November 2021 Board Meeting Highlights & Updates

November 2021 Board Meeting Highlights & Updates

The Board of Trustees had a very full and productive November meeting this month and we are excited to share the highlights with you!

Spiritual Practice

At every meeting, the Board devotes time to a Spiritual Practice, reflecting our values, principles, and covenants. This year the Board is focusing on reflections of our Beloved Community Resolution. Jenny Afkinich asked the Board to provide reflections on a GLAAD article detailing nine young adults’ views on being non-binary and how it relates to our Beloved Community Resolution.

Board members reflected on creating more acceptance, dismantling preconceived notions and biases, and having UUCC work to be a place of respite from oppressions based on an intentional commitment for acceptance.

Actions Taken

The Board agreed to submit testimony on behalf of UUCC to the Howard County Council in favor of CB82-2021, legislation that would increase Howard County’s minimum wage. This is an important bill that, if passed, would improve the lives of over 40,000 people in the County by increasing their hourly wage! You can help, too—click here to send your own email to the County Council.

The Board unanimously supported endorsed asking the congregation to approve the Ordination of Dr. Laura Solomon. Laura would like to be ordained by UUCC early in 2022. This timeframe will require us to schedule a congregational meeting in December to vote on the ordination. The congregational vote will be conducted after services on Sunday, December 5. More details will be coming soon.

The Board also unanimously voted to support the boycott of the Merriweather Lakehouse Hotel. The Board received a request for UUCC to support the boycott of the Merriweather Lakehouse Hotel being organized by the Unite Local 7 Union. The Hotel received millions in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding but laid off most of its staff. Now that the Hotel is reopening, it is requiring laid off staff to reapply for their jobs. Here’s the link to the pledge UUCC has signed, and we encourage you to also sign individually to support the workers!

Semi-Annual Ends Report

The Executive Team provided a Semi-Annual Ends Report, including both an overview of the standard monitoring data as well as several pages detailing programs and efforts that fulfill our Ends. The Board was impressed at the creative programming that staff has developed and grateful for all of their hard work during this difficult time. The monitoring data overview showed that most data points have remained consistent, even during the pandemic.

Board members asked several questions, including:

  • How is our Beloved Community Resolution incorporated into the work being done to achieve the Ends?—Paige cited that the Beloved Community work is woven into all aspects as a guiding principle, not as a separate End goal. Sean summarized it as being “baked into every End.”
  • Do we budget for uncollected pledges?—Yes, over the last few years we have assumed ~5%, in uncollected pledges; the actual loss has been lower (~3.5%).
  • How is Religious Education (RE) being conducted?—During the pandemic RE has transitioned to primarily being a virtual effort as in person classes require at least two adults per class and we have been unable to find enough volunteers who are willing to serve. If you would like to volunteer, please email Robin Slaw at dre@uucolumbia.net.

Board Policy Review

The Board completed a detailed, line-by-line walk through of the Administrative Limits policy, noting several updates, clarifications, and adding requirements in support of the Beloved Community resolution. Outstanding issues include determining if the bonding requirement for personnel should be retained.

The Board is continuing to review this policy as well as the Governance Process and Board/Staff Linkage policies and sharing comments and edits through the Board’s SharePoint site, with the goal of completing the process in the next few weeks so that and updates to the policies can be voted on at the January meeting. The plan is to share the proposed updates with the congregation in December for feedback.

Open Questions

For this year, the Board has adopted the following three open questions, questions which we will discuss at upcoming meetings starting in January as part of the Board’s role to look to the future:

  1. How shall we become a congregation inspired to work within our community for environmental justice?
  2. How will we create a culture of stewardship at UUCC?
  3. 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?

The Board is looking forward to inviting the congregation to share in the discussion! Each month, the Board will host in-person and virtual conversation circles, considering one question per month. More details to come!

Please note that the Board of Trustees’ next monthly meeting will be January 11, 2022 at 6:30pm – there will be no December monthly meeting. As always, if you have feedback you’d like to share with the Board, you may always email us at board@uucolumbia.net!

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