May 2021 Board Meeting Highlights

May 2021 Board Meeting Highlights

In an effort to keep the congregation in the loop on what develops during Board Meetings, your Board of Trustees provides updates following their monthly meeting. Please note that this account does not constitute the minutes of the meeting, which will be subject to the Board’s consideration and approval at the Board of Trustees’ next meeting in June.

Updates & Highlights from the May Board Meeting:

The Board welcomed more than the typical number of guests to the May Board Meeting and wants to remind everyone that the monthly meetings are open to the entire congregation and occur on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 6:30pm (EDT) on Zoom.

As this fiscal year draws toward its close, Colette asked the Board to consider and respond to two questions. Focusing first on accomplishments from this year, Board members cited encouraging congregational engagement including the creation of the Trust & Reconciliation Committee (TRC) and Beloved Community Committee, surveying the congregation for feedback on how UUCC is meeting the Congregational Ends, and the monthly blog post summarizing the Board Meeting.

The second question asked Board members to consider topics that may be a focus in the coming year. Comments included implementing recommendations from the TRC and Beloved Community Committee, returning to OBIC for in-person services, and budgeting and congregational finances.

Trust & Reconciliation Committee: Preview of Recommendations

Laurie Coltri (Chair) provided an overview/preview of the Trust & Reconciliation Committee’s (TRC) process and recommendations. After the committee was convened in fall 2020, committee members conducted nearly 90 one-on-one active listening sessions with congregants. After many additional meetings of analysis, discussion, and debate the committee identified recommendations in the following five areas:

  1. Setting the Stage for Progress
    • Explicitly fostering the 7 UU Principles and UUCC’s June 2020 Beloved Community Resolution in implementing all other TRC recommendations
  2. Conflict Transformation to Deescalate the Conflict
    • Convening a large-group expert-facilitated workshop to identify common ground, promote understanding and cooperation, rebuild trust, and generate energy for moving ahead
    • Utilizing a conflict de-escalation toolkit, created using the findings of the committee’s work, to improve existing interactions and prevent destructiveness in future conflicts
  3. Encouraging Healthy Interactions & Right Relations
    • Establishing a Right Relations process, including covenant development and implementation
    • Creating a process of support for congregants who experience problems with relationships at UUCC
    • Improving social media communications
  4. Nurturing Cultural Competencies & Beloved Community
    • Using a multimodal approach to building cultural competency
    • Addressing existing gaps in cultural competency
    • Monitoring for new issues and gaps
  5. Fostering Vibrancy & Encouragement of Congregational Voice
    • Promoting transparency, democracy, and inclusivity in elections
    • Empower, engage, and broaden the perspectives of congregants by involving more of them in leadership, restoring some of the benefits of the now-dormant council system
    • Strengthening the mission, visioning, and covenanting review system

    Board members and Rev. Paige expressed heartfelt thanks to the committee for all their hard work and Tim noted that this is an ongoing process that will take time to implement. Laurie agreed, and noted that there can be benefits in the process of working through the recommendations as well as in completing them. Laurie stated that the TRC will be working to finalize their written report during the next few weeks.  She will deliver an update to the congregation at the Annual Meeting (June 6, 2021).

    Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2021-22

    Sean presented the Executive Team’s recommendations for the Proposed Budget for fiscal year 2021-22. Revenue is currently at 83% of our goal and is insufficient to accomplish congregational commitments to staff and programming, requiring painful reductions: All staff will be furloughed for a week without pay; all programming budgets are reduced by at least 50%; UUA dues have been reduced to the minimum amount possible, while still retaining UUA membership; and reserves have been completely depleted. Concerns were expressed over the demoralizing repercussions of cuts on staff and congregants. However, given needs and funding, the budget represents the reality of what can be accomplished with the funds available.

    The Board endorsed forwarding the proposed budget for congregational consideration at the Annual Meeting on June 6th  and expressed the intent that the first order priority for any additional revenue needs to be restoring staff compensation.

    Note : It is never too late the pledge or consider increasing your pledge as your circumstances allow. You can pledge or update your pledge amount here: uucolumbia.net/pledge

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