Board Slivers from the Board of Trustee’s March 24, 2021 Meeting

The UUCS Board of Trustees held a Zoom meeting on Wednesday, March 24, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. All Board Trustees were present.

President Steele reported Jay Kiskel, an Atlanta UU, who is running for a seat on the UUA Board to help bring democratic norms back to the UUA, has published a book Used to be UU that discusses much of the recent changes in the UUA. He will need our votes at the General Assembly (GA), so it is important that UUCS sends all of its 8 delegates to the GA meeting, being held virtually this summer from June 23 to June 27, 2021. Anyone interested in serving as a Church delegate to the on-line General Assembly is encouraged to contact Dr. Steele.

Reverend Eklof reported that traditional Church services may commence, provided the pandemic continues to abate, on Sunday, May 9, 2021 without the choir. His new book, The Gadfly Affair, documenting the UUA behavior towards him after the publication of The Gadfly Papers will be available by mid-April.

Candice Schmidt reported the Operations Team application for a $42,722 PPP loan has been accepted. This is anticipated to become a grant, and the Church will not spend the money until the government acknowledges the loan does not have to be repaid. The Ops Team estimates it will cost $500 to install entrance posts and chains to control access to the parking lot. This will prevent the unauthorized use of the lot in the future.

It is time to register for the Irshad Manji webinar workshop series “Diversity without Division,” to begin on April 14, 2021 and continue on successive Wednesdays through May 26, 2021.

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

Linda Greene and Sunny Cook announced this years Generosity Campaign will launch on April 4, 2021 with a “Deeply Rooted, Standing Strong” theme. Pledges can be made on-line starting April 5, 2021. The Campaign will end on May 9, 2021 with an outside “Bring your own Brunch (BYOB)” Celebration event in the Church parking lot after the second service.

The Board approved the following Policy Governance Amendment:

Section 2 MANAGEMENT TEAM LIMITATIONS

Add the following paragraph:

2.3 A Member or Friend who has formally withdrawn from the Church may rejoin at any time by notifying the Administrator or Minister in writing of their intent to rejoin and rescind their withdrawal. A rejoining Member or Friend need not attend an orientation class. Once the rejoining Member or Friend pays their annual financial obligation they will become a Member or Friend in good standing. The Member must be reinstated at least ninety (90) days prior to a Congregational meeting in order to vote in that meeting.

The Board held Bylaw Revision Workshops on March 15 and March 22, 2021 and have worked through Article I and most of Article II. Due to time constraints, the Zoom format allows Trustees to speak, and church members can watch. If members have concerns or questions, they should speak directly to a Trustee outside of the Zoom meeting.

The next Board Zoom meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 6:00 p.m.


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

The UUCS Board of Trustees held a Zoom meeting on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. All Board Trustees were present, except Jon Bagby, who resigned earlier in the month.

President Steele reported he had contacted former Interim Minister Marge Kiep. She is retired and living in Grants Pass, OR. When asked, she could not recollect the specifics of the process by which the UUCS initially adopted Policy Governance.

The Board thanked Jon Bagby for his years of service on the Board and appointed Betsy Rush to fill out the five remaining months of his term.

Candice Schmidt reported the Operations Team is proceeding with the budgeting process after receiving the Board’s priorities. The Operations Team is waiting for the Board to appoint another Member of the Finance Team. Rebecca has completed the routine annual UUA re-certification process this year. The Ops team has obtained a quote to rekey the church building. In the future a “library” system will be used to loan members a key for a specific event or purpose and the keys must be returned after each use. The new address of the Church is 4340 West Whistalks Way. Staff has been made appropriate changes to the church website and various documents. Reverend Eklof and Sue Stiritz are organizing a Zoom Path to Membership class in February for five people who wish to join the church. Stephanie Gronholtz conducted a Children’s Service on January 24th. This service will typically be held at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings over Zoom, possibly on an every other Sunday schedule. The intention is to begin sending out Children and Family Ministry newsletters to interested families.

The Board requested the traditional placeholder of $25 in the 2021 budget to possibly be spent on Board activities.

Reverend Eklof is talking to various Members to serve on the Shared Ministry Team.

Craig Aldworth introduced a proposed Bylaw amendment that defines how Members who have formally resigned may rejoin the Church. After some discussion, the Board requested the amendment be reworked as a Policy Governance Amendment and be reintroduced at the next Board meeting.

The Board endorsed the Documents Review Committee proposal to work on a complete rewrite of the existing Church Bylaws. The purpose of the rewrite is to define terms and abbreviations; reconcile conflicting passages; integrate other church documents by reference into the Bylaws; define the UUCS relationship with the UUA; and explicitly define current practice and organizational structures that the bylaws do not mention. The Documents Review Committee will forward a rough working draft of the proposed Bylaws to each Trustee on February 1. The Documents Review Committee will also email the Board Trustees a copy of the 1987 Restated Articles of Incorporation (with the 1991 and 1995 amendments included) and identify several possible amendments for their consideration.

The Board requested the Operations team provide a status update on the fundraising effort last year to maintain the Staff COLA and restore Reverend Eklof’s voluntary salary cut.

The next Board Zoom meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 24, 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 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