Board of Trustees

Minutes of December 16, 2015 Meeting


Marc Drews & Patty Drews (Co-Presidents), Phil Turner (President-Elect), Sandy Chubon (Secretary), Linda Brennison (Treasurer).  Members at Large: Richard Culler, Donald Griggs, Patrick Saucier, Janet Swigler, Tim VanDenBerg.  Regina Moody (Past President), Joe Long (Chair Finance Committee), Rev. Jennie Barrington (Interim Minister).

Guest: Pat Mohr.

Call to Order

Marc Drews called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM.

Chalice Lighting

Linda Brennison provided a reading and lit the Chalice.  The Trustees reaffirmed our Covenant.

Approval of Minutes

Minutes of the November 18, 2015 meeting were approved with two corrections.

Member’s Comments: Statement of Syrian Refugees – Pat Mohr

Following Governor Haley’s statement that Syrian refugees will not be welcome in South Carolina, the Social Action Committee developed a statement expressing the UUCC’s opinion on this topic (See Appendix A).  Pat Mohr shared the document with the Trustees.  Some grammatical editing was done and the Board approved the Statement for circulation in our congregation’s publications and also to a variety of outside publications, organizations, and government officials.

Staff Reports

Reports from the administrator, the DRE, and the bookkeeper were accepted.

Interim Minister’s Report

Rev. Jennie pointed out that there are three times during the 2-year interim when she and the Board need to do an appraisal of how the interim process is going.  These appraisals are a vehicle for the Board and the Interim Minister to assess how well we are on track with the five developmental tasks of interim ministry.  Our first appraisal is due February 15, 2016.  Blank appraisal forms were provided to each board member along with the agenda of this meeting.  Each board member, including ex-officio members, should fill out an appraisal form and bring it to the January 20 board meeting.  The board secretary will create a composite, Rev. Jennie will fill out an appraisal form and both reports will be sent to Boston by February 15.

After last month’s board meeting, Marc asked Rev. Jennie to do some research as background for a possible capital campaign.  Marc’s specific question was whether it is customary for a congregation to have a target goal in an amount approximately the same as its annual operating budget (which contributors could pay over the course of three years), i.e., approximately $200,000.  Rev. Jennie researched UU congregations with recent capital campaigns, especially ones in UUCC’s range of operating expenses, membership numbers, and pledge units, which are in a geographic wage area similar to ours.  Based on their experiences, a capital campaign with a target goal of $200,000 would be realistic, achievable, and smaller than other congregations like us have done successfully.  Website addresses describing these campaigns are included in Rev. Jennie’s December, 2015 monthly report to the Board.

Preparation for Start-Up Weekend

Start-Up Weekend is scheduled for January 8 and 9 with a consultant from the UUA Southeastern District, Marguerite Mills.  The plan is for the entire congregation to meet on Friday evening for dinner and a discussion of the Congregation’s history.  The Transition Team will provide a light meal; board members will bring desserts.  On Saturday from 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM the board, committee chairs, transition team, and key lay leaders will meet with the consultant and continue the discussion of where we want to go in the future.  Rev. Jennie  met with the Transition Team December 15.  Kevin Meredith has requested $1100 to cover the expenses for the weekend.

Treasurer’s Report

Linda Brennison reported that we continue to have a serious shortfall in income.  Expenses to date for this fiscal year exceed income by $6,201.87.  Pledge income is $7,400 less than expected.  Rental income is higher than anticipated, cushioning the lack of pledge payments.  The Finance Committee plans to send out pledge statements quarterly.  She suggested that committees should sponsor fund raisers for the general fund.  Other suggestions were for an auction, a membership drive (recruiting Coffeehouse attendees or university students).

Goals for Fiscal Year 2016

Marc reminded us to keep the goals in front of us.  Rev. Jennie commented that our goals dovetail nicely with the five tasks of the interim process.

Committee Reports

Building and Grounds   Marc reported that  Peck Drennan signed the contract we discussed at our November meeting.   A copy is attached to these minutes.   (Appendix B).

Membership Committee   The dinner for new members is re-scheduled for January 23 with the joining ceremony on January 24.

Social Action Committee   Janet Swigler reported that the procedures have been established and recorded for selecting recipients of Share the Plate.

Our Families Helping Families campaign was very successful.  There are two Community Conversations scheduled: one on February 21 on “Talking to Your Children about Racism” and another on April 10 on “Human Trafficking”.  These are held on Sunday afternoons and are expected to attract participation from people in the larger community.  Joe Long suggested that we display information on UUCC membership.

UUCC Website   Donald Griggs reported that it is moving forward and should be ready for launch soon.


UUCC Hosted Events   Tim VanDenBerg reported that the group working on this issue met.  They are drafting policies and procedures which should be ready for consideration at the January meeting.

Initial Planning for Congregational Meeting May 22    Marc asked whether there were any bylaws changes for this year.  We will need a slate of candidates for offices and we will elect a ministerial search committee.  We will have a consultant from the district March 5 and 6 to explain the search process and procedures.  Joe Long suggested that we have a meeting on May 20 to review the budget with any members/friends who are interested.


Bonuses for Staff   The Trustees agreed to pay staff annual bonuses based on our policy.

Financial Support for Start-Up Weekend    As noted above, Kevin Meredith requested $1100 to pay for the costs of this event: food, child care, Jeff Kruse’s services as chef and custodian.  Phil Turner moved that we provide $1100 for expenses for the Start-Up Weekend with encouragement to spend less if possible.  Tim seconded.  The only source of funds is the board contingency fund.  The motion passed.

Statement on Syrian Immigrants    Janet moved that we accept the statement from the Social Action Committee on Welcoming Syrian Immigrants to South Carolina (with grammatical amendments).  Donald seconded.  The Social Action Committee will be responsible for distribution of the document.  The motion passed.

Duties and Responsibilities of the Board Member Who Welcomes the Congregation to Sunday Services

Phil Turner is working on this document to ensure that it is up to date.  It is stored in the front of the green notebook we use for our welcome.

Locking the “Back Door” During Sunday Services     Donald Griggs moved that we set the timer to ensure that the Heyward Street door (by administrator’s office) is locked during worship services.  Richard seconded.  This will provide protection from intruders for children and adults in the RE wing.  The motion passed.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:59 PM.

Minutes recorded by

Sandy Chubon, Secretary




The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia calls on Governor Nikki Haley and the state legislature to act with love and courage to welcome Syrian refugees for resettlement in South Carolina.  These families fled their homes to escape the terror of the Bashar al Assad regime and ISIL.  Even after extensive screening of 18 months to two years before being allowed to come here, they will face more persecution and suffering if South Carolina turns its back on them and their plight.  It is unconscionable, immoral, and un-America.  Immigrants build this country and continue to add incredible richness and diversity to the American tapestry.

We must not face terrorism with fear; love is the only thing that we know can truly conquer hate.  We call on our elected officials to lead on the side of love for refugees.


Drennan Renovation Contract