Board Minutes: July 19, 2016

Present: Christie A., Helene A., Tim C., Kathleen C., Rev. Seth Fisher, Holly G., Donna S., Ron S.

Ron began the meeting by publicly thanking past president Barbara S. for her amazing leadership during the challenging time of interim ministry.

Approval of Minutes

  • Because the June minutes were accidentally not sent out, Ron suggested that we table approval of the minutes. They will be sent out electronically for suggested revisions/corrections and approval.

Minister’s Report

  • New minister start-up retreat set for Saturday, November 12th, approximately 9-3.
  • Working with the Sunday services Committee and they have scheduled services through November.
  • Had a failed attempt at attending a FUUFHC NORWESCAP volunteer event – apparently the incorrect time is listed on our website. Holly shared that her covenant group will be at NORWESCAP the third Saturday in August at 9am if Seth would like to come by then.
  • Will be experimenting with different locations for meeting up with people. Seth will send an email to Ruth to have her send out a blast email with the locations of these meetings.
  • Plans to take Mondays off and have Saturday as a writing day.
  • Involved in Beyond the Call Entrepreneurial Ministry Program, which is wrapping up in August in Boston.
  • Leading first service on September 11th.

DRE Report

  • No report this month.

Treasurer’s Report

  • Will have a reconciliation of last year’s budget at our next meeting.
  • Still have about $12,000 outstanding with last year’s pledges. About half of those may not come in. Not expecting a surplus at this point.
  • Pledges for the coming year are $5K higher than previously expected. Ron suggested that we not adjust the budget for 2016-17 to cover for any shortfall of pledges.
  • Setting up a separate bank account for Minister’s Discretionary Fund.
  • Payroll information is being put into Quick Books for the new payroll service.
  • Kudos to Val for being so helpful in working through this transition to ADP.
  • Ron asked Kathleen to get a starting point of balances as of June 30, 2016.

Committee Updates

Committee Liaisons

  • Board members agreed to act as liaisons to committees as listed on the attached document.

Building and Grounds

  • Shed construction project is finally underway. Some congregants have mentioned possibly donating a riding mower once the shed is up.
  • Quotes for pointing the masonry are coming in. Might be done in two steps over a couple years. An additional recommendation that came in was to put in a metal beam down the length of the church in the attic to better support the gables.
  • Continuing discussion about putting in a back door in the church. Ron suggested that maybe this project should be a priority for safety reasons.
  • Congregants will be told about the hold on the window restoration project and asked if their contributions to that fund can be spent on other OSC projects.
  • Christie still thinks it’s a good idea to pursue historic designation.
  • Building and Grounds could use some volunteers for gardening help.

Committee on Ministry

  • Seth needs a Committee on Ministry for his evaluation, but the COM’s charge is to assess FUUFHC’s ministries in general. COM is an advisory committee and will present a report to the board in June. So far Barbara S. and Kate M. have volunteered to serve on the committee. They will convene with Seth sometime in September and enlist one or two more people for monthly meetings.

Sunday Service

  • Sarah has proposed a change for the Time For All Ages schedule. TFAA is apparently typically done at the beginning of service and then the children leave to go to RE. This may make it easier for younger children to separate from their parents, provide a focus for the RE lesson to follow, and result in more time in RE. The Sunday Services committee voted to try this. While there are pros and cons to both schedules, Board members agreed with the Sunday Services committee.

Old Business

Minister Office Space

  • Tim has been working with Chad looking for space in proximity to the church for about $500-600 a month. There were a number of arguments in favor of Flemington, including spaces available on Main Street with decent square footage at a reasonable price.
  • Christie moved that the Board authorize Tim and Seth to acquire an office space in Flemington for $500 or less. Holly seconded. Motion was approved unanimously.

Assistant treasurer

  • Kathleen has agreed to stay on as treasurer for one more year. The nominating committee is looking for someone to come on as assistant treasurer to work with Kathleen during this transition year, and then take over the treasurer role next year. Donna will be sure to check in with the committee to see how that’s going.

New Business

Board Meeting Absences

  • We have settled on the third Tuesday of each month for meetings. Given the difficulties we have experienced with call-ins for meetings in the past, members agreed that people would just miss a meeting if they had a conflict.

Adult Ed Committee

  • Holly will chair an Ad Hoc adult RE committee to discuss providing some programming for adult congregants. Options include using UUA curriculum or developing more home-grown programs. Adult RE could be used to grow and bring in more people. Seth would like to be involved in these discussions with the committee.


  • Ron expressed concern with all the different types of technology we are using as a congregation. There’s the list serv, the blast emails, and several Facebook pages. It’s unclear how comfortable all congregants are with these different formats. Holly suggested that she could discuss this with the Communications Committee. There’s also potential for our youth to help educate members about using technology like Skype, Doodle Poll, Facebook pages, etc. The Board will start on this by discussing technology in future board meetings. Helene will set up a folder in Google Drive for Board Meeting materials.

Legacy Program

  • Donna said the Endowment Committee met for about a year and a half and came up with an endowment plan document. Ron suggested that the board should consider what the congregation’s needs are and to look at the pros and cons of both endowment and legacy giving. This will be on the August agenda.

Big Picture

  • We are finally at the point where the loans can be paid back or are forgiven, so it’s time to have discussions about long-term plans. This should be a large part of the board’s fall retreat. Helene will send out a Doodle to schedule a retreat in September.


Meeting adjourned at 9:00.

Minutes respectfully submitted by Helene A.


XI .Standing and Ad Hoc Committees

Standing committees:

  1. Building and Grounds – Christie
  2. Compensation and Personnel – Ron
  3. Finance – Kathleen
  4. Committee on Ministry – Ron
  5. Music – Christie
  6. Nominating – Donna
  7. Youth RE – Kathleen
  8. Membership – Helene
  9. Safe Congreation – Donna
  10. Social Justice – Tim
  11. Stewardship – Kathleen
  12. Sunday Service – Donna
  13. Communications – Holly
  14. Fundraising – Helene
  15. Caring/PCA’s – Ron
  16. Covenant Groups – Holly
  17. Dreaming Tree – Christie
  18. Hospitality – Tim
  19. Adult RE – Holly
  20. Endowment/Planned Giving – Ron

Ad Hoc Committees:

Office Space – Tim