The Board had its annual retreat on August 19th and 20th. Among other things, the Board discussed and prioritized its goals for the upcoming church year.
The Board is committed to providing high-quality, effective stewardship of UUFR’s resources and working hard to ensure that UUFR is fulfilling its mission. In addition to run-of-the-mill fiduciary oversight (such as monitoring the budget), the Board seeks to continue pushing UUFR in the direction of effective and wise “policy” (“delegated-management”) governance.
The Board will continue its efforts to keep the congregation apprised of what its up to and to provide meaningful ways for members to provide input.
An additional, ongoing goal is striving to make Board work itself accessible and enjoyable to all members, including people with younger children and people who work full time.
The Board has agreed to prioritize the following goals for the 2022–2023 church year. Look for more information about these priorities during the year.
Strategic Plan. The Board will continue to oversee the strategic planning process started in 2021 and will present a strategic plan for the congregation to vote on in June 2023. This vision for the future will help UUFR set priorities and allocate resources. The Board will keep the congregation up to date on our progress and how members can shape that vision.
Congregational Policy & Procedure Revision. The Board will continue revising and cleaning up its Board policy and procedure documents to align them with best practices for an organization our size. Big priorities are adopting or substantially updating an adequate conflict of interest policy, a whistleblower policy, a nondiscrimination policy, lead-minister delegation policy, and a sound lead-minister oversight policy.
Bylaws & Articles Amendments. The Board will continue to support and oversee the Bylaws Task Force, which is drafting amendments to our Articles of Incorporation and bylaws to align our governing documents with legal requirements and our existing practices. The Board will discuss proposed changes with the congregation and get feedback this fall. The congregation will vote on those changes in June 2023.
Minister Succession Planning. Rev. James’ contract will expire in 2024. If UUFR decides the time is right for a settled minister to succeed him, then we will need to devote 2023 to the search process required under UUFR’s governing documents. The Board will present the congregation with a vote on search direction for the Lead Minister, most likely in December 2022. As part of that work, the Board will develop a job description for the Lead Minister.
UUA Presidential Election. The Board will develop a plan to select and prepare UUFR’s delegates for the UUA General Assembly, which in 2023 will elect its next President. Given that the President sets the course of the UUA for a number of years, choosing how to allocate UUFR’s votes in that election will be important.
Secretary Succession / Org Document Management. UUFR is undergoing a deep transformation in Board, congregation, and other teams’ project management strategies. This change could unify and substantially improve communication and task tracking across different committees and teams. Much of this work has been done by our current Secretary, Rebecca Marmaduke. As she prepares to rotate off of the Board in July 2023, the Board needs to devote some time and energy to supporting her to make the new processes robust and accessible.
Lead Minister Performance Evaluation and Oversight. A major Board responsibility is overseeing the Lead Minister. Each calendar year the Board works with the Lead Minister to develop an evaluation plan. In 2022 the Board will complete a performance review of Rev. James and develop the 2023 plan.
Committee Oversight and Engagement. The Board will work closely with its Board committees and task forces, including the Addressing Institutional Racism committee, the Financial Advisory Committee, the Memorial Committee, the Healthy Congregation Committee, and the Committee on Ministry. Each group exercises critical functions at UUFR and has an exciting to-do list for the church year. The Financial Advisory Committee, as one important example, will continue building adequate internal controls into our financial practices. The Addressing Institutional Racism committee will oversee multiple tasks to help UUFR understand and realize its ideals around anti-racism, and the committee will provide critical inputs into current policy and the strategic plan. The Committee on Ministry is executing much of the discernment that will fill in the strategic plan. The Board will work with the congregation’s Nominating Committee to begin assessing and modernizing the scope of its job in a congregation UUFR’s size. And, believe it or not, it’s time to start planning UUFR’s 75th Anniversary in 2024 and a Board task force will steer that project. And our vibrant committees are doing much, much more.
The Board discussed many other possible goals for the year. The Board chose the following as its highest priorities, as it can work them into its schedule.
Volunteer Recognition. With COVID and other priorities, volunteer recognition has not been a recent priority. The Board will present the annual Michos-Irwin volunteer award this church year, regardless. But the Board, as it can, will consider and implement additional approaches to volunteer recognition as well.
Board Conflict Policy. An ounce of prevention could be worth a pound of cure: A policy around Board member removal that spells out best practices for approaching conflict, disengagement, and nonperformance on the Board could substantially help address such problems, should they arise.
Staying Up To Date and Connecting
Please check the Fellowship Matters blog and the Chalice for progress reports on Board goals. We will have one or more Town Halls or listening sessions to discuss some of these goals in depth.
One of the most important things members can do to help the Board steer UUFR’s trajectory is attend one of our Strategic Planning Loop Groups. Sessions have been scheduled for 9/18, 9/28, 10/19, and 10/23. Look for sign-up opportunities in the Chalice.
Board Business meetings are held the 4th Tuesday of each month at 7:00 PM via Zoom and are open to members. Look for announcements and draft meeting agendas in the Chalice.
The Board holds regular relational meetings with members to learn about them and their hopes for UUFR. But the Board is keen to hear from members and visitors anytime using these methods:
- Email the Board: All Board members will see email addressed to Board@uufr.org
- Feedback: Click here to submit a question, comment, or suggestion for your Board of Directors.
- Email any of us directly. (We’re keen to talk to you in person when you see us, too.)
See all Fellowship Matters posts here.