Minutes for November 5th, 2020


Minutes for November 5, 2020

Opening Prayer – The regular monthly meeting of Unity of South Sound (USS) started at 6:30 PM (online via Zoom) with an opening prayer by Rev. Jeffrey.

Board of Trustees (BOT) members, Barbara Bauml, Rev. Jeffrey Fowler, Lisa Hagen, Michele Millsap, and Ruth Rogers were in attendance. David Sandall-Hill was absent.

Check In – Board members checked in with one another.




Counting Tithes Sign ups/Check Signing – The first week checks are signed. David will be at the Spire and available to sign checks during the month of November. Michele will be able to sign all but the weekend of November 22nd and Barbara will cover in her absence.


Secretary Report – The minutes for the October Board of Trustee (BOT) Meeting were not completed prior to the November board meeting and will be sent out via email.


Tithe Report – Barbara shared the Tithe Committee Report with the board for the month of October.  The USS October tithe is $1150 and the Christ Unity Church of Medford is in the rotation this month. The recommendation was approved by the BOT.


Treasurer Report – Lisa shared an overview of USS finances and will address specifics later in the meeting (see 2021 Budget). We’re behind the game on tithes (no Prosperity Plus) and there hasn’t been income from bookstore sales nor as much from classes. We’re $19,000 below budget which is not a surprise. The net amount we’re behind budget is $32,937. This does NOT include the $16,900 from the PPP loan, however. The money (which has been spent per the terms of the PPP loan) will transition soon. Once it does, the $16,900 will show as grant revenue income in our budget. In the meantime, we’ve been managing with fewer expenses (about $16,000 less) and drawing on the checking account.


Our balance sheet shows that our cash balance / general fund checking account at the end of October was $8500 which is the lowest it’s been in a while. There have been additional expenses associated with the Thanksgiving Auction and we are holding the vision for financial flow and the auction as a smashing success. Finally, our investments are up and we are hoping to see some stability in the economic outlook after the election.  


Minister Report – Rev. Jeffrey shared that he has done a lot of pastoral care this month. He asks that we hold our congregation in prayer. Many people are in transition and dealing with illnesses. He has been very involved in the Auction event. The auction is good, Orchid is good, and Simon is good.


Social Media Report – Jeffrey reviewed Jenny’s Social Media Report which was sent to the board. Jenny shared that Ruth’s Fb Live was highly watched. People loved it.  Fb Live instructions were reviewed and Michele sent a note to Ruth Lisa and Barb.



Fund Raising: “All the Glitters is God” Online Auction – Michele shared that were some unique auction items and there was lots of effort put into the trips to extend expiration dates (Bali, Africa Safari, Italy, local). The trips with minimum bids provide transparency about what goes to Unity. Concerts by Rona Yellow Robe, Jeffrey, Maureen and Serni, Nick and Sedia have been donated. There’s artwork from church members. The items are looking good. The raffle tickets are already on sale. We’ve incorporated ways that people can participate at various levels. Given the Live Auction, it’s recommended to use a second online option (one to watch, the other to bid. The Silent Auction will go beyond the Live Auction by one day.


Much gratitude to the team, Rev. Jeffrey, Lady Chablis, and all others who have donated and organized the auction.




2021 Budget Discussion – Lisa shared a rough draft of the 2021 Budget, a summary of what’s changed since last year, her guesses and assumptions about next year based on conversations with Heidi and this year’s finances. Total projected 2021 budget is $12,000 less than last year. That would include $178,479 in revenue from tithes and other sources. So, it’s a slight decrease from 2019 ($180,892). It’s reasonable given how budgeted income and expenses have shifted.


Looking at the expenses first, Lisa is assuming a 50% half the year between lower tithe amounts and expenses for at least half the year. She took us through the projections by major line items (rent, insurance, utilities, hospitality, sound and video equipment, copier, office Supplies, salaries.  Our facility cost includes our rental rate with our lease rate increase (a new renewal increase is due in July).


Social media coordinator (wages for Jenny) and advertising (Facebook promotion) needs some feedback; Jenny is executing her responsibilities efficiently. Fees, dues and licenses went up by $75 for background checks, but we may not need many this year; final number by next month. Music director and performances are a little less. Serni is doing a great job. Fewer guest musicians and given that Joey and Michele are board members, they are not paid. A 20% decline seems reasonable.


Lisa asked for feedback for Sound in consideration of equity, the job, and the value of what’s contributed. The board acknowledged the and there was consensus regarding this budget line item. In discussing sound and video equipment, there was also consensus that a new computer will be needed to support the online services. We’re adjusting for PayPal because online contributions mean that there are financial service fees.  Childcare is less given there’s no nursery services projected first half of the year. We are budgeting for half the year in the hopes that we will be able Jennifer is continuing to provide services and connections for kids online. We’re doing virtual camps. We aren’t likely to be going back to in-person camps in the first part of 2021.

Altar flowers are less. Tithe payments were adjusted in accordance with the projected Tithe that USS pays. No changes made regarding the auction expenses.


Looking at the income, Bookstore sales are half of the expected revenue of 2020. There will be some hospitality income. There are plans for classes and workshops will include an Absolute Abundance online (similar to Prosperity Plus) with a budgeted income of $10,000. be done. (In 2019 we had an amazing Prosperity Plus event that brought in $17,000, and Prosperity Plus was not done in 2020.) This is a popular class and it’s been missed by many.


One increase in income has been our Fred Meyer income. Donations through Amazon was discussed another option. Amazon Payments have been irregular.  Lisa will follow up with Heidi about the timing of the pay-outs by Amazon.


Looking at the whole budget, Lisa reviewed budget assumptions for 2021 with the board. All but Elaine are working and being paid at this time. Serni, Jennifer, Amy, and Jenny are anticipated to continue in 2021. The board looked at some ways of the possibly doing things differently given how the pandemic is affecting us. Youth Ed and kids are zoomed out across the region. Reviewed issue of pay bonuses.


The board considered worse case scenarios. Although we are utilizing our cash reserves to an extent, we might get some other revenue that is unprojected at this time. We also have investments; while it is not our intention to use them, it’s been done in the past. Heidi has shared a deep keel perspective on Unity of South Sound’s financial history. No drastic cuts anticipated at this time.  


Jeffrey added his perspective on the budget, staffing, and thoughts about the future given the year, the pandemic, and all this year has brought. We have not heard back about the City of Tacoma Rent Assistance program for which USS applied. That income is not a certainty.


Overall, this is a conservative estimate based on 2020 and our current cash reserves. We will still be in the black. We will see how we are situated after the auction. Next month Lisa will share a proposed 2021 Budget and we will approve a draft budget for the upcoming year.



Nominating Team and Annual Meeting – We might still be in the midst of the pandemic for the Annual Meeting.  The BOT discussed a virtual Annual meeting. Polls and Google forums are possible ways of electing members. Embedding the link in chats and/or emails was discussed. The BOT discussed including people who aren’t computer savvy via cell phone calls or possible in-person (with appropriate physical distancing) as options. Discussed advertising and sharing Power Point presentations and BOT candidate information ahead of time (via eBlast, mailings, paper copy pick-ups, and Zoom). For those who are tech savvy, the hope is to embed links to add the meeting to their phone and/or calendars.


Confidential voting is also required. Only members can vote. Perhaps Heidi can help us out with the organizing the event. Jeffrey will check out how UWM and other churches are doing their annual meetings.


Jeffrey will send out an Annual Meeting agenda and assignment.


In-Person Services – Jeffrey has been approached with the question of when we will get back together. The board reviewed options, risks, the state guidelines, needs of people to see others, and recent spikes in the number of new cases. Many of the newly diagnosed cases are related to unmasked social gatherings. The board discussed congregant and staff safety. The board decided to stick with our original decision and re-evaluate our decision in February or March of next year. 



Fundraising Updates – Michele gave a brief update about the masks. Barb shared a draft of the cookbook and asked for feedback. Barbara will finish up and submit to Stueben Press for publishing.  Lisa shared an Omnivorous Event as a model for USS and recommended holding off on the Virtual Dessert Dash since it will not be coupled with the Auction.

Closing Prayer – Rev. Jeffrey closed the meeting with a prayer at 9:20 p.m.

Upcoming events (see eBlast for more information)

December 1st and 2nd – New Member Class, 7-9 p.m. via Zoom

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

December 3rd – Next Regular Board Meeting

Coats for Kids – through December 13th


Respectfully submitted by Barbara Bauml, Secretary

November 20, 2020