Minutes March 12, 2024

Present:

Attendees

  • Rev. Xolani Kacela, John Burk, Jan Theiss-Guffey, Steve Madden, Madeline Morrow, Diana Mecum, Susan Pelmulder, K’Ailsa Rowan, Patrick Canonge, , Connie Hall, Sundar Mudupalli, Lynn Morison, Bill Baldwin

Building – We will hopefully receive a bid for the roof and painting within the next 4-6 weeks.  Two paint colors are at the top of the list – the other samples will be painted over – Sue Pelmulder will host a ‘look at discussion’ outside the building, including other ideas, to discuss.  Historical colors – range of colors used in 1890’s (Madeline Morrow’s research).  Building security is an ongoing issue – front door left unlocked for several days recently – fires in stairwells – Patrick will ask Garden City our contractor for ideas for a temporary fix to block off the stairwells (it is an egress point for the building). Jim Guffey installed motion lights on that side recently.  

Membership and Connection

  • Several new members signing the book
  • Ruby Delgros is now a member
  • Eileen Scroden is  now a member
  • Bob and Carol Roskowski – longtime friends – have been active – did not want to join the church because it would cost the church when they became members
  • Amanda Sullivan – also need to recognize her.
  • It would be good to have a QR code to take visitor’s information.

Personnel

  • Personnel Policy update –
    • Sick leave policy
    • Anti Harassment policy
    • Members becoming staff 
    • UUA recommends against having members as staff – does not need to go to the board

RE position

  • Job Description of the RE coordinator – delegated to personnel officers and rev XK

Motion by Madeline – approved

  • Discussion on current person – 
  • Julia was working 17 hours – nursery staff and school age kids – coming of age 
    • RE coordinator cut to 12-13 hours a week
  • Would like to have a discussion on the interim situation
  • We need to be very careful about financial implications – not yet at budget – Madeline
  • We need to be careful about cutting hours
  • How Rev. XK sees the RE position going forward
    • Strongly lacking in millennial
    • How they create community – Gen Z are anti institutionalists – not drawn to organized religion – Gen Z are not bringing children to church – Gen Z least churched demographics – they interact and are following each other via Instagram, and TikTok.
    • Person skilled in content creation 
    • RE content, curricula get more engagement
    • Restructuring the hours
    • Social content creation – 4-6 hrs
    • Sunday 3 hrs + 3hrs for prep for Sunday
    • Focus energy to get biggest payoff
    • Wants someone who understands how Gen X and Gen Z engage
    • If we keep doing it the way we have been doing it – we will not get the people
    • Suggesting Social media for engagement – not into community – their aspiration is individuality – they are already isolated – they engage on these platforms.

Social media feedback

  • Cautious about idea of social media
  • A split between engaging on social media and creating social events
  • We used to have talent school, new 20’s and 30’s

Hunger for Adult activities – Madeline Morrow

  • Having adult 
  • Working with lay leaders – someone who can help plan engaging activities
  • Having the resource – be a resource for that

Motion:

We recruit to hire an interim RE Coordinator for 12 hrs a week until May 31, 2025. – Motion by Madeline – Second by Diana Mecum – Passed

Rev. XK – It is a big lift to hire a RE person – it will be in the new minister’s interest to have the RE coordinator for one calendar year.

What do we do until the Interim RE Coordinator gets hired ? 

  • Don’t do Sunday school
  • Just cover the Nursery – recruit volunteers (vetted congregants) as a backup
  • RE committee had a meeting – let them know right away – Krysten, Rick Morris – Ray Kiddy, Susan Miller.Rev Xolani will reach out to them.
  • No change in hours for childcare people

Typically, the RE are working on activities during Sunday School

  • Susan Miller and Krysten are working on this right now

It would be good for someone to go to the Parents committee

  • We need to be nurturing of the young families
  • Young Families are very precious to us.
  • Agree to try to recruit within the congregation
  • Importance of younger members of the congregation – children and youth

Rev Xolani – he will contact the parents – Sarah Jiang Pu – has an education background

Shifting Hours

  • Don’t have time to do this tonight
  • There is an extra cost – when someone is part time – 
  • Will have to wrestle with the budget on April 9 and April 23, 2024
  • Will have a better idea on where the stewardship campaign will be
  • Will talk about this next time
  • We have been talking about this for some time – John has worked for us for 11 years – a long time – would have benefits and sabbatical and due recognition from the congregation
  • Acknowledge the needs of the music program to help it grow
  • What the program needs to go to the next level
  • Basis for evaluating the position

Social Justice

  • We joined SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) for a meeting with Mayor’s staff to fund for another TRUST (Trusted Response Urgent Support Team) van.
    • Only 4 vans in Santa Clara county compared to 35 in Los Angeles
  • We will have Social justice table after the service against the back hall
  • Working on a brochure for the newcomer’s table
  • Marnie and Joyce working on the welcoming congregation
    • Continue as a welcoming congregation
  • Homeless concerns committee – made 42 personal kits
  • Next meeting in April

Stewardship

  • Inspiration Sunday Feb. 4 – good attendance despite rain
  • 103 attended Celebration Sunday March 10!- 19 on zoom – we have received pledges from 52% of the targeted households and we have received $332,351 in pledges so far, or 78% towards our goal of $425,000

Worship

  • Busy month with candidating.
  • March 17 – service introducing the right relations team – Skit
  • Ram Kakarala – is worship associate
  • March 24 – Congregational Meeting
  • Easter – We are risen – inspirational – 
  • Next month – have not finalized all Sunday
  • Candidate on the second to last (April 21) or last Sunday in April (April 28)
  • Remaining 2 services we need to have – guest ministers
    • Pin down the topics
    • Alegria singers – we had a great – for the chorus
  • Flower Communion on Easter Sunday possibly…

Transparency in our Bylaw changes

  • They are on the website – Discussion ensued about the changes – Town Hall to discuss March 17, voting at Congregational meeting March 24.

Two additional items from Jan: She will be reaching out for soup chefs for soup and bread lunch on March 24; and will be heading up another Service Is Our Prayer Day, date set Saturday April 6, to spiff up the building before the new minister arrives.

Sundar Mudupalli; edited for clarity byJan Theiss-Guffey

This is great, thank you!Thanks for this.