The Board of Trustees met on Tuesday, August 9 at 6:30PM on Zoom. Minutes from the meeting will be posted here on the UUCC website after they have been approved at the September Board meeting.
The following is an informal recap of topics discussed at the August 9 meeting.
During the Spiritual Practice portion of this month’s Board of Trustees meeting, our Board president, Jenny Afkinich, led the Board in a discussion of chapter one of Mistakes and Miracles: Congregations on the Road to Multiculturalism by Nancy Palmer Jones and Karin Lin. This book is UUA’s Common Read for this year and details several UU congregations’ journeys to create multicultural, antiracist Beloved Communities.
The Board engaged on two discussion questions from chapter one: 1) What are our compelling calls to faith? and 2) What consensus can we create about expressing our call to faith and how can we share this with our congregation?
Board members appreciated the history of UUA’s struggles in our work on anti-racism, highlighted by 1969 actions to defund the Black Affairs Council, reflecting a history of broken promises and the need for accountability in undertaking these actions. Our principles provide a foundation and framing for approaching our anti-racism work; the intersectionality of racism and the need to break out of an us versus them view of the world. The chapter emphasized accepting the brokenness and beauty of our interactions; it’s our culture, not our theology, that’s our biggest barrier to improvement. A focus on humility aids in this transition.
Kevin Mercer has established a Treasurer’s Minute, a series of updates and insights on UUCC’s finances, as a regular feature for this year’s Board meetings. At the August meeting, Kevin reviewed highlights from the July budget statement, which marks the end of our fiscal year. Highlights include receiving 99% of pledges for the 2021-22 fiscal year ($679,258) and ending the fiscal year with a $17,000 balance.
Kevin also noted that the Stewardship Committee is looking for volunteers to assist with this year’s pledge drive. The pledge drive is vital to maintaining and growing our congregational programs and presence in our community, and we need your help! Please contact Suzanne Henig to volunteer and/or for more information.
The Board unanimously approved a motion by UUCC Treasurer Kevin Mercer to add UUCC Executive Director Valerie Hsu as a signatory for the PNC account. The congregation has an account with PNC bank that was designed for deposits of Sunday offerings. Over time we have adopted different methods for depositing donations and are no longer using the PNC account. In order to close the account, we need to update the signature card to list Valerie, so she can close the account.
Jennie Fitzpatrick, chair of the GRW Committee, provided a brief summary of the Group Relations Workshop (GRW) Committee’s work. The GRW final report will be available soon and will include a number of recommendations. Jennie presented a draft proposal to establish a UUCC Ombuds program for the Board’s review. She pointed out than many government agencies and health care facilities have ombuds and that the proposal is responsive to comments from some UUCC members seeking an institutional mechanism to address conflicts. The goal is to recruit and train UUCC volunteers to serve as ombuds, providing a resource to support the early resolution of conflicts.
Questions from Board members focused on clarifying the role and function for how an ombuds program might work at UUCC. Ombuds often serve as advocates for persons with complaints and represent them in dealing with the entity they have having issues with. It also seems that the ombuds function could be very similar to the to the functions and role of a Committee on Right Relations, which is the next step after the Covenant on Right Relations.
The Board will review the draft proposal and our Right Relations planning at the upcoming Board Retreat on August 20. Action on the Ombuds proposal was tabled until the September Board meeting.
Kirstin Nelson introduced the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI). Kirstin presented a slide presentation introducing the IDI, which measures a person or group’s capacity for intercultural understanding. Board members will be completing individual assessments before the Board Retreat. At the Retreat, Kirstin will present a group level analysis of our results; and after the retreat Board members will schedule one-on-one sessions to review our individual results and develop Individual Development Plans.
Our next Board meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 13 at 6:30pm on Zoom.