At the November 29, 2017 meeting, the Board discussed issues related to putting up a large Black Lives Matter (BLM) sign in front of the church after receiving requests from many congregants. The Board is supportive of the goal of a BLM sign and wants to involve the congregation in an educational process toward this goal. The timeline would include a local BLM leader doing a two-hour workshop (now tentatively scheduled for February 2018) and a facilitated “Congregational Conversation” so that many perspectives can be discussed. The UU Lansing Committee to End the New Jim Crow and the Diversity Team will both be involved. Many UU churches have installed BLM banners following the Action of Immediate Witness statement passed at the 2015 General Assembly to support the BLM movement and the UUA encouragement for congregations to further their commitment to the BLM movement.
In the pledge drive for the 2018 operating budget, we expect to raise $505,000 to $510,000 in 2018 pledges. This was compared with a preliminary draft of the 2018 budget. The financial issues will be discussed again in December when more information is available. The Board suggested that the Finance Committee hold an information session one or two weeks prior to the January 21 Congregational Meeting so the congregation can see the budget and have more time to ask questions.
In response to a suggestion from the Pastoral Care team and a recommendation from the Finance Committee, the Board approved allocating the 2017 Christmas Eve evening services’ plate collection to the Minister’s Discretionary Fund. This Fund is used at the discretion of the minister to assist people in our congregation with financial challenges.
There was extensive discussion about the proposed Ministerial Search Committee (MSC) selection process. According to the UU Lansing by-laws: “The composition and charge of the [Ministerial Search] Committee is decided by the Congregation at the meeting at which members vote to authorize a search.” At the January 21 congregational meeting, the Board will propose a charge for the MSC and a process for selection of members.