Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia

Board of Trustees

Minutes of September 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 for a portion of the meeting:  Carita Barr.


Gareth Fenley resigned from the Board of Trustees.  The Leadership Development Committee recommended Patrick Saucier to complete Gareth’s term of in office.  The Trustees met in Executive Session to approve Patrick’s appointment as a member at large of the Board.  The Executive Session was adjourned at 6:20 PM.

Call to Order

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

Chalice Lighting

Janet Swigler lit the chalice and provided opening words.  The Trustees reaffirmed their Covenant.

Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the July 15 meeting were approved with the correction of two typographical errors.

Member(s) Comments

Carita Barr spoke on behalf of some members of the congregation who plan to sponsor a panel discussion about the “new racism” on Sunday, October 25, 2015, at 3:00 PM.  They would like to hold the program at the UUCC.  Marc asked for further information: who constitutes the planning committee? Are Adult Religious Education and/or Social Action Committees involved?  Who are the panel members?  How and where will the event be publicized?  What support is the planning group requesting from the UUCC Board?

Interim Minister’s Report

Rev. Jennie Barrington announced that she plans to begin training a team of Pastoral Care Associates.  Pippin Whitaker will assist her with the training.

Treasurer’s Report

Linda Brennison reported that we have a negative variance of $5,036.13 for the new fiscal year.  Pledges, plate collections, and building rentals are all lower than expected.  Attendance has been lower than usual also.  No fund raising has been done yet.  Total expenses to date are under budget by $335.44.

Linda suggested that we provide a Treasurer’s update on pledges in the Order of Service and the Unigram.

Committee Reports from Board Liaisons

Marc asked Committee Liaisons to remind the Committee Chairs to send reports when requested monthly.

Adult Religious Education   Patrick Saucier will serve as board liaison to this committee.

Green Sanctury Committee  still has no board liaison.

Membership Committee  is planning the New Member Dinner for Saturday, October 10, and the Joining Service on Sunday, October 11.


UUCC Website   Devon Hicks has ended his membership/affiliation with the UUCC.  He says he mailed a thumb drive to Marc with the website updates but Marc has not received it.

UU Coffeehouse   Tim VanDenBerg is trying to salvage the status quo arrangement without creating an entirely new entity.  The Coffeehouse people (Steve Fisher et al.) have asked Patrick Saucier to represent them in negotiating with Tim.  Tim and Patrick will meet next week.

Facility Assessment Task Force Report   Trustees received the narrative section of this report this month.  The report was approved by the Trustees.

Buildings and Grounds Committee  is being assigned to provide recommendations for improvements to our building(s).  We are asking them to take the Facilities Assessment Taskforce report (which they have not received yet) and add cost data.  They will need to get cost estimates (a commercial contractor’s appraisal) to address needed improvements: restrooms, sanctuary, annex, etc.  That information will be shared with the board and used to help determine which project(s) will be undertaken next.  Then we can develop a plan for raising the money: a capital improvement fund drive, endowment, etc.  At some point we may want an ad hoc committee charged with specific parts of the overall plan.

The CYRE flooring project is on hold.


CYRE Leadership Changes

DRE Resignation    Nancie Shillington Perez resigned as DRE effective August 31, 2015.

Appointment of Interim DRE   The following motion was circulated electronically to Board Members: The motion is to approve the appointment of Keitha Whitaker as the UUCC’s Interim Director of Religious Education (DRE) until the time we are able to hire and bring on board a permanent DRE.  She will begin on September 7, 2015, and sign a month-to-month contract that will be voted upon at our regularly-scheduled Board of Trustees meeting on September 16, 2015.  This motion was approved September 4, 2015.

The Letter of Agreement for the Interim DRE for CYRE was approved by the Trustees at tonight’s meeting (Sept 16).

The Job Description of the DRE was revised by the Personnel Committee in consultation with the Interim Minister and Nancie Shillington Perez.  The CYRE DRE will no longer by responsible for the Adult RE Committee or their activities.  Responsibility for some extra-curricular activities has been eliminated.  S/he will no longer be responsible for planning and carrying out Multigenerational Services.  The revised DRE job description was approved by the Trustees.

Chair of the CYRE Committee   Keitha has been serving as Chairperson of the CYRE Committee.  Pippin Whitaker has volunteered to chair the committee as long as Keitha serves as Interim DRE.  This change was approved by the Trustees.

Finance Committee  recommends that the Board offer participation in the UUA Retirement Program for staff members who are eligible.  Linda Brennison offered the following motion.

Whereas the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia, SC is committed to assisting its employees to prepare for their retirement years, and

Whereas the Unitarian Universalist Organizations Retirement Plan (the “Plan”) is the retirement plan sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association; therefore, be it resolved that the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia, SC hereby adopts the 2014 Restatement of the Unitarian Universalist Organization’s Retirement Plan and commits to complying with all the provisions of the Plan and the elections made by our Congregation in the 2014 Employer Participation Agreement until such time as we submit an updated Employer Participation Agreement to the UUA Retirement Plan Committee and they acknowledge receipt of same.

Be it further resolved that the intended implementation date of the Restated Plan is the first day of the month of October, 2015, following submission of our 2014 Employer Participation Agreement to the UUA Retirement Plan Committee and receipt of an acknowledgment from said Committee.

Phil seconded the motion.   The motion passed.

CYRE Request for Fund Raising to Match $1,000 Donation   The CYRE Committee requested permission from the Finance Committee to invite the congregation to match their $1,000 anonymous donation.  This is not to be an event.  They will publicize the opportunity in the OOS, the Unigram, and one pulpit editorial.  The money will be used to purchase furniture for the RE classrooms.  The Board approved this request.

Update of Section of the Budget   Linda Brennison offered the following motion to update a section of the budget for clarity and transparency.  I move that, for purposes of clarity and transparency, the Budget line item, Minister’s Professional Expense, be broken down into individual line items for Salary, Housing, Insurance, Pension and Professional Expense.  The total of the line items plus Minister’s Moving Expense will not exceed the current budget total of $80,250.00.  There is no monetary change to the budget.  Tim seconded.  The motion passed.

Goals for Fiscal Year 2015-2016  Phil presented a list of goals that we discussed at the August retreat.  Now we need to prioritize them.  Marc will send them to us in a chart form for Trustees’ input.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:01 PM.

Minutes recorded by

Sandy Chubon, Secretary