Committee and Interim Minister’s Report, January 2017
ARE Meeting 1-4-17: Attending: Pat Mohr. Ann Johnson, Don Cooper, Stephanie P., Ruthie Saunders, Jennie Beale, Dot Brown, Rev. Jennie Barrington
- Endowment committee has asked ARE to sponsor class on how to make an endowment gift. UUA calls this “Planned Giving.” This would be a single class/educational seminar
– current status? No decision has been made by EC yet.
- Christian affinity group. Jenny Beale volunteered to be the convener for this. We only had one response about group (from Ginny Verne). We leave it out there, and if we get 4 responses, we’ll go forward and determine nature of group.
- Spiritual Practices classes? We decided to look for person who wants to do it and let them determine curriculum. Dot will put ad in Unigram, OoSs, Facebook, and web site (contact Lis and Keitha) seeking someone to lead
- New class by Donald Cooper on book: God Is Not One by Prothero.
– Publicity in Unigram and OSs. There is pre-announcement on web site;
– Beginning date 2/12 (6 meetings every other week).
- Common Read in 2017. Keitha has changed web site to show new book class in February, the name of new book for the Common Read by Rev. Barber, “The Third Reconstruction” (so people could start reading). Keitha & Dot will co-lead in spring of 2017
- – class is March 5 (after service) – People can brown-bag for lunch. Dot will ask Keitha about date (books need to be ordered right now).
- Movie club – led by Emilio (Jan. 13, 6:30-8:30 in social hall) Publicity in place. Emilio said about 20 people have contacted him. He will need LED projector & cable and contact Andrea.
- Classes for visitors & new members. Patty Drews will continue to lead visitor orientation classes. ARE will do the series of classes for new members (e.g., “On Becoming a UU”), which would take place every 3-6 months. Dot & Pat will look at Long Strange Trip video and Tapestry of Faith curriculum for new materials for ARE class.
- Library proposal (Stephanie & Don). Stephanie summarized: she wants sub-committee to set up library with more appropriate books, ones that will reflect UU principles and sources and possibly make it into a lending library. Stephanie said she could take pictures of books and send out to committee to make sure something valuable/historical isn’t thrown out. Don said he would work on the sub-committee. She has a student who is interested. Emilio will take idea to board for approval. No $ is needed.
Pat Mohr, Chair
Animal Ministry Committee
The Animal Ministry had its first meeting of the new year at 5:00, Thursday, January 19th on the RE wing at UUCC. Areas discussed included, but were not limited to:
– The Circus Protest:
Sophia Stolazzi once again is leading the protest against circus animal cruelty for this year, the weekend of January 26-29. All were encouraged to participate, and to check the Unigram for specific days and times.
– Upcoming Event
It was decided, after much discussion, to have our next event on the evening of Friday, March 10. Between availability of the social hall and committee members’ commitments, it was impossible to find an earlier date. Several possibilities for the evening were discussed, including a continuation of our “Movie Nights,” having another speaker, or doing a vegan potluck. It was also decided to again collaborate with Columbia Veg and Anita will attend their annual planning meeting on Sunday, January 29. In the meantime, we will decide on a format for the evening. Keep tuned to the Unigram, Order of Service and other announcements for further details as they become available.
– Bark to the Park
It was decided unanimously to again participate in Pawmetto Lifeline’s annual fundraising walk, “Bark to the Park” to raise money to help support homeless cats and dogs, who without their help, would otherwise be euthanized. This walk is scheduled for Saturday, April 8. Details to follow.
– Our February meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 7, at 5:00 on the RE wing (room number to be announced) in order to accommodate members’ busy schedules. This will be, as all of our meetings are, an open meeting. Anyone with an interest in the welfare of animals is encouraged to attend!!
Anita Grossman, Chair
Building & Grounds Committee
The Building and Grounds Committee did not meet during the month of January due to the Social Action Committee discussion following the potluck dinner on January 4, 2017. The next scheduled meeting for B&G is Wednesday, February 1, 2017 following the committee meeting potluck at 6 pm,
During the month of January the committee worked on the following:
- On January 6, the B&G committee, took down the Christmas tree and removed lights from the flame tree in front of the building. Returned decorations to storage.
- Dealt with a heating and cooling crisis which was corrected by following protocol. This seems to always occur when the building is under heavy use. In this case the coffee house had no heat on Saturday night, the Sunday services were discernibly cool and the Partner Church committee was having a meeting on Sunday evening. Ultimately, the solution involved throwing a breaker to re-start the heating. We should note that the time is quickly approaching where we may have to replace the heating and cooling units for the RE wing and the sanctuary. We need to be planning for this inevitable expense which will have to be addressed.
Our plans for the coming months include:
- Resuming the painting of the exterior of the RE wing. We will probably begin this sometime around April 1
- Moving the two piles of bricks from the north side of the RE wing so that the cleaning of that area can be completed.
- Move the chairs that are currently in front of the breaker box in the mechanical room. These chairs may need to be disposed of if there is no other place for their storage.
- We again have had requests for improvement of the electrical situation in the kitchen and social hall. If this is not going to be addressed in the results of the capital campaign, the problem should be corrected by other means. This is a problem that is repeatedly brought to the attention of the committee. We cannot continue to ignore it.
- Permission was granted to replace the sink in the kitchen and install a garbage disposal. This was after discussion with Ann Johnson, Joan Watterson and Ginny Verne who were deemed the most frequent users of the current sink.
Carolyn A. West, Chair
Caring & Hospitality Committee
The Caring and Hospitality Committee continues our usual activities: providing coffee and cookies after Sunday services, sending cards to members with special needs, providing food to families who need that assistance, visiting homebound members at home. We are looking for additional members or friends to serve on our committee.
Sandy Chubon, Chair
CYRE (Children & Youth Religious Education) Committee
Notes, Finance Committee, UUCC, January 4, 2017.
- Budget planning
- Ministerial candidate vote April – May.
- Congregational meeting on new budget and officers, tentatively June 4
- Committee budget input
- Request momentarily. Will be sent twice.
- Responses by mid February
- Tentative theme: Making our future.
- Will not be an in-person canvass.
- Will include kickoff party
- Door prizes, but will require only presence, not putting pledge in (so as not to encourage unconsidered pledges)
- Kickoff Feb. 19
- Year-end statements went out Jan. 13. Statements included capital campaign status. Separate statements for CY 2016 and 2nd Qtr FY 16 – 17.
- Bridge loan. In bank’s court. Investigating other possibilities
- Capital campaign. As of Jan. 17, $193,858.82 in pledges, $101,194.66 in actual payments.
Governance and Structure Ad Hoc Committee
Green Sanctuary Committee
Leadership Development Committee
Membership notes from 1-4-17 membership meeting.
The membership committee met on January 4, 2017 for a brief meeting after the committee night pot luck. The following items were discussed
- Check in and sign up for welcome table
- Finalizing plans for the friendship dinners to begin in February. We have 4 dinners to sign up at this time, with hopefully more host to come.
- Discussion of visitor Orientation format, and where new member classes should be offered. It was a consensus that these should be offered by adult education until we have a new minister then re-evaluate.
- Small discussion on New member dinner to be discussed more next meeting.
- Visitor Orientation will be on January 22nd and Patty and Dot will attend.
- Next membership meeting on 2-1-17 after pot luck.
Shared Ministry Committee
Discontinued during interim period.
Social Action Committee
- Discussion of sign for church grounds
We are in the midst of planning for a sign of welcome and tolerance for our church grounds. We have had much discussion about this in the last 3 meetings and the January 4, 2017 meeting was open to all church members and friends to join the discussion and offer opinions.
We had offered a sign that was suggested by Joe Long through an article from NPR and sent out last month by email and published on the webpage and in the Unigram. This was ultimately the choice of verbiage for the sign. A sample of this sign was displayed in front of the group and passed out amongst them for clarity. The colorful sign is written in 3 languages (English, Spanish, and Arabic) and simply states: No matter where you are from we are glad you are our neighbor. It was explained that the verbiage would be determined by a vote of the Social Action Committee and then passed on to the Building and Grounds Committee and then the Board for their approval for the type and location of the banner. Ultimately the congregation will have the opportunity to be aware of this action. It was suggested also that the sign could go on the blank brick wall on the side of the church noting that we have had signs there before.
The Building and Grounds Committee have agreed to the idea of a sign or banner of some type on our grounds. They suggested that we consider a temporary one that could be switched out with other banners expressing other sentiments. This idea was also well received by the Social Action Committee.
A permanent wooden sign would cost between $1,500 and $2,000 so it was agreed that was not what we wanted. We agreed that an 8ft long x 5ft high banner would be a better way to go. A banner would be temporary and it was our understanding it would not require zoning. Betsy Kaemmerlen has checked on the zoning requirements and found that we are running into problems even with a temporary banner requiring zoning permits. We are looking into this further since we have had many banners on our grounds before and banners are common throughout the community. We are asking for further clarification on this. Marc estimated that the cost of an 8×5 banner with 4” font would be about $175. Once we have settled on the banner we will pursue means of paying for it.
It was unanimously agreed to use an 8 X 5 ft. banner with the above mentioned verbiage. We are now going forward with finding the best price, zoning and where would be the best place for it on our grounds. A proposal has been given to the Board with a copy to the Buildings and Grounds committee.
In view of the recent Executive Order by President Trump it would seem that the need for this sign of welcome and tolerance be very timely and even more necessary.
- Defying the Nazis: Sharps’ War – Showing the Film (Community Conversation)
This was a great success with an attendance of over 50 and a good response from the community. Sej Harman and Laura Hartwig did an excellent job of PR which helped to notify the community about the film. We had a good discussion after the film led by Stephanie Palmer-Smith. The church potluck before the film was well attended but with little food contribution from those attending. We did manage to have enough and even some left over. Folks didn’t realize there was a potluck even though it was well publicized. We will be sure to make a public announcement before the next potluck for the Islamophobia Workshop as a reminder about the potluck.
- Islamophobia Workshop
The workshop will be held February 5 at 2:00 to 4:00 pm. This workshop sponsored by the Center for New Community, a national research and advocacy organization that monitors organized racist movements an equips organizations to defeat these forces will be led by Manzoor Chema. Manzoor visited UUCC last fall giving us a brief idea of what the workshop is about. It is about more than just Islamophobia but covers several areas of discrimination. This is a free event and they provide all the materials. We are expecting a good turnout for this even though it is on Super Bowl Sunday since it is earlier in the day prior to the game.
- Rally for Democracy Fair sponsored by Progressive Network
This event was held on Saturday, January 20, 2017, originally intended for the State House grounds but due to the rain it was moved to the Music Farm on Senate Street. Approximately 1000 people showed up at the Capitol and later moved over to the Music Farm where the actual program was held. It was estimated that nearly 3000 people showed up. UUCC had over 30 people attend in spite of the weather. The gathering was to support the Women’s march on Washington to show unity by the various social justice groups that are responding to the unfair actions that are being promised by the new government to those of our society that are being discriminated against for numerous reasons.
- UU Statewide Advocacy Networks
In a recent conversation with David Matos of the Aiken/Augusta UU church we discussed the possibility of beginning a UU Statewide Advocacy Network. David is the chair for Carolina Peace Research Center and will be holding an independent round table at UUCC on February 4. Unfortunately the Social Action Committee was not notified of this soon enough to collaborate with him; however David and I have agreed that we will work together on future projects. The Statewide Advocacy Network will be the first of these. Another of interest is the movie about MLK’s Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence speech is the Tavis Smiley special “MLK: A Call to Conscience”. The date planned for this is April 4, 2017. This is very tentative at this point and further plans must be made. I am checking on the date and this will be discussed at the February 1st Social Action Meeting. There will be more information to follow.
As of June 30, 2017, I will be resigning as Social Action Chair. I have served for 2 years and benefited much from it. I have found an excellent replacement for this very demanding position. Laura Hartwig is new to our community but a transfer from the Unitarian Universalist (UUFNW) in Mt. Kisco, NY. She is a web designer by occupation and is a very talented person. We are so fortunate to have her talents and commitment. I will continue on as Share the Plate chair and to be active in the Social Action Committee. Each committee has returning chairs so Laura will have good support.
Linda McLeod, Chair
Technology Services Committee
. . . Candace Chellew-Hodge will be the guest speaker February 5 with John as the worship leader. Judy and Tom will be worship leaders for guest speaker John Farley on March 5. Other guest speaker slots are still in limbo pending the prospective minister interview schedule.
. . . Regarding input to the Committee on Renovation, we strongly recommend that audio-visual screens and a projection system be installed. It was also suggested that UUCC recognize individual or “in memory of” donors with an appropriate plaque.
. . . Committee members will monitor supplies for the chalice and candles of community. A task for the whole committee is to check ideas for a chalice burner that safely produces a larger flame.
. . . The topic of “Candles of Community” was again discussed and agreed that the verbiage such as “email or phone Andrea, request to read BRIEFLY in your own voice from a prepared script” should be added to the OS and the pulpit introduction.
. . . In preparing the committee’s budget to be submitted mid-February, it was agreed that we should include salary for a part-time music director in the $20K range.
Richard McLeod, Committee Chair