Committee Reports for FY 2008
- Table of Contents
- Ministry Report
- Building Committee Report
- Social Action Committee Report
- REECY Committee Report
- Caring Committee Report
- Membership Committee Report
- Finance Committee Report
- Long Range Plan Report
Ministry Report for 2007-2008
Interim Minister Carolyn Colbert completes her work with the Fellowship.
Victoria Ingram begins her ministry with the Fellowship on August 15 th, getting to know UUFLG and the larger community.
Director of Religious Education, Tamara McClellan, hired to work with childrens’ RE. Adult religious education begins, including workshops, films, and classes. District Executive assists with congregational and Board “start-up” meetings.
Dave Coldren hired as the full-time musician for Sunday services. New member orientation meetings welcome seven new members into the Fellowship.
Committee on Ministry established. News items about the arrival of the new minister appear in the Los Gatos Observer and Los Gatos Times. Victoria preaches at the Los Gatos Community Thanksgiving service.
Holiday services highlight the winter holidays. Victoria joins the District Growth Committee.
Ministerial study leave month.
Began adult RE offerings for spring, including Spirit in Practice workshops and monthly drop-in lunches with the minister. Change in office support staff completed.
Victoria attends UUA First Year Ministers’ Retreat in Boston. Dinners for 8 begin with enthusiastic participation. UUFLG pledge canvass completed.
Welcomed six new members into the Fellowship. Ordination and installation of Victoria celebrated at the Fellowship on April 20th. Completed evaluation of DRE and minister.
May, 2008 and June, 2008
Bible Study for Religious Liberals continues. Victoria will be in the pulpit through July 15, offering minister-led worship during the summer months.
This first year of my ministry at UUFLG has been filled with new people, ideas, learning, challenges, and joys. I’m inspired by getting to know this community, preparing worship services that stir and nurture our spirits, and working together to foster the dreams of this congregation. I anticipate the future with confidence and optimism, as we make this welcoming Fellowship a beacon of hope within our larger community.
Submitted by Rev. Victoria Ingram
Building Committee Report
Work completed by the committee during the fiscal year includes:
Sound system improved. Heating system checked. Light bulbs in hall replaced. Rails installed on deck ramp. Ramp to sidewalk built. Door closer relaxed on women's restroom. Some painting in foyer and repositioning of name tags. Water fountain removed and wall repaired. Repair to ceiling in women's restroom. Overlay signs in place outdoors. Sanctuary loose seat bolts tightened. East side doors to lounge blocked for better use of hall space. Lounge ceiling light switch moved to west-side doors. Improvements made and new furniture assembled and added to Minister's office. Sanctuary now as "quiet room". Fire Dept. inspection done.
Pest control service contracted for ongoing problems. Fellowship used as polling place. Signs on interior doors to identify use of rooms. Outdoor plantings done and plants placed in pots at front entrance. Hose container supplied. Work done to tidy pre-school room and better organize it. Spring Outdoor Work Party volunteers worked on sprinkler repair, paved by umbrella table and set fence post in play area. Yellow stripe painted on concrete hazard by east sanctuary door. Gate repaired. Window covering placed on one window as sun shade in Minister's office. Pulpit refreshed with covering material. Meetings with gardener. Policy on donations written. Peace banner placed near front door. Brochure rack moved to better place. (Were entrance and exit lights fixed?) Trial of using hall for after-service coffee to better accommodate children's classes.
Members of the Building and Grounds Committee are: Coralee Linton, Ann Campbell, Jim Stahl and Bob Bixler
Social Action Committee Report
Revitalized the committee, adding four new members and renaming to reflect our emphasis on action. Successfully implemented shared leadership with two co-chairs: Jessica Spaulding and Connie Springer, and a separate Trustee: Jim Beebe. We chose Global Warming as our focus issue for the year and improved communication with the congregation through new Social Action bulletin board, addition of a Social Action page to the website and monthly articles in the Newsletter.
Global Warming/Climate Change Actions
Our major project for the year was the Global Warming Challenges, spearheaded by Sue Fera. A different action was offered each month for members to take in addressing global warming. Challenges included: line drying laundry, converting to CFL bulbs, maintaining proper tire pressure, greening the holidays, home heating, going beyond individual action, and driving less.
Our Committee endorsed the Cool Cities Los Gatos campaign to persuade the town of Los Gatos to sign the US Mayors' Climate Protection Agreement. Secured UUFLG endorsement of same via resolution passed at May 2007 membership meeting. Attended Town Council meeting at which Los Gatos mayor agreed to sign.
We participated in founding of West Valley Green Leaf, a group of Los Gatos, Saratoga and Monte Sereno citizens addressing climate change on the local level.
Edy Young and Kate Taylor organized a fundraising and action Soup Supper. Attendees wrote and sent 40 letters to media requesting that they ask presidential candidates about global warming. Raised $291 towards reducing the UUFLG budget deficit.
Kate Taylor and Connie Springer attended Interfaith Convocation on Climate Action and brought back information on what other faith communities are doing.
Two Water Tasting events spearheaded by Paul Yeadon highlighted the environmental costs of bottled water and resulted in a policy to avoid use of bottled water at the pulpit.
In a CLF bulb donation project, managed by Kate Taylor, we gave over 500 CFL bulbs to clients of a local food bank. Bulbs were purchased with Endowment Funds Income ($487.13) and were donated by members and friends of UUFLG. The bulbs were gift wrapped by UUFLG kids. Endowment Funds Income not spent on bulbs, $192.47, was donated to Habitat for Humanity.
We initiated a Green Practices project to develop policies and guidelines for environmentally responsible practices within UUFLG. An on-line survey to assess member support of green practices yielded 31 responses showing strong support for greening our practices. Survey results were published on the web page. A draft policy and guideline are under development.
Connie Springer attended UULM's Changing the Forecast; Climate Action Workshop for UUs and brought back information on the Low Carbon Challenge program.
Other Issue Actions
The Share-the-Plate program was formalized and documented. Walt Main served as S-t-P champion for the year. With the exception of March 2008, when S-t-P Sunday fell on Celebration Sunday, we offered this opportunity for generosity to our non-profit community each month. The seven recipients were: NARF Animal Rescue, $130; Minister’s Discretionary Fund (twice), $110 & $86; Habitat for Humanity, $183; Next Door Solution to Domestic Violence, $122; Hospice of the Valley, $194; Friends Outside, $124; UULM, $136. Recipients scheduled for the remainder of the current fiscal year are: Affordable Housing Network, San José Peace Center, and UU Service Committee.
Collected and sent 31 “Health Care Get Well Cards” to our state senators asking for legislation this year to make health care in California more affordable and accessible. Connie Springer participated in lobbying meeting with Assembly member Ira Ruskin on health care reform.
Our scheduled Habitat for Humanity workdays had to be cancelled due to insufficient sign ups.
Seventeen signatures were collected on the peace petition that UUA president Rev. Sinkford took to Congress.
REECY Committee REPORT
We have been enjoying a busy month in religious education. We have welcomed visitors, seen new faces, and are pleased to continue to meet families with young children continuing to come in. The preschool in particular is a hive of happy activity. I am currently tying their activities in with the theme for my own RE class, which also frequently coincides with the topic of worship service. Recently, the preschoolers held a birthday party for the baby Buddha, and received some new toys in the process, which they loved. They have also been hearing stories and learning songs demonstrating the concepts in our seven principles, most recently number seven.
In my own age-integrated RE class, we’ve been enjoying a hearty attendance with lots of regulars, which we hope will continue in the future. Speaking very generally, we have about seven children in an average class. We have studied the seven principles as well, which I’ve supplemented with my own “Seven Principle Bingo” – a big hit! We also studied the life and teachings of Buddha, and observed Earth day by creating all natural bird feeders. My students and I reflected last week how amazingly all these themes connect to each other as we discussed the seventh principle.
We were lucky to have a few special guests on May 4th, as two children from FUUCSJ, along with their families, attended UUFLG on an official field trip. We enjoyed seeing them in our class and hearing their input.
I was fortunate to be able to attend the LREDA professional’s day workshop at General Assembly. It was good to meet up with some familiar people again, as well as have the opportunity to create new professional contacts.
Everyone is looking forward to welcoming our OWL graduates officially back into the fold, and we have been lucky to see some of them here from time to time. I am so proud of them for participating in the program, and grateful they have had the opportunity to take part in this life enriching experience.
I’m also happy to report that Kari Sparks plans to return as of June 1 st, and she hopes to be with us two Sundays a month. She is a great teacher who has been a tremendous help to me in planning curriculum, so of course I look forward to working with her again.
RECCY will be meeting again on Thursday May 22, from 11am to 1pm. One of the items on our agenda is fleshing out the outline for summer RE, which currently includes science projects and how they relate to our search for truth. Most of our kids are huge fans of the show “Mythbusters,” so we want to incorporate that as well. At the end of June, I am also planning to honor all my teachers and volunteers, both at “A Time for All Ages” and at a tea party following the service.
We are hoping to soon add another professional teacher to our staff. Dorice will help publicize our search by announcing it on the website as well as in our weekly order of service. I have also placed ads on Craigslist as well Kijiji.com. (You’ll be happy to know Kijiji is free.) I hope to find someone with experience as well as early childhood education credentials, to help plan and facilitate curriculum. They should be able to help with preschool, elementary and youth (when we re-launch youth, post-OWL) as needed.
My goal is to motivate others, including volunteers, to take a more active role in the actual teaching of classes so I can do more directing and developing. I would also like to spend time in the preschool to support our program there, and confirm there’s a good structure.
My most immediate goal is keeping our programs as staffed as possible. In addition to wanting three people scheduled on preschool duty, I also want three teachers in the other class as well, whenever possible. This way, we have someone to flex into preschool in the event of illness or other unscheduled absences. Finding volunteers can sometimes be difficult, so it would really help to have another hire on board. I am profoundly grateful to Julie Doyle and Coralee Linton, who so generously donate their time, as well as Joe Rafferty for his steadfast devotion to our young people and their future.
Here’s hoping the June report is filled with information about a new teacher!
Tamara McClellan, DRE
The Caring Committee Report
No report currently on file.
Membership Committee Report
We held a Fall and Early Spring Session to introduce interested visitors and friends to our Unitarian Universalist faith.
We provided greeters to welcome all people to our Sunday Services.
We provided a "Welcome Packet" of information about our congregation that was given to each new visitor on Sunday.
We started a new program for members and friends to become better acquainted. This program is called "Dinner for Eight", and is proving to be a good plan for this congregation!
We are encouraging all our community people to get involved in committee meetings, adult education classes, discussion groups, chalice circles, and volunteering where needed. We are integrating!
During the 2007-2008 fiscal year, 14 members resigned and 14 new members joined. The current number of UUFLG members is 101.
Membership Committee members are Edna Windes -- chair, Harry Campbell, Jim Beebe, Maggi Benson, Ann Campbell, Nina Kalmoutis.
Finance Committee Report
Our 2008 fiscal year, which began July 1, 2007 and ends June 30, 2008 has been an exciting one. It was our first year with a full time settled minister and other professional services.
At last year’s annual spring meeting we took a “Leap of Faith” and adopted a deficit budget with goal of fully supporting our new minister in her first year and including funding to hire a Director of Religious Education as well. We made a conscious decision to invest in our future and growth. During the year we also chose to fund professional musicians who have also contributed to the success of our Sunday services.
We began the year with a projected deficit of approximately $14,000. We managed to keep a tight control over costs, have some successful fundraising activities and grow through new members pledging. As a result, I am pleased to report that we are now projecting a modest surplus for the year. This is a tremendous success for our Fellowship and one we can all take great pride in.
Our work however is far from over. We know now what our commitment level must be going forward to continue to support the level of professional services we have come to appreciate so much. The goal of our FY2009 budget is to continue funding our current level of programs. We are forecasting income of approx $156,600 and expenses of approx $159,200 resulting in a deficit of approx $2,600. In order achieve this budget, we have chosen to make an exception this year in funding our “Fair Share” dues to the PCD and UUA. We will closely monitor our income and expenses as the year progresses and fund these commitments to the level we are able as the year progresses.
On a personal note, I am ending my 3-year term as Treasurer. We have achieved so much in the last three years and I believe that we are on the right path for our future. I’d like to thank everyone who served on the board and finance committee for their support and dedication. It has been an honor to work with such a great volunteer team. I’d especially like to thank Irving Yabroff for his countless hours managing the books and day-to-day business of the Fellowship. I would have been lost without him.
I look forward to serving the Fellowship in other roles going forward and for the continued successful financial stewardship under the leadership of Merritt Benson.
Long Range Plan Report
The UUFLG Long Range Planning Committee continued working during the fall and winter, with the added assistance of Victoria. A draft long range plan has now been prepared and provided to the Board of Trustees for review. The plan reflects opinions and objectives expressed in the congregation survey and Cottage Meetings held in the fall of 2006, as well as further thinking and advice developed since then. The Long Range Plan is not considered to be a rigid document but is expected to undergo periodic review and update as our world progresses.
The upcoming spring 2008 Membership Meeting ballot includes an item to delegate review and approval (or modification) of the draft long range plan to the Board of Trustees. By the bylaws of the Fellowship, each committee is chaired by its respective Board Trustee (unless otherwise approved by the Board.) The trustees are tasked to coordinate comments to the draft plan from their committees and provide guidance to the Long Range Planning committee for requested changes. The final, approved version of the plan must represent the desires and consensuses of the majority of the Membership, especially the committee members who will be chartered with its implementation.
A final approval date for the plan by the Board has not been set, however, it is anticipated that the Board will conduct its review in sufficient time to allow any updates to be completed early in the upcoming fiscal year.
The Long Range Plan Committee will make periodic reviews of progress relative to the approved plan. The reviews will be coordinated by the Committee Chair, nominally the Fellowship Vice President, who will report results of the review to the Board of Trustees. It is anticipated that a more thorough review and plan update will be made on an every other year basis.
Copies of the draft plan have been made available for individual review on the UUFLG web site as well as on-loan hard copies at the Fellowship. The full plan, including the survey and Cottage Meeting results report is 48 pages. It includes goals and objectives as well as specific recommended tasks and responsibilities. A summary version has also been prepared that is informative but omits the details of the specific recommended tasks. The summary version is also be available on the UUFLG web site as well as on-loan hard copies at the Fellowship and is nine pages in an easy to read format. A hard copy of any of the plan materials may be printed from the PDF files on the UUFLG web site, or hard copies can be obtained by contacting any board member or any of the members of the Long Range Planning Committee.
Current Committee Members: Bob Bixler, Harry Campbell, Victoria Ingram,
Linda Krenicky, Katie Rall, Jim Stahl
Address: 15980 Blossom Hill Road, Los Gatos, CA 95032
Phone: (408) 358-1212