With May upon us, it is urgent that we complete our annual All Member Canvass for pledging and membership confirmation! The Jubilee Day was April 2, so if you have not already completed and returned your All Member Canvass form, please do so right away. We need to know the resources we can count on as we approach approving our budget at the Congregational Meeting on May 21.
The first stage of our Strategic Planning has been completed with 23 different sessions of Appreciative Inquiry involving 141 participants. The multitude of YES! stories was captured in the common themes which you can see in the word art (please see Page 5 in the Flame). The size of the word reflects the relative importance of it as expressed in our sessions. I doubt anyone is surprised at the themes which came through clearly, reflecting what is important to us. The gathered information is being integrated and distilled into goal areas which will be presented to the Program Council, the Board and then to you, the members, at the Congregational Meeting. Each of these broad long-term goals will then become the subject of a working group that will develop a few objectives and strategies for reaching that goal. We will need volunteers and recommendations for members to serve on these working groups.
Four members attended the UU Spring Gathering for the southeast, held April 8-9 in Charleston. We met and heard from each of the three candidates for UUA President, Jean Pupke, Susan Frederick-Gray and Alison Miller. We were impressed by each and feel that we will be in good hands with either of them serving as the national president. In addition, we attended workshops on stewardship and social justice and will pass along information gathered in those. We distributed information about UUA General Assembly and Southern UU Leadership Experience and are promoting both to invite participants. (See page 16 of the Flame for more details.)
Other work for the Board included building the 2017-18 budget, approving $350,000 as the target for our All Member Canvass, deleting & archiving the outdated Endowment Guidelines, clarifying that the Fellowship is not subject to HIPAA regulations so deleted related forms. We also received input from the Communications & Technology Committee to approve a revised Newsletter policy, and from the Memorial Garden Committee to combine two policies and approve a revised comprehensive Memorial Garden policy.
The Leadership Development Committee was delighted to report on the proposed slate of officers, board members and standing committee members to be presented at the Congregational Meeting. The Slate for 2017-2018 is listed in the Flame.