Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia

Board of Trustees

Minutes of February 17, 2016 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), Rev. Jennie Barrington (Interim Minister).

Members Absent: Joe Long (Chair Finance Committee).

Call to Order

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

Chalice Lighting

Patty Drews lit the chalice and presented a reading.  The Trustees reaffirmed our covenant.

Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the January 20, 2016 meeting were approved after correction of typos and deletion of a paragraph which some Trustees deemed too much detail.

Staff Reports

Reports from the administrator and the DRE were accepted.

Interim Minister’s Report

Rev. Jennie will be sending our Appraisal of the Interim Process to Boston this week.  She encouraged further discussion of the document before sending it.  Under question 2, a Trustee pointed out that we have three different listings of goals, all generated since the summer of 2015, and that these should be compared.  These documents are (1) Board and leadership responses to the UUA questionnaire in the Application for Interim Minister [section on Strengths of the congregation, Areas of Focus needed for Interim ministry and Areas of Current Momentum], (2) Goal-setting exercise at the Board Retreat and subsequent work to prioritize these, (3) Start-Up Weekend list of three goals.  Rev. Jennie requested that we use a brief amount of time at the next board meeting to review those documents.

Ministerial Settlement Weekend is scheduled for March 5 & 6 with Rev. Ann Marie Alderman as the consultant/facilitator.  She will meet with the Board on Saturday evening (we agreed on 6:30 to 8:30 PM) to inform us about our responsibilities related to the search process, to lay out the time line, and to address our questions.  She will preach on Sunday morning, we will have a quick meal and re-convene in the sanctuary where Rev. Alderman will explain the search process to all the members and encourage their participation.  Sandy Chubon will organize the Caring Committee to provide a quick meal of finger foods which people can grab and gulp before returning to the sanctuary.

Questions were raised about the role of the Transition Team in this weekend and in the ministerial search process.  Rev. Jennie said their role during both will be the same as any other members; they should attend and learn about the process.  She recently met with the Transition Team and clarified what she needs from them: she wants them to meet with her about every six weeks and be a sounding board re’ how the interim work is going.  She anticipates needing extra support from them when there are memorial services for long term or well known members.  These deaths create a difficult time for several weeks.  The whole congregation needs emotional and spiritual support, in addition to the people closest to the person who died.  This grief work takes priority over all other ministry work but all the other ministry work still needs to get done.  During these times, Rev. Jennie said she especially needs the Transition Team as a sounding board and as support to help her get through a challenging and emotional period in the congregation’s life as well.

Another question which received attention, but was not resolved, was the role of the Leadership Development Committee (LDC) in the selection of a search committee for a settled minister.  Our bylaws state that (1) we will use one of the search and candidating procedures recognized by the UUA and (2) that members of the ministerial search committee will be nominated by the LDC and elected by the congregation.  Major questions remain about how/where the LDC’s nominating function fits into the UUA process.  Rev. Jennie agreed to inform Rev. Alderman about this dilemma before she makes her consultant visit in March.

Treasurer’s Report

Linda Brennison reported that our revenue shortfall increased again this month from $5,505.31 to $8,854.23.  Revenues are under budget by 4.8%.  This is the time of year when committees begin spending their money.  No fund raisers to benefit the general budget have been held this fiscal year.  Building rentals are over budget 4.8%.  The Co-Presidents continue to encourage each Committee to consider how they could conduct a fundraiser to benefit the general budget.

Review of Goals for FY16

The goals were developed during an exercise at our Board retreat and have since been revised by individual members between our regular meetings.  Marc sends them to us with the agenda for each meeting.  He encourages us to keep them in front of us.

Committee Reports

Building and Grounds   Regina reported that Peck Drennan met with the committee and presented the information he previously presented to the Board.  The committee members were pleased and are asking what should occur next.

Finance Committee   Linda Brennison reported for Joe Long who was ill.  The Annual Canvass will begin with a celebration on Sunday morning, February 28.  The solicitation of pledges and collection of signed pledge cards will take place in cottage meetings held in members’ homes.  Sixteen families have agreed to host cottage meetings; a member of the Finance Committee and a Board Member will attend each cottage meeting; Rev. Jennie will attend about half of them.

UUCC Website Ad Hoc Committee   Marc reported that the Ad Hoc Committee consists of Regina Moody, Donald Griggs, Caroline Eastman, Marc Drews, Andrea Dudick, and Brian Dudick.  They have made progress this month and plan to launch the new website March 4, 2016.


Congregational Poll Results   After last month’s meeting a ballot was sent to board members asking us to vote on Congregational Study/Action Issues (CSAIs) to be placed on the 2016 General Assembly agenda.  One will be selected and adopted for four years of study, reflection, and action.  Our votes were as follows: A National Conversation on Race 8 yes; The Corruption of Our Democracy 5 yes, 1 no, 1 abstain; Climate Change and Environmental Justice 6 yes, 1 no; Ending Gun Violence in America 5 yes, 1 no.

Report from Ad Hoc Committee on UUCC-Hosted Events    Deferred until March meeting.

Planning the Congregational Meeting  May 22, 2016   It was proposed and agreed that we will not do any bylaws changes this year.  We will plan a quick lunch between the worship service and the meeting.


Approval of Endowment Committee Member  The Bylaws indicate there should only be one board member serving on the Endowment Committee; we currently have three.  Phil Turner proposed that Bob Whitaker replace Linda Brennison on the Endowment Committee.  The motion was approved.  Another board member will rotate off the committee June 30.

Air Quality in RE Wing    Patrick Saucier asked if we need to wait for a capital fund drive before we address the air quality issues in the RE wing.  Members agreed that the air quality problems should be addressed as soon as feasible.  Peck had estimated diagnostic tests costing $1500 and air duct cleaning costing $3425.  Linda reported that we have a savings account set aside for “rainy day” problems (as we shivered from our malfunctioning heating system).  Patrick moved that we proceed with air testing and duct cleaning to be paid for by the UUCC savings account, the total cost not to exceed $5,000.  The motion passed.

Commitment to Building Renovations   There was an animated discussion about the level of commitment of the Board to undertaking building renovations at this time.  After a lengthy discussion the consensus was to delay making the commitment until the March board meeting when the Board will hear additional information from the Building and Grounds Committee.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:57 PM.

Action Items

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

  1.  In March Tim VanDenBerg will present the recommendations of the ad hoc Committee on UUCC-Hosted Events.
  2. Trustees will be prepared to discuss the 3 sets of goals we have produced in the past year.
  3. The Building and Grounds Committee will present to the Board in March their progress in getting air quality measured in the RE wing.

Minutes Recorded by

Sandy Chubon, Secretary