Board Retreat & July 2021 Board Meeting Highlights

Board Retreat & July 2021 Board Meeting Highlights

Every year when new members join the Board, there is a period of orientation, norming, and bonding that occurs. Board members learn what the work of the Board is, how to do it, and how to do it together in ways that reflect our shared UU values. The Annual Retreat is the key kick-off event for the Board every year. It has two main purposes: first, for Board members to get to know each other better and learn how to work together, and second, to discuss the year ahead and identify key priorities for the Board. This year, the Board held its retreat on July 9-10 at OBIC.

This month’s Board meeting on July 13 reflected the discussions from the retreat and provided our initial report-out to the congregation on our aspirations and priorities for the coming year.

Open At-Large Seat on the Board of Trustees

Colette informed the Board that Reginald Nettles needed to resign from his At-Large position on the Board for personal reasons. In order to reestablish the staggered rotation for Board openings, the Board agreed to a one-year term for the open position. Per the congregation’s bylaws, “In the event of any other vacancy on the Board of Trustees, the Board, by a majority vote, shall choose someone to serve until the next regular election for that position.”

The Board invites any interested members to submit a self-nomination to join the Board! The deadline for submitting nominations is Friday, July 23. Please email if you would like to be considered.

July Board Meeting

There were several updates and actions at our meeting this month included explicitly clarifying the minister’s housing allowance for IRS tracking, and authorizing new banking signatories for (updated annually after new Board members take office). The process for responding to emails coming to the Board from the congregation was also clarified. The Board also extended the Beloved Community Committee’s term until August 31, 2021, to allow time for the committee to complete and submit their recommendations. Finally, the Board endorsed the recommendations from the Regathering Task Force Report, which allows small groups to begin gathering in person again and aims to offer in-person services again starting September 12.

Updates from Board Retreat

The bulk of the July meeting focused on Board Retreat OutcomesColette thanked Sean and Graham for their work in hosting our first hybrid retreat! She also expressed gratitude to the Board for everyone’s engagement and endurance during the two-day event.

  • Draft Board Covenant: At the retreat, the Board developed a draft Board Covenant to help guide our interactions. The discussion focused on building and reinforcing solidarity and mutual support within the Board. Kevin and Colette will refine the draft and prepare a version to adopt at the August Board meeting.
  • Trust & Reconciliation Committee Report and follow-up: The Board will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, August 24 at 6pm (Eastern), dedicated to reviewing the report and considering next steps. This meeting will be open to the public. More details to come!
  • Congregational priorities for the coming year: After much discussion, the Board identified three top priorities for this fiscal year:
    • Building & Rebuilding Trust in our connected community
    • Building a Beloved Community
    • Increasing engagement and stewardship
  • Board goals & assignments for the year: After developing the congregational priorities for the year, Board members brainstormed top Board goals that they would like to see accomplished this year. Board members will provide updates at the August Board meeting:
    • Budget & stewardship (Sarah & Kevin)
    • Bauder Education Center (Long Reach Head Start) funding (Sarah & Jenny)
    • Beloved Community on the Board (Jenny, Kristin & Colette)
    • Thoughtful Board communications (Kristin, Colette & Jim)
    • Continuity planning & Board annual calendar (Colette & Jim)
  • Open Questions: Open Questions are questions that allow the Board to engage in future-oriented, visionary thinking. They also offer opportunities for congregational participation since decisions around the topics will not be made in the near future. The Board will be developing 1-2 Open Questions by the September Board meeting.

The Board encourages congregants to stay in touchif there are questions, comments, or feedback please email!


  1. Linda Linton

    Thank you all for your diligence and your commitment to issues that are important (at least from my perspective) to the congregation. Thanks also for the timely report.

  2. Becky Reese

    I second Linda’s comment! I sincerely appreciate the transparency and efforts to engage and involve the congregation in deliberations prior to decisions! I think the goals are on target.

  3. Norman D Hazzard

    How welcome this report is to the congregation’s members and friends! I especially like the sound of the Open Questions plan.

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