UNITY OF SOUTH SOUND BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEETING
Minutes for September 3, 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, Michele Millsap, Ruth Rogers, and David Sandall-Hill were in attendance. Lisa Hagen was on a planned vacation.
Check In – Board members checked in with one another.
Counting Tithes Sign ups/Check Signing – David will be at the Spire and available to sign checks during the month of September. David and Joey will sign this Sunday and Michele will available during the remainder of the month.
Secretary Report – It was confirmed that the Board of Trustee (BOT) Meeting Minutes for July and August (with a minor correction) were approved.
Tithe Report – Barbara shared the Tithe Committee Report with the board for the month of August. The USS August tithe is $1636 and the Children’s Defense Fund is in the rotation this month. The recommendation was approved by the BOT.
Treasurer Report – In Lisa’s absence, Jeffrey briefly reviewed finances with the board. Income and expenses are both less than what we would expect in a normal year. We are a little in the red which is not unusual for this time of year. Jeffrey is tracking finances closely as we near the end of the year. We affirm our prosperity and are moving ahead with plans for the auction and to address the 2021 budget.
Volunteer Committee Report – Rev. Jeffrey shared that a member of the committee is considering stepping down. Blessings for discernment were affirmed. The Social hour and how to structure it after the online service was discussed. An impromptu social hour was arranged last week. Others may be available to host the event if Stella isn’t available. The group also discussed the Calling Tree (more on that below).
Minister Report – Rev. Jeffrey has had a busy last week and has been noticing the shift towards more administration. Things take longer online due to the planning and behind-the-scenes preparation in distance work. He’s now in the process of working on what the January Prayer classes will look like. He’s finding the balance between online work and the pastoral care. He’s also hearing from other colleagues who are noticing similar patterns. He’s up for it, grateful to have a job, and to be of service.
Social Media Report – Jeffrey touched on Jenny’s Report which was sent to the board. Jenny continues to be thorough and innovative. Jeffrey has asked her which additional online groups may be receptive to our message and mission and she is exploring that avenue of online presence. Input from the Board in this regard would be welcome if anyone has ideas. Jeffrey shared that he learns from Jenny, she is easy to work with, responsive, tracks her time, attends to the details, and measures what she does.
Fund Raising: “All the Glitters is God” Online Auction – David shared that the online auction project is developing nicely now. His outreach efforts have resulted in finding an experienced auctioneer who has committed to our event! The live event will be shorter and feature fewer items. There are plans to extend the silent auction for a few days of bidding and to have more items.
More importantly, they have had the opportunity to listen to three different technical support groups and they are very close to making a decision. Those under consideration have been to our church, are experienced, and will be submitting bids this week. The procurement of products and services is the priority now. We are very grateful for the support of our community in this endeavor. The auction team is getting excited about sponsoring this event online with good quality technical support to create a fun and successful event. Finances and specific options were reviewed. Tentative dates are the November 12 –14 (though it may start earlier). Jeffrey will send a follow up letter to the third firm. The BOT thanked David for his leadership in this event.
2021 Budget Assumptions – Jeffrey shared that Lisa had posed the question about the BOT assumptions about next year before we begin planning for the 2021 Budget. The BOT discussed the impact of COVID-19, prospective vaccines, new case stats, political leadership, online fundraising, transitions back to a new normal, and how we are a community. Jeffrey will share will board feedback with Lisa.
Written Instructions for Future Board Members – Jeffrey shared in lieu of Lisa’s vacation. We’ve settled on using Alaska Credit Union and Edward Jones, so instructions would make it easier for new board members to sign up. Barbara will write up a set of instructions.
Jon and Jeff Update – Jeffrey has tried three times and been unable to get in touch.
9/9/2020 – Addendum: Jeffrey had a telephone conversation with Jon in which he shared that they have been very conservative financially. Given the pandemic, their financial prudence is very beneficial to the Spire’s owners and by extension to USS. We are good shape to remain in our church home. Jeffrey was open with them as well about our financial circumstances and concerns. They are glad to have us as tenants, appreciate our watching out for the building, and hear good things about us from some of their patrons.
Jennifer Richardson’s Question – Jennifer and team have created a Fall Synergy program for the Unity kids and YOU. Jeffrey shared Jennifer’s request to allow the kids to participate onsite and in-person during the final week of the event (in the basement for distancing with masks). After discussing the importance of kids gathering, safety concerns, the number of kids, the state guidelines, and the policy that the board has set, the BOT declined to make an exception. It’s hoped that Zoom will suffice to foster bonding time among kids. Also, the program sounds awesome.
Creating a Calling Tree – Jeffrey asked for feedback on the process of creating a phone network within our congregation to foster community connections since this is new to USS. This is envisioned as a grassroots check-in to include regulars as well as members. This would be initiated by the VCT, done in addition to the Chaplain calls. Some outreach is being done among members of our community informally. Ruth mentioned that there is a lot of activity on Fb too. The BOT considered USS established subgroups and how this process would work with those. With an interest for inclusion, questions to begin conversations were discussed. Jeffrey could share about the program ahead of time. There is a program to manage opting in and out. We can offer it and it will be up to others to participate or decline.
Fund Raising: Masks – Michele reported that she touched bases with Jennifer who informed her that they have already bought masks for the teenagers. They are having T-shirts made for the kids for the Pancake Breakfast and are doing their own thing. Michele shared pictures of options and asked for feedback. The board discussed options about what to offer and decided to offer options: BLM (to go with the Synergy Series), Namaste (to reflect the spirit of USS), and a plain mask of different colors. We talked about the possibility of pre-orders and sports-fan fabrics. There is also the option of mailing the finished product to congregants. The board will offer clean graphic design ideas to Michele and trusts Michele with the process going forward. Michele will check with Jennifer again and follow up-with her friend, Candy, about color/fabric options, custom and pre-orders.
Fund Raising: Cook book – Barbara shared a proposal for a Cookbook fundraiser and the board offered feedback on the proposed format (size, outlay and design) and reviewed options and costs for the project. Michele recommended asking for media mail rates at the Post Office. Mailing costs will involve packaging. A cookbook title was selected: Feeding Our Souls – a Unity of South Sound Cookbook, and a provisional cover for promoting the cookbook was requested. This is something that could be shared through the phone tree project. Given that we are cooking at home more these days, this may be an especially timely project. Barbara will send an announcement about the project to Jeffrey for the eBlast requesting congregants to submit prized recipes for publication, design a cover soon, and proceed.
Dessert Dash – this item was proponed until next month.
BOT on Facebook Live – Jeffery asked the board about timing of this event. The plan is to begin in 2-3 weeks and, after discussion, the board agreed to do this event every other week. If board members do pre-record the event, please send it to Jenny by Friday afternoon so she can make edits (if needed) for publishing the event on Saturday. Jeffrey has sent out a set of instructions for sharing online for board members to review if needed.
Michele shared some caveats about working with Facebook Live (notably, if you are signed in on Facebook, because you are a co-editor, your comments will show up as a USS comment rather than a personal post). Barbara will send a calendar out to the board for scheduling sign-ups. Jeffrey will ask Jenny to include board members as co-editors and Jenny will send out a confirmation to the scheduled board member ahead of time.
Closing Prayer – Rev. Jeffrey closed the meeting with a prayer at 8:45 p.m.
Upcoming events (see eBlast for more information)
Coffee with Rev. Jeffrey Wednesdays at 11 a.m. to Noon
After Service Zoom Hospitality – Sundays 11:15 a.m. to noon
October 6th – Next Regular Board Meeting
Respectfully submitted by Barbara Bauml, Secretary
September 14, 2020