Board of Trustees of Mount Vernon Unitarian Church

August 8th, 2017

Board members present:

Carolyn Dunlea – Board Chair

Marty Bredeck – Vice Chair

Becky Brandt – Secretary

Malcolm Kerr – Youth Member

Bill Gleason – Board Liaison to Stewardship

John Henrehan – Board Liaison to Finance

Carl Lohmann – Board Co-Liaison to Finance

Jeanne Tifft — Program Council Convener

Helen Kafka – Program Council Co-Convener


Board Members absent:

Doug MacCleery


Others Present:

Carolyn White, Church Administrator

Rev. Kate Walker


Joan Darrah, Endowment Committee Chair

Al Robbert, Finance Chair


Carolyn Dunlea convened the meeting at 7:30 pm.


Rev. Kate shared a chalice lighting to open the meeting with a reading by Rev. Margaret Wheatley.

Consensus Items (July meeting minutes, membership report, and financial reports) were presented for approval. John Henrehan moved that they be approved; Marty Bredeck seconded the motion; and the motion was carried unanimously.


Al Robbert presented financial information. He shared that FY17 began the year with a negative balance in the operating account of approximately $12,000. In order to zero this out, Al suggested that we remove the sabbatical reserve fund of approximately $5,000 and remove approximately $7,000 from PMM.

John Henrehan moved that the accounting changes presented by the chair of the finance committee be adopted; Bill Gleason seconded the motion; and the motion was carried unanimously.


A brief discussion followed regarding funding of Rev. Kate’s future sabbatical.

John Henrehan moved to allocate $2,000 toward a sabbatical reserve fund for Rev. Kate’s future sabbatical; Helen Kafka seconded the motion; and the motion was carried unanimously.


Joan Darrah – chair of the Endowment committee reported that the Endowment fund has a balance of approximately $1.1 million and that with the pending sale of the three properties from Gertrude Kornfeld Estate (MOUNT VERNON UNITARIAN CHURCH is now the title holder the three properties which are vacant and are on the market to be sold.) MOUNT VERNON UNITARIAN CHURCH is in a solid financial position. The combined recommendation of the Finance Committee and the Endowment Committee is to conduct a

Capital Campaign to pay off our remaining construction debt. MOUNT VERNON UNITARIAN CHURCH currently has about a $500,000 debt on our construction projects (the commons, kitchen and stage). The plan for the Capital Campaign is to raise $125,000 – and commit to a 3 to 1 match from the endowment fund to support the campaign thereby providing the full $500,000 to retire the debt.

Al Robbert & Joan Darrah have agreed co-chair this capital campaign to begin October 1, 2017. Their theme or concept is “Retire OUR debt” – and the plan is for contributors to have the opportunity to spread their contributions over 2 years (to be completed when the debt obligation is due) Sept. 2019.

Marty Bredeck moved that we accept the Capital Campaign; John Henrehan seconded the motion; and the motion was carried unanimously.

Ron Brandt brought a request to the board to approve the Charter for the Task Force on Volunteer Participation.

He noted that Pam Kroger-Jessup, as a member of the BOT began to work on this last year. The goal is to maximize our volunteer participation within MOUNT VERNON UNITARIAN CHURCH. Ron stated that he, Bill Gleason, Sandy Peterson, and Pam Kroger-Jessup have agreed to serve on this task force.

A few suggestions were provided:

  • Collaboration with the Resource Council,
  • Utilize the tools that exist within our computer systems,
  • Define a specific deliverable or outcome.


John Henrehan moved that we accept the concept & charter of the Volunteer Participation Task Force; Jeanne Tifft seconded the motion; and the motion was carried unanimously.


The Board was asked to appoint a Resource Council. The Resource Council is made up of a representative from finance, stewardship, endowment, property and personnel committees and the church administrator & treasurer are ex-officio members.


Helen Kafka moved that we a Resource Council be appointed; Jeanne Tifft seconded the motion; and the motion was carried unanimously.


Board Goals and Champions

Carolyn Dunlea reviewed the suggested Board Priorities that were considered at the BOT retreat:


  1. Continued focus on strengthening MOUNT VERNON UNITARIAN CHURCH’s financial health

Champions: Carolyn and Carl (work with Finance and Stewardship)

  1. Hear report of fiscal review of P&F report and determine outcome of recommendations


  1. Expand and enhance communications

Champions: Carolyn and Jeanne (work with Communications Council)

  1. Outreach to/attraction of larger community
  2. Serve community
  3. Attract rentals
  4. Website new host; use UUA platform theme
  5. Social media target advertising


  1. Continued focus on congregational membership and stewardship growth

Champions: Becky and John (work with Membership Council and Stewardship Committee)

  1. Establish TF to review/identify recommend activities from Kate’s workshop
  2. Maintain quality of MOUNT VERNON UNITARIAN CHURCH experience of current members


  1. Expand leadership pool among new and current members

Champion: Marty and Bill (work with Membership Council)

  1. New member package
  2. Volunteer coordination
  3. Task Force on engaging new members


  1. Ensure that actions are in place to support MOUNT VERNON UNITARIAN CHURCH/UUA’s Statement of Conscience

Champion: Doug and Bill and Helen (working with Social Justice Council)


Living Our Values — Putting Actions behind the Declaration of Conscience

Proposed Actions:

  • Become actively involved in Virginia elections and redistricting
  • Increase MOUNT VERNON UNITARIAN CHURCH involvement in, and commitment to, VOICE
  • Support/sponsor an immigrant family
  • Set up a racial justice task force
  • Explore MOUNT VERNON UNITARIAN CHURCH becoming a sanctuary church
  • Become more active in the climate change fight
  • Be more proactive in attracting people of color to MOUNT VERNON UNITARIAN CHURCH
  • Reach out to specific local area churches to partner on social justice issues.

(Suggestions include: Bethlehem Baptist Church on Fordson Road and Hope United Church of Christ on Old Telegraph Road)


John Henrehan moved that we accept these as the slate of priorities for this year; Bill Gleason seconded the motion; and the motion was carried unanimously.



Carolyn Dunlea has created channels within “Slack” software for each of the board priorities.


Carl Lohmann and Malcolm Kerr are the Board members taking the lead on Ingathering. After a brief discussion, it was agreed that it will be held from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. and there will be an opportunity for participants to share a “good-will” offering at the bar.


Board members were encouraged to sign up to volunteer for Ingathering.


Rev. Kate brought up a discussion of VOICE – what are the issues in Northern Virginia – met Dr. Scott Brabrand, FCPS superintendent and representatives of elementary, middle & high school principal’s associations.


Put on calendar, October 15th at 4:00 p.m. – a VOICE gathering gubernatorial race & FCPS superintendent & school board representative.


Becky Brandt was asked to include Keith Brophy in the distribution of BOT minutes (once approved) for posting.


The meeting adjourned at 8:52 p.m.



Respectfully submitted,


Becky Brandt, Board of Trustees Member