Board Slivers from the Board of Trustee’s August 26 Meeting
September 1, 2020

The Board heard the 1st Reading on a Draft Governance Policy amendment defining the conditions under which Executive Sessions may be used. Points were culled from bylaws of other UU churches across the country, and abridged Draft #1 reads:

  • the session may only be used for confidential discussions of confidential issues, such as personnel matters, real estate negotiations, etc;
  • a majority of the Board must approve the session, and must publicly identify the topic to be discussed;
  • the Board will determine who can attend;
  • no formal actions may be taken in the Executive Session;
  • the meeting must be reopened after the Executive Session and the purpose for which it was called must be recorded in the minutes;
  • votes associated with an Executive Session topic shall be held publicly in the Board meeting;
  • the records of an Executive Session shall not be made public unless required by law.

The Board welcomes input from members of the Congregation.  The entire draft amendment is available by clicking HERE.

The Board adopted the recommendations in the Final Report from ad hoc ‘Team on Ministry’, established by the Implementation Team to operate from January-June 2020.

The Board voted to register its concern, in the Minutes, that the new UU community in Spokane select a name that will avoid confusion with our name, The Unitarian-Universalist Church of Spokane.  Congregants Sue Stiritz and Tom Mosher were asked to communicate this concern informally but clearly to leaders of the new UU community.  The hope is to avoid the eventual need for legal enforcement actions, through such initial informal contacts.

The Board instated a new Memorial Garden Committee: Chair Linda Greene, Judy Gammon, Janet Knight, Lynn Jinishian.

The 2020 Retreat, for Board of Trustees/Minister/Staff will be on Saturday, September 26.

The Next Board Meeting will be on Wed., Sept. 23, 2020, 6-8 PM PT


Letter from the New Board President

July 29, 2020

Fellow Congregants –

On July 22, the UUCS Board of Trustees held its first regularly-scheduled meeting of the 2020–2021 church year.  The first order of business was to elect officers, the presidency having been vacated by Kathryn Alexander’s resignation and departure on July 1.  The Trustees elected me, Richard Steele, as President; Lynn Jinishian as Vice-President (and 2021-22 President-elect); and Craig Aldworth as the Executive Committee’s 3rd member.

Our Board is beginning its work after a difficult and painful year for the congregation, culminating in the resignation and departure of approximately 12% of our members in recent weeks.  In this situation, the new trustees are mindful of the importance of our work this year to rebuild congregational trust, strengthen our shared ministry, and actively engage in the world in accordance with our UU Seven Principles.

Despite the recent turmoil, the UUCS remains a vibrant, dynamic, engaged faith community in Spokane.  Even a cursory look at the weekly SUUN e-newsletter reveals this.  For example, the Healthy at Home volunteers help congregants who need a ride or a chore done; members promote the viewing and discussion of significant films, this month’s being about James Baldwin’s searing take on race relations throughout US history;  as a constituent member of the Spokane Alliance, the UUCS provides volunteers and voices for progressive change in Spokane; and our ZIP-code ZOOM meetings organize virtual  neighborhood gatherings to socialize and get updated.  Not bad, in the midst of a global pandemic caused by a wily, tenacious, and often deadly virus.

Nonetheless, much remains to be done to realize our potential.  The resignation and departure of former congregants is lamentable; many remain friends still.  Our Board is down one member (volunteers, anyone?).  Many Teams have open positions.  We face a unique challenge of re-imagining an engaged, progressive community that operates — for now, anyway — mainly remotely.  There are opportunities here for new ideas, new collaborations, and new initiatives.  If you have ideas, time and commitment, please contact me at rsteele@lingraphica.com.

As for the Board, members ran on platforms of fidelity to our Fifth Principle values of freedom of conscience and commitment to democratic processes, and we pledged to discharge our Policy Governance responsibilities in conformity with our bylaws, conducting business transparently, inclusively, and fairly.  We intend to make good on those promises.  Please join our monthly Board Meetings on ZOOM to see for yourselves.  I welcome high congregant engagement and participation, for we have important work to do together.

In community,

Richard Steele, President 2020–2021

UUCS Board of Trustees