Updates from the Board – November 2023

The Board of Trustees considered a variety of issues at its November 14, 2023 meeting.  Rev. Ian began by addressing the need to be aware of church culture.  Quoting the noted business management guru, Peter Drucker, he reminded us that “Culture eats Strategy for Breakfast”, and that if our church culture does not support our bylaws, policies, and strategic plans, they will not produce the desired results. To that end, the Board agreed to have a retreat next February that will focus on developing and sustaining a healthy church culture.  

Rev. Ian also outlined plans for supporting and growing the RE program, which will initially be developed through a consulting agreement with the Rev. Dayna Edwards, the Minister for Faith Formation at Cedar Lane Unitarian Church. The Board unanimously approved that agreement.  Rev. Ian also recommended that the Board approve naming Rev. Lauren Spivey Levwood as a new Affiliate Minister at MVUC, which would involve her providing one Sunday sermon each year and other arrangements yet to be developed.  (This is an uncompensated position that the Board approved.) The Board also approved his recommendation to hire Rev. Eleanor Piez for 10 hours a month to provide assistance to the Pastoral Care team through the end of the calendar year.

Finance Committee Chair Al Robbert presented the Board with an updated budget to reflect staff changes, the arrangements with Rev. Edwards and Rev. Piez, savings on maintenance, and other items that will result in lower projected expenditures during this fiscal year.  Robbert’s proposed budget amendments were approved.

Glenn Sheffield updated the Board on progress on bylaw revisions.  The Task Force has created an initial draft to work from and has received feedback from the Endowment Committee, Finance Chair, and the Nominating Committee on related sections of the bylaws.  Revisions to the existing limits and restrictions on withdrawing “adjusted principal” from the endowment are under discussion and multiple options will be prepared for the Board to consider. The task force is looking at setting up some consistent standards for term limits on leadership within committees and councils that can be defined in policies and charters in the future. The Board discussed this issue along with the issue of how and when any changes would be put in place. It is expected that it may take up to two years to get all updates implemented. Glenn encouraged the board to send any questions to the task force.  More meetings with various church teams will be planned as the review and update process continues.  The Task Force is also working on a communication plan to roll out recommendations once a more complete draft is available.  

The Board was advised that Fort Hunt Preschool had been notified that the check it tendered for rent was insufficient in light of the August 1 rent reopener under its lease and the subsequent notice that rent would be increased to $3300 a month beginning November 15.  

Katherine Tobin presented a proposal regarding display and sale of art in the Commons and the church.  The proposal will be modified to ensure the availability of display space to the church community and the suitability of the art for viewing by the whole church community.