Dear Beloved Community,
We had wonderful turnout for our annual meeting this year; thank you to everyone who showed up and participated. If you missed it, you can find the slideshow here. We shared a LOT of information, and apologize for not having sufficient time for questions and comments. We have scheduled a Q&A session for Friday, June 26 from 11:30-1 in Zoom Room 5 (go to https://foothillsuu.org/today/ and click on room 5), and hope you will join us there.
The meeting included updates from the Board and the Ministry, and the election of a new Slate of Nominees for 2020-21. The Board’s report on our Building for Courageous Love project began with a reminder that we asked the architect to pause final design work back in April to give the ministry time to assess our financial situation. The ministry team assigned to this work reports that ALL of the donors they had spoken with thus far remained confident in their pledges and plan to fulfill them. The Board will ask the ministry to explore potential next steps, and return to the congregation in early Fall with our recommendation. The Board also provided updates on our ongoing work around misconduct, our evaluation of our Senior Minister, and realigning the endowment structure to bring it in line with policy governance.
The Ministry report outlined the four strategies the church is using to move through this time: Worship Where You Are; Community Circles for Connection, Resourcing, and Growth; Resource our Community Partners; and Steward Foothills for the Long Haul. Worship numbers have been very strong since moving online in mid-March; our attendance is higher than it was during this period last year, and we have been able to share our services with UUs across the country. Our 21 community circles are providing care for over 500 participants, and ongoing visioning work will further our efforts to support connections across distance. We have been able to resource our community partners in powerful new ways, including sharing our building with the Family Housing Network to house four homeless families at a time; we have had 14 different families living at Foothills over the past three months! Finally, the ministry is focused on ensuring that the choices we make now are connected to the future and to our shared Bold Vision.
Rev. Gretchen also reported on upcoming staffing changes, including several shifts resulting from our move to an all-online environment for now. She informed us that we will also be losing two of our full-time employees this summer, Rev. Kristen Psaki and business administrator Jeffrey Mizell, as they transition to new life stages. We are deeply grateful for their dedicated service to Foothills and wish them the very best as they venture forth; we will share information about collective farewells with you soon.
Thank you all for continuing to show up in all the ways that you do. Please send us an email to let us know if you had trouble accessing the meeting, or if you have suggestions about how we might improve the online experience in upcoming meetings.
Your in gratitude and service,
Sara Manvel Steen
President, Foothills Board of Trustees