Board Slivers from the Board of Trustee’s June 30, 2021 Meeting

The UUCS Board of Trustees held a Zoom meeting on Wednesday, June 30, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. All Board Trustees were present.

President Steele signed the revised Articles of Incorporation, approved earlier at the Congregational Meeting. The Church Administrator will send the signed document to the State.

Candace Schmidt gave the Operations Team Report. The Sanctuary floor will be redone August 23 to August 25, 2021. Several folks, living outside of the Spokane area want to join the church, and the Operations team requested that the Board consider how they may join without physically signing the book. Some of the Ops Team member terms have expired and the Ops team requested the Board appoint one or two members ASAP.

Anyone interested in serving a two-year term as Church treasurer, starting in July 2021, please contact the Board or Nominating Team.

The Board will take a Retreat early in the summer. Lynn, the new President (as of July 1) will send out a Doodle poll to all Trustees to determine the best date.

Eight delegates from UUCS were registered to attend the UUA General Assembly. The General Assembly was held virtually June 23 to June 27, 2021. Craig Aldworth, Betsy Rush, Marian Hemmings, Catherine Trestrail, Richard Steele and Daryl VanderLinden each gave a two minute synopsis of their impressions.

The Meeting was opened up to any questions from the General Congregation to the Board. Bill Morkill wondered about the possibility of Church youth participating in the OWL program, maybe with youth from the United Church of Christ, this coming fall. The Board had not discussed this, but the RE Specialist will look into it.

The Trustees thanked outgoing President, Richard Steele, for his service during the last year. A job well done, during a difficult year.

The next monthly Board of Trustees Zoom meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, July 28, 2021 at 6:00 p.m.

Board Slivers from the Board of Trustee’s May 27, 2021 Meeting

The UUCS Board of Trustees held a Zoom meeting on Thursday, May 27, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. All Board Trustees were present.

Reverend Eklof stated in his Ministers report that starting June 6, 2021, services will be held in the sanctuary with no COVID-19 restrictions. Any congregants who have not been vaccinated should take appropriate precautions, if they wish to attend. The Choir will not resume until the fall. The fig trees have been removed from the sanctuary and will be repotted, but they may be permanently relocated. The wood floor damage discovered under the trees is being repaired. The air quality during services will be improved by the substitution of electric wax candles instead of real candles.

President Steele reported the Board has been holding planning workshops each Monday evening to plan the Congregational Meeting. The meeting will be held June 13, 2021 from 12:30 until 2:00 p.m. in the Church Sanctuary. The meeting will be video recorded for later viewing, but will not be live-streamed and all congregants are urged to attend so that a minimum quorum of 50 can be met. Members of the Operations team will verify membership of all attendees to the Annual Congregational Meeting on June 13, 2021 as they enter the sanctuary. An Annual Meeting information packet was emailed on May 28, 2021.

Eight delegates have been registered to attend the UUA General Assembly: Richard Steele, Craig Aldworth, Betsy Rush, Catherine Trestrail, Marian Hemmings, Kelsey Gray, Darl Vander Linden, and John Beaton The General Assembly will be held virtually June 23 to June 27, 2021. The UUA has not yet provided information on what issues will be raised or voting times.

Candice Schmidt gave the Operations Team Report. The “Deeply Rooted, Standing Strong” Generosity Campaign was wrapped up with 158 pledging units and a total of $300,283 pledged. The Campaign provided the opportunity for membership verification: 331 current members; 18 people removed (14 placed in Inactive status and 4 resignations). Three people have recently joined and will be eligible to vote in about three months.

The Finance Team, with the Operations Team, finalized a balanced budget for the upcoming 2021–2022 church year of $426,637. Although revenue from pledges was down, the budget was balanced with funds from last years’ PPP loan and $27,500 culled from the profits generated in the Endowment Fund. Surplus funds may be put in the Repair and Replacement Fund. For the next two Sundays, Board members will be at the back of the sanctuary to answer questions about the budget from members.

The recent plant sale brought in $148.00 in sales. A new janitorial service was hired, and so far the Operations Team is pleased with the work being done. The Religious Education Program is scheduled to begin in the fall. Until then child activity tables will continue to be available at the back of the sanctuary.

Anyone interested in serving a two-year term as Church treasurer, starting in July 2021, please contact the Board or Nominating Team.

Karen Steele and Mary Gianini reported the Endowment Fund in May, 2021 had $764,000. They are researching the fees charged for investing with the UUA Common Endowment fund and looking at possible other options.

Darl Vander Linden attended the UUA Pacific Northwest District Annual Zoom meeting on June 15, 2021. Urged by UUA representatives, the District discussed dissolving itself. It is the last District continuing to operate in the UUA and its’ dissolution exemplifies the recent trend towards “top down” organizational structure in the UUA.

At the Congregational Meeting the Board will request members vote on revisions to the Articles of Incorporation. The revisions update the address, the current number of Trustees serving on the Board, and corrects grammar and spelling.

In addition, the Board will discuss with the Congregation the current mandatory relationship with the UUA found in Articles V and VII of the Articles of Incorporation.

The next monthly Board of Trustees Zoom meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 30, 2021 at 6:00 p.m.

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

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