Highlights of June Board of Directors meeting

by Carol Bartz

Some of the items discussed at the virtual board meeting of May 26, 2020 were:

  • Fred acknowledged that the impact of quarantining and not being able to gather in our building due to the pandemic is being felt intensely, especially by those who are living alone. Our Sunday services via Zoom and our Thursday morning sessions are helping to keep members connected to one another as well as frequent e-mails and phone calls made by board members.
  • Susan Frederick Gray, UUA president, sent a pastoral letter with recommendations that UU congregations continue online worship at least through May 2021. A lengthy list of questions we need to keep in mind as we plan for the coming year was included, which can serve as a guide for the taskforce we will be forming to explore the reopening process for when the time is right.  John Isham raised a number of other items/questions to consider.  At present there are many unanswered questions and it will take time to follow the scientific evidence and set up a plan that is mindful of our many members who are in a high-risk group.
  • Fred will be taking his holiday time off as well as study leave in the next two months. The board passed a motion to combine the Zoom Sunday service with our Annual Meeting on June 7.  On that day Rev. Fred will lead us in a Flower Communion service which will be followed by our Annual Meeting.  The Worship Team is working on a variety of on-line services to cover the Sundays he is not with us.
  • The importance of the Annual Meeting on June 7 was stressed as we will be voting on the budget for the next fiscal year as well as new officers for the board.
  • John Isham reported on the Small Business Associations (SBA) loan which we have received in the amount of $18,895. This will be used for staff wages—there is lengthy paperwork to be completed to provide accountability to the federal government.
  • Our Zoom Sunday services are going well and are well attended. Having recently participated in some services offered by other congregations board members pointed out that MUUF is doing well, especially with Barb McCrea’s help.   It is a learning experience for all of us–in visiting other churches’ virtual services some seem to rely heavily on pre-recorded messages which can appear impersonal.  We seem to have a good balance with live and pre-recorded portions in our services.  We may want to explore using YouTube coupled with Zoom as well as other options.  Purchase of new equipment i.e. digital video camera, may be necessary, as well as providing technical training so that there are more people with the needed skills.
  • How to more effectively conduct the on-line giving, plate donations, and possible special collections was discussed. Perhaps extending the offertory time online with music, adding donating by text, and other ideas were discussed.
  • Financially MUUF is staying within the budget. Some expenses such as utilities are reduced with the building not being in use.  Our investment portfolio is only 1% down annually in spite of further losses that could have incurred and is expected to rise as the market goes up.
  • UUA General Assembly, will be held June 24-28 virtually. Mary Frances Kordick and Lisa Moschin will be our delegates, along with Fred.
  • The Non-Violent Communication (NVC) workshop, led by John Steinmeyer went well. It is hoped that more workshops will be planned for the near future.
  • Thank you to Mary McClendon for continuing to tend to the plants in the Memorial Garden during this time!
  • Our Social Justice Committee has not met since March 1. It is hoped that the group could meet via Zoom and discuss one or two areas in which to channel energy and time.  The UU the Vote grant for $500 from UUA has been received, but due to COVID-19 the original plan of knocking on doors to encourage voters is not possible.  Contact with the UUA with an alternate plan needs to happen so that we can move forward.
  • Two of the outside groups that had been meeting at MUUF have requested to return or to know when they might begin using the building as a meeting place again. No decisions were made at the meeting as there are a number of factors to consider.
  • At this time our members are not volunteering on a monthly basis serving lunch at Our Daily Bread. Perhaps in the future we will resume.
  • An e-mail from Community Auction Services indicated that the program is not able to be used for on-line auctions, which may need to be the format for next year. There are other auction services with that capability that we may wish to explore.

Board Members

2018-2019:  John Isham –  President, Carol Bartz – Vice President, Randall Coleman – Secretary, Bill Hayes – Treasurer.  Members at large: Doris Sutliff,  Pat Rohrer, AJ Wolff and Sandy McCarthy.