out of the WHO, CDC, and Washington State Department of Health. A discussion about hygiene, transmission of viruses, handshakes, hugging, a Namaste Bow, and risks was had. While the board does not want to tell people when they can or cannot hug someone, Rev. Jeffrey will ask people to be sensitive to and respectful of others’ nonverbal cues.

Additionally, hand sanitizers will be made available in the entry foyer. We may prop doors open. Door handles and other frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned. Hugging is better than shaking hands. Board members who count money will wash their hands afterwards. An excellent educational health handout supplied by Linda Ash (and forwarded to board members by Jeffrey) will be shared with congregants in the bulletins on March 15th at the latest. Thank you, Linda.

If matters of public health become more serious, we will reconsider altering the Namaste Greeting portion of the service to reduce the possibility of spreading germs for the time being.  If members are in high-risk categories for exposure, we want people to know that viewing the service and contributing online are alternate options.

Ethics Complaint – Rev. Jeffrey shared that there has been an ethics complaint made by a congregant and filed with Unity Worldwide Ministries (UWM) against him. The substance of the complaint and Rev. Jeffrey’s response to it was discussed. He has been following through on the recommendations made by UWM in the course of this review.

Revised Bookstore Policy – This item was tabled until next month due to time constraints.

Closing Prayer – Rev. Jeffrey closed the meeting with a prayer of gratitude.

Upcoming events

March 1st, 8th 15th, and 22nd – 2020 Pledge Drive

March 8th – Talent Extravaganza Sign-up

March 8th – LGBTQA Meeting

March 8th – “A Course in Love”

March 17th – St. Patrick’s Day  

March 21st – Men’s Group Meets

March 29th – Bring recyclables for Youth Project

April 2nd – Next Board Meeting

April 5th – Bookstore Grand Opening


Respectfully submitted by Barbara Bauml, Secretary

March 11, 2019

Fourth revision, April 2, 2019