January ‘21 Leadership Minutes
3 December 2020 via Zoom
Present: Dan Lusk; Rev. Tony Larsen; Brian Monroe, Dean Johnson; Pat Mumm Lovely; Julie Zumach; Leigh Hoftiezer; Sherryl Andrus; Gerry Schmitz; Jackee Orozco; Ed Ahrenhoerster; Kristin Gasser
Absent/Excused: Rosa Gomez
Call to Order 6:30pm: President Dan Lusk/ Opening Words/ Chalice Lighting/ Check In
Open Forum: None
Changes to and approval of December minutes: With date correction of Jan meeting, SEWUUC amount of $1,500.00 and spelling corrections Leigh moved to approve and Julie seconded. December minutes unanimously approved.
- All Soul’s Café: Kristin reported that it was all good, but needed to do some extra work with Alex. He had not followed the outlined video that Kristin had prepared. Alex will follow the outline and ask if he has a question, instead of making his own decisions.
- Constitutional Amendment Update: Brian reported that polling information has been sent into the UU group that is organizing and compiling this information. Amendment has been shared in the Northliner, but still needs to be added to UCN website and Facebook.
- UCN Website & Facebook: Pat M mentioned that Andrew Smith is aware and will correct the glitch in the calendar that is showing the wrong month. Andrew will also correct times for the Weds night services.
- Response to Ms. Steingart’s Letter sent on 6 January: (copies of letters were shared with leadership and are also attached) Dan reported that we now have a UCN response ready if we receive future complaints about our “Standing on the Side of Love BLM” banners.
- Letter to Washington/Ozaukee Health Dept.: Dan reported that UCN has offered our parking lot for a covid-19 vaccination site.
- Black Owned Business: Dan reported that the mkeblack.org website lists all the Milw area Black owned business. Dan encourages members to consider patronizing these businesses. Leigh requested that this link be added to the homepage and she will reach out to Andrew.
- 2021 Pledge Drive – Julie reported that she is very pleased and that we are on schedule with pledge packets being mailed out. She feels that we are very organized this year and that Nancy Neumann is working on the pledge steward assignments once members respond to questionnaire.
- Voting on 19 February: Dan reported that this is a limited election, and all voting will only be done at Mequon’s City Hall and therefore UCN will not be needed as a polling site.
- Green Committee Co-Chairs: Dan reported that John & Julie Cabaniss are happy to reactivate our Green Committee that has been on recess for a few years. Dan has provided them with some documents in order for them better understand what the Green Committee has done over the years.
- RE Program and RE Director– Dan brought up concern and questions about the discrepancy between the RE position described in our Bylaws and what is currently happening. According to current documents (bylaws and contract) the position’s title, is “Director of Religious Education”. Jackee signs her emails as “Director of Lifespan Faith Development”. Realizing the bylaws cannot be changed for some time, how does the Leadership Board address this and other documents relating to the position and the RE program?
This led to much discussion of the RE Program itself. Current discussion was tabled. Please refer to “Addendum A” on page 4 for more details of the discussion.
Pat moved to call a “special meeting” in order to discuss the current RE program. Leadership will also need to make a budgetary decision before the Finance Committee does their budget. Rev Tony and Jackee will be invited for the initial portion of the meeting and then leave in order for the board to discuss and make their decision(s). Ed seconded. Discussion followed, Dan asked for the vote, and the motion was unanimously approved.
- SBA Disaster Relief Loan Request: Ed shared an email from the SBA that Pursuant to the SBA Loan Authorization and Agreement (LA&A) that UCN accepted and signed, the SBA is contacting us to request that we: Provide a Board Resolution that includes:
- A statement that the Board held a meeting. Please include date of meeting.
- A statement that the Board authorizes acceptance of the SBA loan, in the amount of $9,200.00. The SBA said that the person who signed the original loan docs should sign our resolution. Brian initiated the loan and will take care of following up.
- PayPal link: Julie reported that Alex T will add a PayPal link to make it easier to collect donations during “Offertory”. Six different options on where the funds could be directed. Kristin mentioned that it will be up to the host to add that link into the Chat Box. It was recommended that the PaylPal link could also be added to UCN’s website. UCN should then be able to use PayPal to send funds to organizations that may not have a mailing address based on the example that Leigh shared. Non-profits will incur a small fee for using this feature.
Committee Reports Committee Reports (except Membership and RE) were sent out in advance of the meeting. Minutes will only reflect some additional discussion points, motions and approvals.
Finance/Treasurer’s Report: (see report) Sherryl reported that our accountant, Mitz & Rozansky has raised their monthly fee by $50, for an annual increase of $600. Sherryl also reminded committee chairs that when they have a budgeted expense that requires a payment, that they fill out an expense reimbursement form and send it to her. Sherryl then will forward a check request from our accountant’s contact Kim. Committee chairs must initiate the request. Budgeted items, or expenses are not automatically paid until a request is made. An example was shared.
Sherryl said that we had a labor law document that requires posting and that it had Jackee’s name on it, as owner/manager. It was agreed that it should be changed, and that Lyn’s name should be on it. Sherryl appreciated the confirmation that the City of Mequon does not tax UCN.
Minister’s Report: (see report) Tony asked to correct his report, because he was not able to attend the NAACP Zoom meeting.
Worship Committee: (see report) Julie asked for clarifications on some of budgeted expenses. Kristin reported that some budgeted items did not happen and some new items are directly related expenses which have been added. Example: WeVideo account, Alex Tatterson. We need to set up our own WeVideo account instead of using Jackee’s account (approx. $35/month). A discussion about getting a UCN credit card for future charges, (e.g. Zoom etc.) was deferred to a future meeting.
Membership No report
RE Director of Lifespan Faith Development: (no report)
Social Justice: -Leigh (see report)
Special Meeting to Discuss RE: To be determined
Meeting Adjourned at 8:06pm: Motion to adjourn was made by Kristin and seconded by Gerry and unanimously accepted
Next meeting 18 February
Respectfully, Brian Monroe
RE Program and RE Director – Continued Discussion
Dan shared the description and outline of the DRE Support Committee as written in the bylaws. That committee is to be made up of three members. The DRE Support Committee disbanded or was non-existent prior to Jackee becoming DRE. Jackee was hoping to find parents/members that could fill these spots but has not been able to so for multiple reasons, including small parent pool, burnout, and many potential candidates currently on other committees.
The discussion moved to
- “Should we continue the RE program?
- Should we postpone RE until we can have families return to in-person services at UCN?
- Can we afford an RE program, not knowing what next year’s budget and pledges look like?”
Rev Tony recommended that we should not cut any programs, or staff at this time. He offered to adjust his hours down to 20 hours if that would help. Ed A said that we should not put this decision on the Finance Committee. The leadership board must make a decision before Finance does the budget for 2021-2022. Kristin mentioned that all higher education institutions are wrestling with the same questions. Dean brought up the need to determine the true cost of RE based on the current small number of children actively participating. What is the cost per child, can we afford this now? Leadership needs to be “good stewards” of our member’s pledges. These are economically challenging times. Pat requested copies of Jackee’s current contract, our bylaws as it pertains to RE position, Jackee’s summary of her current activities under pandemic restrictions and what RE will look like after pandemic. Dan’s original intent was to see what leadership should be doing to support our DRE and making our RE program successful.
Kristin: A summary of Jackee’s comments should be added, as she spoke several times. I remember that one of her comments was a question about whether RE decisions would be brought to parents’ attention and to the congregation, and another was a reminder that our church, at the last “big” transition, voted to keep the building and RE.
“Kristin pointed out that all higher education institutions are wrestling with the same questions, and the over-arching concern is that making drastic changes during the pandemic could have a crippling impact when students return and resources and/or faculty are gone.”
Much was omitted, and it is strongly biased toward representing the “negative” portions of the discussion and had little emphasis on the specific ways in which the Board hasn’t appropriately supported/managed the DRE position over the years which were not included.
I have to say that I don’t feel the minutes accurately captured the points I made; much seems to be left out particularly my responses to the questions that were raised by Dan. The comments that I made about lack of form and courtesy in raising the issue without first speaking to me are missing, and so are the comments of many others regarding how the long-standing practices of the congregation back at least as far as Trudy also were not reflected accurately in the bylaws. Dan’s comments about this reflecting possible errors on behalf of the board over the years and not mine are also missing. Notable to me is the repetition of DRE as a title after raising the question as to the validity of that title without recording my response to it. While I appreciate the efforts of capturing such a difficult conversation, my initial reaction is that there is significant bias in the report. I’m not sure how to correct this for it to accurately reflect how I perceived the meeting.
I was asked to write a job description as was Lyn for the purpose of our reviews and defining our roles more clearly. I wrote as the title Director of Religious Education/Director of Lifespan Faith Development and defined that role consistent with trends in the UUA and what were considered best practices. That description and how I saw my role and my ideas about how to best contribute to UCN were talked about in a formal meeting with the personnel committee. There were ongoing conversations with committee members, board presidents, and the board over the years about the nature of my role and its evolution in line with other congregations and the UUA.
The current job description for that position (revised in 2018 with the DRE and the personnel committee) reads, “Director of Religious Education/Director of Lifespan Faith Development”. The latter is the title UCN has used publicly to identify this post since that time.
The description guided my review and that review plus the job description went to the board for their review, and there was an opportunity to discuss. At the time, all there was in response were praises for what I was doing. At the same time, Lyn’s title also changed through a similar process for a similar reason; the scope of what we were both doing to benefit UCN didn’t seem to be adequately captured by titles used previously.