Board Report-September 21, 2017
Your Board had a busy summer-you can review the reports from June, July, and August on our web site.Just go to About Us-Governance-Communication from the Board of Trustees for these and prior month’s summaries.The Sept. 20 meeting opened with the Revised Governance Manual draft being presented to the Board for their editing-additions, deletions, corrections.All input will be received by Oct 5, a special meeting to consider the changes scheduled, and the final, Board approved documentposted on the Web shortly thereafter.A task force to revise the Right Relations policy has been formed, and that too should be posted soon.
Al Schwartz reported for Personnel that an updated job description for a new office assistant is being generated, and in the interim our temporary Assistant, Cicely Moultrie is filling the position quite nicely.The exit interviews from Autumn Detchon and Steven Mead were presented and reviewed.Their comments were discussed and will be forwarded to the appropriate Team or Committee for action; in many cases, new processes and procedures have already been initiated to improve the function of our Church.
Erica Shadowsong reported that she and RE Board liaison Cathy Rohrer will be convening a Learning Council in the coming weeks to facilitate coordination of ‘learning’ from Preschool through Adult.A revitalized Adult Education Team has been formed and is planning meaningful experiences for Adult RE. Erica has met with a core of YA Rise young adults and will be facilitating the continued activities of this group even though we have not been able to replace Autumn due to financial limitations. The Safe Congregation Policy and Procedures revised by Steven Mead, Shelley Ross, and Kirk Striebich was presented for comment/editing and we anticipate it too will be approved and posted on the Web in the coming weeks.
Claus reported briefly on the issues addressed at the last Finance meeting.We are experiencing the usual summer lag in pledge payments; he anticipates people will get ‘caught up’ in the next few months.
Cathy Rohrer reviewed the Priorities of Ministry for 2017-18 that evolved from the series of congregation conversations the VIM team convened last spring.The priorities identified by the congregants who participated are for us to 1) Re-imagine our worship services, 2) Institute an ongoing series of safe, open conversations structured to promote dialog among members with diverse viewpoints, and 3) Reach out to the broader community through intentional outreach programming and both internal and external communications.Look for further communications that delineate how these priorities are being addressed and implemented by the Board, Staff, and volunteers (that’s YOU!).A second series of conversations will be initiated in October-November with the focus on how we can better Connect with each other, and improve Communications both within the church and in our community at large.We hope you will take advantage of these opportunities to dialog in small groups and help formulate how the Church can best fulfill our Mission of Inspire, Connect, Serve, and Learn.Emily has requested a Board liaison to improve internal communication between the Board and the Music Program; Martin Schmidt volunteered to take on this role, and we look forward to more productive interaction with this very important part of our church life.
Communication, of the lack thereof, was a consistent issue discussed during the Congregation Conversations last spring.In addition to that being incorporated into our Priorities for the coming year, a Communications Summit will be convened.We will gather all involved in our communications efforts-Web, Chalice, Weekly e-mail, Chalice Weekly, etc -and brainstorm how we can do better.If you have any ideas, look for ways in which you can become involved in this effort.
Martin Schmidt reported for Building and Grounds that the final items to complete our contractors obligations for the new geothermal HVAC system should be completed by the end of September.We have enjoyed the coolness it provided this summer and look forward to an equally comfortable heating during the coming winter.The components for a new Ellsworth Avenue entrance “Donation Center”, funded in part by the Women’s Alliance from a bequest from Kathy Brodie’s family, have been purchased.Jim Pashek will soon put out a call for helpers to assemble the parts and the final installation by a contracted carpenter will be done in the coming weeks.
Randy Weinberg reported on upcoming activities for our fall Stewardship drive.He urged us all to pledge early and at a level that will allow us to continue and expand our Church programs without incurring a deficit.You can pledge online NOW, just go to http://www.first-unitarian-pgh.org/stewardship/pledge and avoid the last minute rush.
The Connect Team needs YOU!Joan Harvey reported that the 2nd potluck dinner for new members has been scheduled, and David reminded us that we had 6 new members sign the Membership Book in August.It is up to all of us to find them, welcome them to our Church family, and help them feel at home in our Church.Talk with David, Joan, or the Connect Team representative at the Welcome Table each Sunday if you would like to be involved with this group.There are many discrete tasks for which you could volunteer.
David reported on some of the ways that more sensory rich experiences are being woven into the fabric of our weekly services, and reiterated the need for more people to volunteer their ideas and participation to enrich our worship time.
The Board’s next regular Meeting will be on October 18, 7 PM in the Schweitzer room.All are welcome to attend.
Becky Studer, Board Secretary