Foothills Unitarian Board of Trustees
Informational Forum and Update
Date: Sunday, January 22, 2018
You can view the video recording of the forum by clicking on this link and choosing the January Board Forum in the video player menu.
Following is a summary of the meeting.
● Recognition and thanks to the Auction Committee this year for the outstanding work and funds raised for the church and Faith Family Hospitality.
● Sara Edwards stepped down from her role on the Board and we thank her for her service. Cheryl Hazlitt is filling in behind her in a temporary assigned role until elections are held later this year.
Governance Progress Report by Jody Anderson
This report provided an update on the efficacy of the transition to policy governance. Specific topics the Governance Committee has been tracking include the role of the Board; delegation of work and duties; accountability of ministry team; collaborative governance; and financial management. Overall, the Governance Committee felt the use of the policy governance model was extremely effective. Gretchen Haley provided feedback that it has been very helpful to clarify and define duties particularly related to finance and staff duties.
Mid Year Financial Report – Gretchen Haley
Gretchen reminded us this was a midyear picture (at the end of December) in the churches fiscal year. The church received a $100,000 gift to add to our operation funds this year which has been programmed to use in supporting church activities; staffing needs and the ongoing growth we are seeing. The total amount for the year received was $497,163. The budget set for this year was $426,640. The plate collection at this midyear point is $27,803, and we because of the “Share the Plate”, have share about 60% of that amount. Our operating budget is set at $760,000, and we now have been able to establish the reserves identified in policy levels ($30,000). We are also paying our full fair share to the UUA National and District organization.
Music Visioning and Hiring a New Permanent Choir Director A task force has researched and surveyed other churches to get feedback on how they operate and function. Vision discernment took place during the fall as the team did small focus groups to get feedback and online surveying as well. This information will be coalesced into the a strategy and assist in determining a job description for the music director position. A search committee will be convened later this spring to begin a national search. Our current director, Chris Reed will have the opportunity to be considered within the applicant pool. NOTE: The board has decided to delay the hiring of a new choir director since this report.
Church Administrator Position and Transition
The Board approved the hiring of a consultant to do an overview of the duties and functional responsibilities necessary for a growing church and priorities. The consultant (Patrick Murphy) will be in the office over the next few months reviewing the practices. We will review these recommendations and look to fill a new position in July. Kathryn has assume facility responsibility and oversight of custodian hours and office volunteers.
Future Staff Planning
2019 is slated to consider ministerial staff needs as we explore the possibility of satellite gathering locations or a minister at one of these sites. We have many people who are semi-engaged, but are not pledging to the church ministry at this time, making the hiring of additional ministerial staff a real challenge.
● No applicants at the moment. The leads and team gathered for lessons learned.
● A survey for congregation feedback has been sent out.
● The current remodel in the RE building has worked well.
A summary of the Future Oriented Questions survey from last fall was presented. There were a total of 48 respondents who identified most significant aspects of Foothills were Relationships & Community, Space Needs, Outreach and Service, Issue Driven Concerns. We are setting up various opportunities for small group dialogues and conversations through the remainder of the year.
● Gretchen is conducting “fireside chats” through the spring. There were 15 in attendance at the first one.
● The board is setting up dialogue groups for various groups based on anniversary years as members, beginning with a board exchange between previous and current board members. These will continue into May.
● The “gather groups” appear to be very successful. Vespers run between 20-40, but attendees are usually coming to an additional service. There are about 90 people that cannot make services work to date. Monthly reports show continued growth to services, and maintaining growth. (Comment: Small groups are wonderful for engagement.)
The board met with the city and based on discussions determined we cannot stay at this site due to zoning, growth needs and other building related issues. We have hired an architect as a programming consultant to look at the building activity and space needs. They have met with the staff and will continue meeting with various church groups for activities and spaces. They are also going to review our current campus and give us an opinion about whether we could stay.
We are in the beginning of a 3 – 4 year process which will allow many opportunities for communication and feedback. The Space committee is developing visuals of the timeline and process. (Audience comments: It is important that we start thinking NOW about where we move as part of the process. We cannot wait very long to make that decision of where we want to be in 3 – 4 years. Location and facility are both critical considerations, and should be evaluated as part of our future vision as a church. The UU Church in Tulsa moved back to inner city as part of their outreach mission.)
The current situation with 3 services (which are generally full) is difficult and hard the church staff, but we will not go back to 2. We have received over 400 adults most Sundays. Our current space is a major limitation. The basement of the church is still in need of cleaning out.
End of report.