Summary of February 2015 Board Meeting

Summary of February Board Meeting

— Bill Hilton, Board President

The Board slugged through another long agenda this past Tuesday evening, although it wasn’t quite as long a meeting as January’s. The most enjoyable item was the vote for placing before our congregation at our Annual Meeting the ordination of our own member, Melissa Thomson.
I had the pleasure of participating in a mock interview panel to prep her for her Ministerial Fellowship examination, which she passed with a top assessment in early December. Though now working as a chaplain at Stanford and El Camino hospitals, she continues to consider parish ministry in her future. I am very impressed with her range of knowledge, self-knowledge and skills.

The Board approved an excellent draft by Edie Keating to modify By- law definitions for various affiliation categories. You’ll see this draft at the Annual Meeting, too, since By-law changes must be approved by the congregation. And you’ll likely see proposals to speed up our ability to make social and political statements in the world; this work has not been drafted as yet, but votes will likely occur at the Annual Meeting on April 19.

We discussed and made suggestions for a designated no-smoking area at the church, even though we seldom see folks lighting up on our campus. Some Hotel de Zink guests have smoked, and sometimes attend- ees at concerts and meetings do so during intermission. Our intent is
to designate one “remote” location for smoking, thus banning smoking elsewhere on the property.

You probably know that the Memorial Service for Rae Bell will be held at 3 PM on Saturday, March 21. She was a founding member of our congregation in the 1950s, and has since played highly valuable roles as the congregation’s historian, chief gardner, and Aesthetics Committee Chair. She has contributed in thousands of other ways, too, and I claim no exaggeration.

Coincidentally, the Magical Bridge playground (new construction behind our back parking lot) will hold its grand opening that same day. We’ve advised the City, the prime contractor and the citizens committee that grand opening parking must not occur in our lots. They have agreed.

Bryan Long reported that last Sunday’s Membership lunch and discus- sion produced a number of good recommendations. I trust you’ll hear about some of them in the near future. One of them is for everyone to think of him/herself as a greeter every Sunday. Another is to join the Membership and Growth Committee; to do so contact Bryan at bryan@ or 650-867-5057.

Board members learned that the canvass is progressing somewhat more slowly than in recent years, but that the average pledge is above last year’s for the ones in hand. The current year’s budget is OK, in that both expenses and revenues are running about 6% below plan. However, I urge you to pay any amount not yet paid as soon as you can and not later than mid-April to maximize the chance for a balanced budget for the year.
I close now with this thought: “Until we are willing to initiate conversations and share stories about receiving and accepting, growing and investing, returning and restoring, and joyfully giving gifts, call, and spiritual vocation, we will be unable to change our culture of scarcity.” (Wayne Clark) One of the special aspects of contributing to our church community is that it enables us to experience the joys of giving and receiving at the same time.