Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes of Mount Vernon Unitarian Church

May 9, 2017


Board members present:                                         

Doug MacCleery – Board Chair

Carolyn Dunlea – Board Vice Chair

Tony Barkume – Board Rep to Personnel Advisory

Bill Gleason – Board Liaison to Stewardship

John Henrehan – Board Liaison to Finance

Jeanne Tifft – Program Council Co-Convener

Pam Koger-Jessup – Past Board Chair

Becky Brandt – Acting Secretary


Others Present:

Incoming Board member Helen Kafka


Meeting convened at 7:35 pm.


Kate shared a reading, “Nothing to Fear” by Marta Valentin.


Consensus Items were passed. (April BOT Meeting Minutes, Program Council Report, Minister’s Report, Administrator’s Report, DLSG Report, Financial Report, & Membership Change Report). One item from the Administrator’s Report was pulled out for further discussion: A question regarding how MOUNT VERNON UNITARIAN CHURCH will protect records from 61 year history.


Discussion & follow-up from Annual Meeting

             The Annual Meeting went well. Some BOT members felt that the Open Mic session was a valuable component of the meeting.


Follow-up on Living our Values – Putting Action behind the Declaration of Conscience

             Doug MacCleery provided a summary of proposed action ideas that were brought forth at the Annual Meeting. Some point-of-contact names were added to the list:


  • Become actively involved in Virginia elections and redistricting – Mary Paden
  • Increase MOUNT VERNON UNITARIAN CHURCH involvement in, and commitment to, VOICE
  • Support/sponsor an immigrant family – Georgia Pourchot
  • Set up a racial justice task force (“Be the Change” committee) – Sue Lamb
  • Explore MOUNT VERNON UNITARIAN CHURCH becoming a sanctuary church – Isabel Arnold
  • Become more active in the climate change fight — Jeanne Tifft
  • 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 – Helen Kafka
  • Speakers – within Worship & Arts committee – be intentional re: insuring multicultural representation.


Tony Barkume offered that the Program Council could possibly provide additional thoughts & resources for more ideas on putting actions behind the Declaration of Conscience.


John Henrehan offered a resolution to provide opportunities for voter registration in the commons for upcoming primaries. Bill Gleason seconded & was carried unanimously.


Rev. Kate advocated for participation in an upcoming VOICE meeting.


Approve Kären Rasmussen as Affiliate Minister


Rev. Kate reviewed the proposal for Kären Rasmussen to be an Affiliate Minister with MOUNT VERNON UNITARIAN CHURCH. Since Kären is a minister focusing on social justice work rather than as a parish minister she needs to be affiliated with a congregation. Rev. Kate shared a proposed covenant of affiliation which provides for an ongoing relationship to be reviewed at a minimum of every two years.


John Henrehan moved that Kären Rasmussen be accepted as an Affiliate Minister in accordance with the covenant. Bill Gleason seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved.


Minister’s Letter of Agreement


There has not been any substantive change to the Minister’s Letter of Agreement since her arrival in 2008. The UUA and UUMA made dramatic changes to suggested letters of agreement for professional staff. As an example, in Rev. Kate’s letter – sick leave, disability leave, parental leave, are not addressed; nor are how disputes or termination are handled. Currently her letter of agreement caps her benefits at 25% (well below the suggested 30 – 40%).

The Personnel Committee has approved a new Letter of Agreement for Rev. Kate which will step up her benefits over the next two years to 30%).


Pam Kroger-Jessup noted that there was one correction to be made to the letter (an AND changed to OR).  John Henrehan moved to approve the Letter of Agreement as revised, Bill Gleason seconded and the motion was unanimously approved.


Financial Resources Council


Tony Barkume presented a proposed charter for a permanent committee of Financial Resources Council made up of chairs of the Endowment, Stewardship, Finance, Property, Personnel and a Board representative. This Resources Council would work with the finance committee to develop proposed MOUNT VERNON UNITARIAN CHURCH operating budgets. There was discussion of item #5 – of the charter (which originally stated that the Financial Resources Council would develop proposed budgets . . .). Members of the BOT agreed on the revised working (highlighted) and Tony Barkume moved that this charter be accepted. John Henrehan seconded and the charter was unanimously approved.


Appoint Program Council Co-convenor


Jeanne Tifft brought up that a Program Council Co-convenor needed to be appointed due to resignation of a board member, and that she had sent an email out to current BOT members – hoping that someone would accept the position. It was suggested that she email the newly elected BOT members to see whether one of them might be interested, and revisit when annual appointments are covered at the board retreat in June


Protecting MOUNT VERNON UNITARIAN CHURCH documents/records


            Carol Graves brought up the concern of the large amount of documents & historical resources that MOUNT VERNON UNITARIAN CHURCH ought to preserve and protect. Jeanne Tifft prepared a spreadsheet of all the documents stored in the 27+ file drawers in the basement of Hollin Hall. There was general discussion of the need to design a process or approach to preserving these documents. Possibly an archivist could provide guidelines. Pam Kroger-Jessup suggested possibly an archival intern from a university.


Approve additional MOUNT VERNON UNITARIAN CHURCH delegate to GA


Sara Cade’s name was put forth as an additional candidate to General Assembly. John Henrehan moved that she be approved; Carolyn Dunlea seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved.


Kornfeld Estate


Jamie Bobotek, of the Pillsbury Law firm will represent us for the transfer of the estate and properties, which may happen in the next few months.  Then the congregation will need to vote on selling the rental properties. The transfer is continuing to move forward.




Meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.



Respectfully submitted, Becky Brandt, Board of Trustees