First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church

Board Minutes 2011-06-12

Board of Trustees Meeting 06/12/11
Present: Rev. Jennifer Innis, Dan Levine, DRE Julie Tribble, Lewis Morris, Emily Wood, Brenda Jones, Tina Harmuth, Jean Bruttell; Visitors: Gene Stockton, Fred Ditmars

Meeting began at 1:30
Timekeeper: Jean Bruttell
Process Observer: Emily Wood
Chalice Lighting/Reading
Additions to Agenda
Minutes from last month's meeting
Process Observation
Congregational Meeting Debrief
Where do we go from here?
Henry the Chef issues
Coordinator Reports
Staff Reports
New Insights/Emerging Issues

Additions to Agenda: Credit Card issue - Finances (Brenda Jones), NTAUUS update - Coordinator (Emily); staff update - Minister's report

Minutes: motion made to move to next month; passed. Minutes for last month and this month will be approved next month.

Process Observation: a sheet for this was passed around for the Board to become familiarized with a formal way to accomplish process observation.

Pathways Church: possible partnering between Pathways and First Jefferson to "co-locate" Pathways Church here at FJ.
Pathways is about 8 years old, started through a UUA grant to begin a program church that was staffed extensively. After two years the UUA discontinued funding and land given to the church sold to help continue the church. For four years Pathways has been operating on a deficit budget, using the funds from the land sale. At the end of this church year the savings will have been exhausted. Pathways is now transitioning to a balanced budget. They have changed their bylaws to have a congregationally-approved budget. The new budget eliminated the 3/4-time DRE and music director and reduced payment of dues. The majority of expenses are for the minister and facility. The congration is now looking at alternative locations.
The Pathways minister presented the Pathways Board with the idea of having Pathways Church operate out of FJ, with services and RE program taking place here, in Coleman Hall if in the afternoon or in the Sanctuary if later than 5:00 p.m. (since there is already a church renting the Sanctuary on Sunday afternoons). Lewis and Fred discussed the idea at the Leadership meeting last Saturday, so Fred and Gene came to speak to First Jefferson's Board about the possibility. Pathways membership is around one hundred people. There are between twenty and forty children involved in RE.
Melissa asked what other opportunities Pathways is pursuing. They are also looking at hourly rentals and other lease options. They have a facilities committee working on this. There will be a congregational meeting next Sunday at which options will be presented to the Pathways congregation.

The Pathways representatives asked questions about parking and RE classroom availability.

Based on the use of Coleman Hall, the kitchen, four RE classrooms, and meeting space, the proposed rental cost would be $1800 to $1850 per month. Community Church's rental relationship with Sai Baba was used a basis for comparison. Factoring in four meetings per month adds about $3000 per year.

Motion made to add 25 minutes to the scheduled agenda to have three minues discussion  of Pathways issue and still keep our times for other items. Motion passed.

Discussion: We agreed that we will not make a formal announcement regarding the interest of Pathways using First Jefferson's space, since we don't yet know if their congregation is interested in pursuing this option.
This rental is in line with the types of rentals we were already discussing. Pathways, being currently located in Southlake, might be hard-pressed to find a rental space there that is affordable. Westside has too small a space to be able to accommodate Pathways. We would actually have fewer complications with Pathways as a rental than with a daytime school. Lewis will request that he be allowed to make a presentation at Pathways' congregational meeting.
We will need to have a task force or point person to handle ensuring that our space is kept as it should be to be appropriate for rentals.
Brenda pointed out that our dishwasher is wearing out and we might have to replace it as part of our preparation for rentals.
Judy talked with Ed Gore about what costs are for utilities, maintainenance, cleaning, etc. to get an idea of what rentals cost the church. That was taken into account when a price for the rental by Pathways was proposed.

Congregational Debrief: Brenda noted that we didn't have as great a turn-out as usual. Melissa said that it's been commented to her that some people don't like to attend because they feel that they're obligated to vote yes no matter what is said. It was noted that the visual presentation added clarity and impetus to the meeting.
Lewis felt that we should have been graded 'C' for our presentation at the meeting, that we weren't sufficiently prepared or rehearsed. We agreed that there were times that discussion should have been curtailed because it was on the agenda for later, and that that the postponing of discussion should be made clear at the beginning of the presentation. Also, it was agreed that we shouldn't present numbers until immediately before we're ready for discussion. We will be working on preparing for congregational meetings earlier in the future.

Stewardship: Dan emailed a Stewardship report. Lacking a Finance Committee, it falls upon this year's Stewardship group to ensure that the next year's Stewardship is in line. Follow-up and clean-up for this year are still underway to turn the projected dollars into real dollars. There are still milestones to accomplish. We will be pushing the Stewardship drive up a month for next year, with March as the drive so that by May we're fully ready with numbers.

Where do we go from here?: annual planning.
Lewis noted that we, as a board, have worked hard and accomplished much. New Board members have a good idea of how things work and what their responsibilites are. We're now moving toward greater accountability as members of the Board.
For future planning, Lewis suggests having Board meetings on the second Sunday of each month for the next six months. There are scheduling conflicts for several people, though. However, it looks like Sunday is the only slot that many can attend.
These Sundays will be attempted: July 17th, August 21st, September 18th.

Motion made to extend this conversation another five minutes. Seconded and approved.

Lewis noted that he's looking into get a NTAUUS grant to extend our back parking lot. The Social Action Council will be making a request for grants regarding the Green Sanctuary project. Emily noted that an updated computer system or additional staff might be a better use of grant money. There was some discussion of why the parking issue is important. Lewis noted that we will need to further discuss this in July.

Rev. Jennifer's contract is complete. As the UUA recommends, the hourly expectations are expressed in "units". A brief explanation of what units are was made. Motion was made to approve contract. Seconded and carried. Lewis and Jennifer will get the contract signed.

Henry the Chef: Legal obligations/codes for having a professional cooking business out of our church kitchen have not been thoroughly investigated.
We still don't have a renewed contract in writing for Henry's use. Motion was made to give Henry thirty days'  notice (effective 6/12) to vacate the kitchen. Seconded. We feel that the fact that a commercial food-related business is being operated out of an unlicensed kitchen is reason enough to end the rental relationship in order to protect our liability. Motion passed. Lewis will give Henry notice.

Coordinator Reports:
Leadership ID: Written report sent out on Friday. Emily noted who is slated to be asked to fill open committee positions and which committees chairs have been filled.

NTAUUS: Will be offering training for two members of the congregation for dealing with the media. More information on this will be forthcoming.

RE: There is a vital need for someone for the Adult RE Committee.

Denominational Affairs: Melissa needs further information on this, and will pursue it.

Membership: Judy wants Lois Lateenie to do publicity for membership.

Publicity: We need a chair for this. Melissa has structured and proposed a social media policy and sent it to Board members; the policy will be examined and discussed via email; approval tabled until next month. Lewis noted that we now have an email address ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) specifically for calendar events or issues. We will be publicizing the address to the congregation.

Ministries: Covenant groups are being formed and developed, fostering small group ministry at FJ.
Nothing new for Worship Arts.

Treasurer's Report: A Statement of Financial Position (balance sheet) and a Budget vs. Actual were passed out to those present. Brenda noted that so far we are in the black for the 2010-2011 year.
Motion made to refund the church for the cost of this year's foundation work from the endowment. Seconded and passed.
Business credit cards for the church have been provided to Karl and Judy so that they can make purchases directly instead of having to be reimbursed. Julie requested that a credit card be issued for CYRE purchases. Brenda has a form for Julie to fill out to get a card for her.
The Board must authorize Jean Bruttell, Brenda Jones and Lewis Morris are authorized to indebt First Jefferson to Commerce Bank/Frost Bank. Motion for this authorization was made and seconded. Motion carried. Brenda will get this information to the bank(s).

Staff Reports:
DRE - Summer program has begun. The first classes went well. Julie worked the Indie Races; three people made $540 for the CoA by working two days.
Hogwarts has 38 children registered; at least twenty are paying full fee and some have registered for extended care.
RE Council will be going over portfolios at their next meeting.
Randy Gregory gave notice as Childcare Coordinator; he will leave the position as soon as we find someone for it.
A CYRE Google group was started by Julie for the dissemination of information and for discussions/questions.
CoA would like to have a carwash in the back parking lot. The Board approved that CoA could have the carwash after service in the back parking lot, having blocked off two spaces for that purpose.
The Board did not approve of the CoA class being committed to doing the custodial work during the month of July to cover for Randy.

Ministers' Report: A written report was submitted via email. Jennifer noted that not only is Randy leaving his position as Childcare Coordinator, but also his custodial position.
Judy will be spending some additional hours with Karl this week to get him transitioned into handling the membership database. There will be about five additional hours of work time for him for this.

New Insights and Emerging Issues: Tabled.

Meeting adjourned.


On 6/27/11 Dan Sexton sent an email to the entire board, copying Geoff Tait, to begin a discussion of the matter of Henry using the kitchen through September.  The discussion was held via email, over a couple of days.  Melissa was able to find out what the requirements are for a commercial kitchen and also let us know what our responsibility as a volunteer board is.  After several emails back and forth, it was determined that we would stick to the end date that we originally gave Henry, in order to help get the Church into alignment with current laws and requirements.  The biggest question seemed to be whether we could be held liable for anything that could go wrong while Henry was using the kitchen.

There has since been further discussion about this, and an email was sent by Geoff which seemed to say that the Board was not in covenant by not all discussing the matter.  I want to clarify that the initial email was sent to the entire board (and Geoff), however, some people may have been dropped off inadvertently during the process of “replying to all” by some. ~Lori Walker

Last Updated on Friday, 20 October 2017 13:08

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