Message From the Board


The board has met three times since July – the beginning of our new fiscal year – virtually, of course.  Due to a variety of situations and circumstances, there were three board vacancies of one-year terms.  Two of those vacancies were filled last month by Bill Motter and Sharon Winters.  Bill and Sharon were both initially vetted by the nominating committee, and agreed to fill the vacant one-year term.  We’re pleased to welcome them on board!  We also welcome Karen Ann White (who previously served as Clerk); and Cynthia Patterson, Vice-President, each for three-year terms.  Susan Burnore and Michael Killoren, President, return with two years remaining in their terms. 

We also welcome the return of Paul Craig, Treasurer, and Harry Sauers, Assistant Treasurer; and our newest officer, Chris Pedersen, Clerk.  Rebecca Wilson returns as Financial secretary, along with Dani Skrzypek, Assistant Financial Secretary.

The church is well served by this capable and caring team, and we’re grateful for their dedication and thoughtful leadership.

In August, the board approved a fundraising policy designed to prioritize UUSP and UUSP sanctioned organizations and activities for fundraising promotion.  Carol Ulmer (Annual Giving team) led the charge on this, and based her work on UUA best practices, and in consultation with board members and UUSP constituents, including Social Justice.

On September 10, the board approved several urgent maintenance projects, including the tenting for termite treatment of the Sanctuary and Gilmour Hall ($7,500).  In addition, urgent maintenance will be performed on roof tiles on the Bell Tower, several shingles on the Sanctuary roof, and closing a gap in the Sanctuary between the façade wall and the roof, which is allowing light and outside air to enter ($4,000).  These projects will be paid for out the Maintenance Reserve Fund, which treasurer Paul Craig established two years ago to fund on-going maintenance and emergencies like this.  A third project will install enhanced wi-fi throughout the two buildings, which will enable live-stream of services from the Sanctuary when we return to the church building for services ($900). 

Many thanks to the Buildings & Grounds committee for all of their hard work vetting these projects and for scheduling the work. 

We’ve also begun funding feasibility conversations with a small group of stakeholders to assess our capacity to fully fund the new kitchen – which is a top priority.  It’s a big project, and while now is the perfect time to do the demolition and construction, it’s also a challenging time to raise the funds.  The team is confident that we can do this – so please, be patient, be generous, and stay tuned!

The board is also moving forward to begin addressing guidelines and protocols for re-opening, based on guidance from the CDC, the Unitarian Universalist Association, the City of St. Pete, and other sources.  In all honesty, re-opening is still many months away, but we’re going to begin experimenting with live-streaming and developing guidelines to make sure we have the capacity and resources to enhance our online presence, and to safely resume in-person gathering when the time is right.  The health and safety of our congregation is our top concern, and we will move cautiously.

All board meetings are open to the congregation.  For security purposes, click on the request for the Zoom password either from the InfoNet announcement or the calendar listing for board meetings, which are held on the second Thursday of each month, from 5:30 – 7:30 pm.  An e-mail will be sent to you with the log-in info.

As always if you have any questions, comments, ideas or concerns, please feel free to contact us or any of the board members and officers.

In closing, I want to thank all of the hard-working members and committees who keep things humming along in this COVID-19 virtual world, and to Pastor Jack and the entire team for keeping the faith, staying connected, and creatively adapting to our new realities.

With love,

Michael Killoren, President
Cynthia Patterson, Vice-President