The Parish Committee met on September 18, 2019. Dwight Gertz
and Karin Levy were unable to be present and Rev. Rosemary Lloyd filled in for
Dwight to present an update on the Governance Task Force. Rev Rankin, Gert
McDermott and Sarah Klockowski were in attendance.
As mentioned earlier, the PC is making an effort to connect
more regularly and easily with the parish and its committees. The list of PC Liaisons is below. Should you
have business related to one of these functions, please be in contact with one
of these members who will bring relevant concerns to the PC or to the relevant
|Finance ||Chris Andrysiak|
|Personnel ||Carrie Marotta|
|Youth Programs||Jean Welsh|
|Deacons, Music, Administration||Nick Covino|
|Generous Giving, Transition Team||RL Smith|
|Membership and Community Engagement||Karin Levy|
|Governance Task Force||Dwight Gertz|
The PC met after church on
Sunday September 22 to hold an Open Meeting with the Parish
The PC voted to returnthe title of the current “Membership Committee” to its original
“Welcoming Committee” to reflect its current function.
The PC Voted to
receive $60,000 of excess funds from FY19 Operations (i.e., last year’s budget)
and transferred this total to the FY20 Operating account.
Mr. John Krzywicki (Treasurer) reports that the first two
months of the fiscal year have been right on track. With Generous Giving pledges last spring
finishing short of what is required to cover the budget; a new position in
Community Engagement likely to require additional funds to be successful (note;
it did not exist last year when the FY20 budget was prepared); and the usual
uncertainty regarding pledge collections, John has proposed some guidelines to
manage a tight budget. Small (<$500) requests/requirements for funds to
cover expenses not included in the budget (exclusive of Capital Expenses) can
be presented for review to the Treasurer or the Parish Administrator. Those
that seem to be ‘one time’ and that do not establish a ‘precedent’ for future
funding will be seen in a favorable light. Larger items will be examined in
light of available funds, rebalanced from other lines where possible and
against the need to finish the year with a positive balance. The PC has
authority to exceed the budget by $25,000, but it aims to keep expenses in line
with the Parish Approved Budget.
John’s analysis of unused funds from prior years finds, not
surprisingly, that the majority of the excess funds were from unspent salaries
from unfilled positions. These positions are currently filled (e.g., Student
Minister, RE, Community Engagement/Adult Programming) which means that the
Treasurer, Parish Administrator and PC must manage this year’s budget very
closely. It also means that next year’s budget is highly likely to be larger
Engagement/Adult Programming Coordinator
Sarah Klockowski joined the PC meeting to introduce herself
and to speak a bit about her programs. Sarah has both an MA in Biblical
Languages and an M.Div. degree with a specialty in Social Ethics. A former
Youth Pastor and High School Educator, Sarah is already working to fulfill the
Shared Ministry Review’s charge to create more ‘outward facing programs.’
Moving to her new home in Medford, she is excited to begin her work with First
Rev. Jenny will be Sarah’s supervisor and a small advisory
group of Carrie Marotta and Chris Andrysiak will provide a sounding board as
this position evolves.
The Facilities Committee has been very active. Unfortunately, there are three significant
projects that require repairs that are likely to exceed $200,000. These are the Parish House Roof, the Play
yard, and the parking lot. In addition, Tim Moynihan reports that the committee
identifies another 6-8 smaller projects (e.g., doors). There are limited Capital Expense funds (near
that $200,000 level) to cover these repairs.
Next month, Facilities Chairman Peter Sugar will report on
the scope of the necessary work and present the plans and costs acquired from
the relevant construction companies for this work.
Rev. Rosemary Lloyd presented an update of the work of this
committee. The group has been meeting through the summer, reading Hotchkiss’ Governance and Ministry. They echoed the
SMR findings that there is need to clarify roles, responsibilities and
authority as well as to codify committee charges, volunteer roles, staff
responsibilities and church policies. These members will make their report and
recommendations to the Parish Committee next month. These ideas will be sourced
through the parish in a thoughtful manner before coming to the PC for any
Throughout this year the Transition Team will be exploring
with the congregation questions like: Who & What is The First
Parish right now?; Who are our neighbors? and What is our mission and the core
values that will guide us into the future?
These will be the foundation for the document that the
parish prepares to introduce itself to potential Settled Ministers.
The SEARCH COMMITTEE will be selected by the end of this
year and it is the likely author of this document. At this point, the PC
intends to ask for recommendations from the parish of members for a Search
Committee and it will appoint three additional members to ‘round out’ a team of
7. More on this to come.
This committee has been hard at work preparing job
descriptions; recruiting, interviewing and hiring new staff; creating processes
for a review of the Minister and FPL Staff. Several of these reviews have been
completed by Rev Jenny with input from relevant others. The question raised in the Annual Report
regarding the scope and responsibilities of the Parish Administrator will be
examined by this committee with assistance from several parishioners, Rev. Rankin
and the Parish Committee. The parish is in debt to Ralph Smith, Carrie Marotta,
Gus Browne and Jane O’Rourke.
- The FPL Green committee did a significant service for the Parish. They built a proposal in keeping with the most popular priority from the survey of the parish of two years ago: Addressing Climate Change and the Environment. Their proposal for Solar Panels was impressively written and researched (with demonstrated cost-savings for the action) was presented clearly at two PC meetings. This team coordinated closely with the Generous Giving committee, including holding an evening meeting to discuss how to partner. FPL Green volunteered to fundraise for the project in a manner that did not compete with the Annual Pledge Drive. They raised funds from non-church colleagues, made personal gifts and, thus far, has raised about 60% of the cost of the panels. This effort was not required. These members have been stewards of an important value of the parish and responsible partners with the church in conducting business and developing an asset that will save money and the environment. The congregation says: “Amen.”
- Volunteers are needed. The Religious
Education program still has too few teachers. if you have the ability to
share your values with our young people, please contact Elizabeth Kelly (Youth
Programs Committee) or Margit Griffith, (Director Religious Education) as soon
as possible. The Touch of Christmas
Fair has ONE LEADER who needs a partner and committee members for this important
event. Mentoring is available and the
commitment to lead this effort can be limited to This Year only. Please let Karin Levy know if you are able to
help. Focused Task Forces always need help to gather information and deliver
short products. A Review of the “Safe
Congregation Policy” that might include a talk by the Lincoln PD on Active
Shooter Actions and a variety of updates to parish documents needs
helpers. Let me know if you are
interested and have time to write, talk, and help.
- The PC will hold a Leadership Retreat in October
to draw committee chairs and other parish leaders together to discuss goals and
strategies for the year. This will be
planned in the next two weeks.
The next official meeting of the Parish Committee is October
16 at 6:00. The PC will hold a planning
phone call on October 3 at 2:15.
- Nick Covino, Chair, for the Parish Committee