Highlights of November 24 Board of Directors meeting
by Carol Bartz

Some of the items discussed at the virtually held board meeting were:

  • Fred addressed high anxiety levels due to the election and post-election as well as the increase of COVID-19 cases as he emphasized the need for connection and continued compliance with CDC recommendations.
  • Our members have responded generously to the special collections: Spanish Community Church for turkey purchases—$1,364; Manatee Justice Ministry—exceeded our goal of $1000 plus the matching grant of $1000 from the UUA.  Next will be UU Service Committee (led by Chris MacCormack this month) and Turning Points (requested by Walter Pascal) was given board approval for January.
  • Fred shared that he would like to create a Manatee UU Fellowship group page on Facebook that would be available for members and friends.
  • Our partnership with Manatee Justice Ministry looks promising for bringing about local changes. A virtual meeting was held Nov 19 ( Fred, John Isham, Bill Hayes, and Ed Janz attended) and there will be another meeting in February to which all interested are encouraged to attend.
  • Bill Hayes reported on the financial picture, saying that pledges are coming in though plate donations are down. Something to celebrate is that we have not had to transfer money from our savings to meet expenses for the past two months.
  • The Zoom memorial service for Charles McLeod was well attended and much appreciated by the family. Being that it was our first virtual celebration of life, some ideas were given for any future services regarding possible pre-registration, chat room usage, and breakout rooms following the service if the family desires to do so.
  • Bill Hayes updated the board about the racial concerns group which will meet Dec. 14 at 2:00 and continue meeting the 2nd Monday of each month.
  • Ted Medrek spoke of the new website which is being developed, emphasizing that the purpose will be to let searchers and newcomers know who we are and what is currently happening. It is hoped that it will be ready by the end of the year or beginning of 2021.  Eventually when we are able to meet in person more information will easily be added to inform of our increased activities.  Another project is to set up our You Tube account so that we can submit Sunday sermons regularly.  Anyone with expertise in this should let a board member know!
  • John Isham highlighted some of the ways our Social Justice Committee can partner up with other groups besides Manatee Justice Ministry as he cited UU Justice FL, MCEA, Interfaith Power and Light, and Rewiring America.
  • Carol Bartz reported on the auction brainstorming meeting suggesting plenty of virtual and socially distant offerings members can offer. Possible formats for the auction were discussed– whether to use a new online auction service or continue with Community Auction Services with adaptions.  A planning meeting will be held Sunday, Dec. 6 following the service.
  • Randy McCrea and Lisa Marie Allen have created two Facebook ads which are wonderfully done.
  • Sally Isham and Carol Bartz reported on the UUA Regional Assembly held virtually on Nov. 14 with Susan Frederick-Gray as the keynote speaker who was inspiring as always. Staying connected, the effects of trauma, and the healing power of love were featured in one workshop while another workshop covered many aspects of small group ministry (chalice circles).
  • As an experiment as per the October board meeting the Knit ‘n Chat group met in person on the deck following social distancing, sanitizing, and mask wearing protocols. AJ Wolff and Sandy McCarthy prepared for and led the “event” and commented on mixed reactions to it though everyone enjoyed seeing one another in person.

Board Members

2020-2021:  John Isham –  President, Carol Bartz – Vice President, Randall Coleman – Secretary, Bill Hayes – Treasurer, Sharon Chofey – Assistant Treasurer. Members at large: Doris Sutliff,  Pat Rohrer, AJ Wolff and Sandy McCarthy, Ted Medrek.