Your Board of Trustees met for their 1st meeting of the New Year on Jan. 18. Alison Schwartz updated us on the posting to attrach our new Lifespan Religious Education Director. The clock is ticking on Steven’s time with us as Interim RED and the Search Committee is poised to find the best possible candidate to nurture and maintain our RE programs beginning in July. A grateful ‘thanks’ to Steven, the Task Force, and the Search Committee for guiding us into and through this important process. Steven reported that our current RE registration is 62, with steady attendance of ~ 44 children on Sunday.
Stephanie Pawlowski introduced herself to the Board and gave an overview of the Commissioned Lay Minister program in which she is involved. We welcome Stephanie’s deepening involvement in the ministries of our church as she engages in her independent and mentored studies of this program.
Rob Schwartz and Chelsea Marshall of your Marketing and Communication Teamupdated the Board on ongoing dialog about maintaining our Website to facilitate both congregational communications and information for new visitors to the site. We appreciate their dedicated work!
Bob Mitchell reported that the final step in getting the new HVAC system running is dependent on Duquesne Light upgrading us from a 400 to an 800 amp system. This has been delayed by health problems of the Duquesne Light engineer assigned to make this happen. Resolution date unknown at this time. Related to Building and Grounds, Sarah Benson obtained an estimate of installation of security cameras (~$9,594.00) from Vector Security, our current vendor. The decision on whether or not to obtain such a system is delayed pending review of current insurance coverage.
The Financial reports brought good news. Our preliminary estimate of the deficit for 2016 is ~$13,000. The pledges for 2017 are now $418,900 from 198 pledging units. Our voting membership is down to 307, a number of continuing concern. Invite your friends, neighbors, to join us.
Information of upcoming Board and lay leader workshops was provided. These include a Committee on Ministry mini-retreat on Feb. 4 here at 1st Unitarian, a WorshipArts conference on April 8 at UU Church of the North Hills, and “Drawing the Circle Wide: A Growth and Stewardship Conference” in Akron, Ohio on May 6. More information about these and other learning opportunities can be found on the CERG (Central East Region of the UUA) website. Our Committee on Ministry has been formed, chartered, and after the mini-retreat in Feb. will begin actively monitoring all aspects of our Ministries.
Bob Mitchell and Cathy Rohrer presented a power point outline and discussion of a plan for the Board’s work for Strategic Planning. Small group discussions of ‘who we are’ and ‘who we want to be as a congregation’ will begin soon with your concerns and ideas from these meetings used to guide development of a 3 year plan by a Standing Planning Committee. The Board approved their moving forward with this plan and applauded the concept of the Standing Committee to assure that this becomes a continuing process rather that the development of a document that is promptly shelved with little impact on the life of the church.
The revised Bylaws were discussed and minor changes recommended before final approval by the Board. It is anticipated that by the time you are reading this in the Feb. Chalice we will have come to a consensus on Bylaws language and will be preparing for Congregational education and discussions of the major changes prior to a Congregational Meeting for a vote to approve or reject in March.
Rev. David reported that to support the “Connect” aspect of our mission the Pastoral Care Team and Connections Team are now established and functioning. A new Sanctuary Preparation Team has been formed and eight people have stepped up to assure our sanctuary is ‘red up’ each week. They join existing Covenant Group and Ushers and Greeters Teams to help keep our Church functioning smoothly. He highlighted activities of the Sunday Celebrations Team, PIIN/UUPLAN Bridge Team, and the Green Sanctuary Team. Many thanks to these dedicated folks and look for a listing of who they are and the work they do in an upcoming Chalice and on the Web.
Rev. David outlined the schedule for our “One Hundred Days of Unitarian Universalism”, developed with Steven and Rob Masterson. This began on Jan. 20 with “Hope Night”; watch your email for daily inspiration and action to help maintain our equilibrium in the early days of the new federal administration.
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 December 14 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 February 15, 2017.