January 2022 Board Meeting Highlights

January 2022 Board Meeting Highlights

After a break in December, the Board resumed monthly meetings. Our spiritual practice this month was centered around the topic of racial equity. Board members shared their thoughts on three questions:

  1. What are three words that reflect your vision for racial equity at UUCC?
  2. How can UUCC demonstrate these values?
  3. How would one see what you envision for racial equity at UUCC?

Board members’ reflections included similar themes of inclusiveness, compassion, and respect for each other. Actions we can take include: active listening; leading with humility, and embracing diversity in programming, music, and activities. Manifestations of the change could be seen through greater diversity in membership and leadership and greater opportunities for growth.

Mid-Year Financial Update

Sean presented a mid-year financial update. Income and expenditures are running as projected for this year. Indications are that the implementation of an austere budget for this fiscal year was an appropriate choice.

Sean shared several other important points. Pledges received are at 60% of goal and in line with historical trends. UUCC typically receives a “bump” in pledge income at the end of the calendar year and did so again in 2021. Overall, income is ahead of budget by 63% year to date, and expenses are generally performing to expectations. Pledge income continues to represent the vast bulk of UUCC’s income stream. Slightly more than 80% of income to date is pledge contributions. Cash flow is an area of concern and will need to be monitored carefully. For the last two years UUCC has maintained its budget through a series of extraordinary financial instruments that we cannot expect to be available when planning for the coming fiscal year, including federal funding (PPP loan), , two one-time gifts of $25,000 from members of the congregation, and funds pulled from our reserves ($70k out of $100k budgeted for 20-21 and $70k budgeted for 21-22).

Mission / Vision / Covenant Review Committee Update

Jenny Afkinich, Board Liaison to this committee, provided an update on the committee’s activities. The committee is in the process of collecting responses from people about what they would ideally like to see in UUCC’s mission, vision, and covenant. MVC committee members have identified various member groups they will contact for input.

The MVC committee is looking for additional members to help their committee fulfill its charge, especially those with interest and skills in analyzing survey results and/or facilitating conversations. Prospective Committee members can express interest in serving or find out more by contacting mvc_committee@uucolumbia.net.

Annual Pledge Drive Update

The pledge drive will be starting soon, and this year’s drive will be led by John Boyle, who stepped up and volunteered to serve as our congregational pledge drive Chair—thank you, John! Please consider joining the Pledge Drive Team and working with John on this vital effort. You may email pledge@uucolumbia.net to volunteer.

Congregational & Board of Trustees Document Updates

The Board agreed to start work on an internal Board Procedures Guide detailing processes the Board established this year as a Board of Trustees aid in future years. These guidelines will not be binding but will provide insights into how certain operational issues have been addressed.

After several months of consideration and review of the UUCC policies and other congregations’ policies, the Board formally voted to incorporate changes to three policies. The updated policies can be accessed below:

All policy documents were updated to use gender neutral pronouns. The Administrative Limitations Policy now includes a new Anti-Racism, Anti-Oppression Commitment; additional changes were made to reflect current practices and terms. In the Governance Process policy, the Board added a sentence that the Board will work in a way that upholds the seven principles and the Beloved Community Resolution, and also that we will govern in a way that emphasizes engagement with the congregation. This policy also now allows a vote in ways other than an in-person meeting and it allows the Board to consider spending funds on governance and anti-oppression training.

Open Questions

Kristin Parrish led the Board in ensuring a shared understanding of the process we’ll follow for our open questions. The Board agreed to host facilitated discussions after worship service during social hour, using the format of conversation circles.Each month, a new question will be the focus of the discussion:

  • February—How shall we become a congregation inspired to work within our community for environmental justice?
  • March—How will we create a culture of stewardship at UUCC?
  • April—How can we as a congregation move forward toward creating beloved community and what difference do we want to see? How will our words be brought to life within our congregation?

Please stay tuned for more details. We hope you’ll join to share your thoughts!

And, as always, please reach out if you have any feedback to share or questions. You can always contact the Board of Trustees at board@uucolumbia.net.

One Comment

  1. Gail Thompson

    An area seemingly not covered in any of these sections is the regulation of financial auditing.
    UUCC has never in its history had a full audit of its financial structure. It has always been “too expensive” in the terms of previous Boards and Administrations. Financial reviews have been made but that is a different procedure.
    We have just had a major change in our Executive Director and I do not in any way mean to suggest any suspicion of misconduct, but it is reasonable in business that such changes trigger an audit. It allows the successor to begin with a known clean slate. Perhaps we could establish a policy of a full audit every ten years or at change of Executive Director. That is just a suggestion.

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