Committee and Interim Minister’s Report, February 2017
ARE Notes for Meeting on 2-1-17
Attending: Ann, Keitha, Stephanie, Rev. Jennie, Pat, Emilio
- Endowment committee has asked ARE to sponsor class on how to make an endowment gift. Update?
- Christian affinity group. Update? A meeting has been scheduled at J. Peters on March 28.
- Spiritual Practices classes? The search for possible leaders has been publicized with only one respondent as far as we know (Rebecca Drennan, who is interested in helping with this and will contact Ruthie).
- Class by Donald Cooper on book: God Is Not One by Prothero. Scheduled to begin on Feb. 12 and continue for 6 classes meeting every other week.
- Common Read (The Third Reconstruction) in 2017. Update from Keitha. March is a probable time, perhaps 3/19 (12:30 after service).
- Classes for new members (Becoming a UU). See Tapestry of Faith materials and find video series on UU history (Long, Strange Trip). We need to do this series this spring.
- Session on How to Plan A Funeral (Tony Ganong) is on April 8 (Saturday). We agreed to co-sponsor it with the Funeral Consumer’s Alliance. They will do all the publicity, food, etc.
- Library proposal (Stephanie & Don). Does Board need to approve if it’s under ARE? Update.
Stephanie has other responsibilities, so should she be working on this? Rev. Jennie thinks she is the appropriate staff person to do this because kids and youth need source for materials. She could get help from Don Cooper and Regina Moody, and Stephanie says they have already decided what books to keep. And it will not be a lending library, so there won’t be much tracking to do once it is set up.
Action: – ARE will take this on as an ongoing project. Stephanie will work on it, time permitting. Stephanie will talk with Regina. Donald Cooper and Rev. Jennie will be resource people for this.
- Budget for 2017-2018 = $600. We want to add $300 for library materials and $300 for copying and food for classes.
- Movie Club #2 (Emilio) Now Is The Time. Maybe in April? Emilio will look into whether it will be easier to show it at the UUCC or have people watch it first at home.
Pat Mohr, Chair
Animal Ministry Committee
The Animal Ministry had its February meeting on Tuesday, February 7, on the CYRE wing at UUCC. Areas covered included:
– A detailed discussion of the upcoming movie night. (March 10 at 6:30 p.m.). Various members of the group volunteered for certain duties for that evening.
– Since we are having our annual “Bark to the Park” fundraising campaign for Pawmetto Lifeline and will walk on April 8, Anita agreed to ask Andrea to publicize this event in the OOS and the Unigram.
– Despite the fact that the Ringling Brothers are long gone, Sophia planned more badly needed protests of circus cruelty at the Shrine Circus the Saturday and Sunday that they are in town.
WE WILL MEET NEXT MONTH ON THURSDAY, MARCH 2. AT 5:00ON THE CYRE HALL. ROOM NUMBER TO BE DECIDED. ALL ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND!!
Anita Grossman, Chair
Building & Grounds Committee
The Building and Grounds Committee met on Wednesday February 1, 2017 following the Committee potluck dinner. The following members were in attendance: Quillin Davis, Peck Drennan, Shannon Edwards, Betsy Kammerlin, Mike Kelly, Karen Sundstrom and John Logue. John Logue served as chair due to the illness of Carolyn West.
The following actions were discussed: the need for upgrading electrical supply in the building especially around activities related to high demand from the kitchen. Peck has agreed to have an electrician examine area recommend remedies; Shannon reported on signage for the building and in areas near the building; Chairs in mechanical room will be removed after communicating with congregation; work on new sink is moving forward;a workday will be held in March; Mike Kelly discussed need for improvement of ramp to library and need for cars to not park in handicapped parking; it was recommended that Social Action Committee place signs on brick wall outside entrance because it already has holes for placement of hardware for securing hooks.
Since the meeting work was done by the committee to improve on damage due to an accidental fire at the front of the sanctuary. A new cloth backdrop and chalice symbol were hung.
The next meeting is planned for Committee night on March 1, 2017.
Carolyn A West, Chair
Building Renovations Committee
Committee on Building Renovations (CBR) – Activity Report for March 1, 2017
Have completed contract negotiations with our Architect, Peck Drennan. The Board has approved and the President has executed the contract with Peck.
Options for bridge financing have been researched by the Finance Cmte, which has made the recommendation for a single loan at a low interest rate with a couple who are members of the congregation and wish to remain anonymous. Board has approved in concept and documents are being drafted. This will enable all work to be done while 3-year pledges are being paid over time.
Feedback sessions have been held with CYRE, the Audio Team, the Choir Director, and with the whole Congregation.
- Request feedback from Staff.
- Work with Architect on all feedback to determine what is feasible, determine if anything can be added at “no additional cost”, and create a list for consideration later in the process if there is money left over after the priorities of the renovation plan are met.
- Electrician to evaluate current electrical system to determine needs.
- Audio/Visual needs and building-wide tech needs are being evaluated.
Richard Culler, Chair
Caring & Hospitality Committee
The Caring Committee has been sending cards to members who are sick or having surgery, providing meals to a family after a hospital stay and providing kitchen support for coffee hour. Four members come early on Sunday to prepare coffee for social hour. The support for coffee hour is limited to a few members and we would like to see more people assisting with hospitality.
Ann Johnson, Chair
CYRE (Children & Youth Religious Education) Committee
- This CYRE Chair forgot to send in a committee report for February; my apologies.
- The CYRE Committee met January 29, 2017.
- February highlights included:
- Miniature House raffle to fund an ad in the Free Times for Hogwarts 2017. Drawing to take place Friday, March 24th and the winner will be announced March 26th at the Flower Communion.
- Chocolate Auction, February 12th.
- Submitted CYRE Committee budget request.
- We are continuing to actively recruit 4th – 6th Grade OWL participants. We are in a holding pattern until we have at least 5 participants, preferably 8. Registration is open! Please see our brochure and registration form on the web and at the CYRE table on Sundays. We still need at least 3 or 4 more OWL Instructors. Talk with Keitha or Stephanie if you are interested in taking the training to be an OWL instructor and for a list of upcoming trainings.
- We had a very successful Chocolate Auction on February 12th raising about $700.00. Some receipts/reimbursement requests are not all in. Update will follow once those have been accounted for.
- We will offer Hogwarts 2017 for two weeks this summer, July 17 -21 and July 24 – 28. We are looking for Master Witches and Master Wizards to make this an enchanting event for our young witches and wizards. Contact Stephanie, DRE, or Gail Dawson (firstname.lastname@example.org) to offer your magical talents.
- Bring your pollen-covered cars to church on Sunday, March 12, and our youth will give them a much-needed scrub! All proceeds go to help fund the Boston UU Youth Heritage Trip in 2018.
- Our next meeting is March 1, 2017 right after the Committee Night potluck, 6:30 – 7:30 pm. As always, you are welcome to join us!
- CYRE Retreat is scheduled for Saturday, May 6th, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. Please join us! There’s always food and we have lots of fun!
Keitha Whitaker, Chair
Notes, Finance Committee, Special Meeting 22 Feb. 2017
- The canvass kick-off party was judged to have been a success in terms of fellowship and people’s enjoyment.
- Jennie will write a letter to those who presently have exemptions, reminding them that the exemptions need to be renewed annually and the process.
- A minimum pledge amount has been set. It will be communicated separately by Joe to Phil Turner for Board action.
- Pulpit editorials will begin March 5. A list of people was discussed; Joe to contact.
- The committee will put in a request of $1200 for its activities next year, based on what was spent this year.
- A target for the pledge drive of $225k was adopted.
- Several major committees have submitted budget requests, which have been passed along to Robin.
- The Tech Committee budget will be the same as last year.
Joe Long, Chair
Governance and Structure Ad Hoc Committee
My apologies for forgetting to send a committee update report in February.
The UUCC Governance and Structure Ad Hoc Committee met January 31, 2017.
- The Committee continued to outline and discuss items to include in a proposal to the Board and discussed each in relationship to our current governance.
- If you are interested in seeing this list so that you can add your own ideas to it, please email Keitha (email@example.com).
- We are currently compiling a list of what works well and what might need improving in UUCC’s governance and structure. Please feel free to weigh in on this issue!
- We welcome any comments you would like to share. Please direct your comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
- We will meet again in March.
For reference, our current governance and structure can be found here:
Some of the other resources we are currently researching include:
- Dan Hotchkiss’ book, Governance and Ministry: Rethinking Board Leadership, Second Edition. Available from inSpirit (http://www.uuabookstore.org/Governance-and-Ministry-Second-Edition-P17796.aspx) or Amazon.com or other book sellers.
Keitha Whitaker, Chair
Green Sanctuary Committee
Leadership Development Committee
Membership notes from February 1, 2017 meeting:
The membership committee met after pot luck on committee night 2-1-17 in the social hall. Present were Mary Maclachlan, Christina Seel, Buzzie Kelly, Carita Barr, Ceren Farr, and Patty Drews. The following items were discussed:
- The budget for next year so it could be turned into finance by 2-8-17.
- The status of the friendship dinners – an announcement was made at the pot luck to get more host. The friendship dinners seem to be filling up quickly.
- New Member Dinner and New Member Service ( March 25th and 26th) All membership members are asked to please put these dates on the calendar to be present to help. The theme is Spring, and many of the decorations from last year will be used.
- Ginny Verne has agreed to head up the kitchen again this year for the New Member Dinner, but will need some of our members to help.
- It was agreed to send the save the date now, and wait until the first week of March to send the invitations. The invitations still need to be run off.
- Buzzie agreed to make a form with questions for our new members to answer. She will send this to me and I’ll send it to our new members and set up times after service for pictures to be taken. Mary has agreed to take the pictures.
- It was discussed that we need to have a sign or banner in the social hall that says Welcome New Members. This sign could list names of New Members with their picture. These would be changed each month or two. Money was asked for this sign in the budget for a one time use.
- There were 13 visitors that attended our January visitor Orientation. Six visitors joined as new members.
- Our next meeting will be on March 1, 2017 after the committee night pot luck.
Patty Drews, Chair
At their February 15 meeting, the Board of Trustees approved the recommendation from the LDC to add Carol Dodson and Gloria Talcove-Woodward to the Personnel Committee. Their terms begin immediately, replacing Dave Crockett and Glenn White, who served the committee in an exemplary manner for several years; and, for that and much more, we are all very grateful.
Marc Drews, Chair
Shared Ministry Committee
Discontinued during interim period.
Social Action Committee
Social Actions Committee Meeting Summary
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
- Defying the Nazis: Sharps’ War had an attendance of approximately 50 people for the second showing of this film. There was a good attendance from the community and good participation in the discussion that followed led by Stephanie Palmer-Smith. It was agreed by all that this was a successful event and the beginning of our focus on refugees, Islamophobia, and immigration.
- SC Interfaith Immigration Initiatives letter sent out last week was intended for faith leaders only, but if you had filled it in it is not a problem. Linda emphasized that we are all faith leaders and any signatures are appreciated.
- There was a brief discussion of the Tuesday night rally at the State House, which had about 1000 people turn out with some of UUCC members in attendance. We were also reminded of important points to make our objections to the government known were:
- Send HAND WRITTEN letters with your name and zip code to your legislators
- Letters to the Editor can be effective since politicians don’t like to be embarrassed, however these must come from the individual and not include UUCC as part of the signature.
- Telephone calls to your legislator are effective and if necessary leave a VM.
- Post messages to FB. Include ‘thank-you’ to Lindsay Graham for all he is doing on behalf of the Bridge Act and DACA and encouragement to Tim Scott to do the right thing.
- Form letters and petitions are not as effective as personal contact but definitely still needed.
- Syrian Refugees Assistance in Columbia There are 12 Syrian refugee families in Columbia in need of items that food stamps will not cover. These include plastic bags, paper goods (toilet paper, paper towels etc.), sanitary pads, and dishwashing liquid (not dishwasher detergent). The large tub in fellowship hall will be out until February 12 to collect these items. This is in cooperation with the Islamic Refugee Center.
- UU Statewide Advocacy and Carolina Peace Resource Center Collaboration was established in a conversation between Linda and David Matos of CPRS. David is a member of the Aiken UU and also the chair of the CPRS. The CPRS is holding an Advocacy Training Saturday, February 4, from 9 to 3 here at UUCC. In addition, he has been working to start a UU Advocacy for the state, in which we will partner. We have agreed to work on other events with CPRS also. One such event may be the Tavis Smiley Reports Special “MLK’s: A Call to Conscience film.”MLK’s Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence speech. The date for this is TBD but will be either April 2 or April 4 and will be a Community Conversation.
- Sign Progress The Board has asked that we get approval for the welcome/tolerance banner that we have been discussing for the last several months. They feel that the sign could be determined to be controversial and believe that the permit would be the best way to go. The discussion amongst the committee members was we should hang the sign without approval knowing that the worst is that the zoning commission will get complaints, come to us and give us 10 days to provide the $10 fee. Obviously we cannot go against the Board’s ruling and most likely it will be easier to go ahead and get the zoning permit. Eric and Laura are going to do more checking into signs for exact prices and where the best place to get our banner.
- Islamophobia Workshop Manzoor Cheema will lead the planned event February 5th from 2 to 4. Donald Griggs will do setup for the audiovisual equipment. There will be a potluck immediately after the service and anyone wanting to help in the kitchen and social hall with set-up or clean-up will be appreciated. Laura and Sej have done an extensive job of publicity and Laura now has us set up on MailChimp which is an electronic mailing program. We do expect a large crowd.
- Rally Sign Making There was a discussion about getting community involvement in a sign-making workshop, and building a stockpile of signs – both generic and specific, that people can use in the various rallies going on as a result of current events. Linda gave us a reminder that churches could lose their tax- exempt status for participating in name specific political activity. Rallies in support of basic principles of democracy are of course acceptable. Individuals are always free to participate as they please. Karen and Jeanette will try to come up with ideas for this sign making workshop.
- Sanctuary Church Discussion Alvin Steingold led a discussion of inquiry about the need for a sanctuary church to protect the refugees and illegal immigrants. After some discussion it was agreed that UUCC is not a properly equipped facility to house such a shelter. We appreciated Alvin’s good input as well as his passion for such a need. We did agree that the many other efforts that we are making to work with other organizations to develop strength and unity would be an asset to those illegal immigrants and refugees.
- NAMI walk will be the same as last year and is scheduled for April 1st. Be watching for more in the Unigram and Order of Service and plan to attend the walk and learn how you can donate to this important charity for mental illness.
- DVDs – Anne Mellen has a number of DVDs on various social justice topics that she is willing to donate for use by the church or any of its members. Linda advised her to send list to her and DRE.
- Webpage Laura Hartwig will be taking over the webpage for Social Action from Lis Turner. Lis will no longer need to post for Social Action. Laura’s is a web designer so we are in very good hands.
- Resignation of Chair Linda McLeod announced that she will be resigning as Social Action chair after two years of service as of June 30th which is the end of our fiscal year. She has very much enjoyed chairing this group of great and cooperative people but it is time for someone else to take over. Laura Hartwig will be the new chair. Laura is a UU from New York and has transferred to UUCC and been an active member of our Social Action committee upon arrival here six months ago. She has already been very helpful in many ways and will do an excellent job in taking over. She will transition in the next few months until she becomes chair with the Board’s approval on July 1, 2017. Linda McLeod will continue as chair of Share the Plate.
- Next Meeting will be Wednesday, March 1st, and will be a potluck at 6:00 followed by the meeting at 7:00.
Attendance: Laura Hartwig, Tim VanDenBerg, Alvin Steingold, Eric Ward, Stephanie Palmer-Smith, Jeanette Walton, Sej Harmon, Linda McLeod, Anne Mellen, Grant Seuser, Karen Brown, Ceren Farr, Renee C. Mattier, Carita Barr
Linda McLeod, Chair
Technology Services Committee
The Transition Team plans to meet with Rev. Jennie on March 9 to catch up and discuss general congregational matters.
Kevin Meredith, Chair
. . . Local television personality John Farley will speak about climate change March 5; Jane Lawther, UUCC member, will speak April 9; and Julienne Lepp, UU minister from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, will speak June 18. Other guest speaker slots are still in limbo pending the new minister interview schedule. Rev. Jennie will not be with us past the end of June. Her upcoming topics will be science and religion (February 12), pledge drive (February 19), Unitarian Adlai Stevenson (February 26), and new member and flower communion (March 26).
. . . We have been assured by the Committee on Renovation that there will be use of the sanctuary during the entire renovation time. We reiterated strongly that audio-visual screens a projection system, and a wireless microphone system should be installed.
. . . We invite anyone who has ideas that improve our chalice burner to let us know. We need one that safely produces a larger flame.
. . . The major addition to our proposed 2017-18 budget is to include salary for a part-time Music Director. Committee members were urged to contact board members and promote that position. UUCC has musical talent that would enhance services, encourage participation, enliven the congregation, promote membership, and impress a new prospective minister.
. . . Changes will be made in the Sunday service to allow youth to leave earlier. Prelude will end before the 11:00 chime, and youth will leave before the musical call to worship.
. . . Additional hymnals, both teal and grey, have been ordered to replace a dwindling supply and anticipate greater attendance.
Richard McLeod, Committee Chair