AGENDA – Mount Vernon Unitarian Church  Board of Trustees Meeting – March 8, 2016

7:30 PM


Time Topic Type Facilitator(s)
7:00 30 min. reading time    
7:30 Welcome – call to order   Pam
7:32 Reflection – chalice lighting   Kate
7:35 Consent Agenda Review and Approval:

January Meeting Minutes

Program Council Report

Minister’s Report  (not attached)

Administrator’s Report

Action Pam
7:40 Preschool Lease update Info Carol/Tony
7:45 Silent Auction update Info Kelly
7:55 Retreat update Info John
8:00 Annual Meeting update Info Pam
8:05 Document distribution update Info Sally
8:10 Proposed bylaws changes for Annual Meeting Info Pam
8:15 Insurance proposal Action Pam
8:25 Affirm SBA distributions Action Pam
8:30 Loan refinancing Action John
8:45 Draft budget discussion Info Steve Erickson
8:58 Unannounced new business    
9:00 MVUC Covenant and Adjournment    


BOT Priorities 2015-16

  1. Ensure continued financial health of MVUC
  2. Plan and host 60th Anniversary celebration – DONE
  3. Implement v.2 of dashboard and establish electronic data storage/access
  4. Design and implement a process to assess mission and vision – IN PROGRESS




MVUC Governance Calendar

Month Task Notes
January Quarterly financial review (Finance/BOT) Scheduled
  Quarterly membership data report (Membership Council)* Done
  UU congregation certification by Feb. 1 In progress
February Draft budget presentations to congregation (Resources Council)*  
  Draft budget review (Finance/BOT)*  
  Begin Annual Meeting planning and annual reports (BOT/PC)  
March Annual Meeting planning  
  Annual Reports due April 1  
  BOT retreat planning (confirm with nominees)  
  Request delegates for General Assembly  


Meeting Minutes

Board of Trustees of Mount Vernon Unitarian Church

8 March 2016

Board members present:                                                        

Pam Koger-Jesup, Board Chair

John Henrehan, Vice Board Chair

Sally Lindfors, Secretary        

Tony Barkume, Program Council Co-Convener

Sarah Soulliere. Program Council Co-Convener

Kelly Campbell

Richard Roesel

Amy Venzke                           


Others present:

Rev. Kate Walker, Minister

Carol Graves, Church Administrator

Oscar Castro, Treasurer

Joan Darrah, Endowment Chair

Steve Erickson, Finance Committee Chair (after 8:45)

Alice King, Ministerial Intern


Board members absent:

Helen Kitrosser, Youth Member

Ken Pilkenton


Pam called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm. Kate read “A Prayer for Unfinished Business” from Falling Into the Sky, by Abhi Janamanchi.


Document Distribution Update, Sally

Board members received printed updates for the reference section of their BOT notebooks. A brief discussion focused on the most effective ways for Board members to access the documents they need.


Insurance Proposal, Pam

The Finance Committee has reviewed our insurance policy and recommends that we lower our insurance coverage to $4 million for property insurance and to $1 million for umbrella coverage. This will garner $1100 in savings for the general policy and $800 in savings for the umbrella policy, reducing the umbrella coverage from $4 million to $1 million. A brief discussion ensued on what the umbrella insurance covers and the advisability of reducing it. One suggestion was to find out what coverage other churches have. Tony moved and Sarah seconded acceptance of the Finance Committee’s recommendation.

Carol said the new policy would go into effect on the next day and pointed out that it can be changed at any time.


Affirmation of Susan B. Anthony Fund Distributions, Pam

John moved, Kelly seconded, and the Board unanimously voted to affirm the Susan B. Anthony fund distribution (list attached).


Consensus Items: February 2016 meeting minutes, Minister’s report, Administrator’s report, Program Council report

  • Items approved unanimously.


Amendments to Endowment Committee Charter, Joan

In addition to minor changes to the original charter, the amendment (attached) describes the Legacy Circle’s specific characteristics and includes a Declaration of Commitment form. John moved, Kelly seconded, and the Board voted unanimously to accept the amendments.

The Board thanked Joan for her work on the Endowment Committee.


Hilda Thorpe Paintings, Carol

MVUC owns two paintings by Hilda Thorpe, who gave them to MVUC in lieu of rental payments for her studio in the Carriage House. A member of the congregation has offered to pay $500 for one of the paintings. The Board decided to put the painting up for auction, with a minimum bid of $500, as part of the Book and Art sale. Pam will contact the member and coordinate the auction process.


Preschool Lease Update, Carol/Tony

The Board will vote on the lease at its April meeting, after Fort Hunt Preschool’s March 13 Board meeting to review and vote on the lease. Richard requested the opportunity to review the specific language changes in the revised lease before the Board’s vote in April.


Service Auction, Kelly

Kelly reported that the service auction went smoothly and made almost $10,000 despite the lower attendance, which was related in part to competing MVUC activities. Lauren Crowder and Kelly felt the loss of Ruth Heimburg’s significant help and would have benefited from having more people take on bigger roles, such as publicity, recruiting donations, logistics, and creating a catalog. Feeling burned out, they are unwilling to take on the service auction again, especially not next year. Pam asked for a list of responsibilities for future planners. Kelly strongly recommends that auction revenue predictions not be included in the annual budget. Discussion focused on the community building value of the auction, whether it should be an annual event, the best time to hold the event, and whether such a labor-intensive event is the most effective way to increase revenue. The Board thanked Kelly for her work on the auction.


Retreat Update, John

John has asked Joanne Masterson to tell nominees about the retreat.

Kris Rosenthal has been contacted as possible facilitator.


Annual Meeting Update, Pam

Tony has begun asking for committee members’ annual reports. The deadline is April 1. Sally will deliver the text to Carol by April 15.


Proposed bylaws changes for Annual Meeting, Pam

On behalf of the Membership Development Council, Al Robbert has sent an email recommending several changes to membership categories (see attached). The Membership Development Council has been encouraged to educate people about the proposed changes before the annual meeting.


Unannounced New Business, Sally

On behalf of the Sunday Services committee, Sally asked for and received several recommendations for speakers at summer services. John suggested recruiting lay leaders from other UU congregations. Kate said that the region is preparing a database that will serve as a resource for recruiting lay leaders from throughout the region.


Loan Refinancing Options, Oscar

Oscar reviewed the loan refinancing options and the finance committee’s recommendation of undertaking a five-year balloon loan (see attached). At present MVUC pays approximately $2,000/month in interest. Discussion focused on the pros and cons of this proposal and other commercial loans, of borrowing from members, of using some of the endowment fund, and of what kind of capital campaign or debt relief campaign would help reduce this debt and when such a campaign should be undertaken.


Draft Budget Discussion, Kate and Steve

Kate said that the first draft of the budget indicates a significant deficit and described her plans to present the issue on Sunday, March 20. John, Richard, and Oscar volunteered to draft an article on both loan refinancing and the proposed budget for Windmill and to arrange congregational conversations on the budget before the annual meeting on May 1. Steve described the significant shortfall in revenue from weddings; the increasing costs of appropriate staff compensation and maintenance; and pledges that have not met the levels expected. The projected $100,000 deficit factors in $3,000/month for loan payments on the Commons. Carol pointed out that the reduced wedding revenues are not related only to having to close down earlier in the evening; people are also choosing for several reasons to hold smaller events. The Board will vote on the budget at its April meeting.


MVUC Covenant

Meeting adjourned at 9:30 pm

Respectfully submitted, Sally Lindfors, Secretary



  • Minister’s Report
  • Church Aministrator’s Report
  • Program Council Report
  • Finance Committee Minutes
  • Request for approval for pursuing a fixed-rate, five-year balloon loan, Oscar Castro
  • Request for approval of revised Endowment Committee Charter & Proposed Amendment, Joan Darrah
  • Proposed Bylaw Changes Regarding Membership Categories (Al Robbert, Membership Development Committee)
  • Susan B. Anthony Fund Disbursement Recommendations
  • February Financial Reports