Spirit and Community


  • General Assembly, June 24-28

UUCA 10 Credentialed Delegates
Board: Jennifer Thilo; Congregants: June Lester, Karen Reagle, Jim Kelly, Frank Casper, Mel Shenstone, Anthony Stringer, Sekayi Stringer; Staff: Ayanna Kafi Stringer, Beck Schillizzi, Bryce Thomason, Laura Beth Brown

Board Expectations for the Year:

  • To Engage Our Congregation in Renewing Our Values, Vision, Mission and Ends
  • Take A Stand: “We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association covenant to affirm and promote: journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountability dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.” https://www.8thprincipleuu.org/background

The 8th Principle probably won’t be voted on at GA. Some congregations are already adopting on their own, and this might be the way it will be incorporated.

Thank You Messages for the Month
Agreed to thank: Melora Furman, Beck Schillizzi, and Barbara Begner

Circle of Connection:  Something I learned about a fellow board member at the retreat?
Board members shared information they learned about each other during the break-out sessions at the retreat.

Board Education

How and Why to Use Slack
Slack is useful for tracking information without it getting lost, which can happen easily on email. Also, not everyone on an email responds “to all” so everyone doesn’t receive all the feedback, and the chain of communication may be broken. On Slack, you only see things that are relevant to you. If you are invited to a channel you can opt out anytime. You can create your own room/channel and invite whoever you want to share it with. There are a host of options in preferences that you can use to personalize things such as when you get alerts. Slack can be snoozed and the search function is very powerful.

Executive Report

Annual Vision of Ministry (AVOM) Overview
Taryn has edited the AVOM since the board retreat after engaging with staff and getting more input from them. They were pleased to be included in development of the AVOM. The next step is staff evaluations during which staff will develop their goals.

The Work of the Board

Decisive Action
May minutes were received this afternoon and not everyone was able to review before the meeting. Sean is transcribing April minutes from Zoom recording. April and May minutes will be sent out via Slack and approved that way.

Board Covenant: The Board reviewed the revised Covenant prior to this meeting and submitted comments on Google Docs. They unanimously approved it.

Confirm Board Liaison for All Committees

ARAOMC: Board liaison is needed. Sha’Ron shared that the ARAOMC committee had proposed that an ARAOMC Council be developed, and this was approved in 2017. What is needed now is to find people to sit on the council (marginalized groups such as African Americans, LGBTQ, minority women). Tony Stringer, Sha’Ron have volunteered to join as council members and Christian Harden has accepted the position of Council Chair. Policies also need to be developed. Sean Golan and the Bylaw Committee will work with them on this.ARAOMC meets about 4 times a year, sometimes by phone, and also conducts committee business via email.

Healthy Relations Committee: John Merkel

Bylaw Committee: Sean Golan encouraged Board members to send any suggestions to him via Slack.

Project Phoenix: Jennifer and Sean attend these meetings, but stated that attendance by another board member would be helpful.

Open Question: To Be Determined

Since the Board already plans to engage the congregation with discussions of Mission, Vision, Means and Ends, it may not be necessary to have one. Laura Park will be consulted.

Report from Finance Trustee

Overall revenue is pledged income is over budget $32,000 for the year and donations are over $18,000 for the year. Expenses are under budget a little less than $100M for the year. Sean made a motion to approve the report and John M. seconded the motion. The May Finance Report was unanimously approved.

Capital Campaign Committee

Co-Chairs: John Guyton, Ellen Beattie. Steering Committee: David Sjoquist, Sonia Tinsley-Hook, Jennifer Thilo, Maureen McAndrews, Taryn Strauss, Bryce Thomason

The email address for the CC: capitalcampaign@uuca.org

At this time, plans are to launch this Summer (August) and end by Thanksgiving. At that time, it is expected that we would have all of the pledges and 50% of the money. People would have up to three years to pay. The ‘quiet phase’ includes establishing the key donor base and building the volunteer group. They are looking at a theme for the campaign; three options are under consideration at this time.

John and Ellen shared information about Klote and Associates, the firm that they are recommending that we engage for the campaign. Klote has an outstanding track record with other UU Congregations; their website has testimonials from large UU congregations all over the U.S. They have helped raise at least five times the anticipated annual giving amount and they claim they can do this in 12-14 weeks. They support merging the capital campaign with our annual stewardship campaign. They send a staff person to Atlanta to work onsite with us. Jim Klote thinks we can raise $4.5 million and not have to tap into the Project Phoenix funds we have.

The Board expressed concerns about the expense, limiting our expenditures and the time frame. Sean made a motion that the Board approve $105,000 to engage in a capital campaign consultant, and the campaign to end no later than Thanksgiving. Jason seconded the motion. The motion was approved unanimously.

Project Phoenix Committee

The Land Development Plan was finally approved by Dekalb County Planning. Our civil engineer has it now and it should come back to us soon. The architect has promised to have the Design Development Plan to us this week, possibly by Wednesday. The next step is to send it to Choate; they should turn it around in about 10 days. The landscape architect will be going over plans for the various gardens soon.

If the capital campaign is as successful as expected, some line items that were removed may be added back  (i.e. new windows,  drywall in the classrooms, etc.).

Healthy Relations Committee/Adopt Board Covenant

The Board offered suggestions on the Covenant prior to the meeting. These were approved.


Process Observation

We were perfect. High moment was the discussion about the capital campaign consultant.