Board of Trustees of Mount Vernon Unitarian Church

September 12th, 2017


Board members present:

Carolyn Dunlea – Board Chair

Marty Bredeck – Vice Chair

Becky Brandt – Secretary

Malcolm Kerr – Youth Member

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:

Bill Gleason

Doug MacCleery


Others Present:

Carolyn White, Church Administrator

Rev. Kate Walker


Carolyn Dunlea convened the meeting at 7:34 pm.


Rev. Kate shared a chalice lighting to open the meeting with a reading by Patrick Murfin.

Consensus Items (August meeting minutes, financial reports, administrator’s report, and minister’s report) were presented for approval. Jeanne Tifft moved that they be approved; Helen Kafka seconded the motion; and the motion was carried unanimously.


Carl Lohmann and Malcolm Kerr led a debriefing discussion of the In Gathering Picnic. It was generally concluded that the evening was a great success.



It was suggested that MOUNT VERNON UNITARIAN CHURCH might consider not having In Gathering on the same week as the camp out.

It was suggested that especially for the kitchen help – 30 minute identified shifts would be preferable to a bunch of names for a 2-hour time slot.

It was also recommended that printouts of the volunteer listings would be helpful to have.

Leftover hotdogs were purchased by an attendee at the end of the picnic and the leftover chicken was donated to the Kennedy Shelter.

Financially, In Gathering – probably broke even or made a few dollars. There were approximately 127 adults and 21 children in attendantce.

$683.00 was collected at the entrance and $157.00 was donated at the beer & wine table.

MOUNT VERNON UNITARIAN CHURCH does have a good sized stock of beer/wine for future events.

The “Retire OUR Debt” campaign will begin on October 1st & run through December 3rd to pay off the remainder of our long term capital debt from our recent expansion of the commons / renovation to the meeting house kitchen. Joan Darrah & Al Robbert will co-chair the campaign. They have already prepared a brochure and three versions of donor request letters depending on the status of the individual – (i.e. whether they were affiliated with MOUNT VERNON UNITARIAN CHURCH during the prior capital campaign & whether they contributed to that effort). Individual contributions to the “Retire OUR Debt” campaign will be matched x 3 by the Endowment fund. 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.


Rev. Kate brought to the BOT a request for a congregational vote at next May’s annual meeting to grant the Rev. Betty Jo Middleton Minister Emeritus status at Mt. Vernon Unitarian Church. Emeritus is an honorary status recognizing the service given by the minister to the particular church and our movement. There are few benefits, but one is being a delegate at General Assembly. The most important benefit is being recognized, honored and thanked for services to our faith. Rev. Middleton served as Director of Religious Education at MOUNT VERNON UNITARIAN CHURCH for a period of time and was ordained by MOUNT VERNON UNITARIAN CHURCH in 1984 after doing an independent study for her seminary work. She served at Minister of Religious Education from 1984-1990. She went on to serve as either a called, interim or consultant MRE at six other UU churches in the DC region, served on staff with the Joseph Priestly District and taught classes to UU seminarians at Wesley seminary in Maryland.  She retired from ministry in 2004 and returned as a member at MOUNT VERNON UNITARIAN CHURCH. When a minister retires, it is customary for one of the churches served to grant the retired minister emeritus status. Rev. Middleton has taught classes at MOUNT VERNON UNITARIAN CHURCH, served on multiple committees with the UUA as well as Meadville/Lombard (UU seminary in Chicago), written multiple articles on Religious education and published a book just last year.


The Board of Trustees plans to include this request at the Annual Meeting next May.


Jeanne Tifft shared that there was a vacancy on the Program Council (Sunday Services Representative) – since Phyllis Gilmore needed to step down. Rev. Kate mentioned that David Keegan was willing to serve in that capacity (and had done so previously).


Jeanne Tifft moved that David Keegan be appointed to the Program Council from Sunday Services; Marty Bredeck seconded the motion; and the motion was carried unanimously.


Carolyn Dunlea noted that each BOT Champion ought to be working on their goals and plan to present at one of the next upcoming board meetings.


A discussion followed regarding the ongoing water run-off issues from MOUNT VERNON UNITARIAN CHURCH property (down by the Carriage House) which is creating a number of problems with neighboring properties.


The meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,


Becky Brandt, Board of Trustees Member