Transparency Builds Trust
Dear Members and Friends of UUCFM,
Who would have or could have foreseen the changes we are experiencing, not only in the world but within our beloved community as well? I don’t need to repeat the many upheavals we as a congregation have endured during the first half of this year; however, every dilemma affords new opportunity.
We recently had our first virtual board retreat and wish to make a fresh start -- to build your trust in this team of trustees. The last thing we want to see is another rift in this congregation.
Our goal is to be as transparent as possible in our actions and communications. We intend to use this space to inform you of the board’s plans for UUCFM for the future as well as clearly defining the organization’s structure.
Our first big decision (regarding campus sharing with the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra) was shared with you during several Zoom meetings to get your sense of the plan before we agreed. We are also in the midst of seeking congregational approval for a loan from the endowment fund for several needed capital improvements to our campus.
We also believe there is the need to know how the structure of our congregation works, which has been somewhat informal and not very transparent. We intend to change that with a series of informational bulletins such as this one on different subjects.
The second issue we had to deal with was staff supervision and duties.
Although the church bylaws provide the personnel committee with the task of supervision for the employees, previous boards had agreed to the minister providing that oversight. With the departure of Reverend Beard, the personnel committee had to step up.
The personnel committee is composed of Bill Petrarca, Jen Smith, and Genelle Grant, chair. All employee contracts, job descriptions and the board manual were thoroughly reviewed and new job descriptions were developed. The committee soon realized that many of the previous job descriptions were no longer possible in this Covid-19 world. The goal of the committee was to keep all of our employees doing work that supports our mission of Sunday service, our only source of outreach and ministry now.
A few changes that resulted from the new job descriptions:
Jill Carville, Office Manager, has taken on more responsibilities and more hours. She is coordinating the tech team. Please contact her if you are interested in joining and learning and assisting with Zoom services. Liza Kellam is now working as an office assistant to Jill, as there are no children for her to supervise.
Leslie Gatto and Jennifer Grant are co-chairs of the Worship Associate Team. Albie Johnson, a Worship Associate, is consulting part-time and coordinating Zoom Greet and Meet sessions after the service for people to talk with each other and for interested viewers to talk with Membership Committee representatives.
Suellen Kipp, Director of Music, in addition to her Sunday music offerings, will be creating short videos about each month’s Community Sharing Partner. She will also work with the Gulf Coast Symphony, once we can do so, to integrate some of their performers into our Sunday Services.
The duties of Religious Educator have not been reassigned since the resignation of our Director, however, this is an issue that we will deal with in the near future.
Dorothy Van Howe is our VP of Operations and will be providing updates on the campus sharing project.
I am VP of Programming - so please, if you have a group or project, or are planning one, please let me know! We need more Zoom groups!