October 2023 Board Meeting Highlights

October 2023 Board Meeting Highlights

The Board of Trustees met on Tuesday, October 10, 2023 at 6:30pm via Zoom. Minutes from the meeting have been posted here on the UUCC website. The following is an informal recap of topics discussed at the October meeting.

Spiritual Practice

This month Meagan Lopes started the meeting with the following opening words from Thich Nhat Hanh:

We have to wake up to the fact that everything is connected to everything else. Our safety and wellbeing cannot be individual matters anymore. If “they” are not safe, there is no way that “we” can be safe. Taking care of other people’s safety is taking care of our own safety. To take care of their well-being is to take care of our own well-being. It is the mind of discrimination and separation that is at the foundation of all violence and hate.

The spiritual practice was a 5-minute guided loving-kindness meditation. Loving-kindness is the English translation of “metta bhavana,” the first of the Four Brahma Vihara meditation practices taught by the Buddha to cultivate positive emotions. Loving-kindness meditation focuses on generating loving-kindness toward oneself and others in a graded way to include all living beings eventually, both seen and unseen, across the cosmos.

Board Governance Committee

The plan to establish a Governance Committee serves two purposes:

  1. To recommend corrections and updates to the current bylaws, incorporating congregational feedback, with a goal of presenting the proposed amendments for vote at the June 2024 Annual Meeting.
  2. To perform a thorough review of UUCC’s current governance structure and practices to determine where adjustments can be made to clarify authorities, responsibilities, and procedures; improve systems; and promote collaboration among and engagement by UUCC members from the various communities within the larger community. The board anticipates that this will be a longer-term effort. Congregational input and feedback will be critical to this effort and any needed bylaws changes will require a congregational vote.

Review Board-Staff Linkage, Administrative Limits

The Board considered the question whether the Administrative Limitations describe the critical boundaries for the Executive Team’s work. Time limited a full discussion during this meeting, but the Board plans more work in the near future on clarifying limitations.

UUCC Monitoring Plan — Ends Monitoring Survey

Background — New Values, Mission, and Ends statement recently voted on at UUCC’s 2023 Annual Meeting including seven new ends which are subjective. Laura Park recommended giving the same survey and repeating it yearly. These results become helpful when results are compared over time to look for trends.

The Board voted to approve the Ends Monitoring Survey Committee. The Committee will research and consult with other UU congregations, experts, and subgroups at UUCC; develop working of prompts and attitudinal responses; ensure safeguard for inclusivity and accessibility; help develop demographic questions to evaluate if ENDS are attained; support anonymity; communicate awareness and transparency to the congregation; help administer the survey; and organize data to transmit to the Board. The goal would be to have the Committee be as representative and diverse as possible; as well as to include former UUCC board members and Values, Mission, Ends committee members.

Council of Communities (former Leadership Council)

In the past the Leadership Council acted as a sounding board to discuss pertinent problems and served as an advisory body for the Executive Team. These were individuals who represented program area volunteers. This group no longer exists at UUCC and there was a discussion to establish a new group that serves similar objectives. This topic will be revisited at the next meeting.

UUA GA Local Area Coordinator

The UUA’s General Assembly 2025 will be held in Baltimore City. Valerie Hsu has accepted the UUA Local Volunteer Coordinator role. This is a volunteer position which will allow Valerie to actively engage in the GA and connect with other congregations in the area. UUCC would benefit from Valerie’s role as the volunteer coordinator, allowing UUCC to be more active in the UUA as well as serving the city of Baltimore and the region. After discussion regarding the feasibility of this position, the Board gives its support to Valerie for the GA Volunteer Coordinator position.

Annual Budget Drive Leadership Recruitment

Discussion on ideas of people to lead this year’s budget drive. Several board members will be working with Paige over the next month to find a Budget Drive leader.

UUCC’s 60th Anniversary Celebration

The Board will think of ideas of how to contribute and support the celebration of this important milestone in the spring.

Closing Words

Shared by Meagan Lopes:

Waking up each morning
Waking up this morning, I smile:
Twenty-four brand-new hours are before me.
I vow to live each moment fully
And to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.
— Thich Nhat Hanh

Next Board Meeting

Tuesday, November 14, 2023, 6:30pm


Please connect with us at board@uucolumbia.net or stop by the Board Corner in Sanctuary B on Sundays during coffee hour.

One Comment

  1. Linda Linton

    Thanks for all the thought and consideration you’ve given to several important issues.
    Thrilling to hear that GA will be in Baltimore in 2025!

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