by Jim Tyner, Board President
This year’s Annual Membership Meeting was both productive and entertaining. As Board President, I felt gratified to see over 80 people in attendance and I thank all of you for your commitment to our beloved spiritual community.
Election of New Board Members
This year, the nominating committee recommended Jason Hewitt and Gary Conway as their selections for the Board. Jason is currently a Board member, having been recently appointed to fill the vacancy created when Joe Hill moved out of the area. Both Jason and Gary were elected to the Board of Directors by a vote of the members present at the meeting.
Changes in our By-Laws
Aside from several tweaks, most provisions of the By-Laws had not been updated for up to 40 years. In addition to making the minor word and phrase changes that were obvious, the Board, working with the guidance of Unity Worldwide Ministries, was recommending the following three major changes.
-Throughout the document, written notice is changed from “mailed” to “communicated”
-A quorum for membership meetings is changed from “50 members” to “those members who are present”
-Change the amount the Board of Directors can pledge real property as collateral from $25,000 to $100,000
After vigorous debate, the members present voted to accept the proposed changes in items No. 1 and No. 3. Item No. 2 did not pass. The current quorum requirement will remain in effect.
In my annual report to the membership, I outlined what had transpired in 2015.
We held a Board, Staff, and Key Leader meeting in August 2015, where we looked at how communication between these three groups works and what we could implement to improve our communication. We also discussed action items that came out of our Heartbeat of the Community project.
We completely revised our accounting chart of accounts. This was a major undertaking that took an enormous amount of Staff and Senior Minister time. With the project completed we now have a much better reporting system and can better analyze our finances on an ongoing basis.
We competed the refurbishing of Victoria House and made a number of other improvements to our grounds and facilities.
We are still evaluating a possible Capital Campaign. With a 3 ½ acre property, our grounds account for a significant portion of our budget – especially in light of the size of our congregation. We are investigating a capital campaign that would fund a trust to insure that our grounds and gardens are adequately funded into the future.
Finally, at the end of the meeting, we held a question and answer session. Several requests included a detailed response response regarding the results of our Heartbeat of the Community project. We are in the process of reviewing all the data and will provide the community with a detailed update shortly.
It has been a real pleasure to severe our community as President of the Board of Directors. I look forward to a coming year and what will be ours to accomplish.