Your Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, Feb. 15. We welcomed Barb Gengler to our meeting as Recording Secretary as Kurt Summersgill was not available for this meeting. Heather Masterson representing the LRED Search Committee reported that we have received materials from several qualified applicants, and phone/skype interviews will begin soon. We are excited that multiple experienced religious educators find 1st Unitarian an attractive place for them to exercise their skills.
The Board met on Jan. 30 and approved all article of the revised Bylaws except VII. The Finance Committee wished to provide further input on the language of this section. Their editing was accepted, and the Board approved the final copy. Two meetings after church will be scheduled, as the church calendar permits, in the coming weeks for the congregation to discuss the changes, and learn how the new Bylaws can help develop more effective Governance of our church. A congregational meeting to vote on the acceptance of the Bylaws will follow.
Bari Roman reported the Finance Committee met with much of their time devoted to their input into the Bylaw revision, however substantial progress was made on organizing the financial tasks and defining how they will be done by the Financial Team. If you are interested in volunteering to be part of our Financial Team, contact Board President Audrey Masalehdan at email@example.com.
Bob Mitchell reported that completion of the new HVAC system is still dependent on Duquesne Light upgrading us from a 400 to an 800 amp system. They will be contacted to see if this impasse can be resolved soon. Review of current insurance coverage indicates that spending ~ $10,000 for installation of security cameras would not be prudent, as we have comprehensive insurance coverage that would cover vandalism that might occur subsequent to our installation of the Black Lives Matter banner.
Randy Weinberg reported pledges for 2017 are now ~ $423,000 from 200 pledging units. The Board designated April 23 as the Sunday for a blitz Stewardship Drive to capture new pledges or for existing pledgers to increase their commitment to our church. Groups are being formed to do Stewardship Visioning, and to develop an organized approach to Planned Giving from bequests. Consider how you might be able to help in these efforts as well as with our existing Annual Budget Drive Committee.
Many Board members attended the CERG workshop on the roles and responsibilities of a Committee on Ministry. Our group has been formed, and to better characterize their role was named “Healthy Congregation Collaborative”. They are refining their charter and beginning to actively monitoring all aspects of our Ministries. Look for specific information in the Chalice and weekly e-mails, and they plan to table at coffee hour so you can interact directly with concerns and compliments about all aspects of our congregational life.
By the time you read this, Bob Mitchell and Cathy Rohrer will have held the introductory meeting about the work for Strategic Planning. We hope many of you plan to participate in the small group discussions of ‘who we are’ and ‘who we want to be as a congregation’ as your input will be critical to the development of a 3 year plan by a standing VIM, that is Visioning, Identity, Mission Team. Randy Weinberg retrieved and shared the Long Range Plan finalized in 2010; it serves to remind us of what we have accomplished and what we have not implemented, and of the importance of keeping any Plan alive through the work of the VIM Team.
Audrey Masalehdan reported that the revised Personnel Policy is nearing completion and the new Committee, headed by Annie Stunden will soon be taking on multiple responsibilities related to our staff. This is part of the continuing effort to relieve David of administrative tasks that diminish his time devoted to his core work with the ministries of our church.
Joan Harvey reported on the appearance of yard signs placed in our W. Shadyside neighborhood by a white supremacy group. The police have been notified, and the signs removed. To counteract, signs assuring that “No Matter where you are from, we’re glad you’re our neighbor” in 3 languages are available to purchase by households wishing to show a welcoming stance. Contact Joan at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Rev. David reported on a meeting with City of Pittsburgh planning Representative Kristin Saunders where she outlined the City’s plan to add bike lanes to Ellsworth Avenue. Exactly how this will impact our ability to park on Ellsworth is still being determined as they are only beginning to contact the ‘stakeholders’ along Ellsworth. A public hearing will be held prior to implementing any plan. He also reported on communication with Dr. Michael Tillotson (University of Pittsburgh) who would like to administer a survey to our congregation as a pilot study for a larger project titled “Worldview: Toward a Pathway Forward for Black America”. Watch for more information in the near future on this opportunity to participate in the larger goal of Africana Studies as to how best to move Black communities from oppression toward recovery and transformation.
Look forward to May 21 as a Day of Service for our congregation. Alice Lieb and her team are making arrangements for a variety of service opportunities.
Minutes of the January 18 Board Meeting were approved and are posted on the large pillar just outside the library and may be found on our Church website. The Board’s next regularly scheduled meeting will be on March 15, 2017.