May 12, 2015
The Council held its monthly meeting April 28 and covered a number of issues. We enjoyed a “shelter meal” provided by FareStart, the same meal shelters serve to Seattle’s homeless.
We discussed church wide conversations that the Council is leading. The first one on “Identity” was held April 19. The next one is scheduled for 10 am, Sunday May 17, in the Lounge. Brigitta will moderate a panel and give an overview of our “Mission” The idea is to offer the congregation an overview of how our identity is connected to our mission, examine the role we have served in the community and discern where we want to go. There will also be a gathering at 2:30 pm, Thursday, May 21 at Horizon House. The conversation continues Sunday, May 24, at a luncheon in Hildebrand.
Council heard from Kyna Shilling, most recent chair of the Worship, Arts and Music Board (WAM). She spoke about the workings of the Board and reasons the Board decided to disband at this present time. Further discussion is planned next month and continue the conversation which will lead to the broader issue of Plymouth governance.
Greg Harris, Chair of the Sanctuary Improvement Planning Committee (SIPC) gave a Sanctuary Project update. We celebrated the opening of the Sanctuary and how beautiful the results are. The project is within budget and they are in the last phase. There are a few items to wrap up such as choir risers and programming lights. Cash flow for the project has been positive and we have been able to avoid borrowing funds. Greg suggested we ask members to pay their pledges early to avoid borrowing costs.
Brigitta gave her monthly report which included her search for outside assistance to help with the church wide conversations. It is one thing to gather feedback from the conversations; it is another task to know what to do with all the information. Professional help is available and warranted. Brigitta has talked to the Center of Progressive Renewal along with two former Alban Institute members: Susan Beaumont and Richard Hotchkiss. They are providing bids for their services which the Council will review at their next meeting. Services are all related to education; therefore the Cox Fund may be used as a source of funding.
In the meantime, Brigitta decided to use her discretionary funds to hire Dr. Kenneth McKinney (former Dean of the Pacific School of Religion) to help with the first part – analyzing the data. This will include working with Brigitta and interviewing a handful of members to further understand our needs and direction. Our UCC Conference minister Rev. Mike Denton highly recommended Dr. McKinney.
Council discussed the 2016 budget process to be co-chaired by Dan Landes and Al Wallace. The Council is targeting a June date to hold an open conversation on the general budget process. This will allow interested members to learn more about budget components and allow for questions and clarification.
Feedback was provided on the annual meeting of the UCC Conference. We also clarified Council liaisons for various boards: Madeline Beery, CCSA, Paul Ford, Children and Youth, Margot Page, Adult Ed and Kathleen Wilson, Community Care. Next meeting takes place at 6:30 pm,Tuesday May 26. –Jon Palmason, Moderator