Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia

Board of Trustees

Minutes of January 15, 2014 Meeting





Trustees present:  Ivy Coleman (Co-President), Robin Scherer (Co-President), Regina Moody (President Elect), Buzzie Kelly (Secretary), Bob Whitaker (Treasurer); Members at Large: Sandy Chubon, Marc Drews, Jerry Moore, Phil Turner; Ex-Officio Members: Linda Brennison (Finance Committee Co-Chair), and Ann Johnson (Past President). Also attending (partial attendance): Pat Mohr.


Call to Order and Establishment of Quorum

The meeting was called to order by Ivy Coleman (Co-President) at6:34 p.m. She noted a quorum was present.


Reading and Check-In

Sandy Chubon opened with a reading by Elizabeth Tarbacks; all present gave brief personal updates to check in.


Approval of Minutes

On a motion from Phil Turner, seconded by Bob Whitaker, the minutes of the December 2013 meeting were approved.


Balancing Acts

Ivy passed around the sign-off sheet prepared for Board members to indicate if they have read the document “Balancing Acts: Keeping Children Safe in Congregations.” All members have now indicated that they have read the document.


Profiles for Website

Robin Scherer requested that all Board members provide information for their profile that is posted on the UUCC website. She will email blank forms for members to complete; she will load the information to the website. She will also add the Finance Chair as a Board member.


Treasurer’s Report

Bob Whitaker (Treasurer) handed out the Treasurer’s Report and the Budget Variance Report and noted that pledges and income are still lagging a bit. However, expenses are lower than anticipated, which results in a positive variance of $10,668.52. Buildings and Grounds are under budget, having expended only 21.67% of their budget at the half-way point in the fiscal year. Guest minister expenditures will be over budget. There are no remaining fundraising activities scheduled, but since income from fundraising is under budget there may be a few Spring Flings in order to increase that line. There has been some confusion on Share the Plate donations so it was suggested that the announcements include a reminder that individuals should indicate the purpose of checks on the memo line.


Ivy noted that the balance of $461.42 in the Share the Plate restricted account has been donated to the Winter Shelter at the request of Mike Sullivan (Co-Treasurer). Since the funds were originally intended to reimburse members for any food they bought for the Winter Shelter, but the Winter Shelter now provides the food, the ultimate purpose of the money was for the Winter Shelter.


DRE Report

The RE laptop hard drive that crashed has been repaired. The RE Committee is requesting a new laptop in next year’s budget in order to give the RE Assistant her own laptop. A policy for seating during the children’s story has been implemented. In order to keep the children away from any flames on the stage, children will remain seated on the floor during the story.


Ivy encouraged all Board members to show their support by purchasing a “30 Days of Love” t-shirt, which will be available in the social hall the next several Sundays. The campaign will culminate with the February 9 and February 16 services. Ivy will also be selling heart pins as a fundraiser.


The Youth and Young Adult Groups will be working on projects together this year. There are also numerous adult RE activities and programs being offered this year. Del Maticic, an active member in the Young Adult Group, will deliver the first “This I Value” talk at the February 2 service.


Committee Reports

The Social Action Committee activities include the Share the Plate nominations. Though it got a late start this year, ballots have been distributed and will be tallied. This process will be started sooner next year. A new chair for the committee will be appointed starting in July.


The Finance Committee needs to locate a chair for the upcoming fiscal year. Both Mike Sullivan and Linda Brennison will be leaving that committee. Any suggestions for a new chair should be passed along to the Leadership Development Committee.


A new wi-fi has been installed and is open access in the social hall with no password required.


Memorial Garden

Pat Mohr, Chair of the ad hoc Memorial Garden Committee, showed drawings of the re-designed Memorial Garden. It includes a granite plinth, benches, and a fountain with a solar pump. The cost is $7,100 without the fountain; the fountain will be donated by Jean Capalbo and Pat. On a motion from Jerry Moore, seconded by Bob Whitaker, the proposal to accept the design for congregational approval passed. The ad hoc committee will hold a Congregational Conversation on February 2 after the service with a slide show and Q&A session. This will be a precursor to a fundraiser for the Memorial Garden. Pat will put the drawings on the website and on the UUCC Facebook page.


Truthful Tuesday Update

Seven UU congregations from South Carolina participated in the Truthful Tuesday gathering at the State House on January 14. There were three “Standing on the Side of Love” banners and a crowd of approximately 1,400, with the UUCC well represented.


Interfaith Harmony Month

It was noted that Dances of Universal Peace is not a UUCC activity (though it is held in our social hall), so Robin will ask Kate Noel Wells (RE Assistant) to find an existing UUCC event to include in the Interfaith Harmony Month.


UUCC Directory

Andrea Dudick (Administrator) is back in the office, focusing on a backlog of financial matters. She is also working on the UUCC Directory. Because it is behind schedule, Ivy will prepare an announcement for the pulpit, Order of Service, and Unigram explaining the delay and noting that the new edition will be available to members both in print and on line.


Leadership Event

The UU Church of Augusta is offering a leadership event on February 8 with registration due by January 31. After discussion, it was recommended that Kate Noel be offered the opportunity to attend. Robin will email the information to all committee chairs to learn if one of them would like to recommend anyone else to attend, thus helping to “grow” leaders at the UUCC.


Membership Report

The UUA requires an annual membership report from all congregations, and because the administrator has been out on medical leave, all materials and information have not yet been compiled. Ivy agreed to contact the Membership Chair, who needs to provide an updated list of members. Bob will provide a list of individuals who have not contributed to the UUCC during the past calendar year in order to determine current membership and the financial information required for the report. All materials will be turned over to Andrea Dudick, UUCC Administrator, so she can complete the report by the February 3 deadline. The membership information is used to determine how many members our congregation can send to General Assembly.


Candles of Community

A complaint about Candles of Community has been received and will be discussed by the Worship Committee. However, it was noted that there is no policy or procedure for addressing complaints and communication. This topic will be discussed at next month’s Board meeting.


Fire Safety Concerns

In light of a recent event at a service where a large fireball was created on the main floor in front of the stage, concerns about the fire preparedness of the congregation were raised. There is currently no policy or procedure for fire safety, although it was mentioned that the Building and Grounds Committee was supposed to be working on a plan and the UUCC Safety Policy proposal includes the provision to hold two fire drills per year.


Review of Action Items

On reviewing the Action Items from the last meeting minutes, it was clarified that the Finance Committee will ultimately be responsible for making sure donation cards are in the pews, although the Membership Committee will also keep an eye out for donation cards when they distribute visitor cards in the pews. It was noted that there were no responses to the ad for a leader of the Outdoor Group. Ivy asked if anyone was interested in taking charge of cleaning up the bylaws for the Annual Congregational Meeting. No one volunteered. Starting with the next Board Meeting a review of the Action Items will be included on the agenda.


Process for Handling Great Ideas

Sometimes members have a “great idea” they feel the Board should address. However, as the Board isn’t responsible for carrying out every suggestion from members, it should be the policy to invite the person with the idea to be responsible for running with the idea.


Marc Drews wondered what percent of members are actively involved in the congregation and although no one knows, it was estimated that the number is lower than would be preferred. Of special concern was a gap between leadership (mostly older, often retired) and younger members. How to engage members of all ages was discussed. New members provide information about their areas of interest, but nothing seems to be done with that information. However, Sandy Chubon mentioned that the Membership Committee informed her of several new members who had expressed interest in being involved in the Caring Committee. No further action was suggested.


Action Items

Below are the action items to be followed up at the next Board meeting.

  1. Robin Scherer (Co-President) will email profile blank forms for members to complete; she will load the information to the website. She will also add the Finance Chair as a Board member.
  2. Pat Mohr will put the drawings of the new Memorial Garden on the website and on the UUCC Facebook page.
  3. Robin Scherer will ask Kate Noel Wells (RE Assistant) to find an existing UUCC event to include in the Interfaith Harmony Month.
  4. Ivy Coleman will prepare an announcement for the pulpit, Order of Service, and Unigram explaining the delay and noting that the new UUCC Directory is behind schedule but is being prepared and will be available to members both in print and on line.
  5. Robin will email information about the February 8 leadership event being offered by the UU Chuch of Augusta to all committee chairs to learn if one of them would like to recommend anyone to attend, thus helping to “grow” leaders at the UUCC.
  6. [ongoing] Caroline will ask the Technology Services Committee to create an “open house” meeting in 2014 to train committee chairs who were unable to attend the Committee Night Training to learn how to access and update their committee’s web page.
  7. [ongoing] Board members will check other UU websites and bring or email suggestions to Caroline for redesign ideas for the UUCC website.
  8. [ongoing] Caroline will continue to provide an update on the website at Board meetings.
  9. [ongoing] Caroline will investigate what visitor information can be gathered for the website and will explain it at an upcoming Board meeting.
  10. [ongoing] Robin will ask Andrea Dudick (UUCC Administrator) about the origin of the Lifetouch photography/directory project and will report to the Board at an upcoming meeting.



The meeting was adjourned at 8:44 p.m.



Respectfully submitted by Buzzie Kelly, Secretary