June 2, 2020

Wy’east UU Congregation, 6-2-2020 Board Meeting Minutes

 

Present: Daniale, Eme, Mathias, Nancy, Craig (non-voting), Lana A (newly nominated), Ariana L (newly nominated)

 

Checked in

 

Welcome New Board Members!

  • Roles to be established at our July meeting
    • Jocellyn and David will join us in July re treasurer role
      • They’re making an effort to make the Treasurer role more circumscribed and focused on “reporting” rather than sundry responsibilities it currently entails. A new Finance Committee would take on more of these responsibilities
      • David has not technically been a member for 6 full months, despite having been involved with UUism for quite a while and being actively involved in the congregation. He could also wait to “officially” join the board until a couple months out when he reaches his 6-month mark. Attendees agree to this latter option. Daniale to reach out to Jocelyn to confirm David’s interest. 
      • Jocelyn has also offered to step on-> she may be spread very thin.
    • RE: other roles- Ariana is happy to be secretary, Lana is interested in stepping into vice-moderator role to prepare to be moderator after Daniale steps down.

 

  • Meeting Minutes-review and approval- Approved

Standard Reports:

  • Minister’s Report
    • Getting good response to Confucius series→ hoping to connect w/institute at PSU
    • Officiated Lana and Mathias’s wedding
    • Participated in a service in Kentucky where there are some people interested in the push to modify the Sources statement
  • Worship Committee Report
    • All of the summer is planned out apart from last 2 services in August.
    • Continuing to work out technical challenges associated w/Zoom services
    • Last Sunday’s Soul Circle was “very well-received”- still working on the format
  • Social Justice Committee Report 
    • Last theme speaker David D spoke earlier last month- seems to have gone well
    • Discussing what to do with Sustained Partnership funds from budget.
      • Next year’s theme: Indigenous People
      • This year’s GA theme: Inequality
  • RE Committee Report
    • Moving ahead with transition/switch in roles of Lana and Kate this month. Committee agrees to maintain flat rates of pay during transition, reassess reverting to hourly when timeline of return to in-person services becomes clearer.
    • Kate to reach out and survey parents regarding what would be most helpful for child breakout on Sundays: before, during, or after service
    • Anders has reported he cannot continue taking the lead on Popcorn Theology- Kate will be heading this up.
  • Treasurer’s Report 
    • Significant increase in income for the month of May, likely related to outreach by Hank regarding pledge balance for the church year. Income was 8800 for the month (where we had expected 5800) and expenses were about 6000 where we had expected 7200, leaving us with an increase of around 3000 for the month of May and the year to date. Our account balances are now around 61 thousand.
  • Membership Committee Report 
    • Lots of email communications. Sent out chalice circle survey
    • Continuing to organize path to membership classes
      • Newest is Jack K
    • Attendance for Zoom services is sticking to about 45.

 

GA 2020:  Lana & Linda M

 

Digital Wy’east

  • UUA guideline was to expect to wait until May to return- there are a variety of other factors to consider
  • Value of maintaining digital presence post-return; perhaps simplified option: livestream with discussion at the end
    • Requires facilitator: we can frame these asks as training and learning opportunities
  • Additional questions*

 

  • To Confirm when meeting in person:
    • Board:  
      • Meeting Notes April, May, June, 
      • Board Discretionary Fund for Zoom License
    • Congregation:  Annual Meeting Notes/voting
  • On Hold:
    • Ron would like time to discuss ordering rainbow chalice tees-- waiting until  logo is finalized.
    • GA2022:  will send an email via the newsletter to determine if anyone is interested in hosting any activity. 
    • Food Justice Task Force

 

Respectfully submitted by Mathias Q, acting secretary

 

*How can we expand our level of inclusion and engagement in virtual congregational life? 

  • What additional equipment or training or assistance do our staff and volunteers need for continuing online-only worship? 
  • What do we need to invest in, with technology, equipment, or people-power, to keep this going until it is safe for everyone to return to in-person worship/programs?
  • How can we imagine broader and more inclusive ministries, worship, and programming in a post-COVID-19 world given what we’ve been learning and implementing?
  • FURTHER QUESTIONS TO DISCUSS/CONSIDER IN THE COMING MONTHS
  • Questions about authority:
  • Who will be involved in the decision-making process about resuming limited or total in-person operations? And who will make that final decision? 
  • If in-person programs resume, but then guidance or circumstances change, who will be involved in the decision to cease, or put new limitations on, in-person gatherings?
  • Questions related to identity: 
  • Who are we as a congregation called to be right now? 
  • Acknowledging that every person in our congregation might have contact with many people outside of our congregation, who is part of the “we” we are considering in our decision-making? 
  • If we are legally permitted to gather in person before the pandemic subsides, what would be the social/emotional/spiritual costs of gathering? Who would we exclude? How would this fit with our mission and identity?
  • Questions related to health and vulnerability of:
  • The local population—what are the trends in infection, treatment, recovery and death in our immediate community? How might our resumption of in-person services contribute to, or detract from, a safer world for everyone?
  • The members and friends of the congregation—what proportion of our population may have underlying conditions that exacerbate the effects of COVID-19, if they are to contract it?
  • The staff and minister(s), their household members—what are their vulnerabilities, and what risks are we asking them to take?
  • Renters, unhoused guests being housed in the congregation’s building, guests in immigration sanctuary, and others who share the building—would they be put at risk by the congregation’s in-person operations? Could rental groups’ operations put the congregation or its guests at risk?
  • Questions related to the staff/volunteer and technological capacity of the congregation:
  • What kind of special training will staff need for safe in-person gatherings? Are staff responsible for ensuring that participants are following health and safety protocol? If not staff, who holds this responsibility?
  • If we start to phase in in-person worship and programs, do we have the staff and volunteer capacity to offer two tracks of robust participation (in-person and digital) for a year or more? What might our staff and volunteers need to continue both? 
  • If we judge that we are one of the rare congregations that has capacity for two robust tracks of programming: when community health criteria are met, how will we ensure maximum safety for those who gather in person? And how will we carry forward the inclusiveness we fostered while we were virtual-only? How will we ensure that virtual-only participants don’t unintentionally become marginalized?
  • Questions related to the building and grounds:
  • Were it permitted by local authorities, is it possible to navigate the building and participate in worship/events/meetings while practicing at least 6’ of social distancing? Does this change if someone is navigating the building with a walker, a wheelchair, or a stroller?
  • What kind of space do we have for religious education programs, and how will we maintain appropriate distance? How might we need to change how we do these programs?
  • What kind of ventilation does the building have in the hotter season and in the colder season, as well as in between? How often is the air exchanged in each of the frequently-used spaces? 
  • Do we have the capacity for 20 seconds of handwashing and/or hand-sanitizing by every person in the building at least twice per visit to the building? Dividing our usual attendance by our number of sinks (and accounting for gender and ability-restricted sinks), then multiplying by 20 seconds, how long will this take? (Some congregations have a very high member to sink ratio.)
  • How are we cleaning our building, both before we return, and while we are back in the building? To what extent and level?
  • Would we consider screening people for symptoms before they are admitted to the building, or might we ask people to check their own symptoms prior to attending any event at the congregation?
  • Questions related to music, children’s programs, worship, and social hour:
  • Will it feel strange to gather in person while communal singing (even with masks) is still not considered a safe thing to do? What could take the place of hymns and choir in our in-person services?
  • What will be required to keep children off of playground equipment? To sanitize all the toys and surfaces they touch? What are local schools, preschools, and daycare centers doing? 
  • While worship and programs are taking place, who will enforce protocols around cleaning, face-masks, social distancing, food, and such? What kinds of consequences will there be for failure to engage in safe practices? How will this be different with children?
  • Can we project the order of service and song lyrics so that we don’t touch hymnals and orders of service? Do we have the necessary technological hardware and software?
  • How do we take the collection/offering in a way that minimizes physical contact?
  • What means do we have in place for hard-of-hearing people to hear others’ speaking, especially when they can’t see lips moving (because of facemasks and/or distance)?
  • If our building does not have space for its usual number of people to attend worship and maintain physical distance, how will we decide who comes when? Alphabetically? Neighborhoods? Other methods?
  • What will be necessary in order to host receptions and coffee hours with food and drink safely? 
  • Questions related to liability:
  • What does the congregation’s insurer advise about gathering in person? What do they consider to be a reasonable provision of safety on the congregation’s part? 
  • What does the congregation’s attorney say about any legal liability the congregation might take on in allowing in-person gatherings?
  • If it turns out that known COVID-19 transmission occurs in our building, how will we respond to that?  Will we be able to say that we did everything we could to prevent transmission and protect the most vulnerable?
  • Questions about renters of the building space:
  • What restrictions do we wish to place on short- and long-term renters’ use of the building and their operations?
  • How will we ensure that they are following appropriate guidelines, and cleaning/disinfecting the spaces for which they are responsible?
Date: 
Tuesday, June 2, 2020