156th Annual Meeting of the Members
First Universalist Church of Minneapolis
Sunday, May 31, 2015
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Please note: the Annual Report will be published on the website and printed by Tuesday, May 26th
To download the slate of candidates for the 2015-2016 Annual Meeting, click here.
Call to Order Dave Bach, President
Chalice Lighting and Opening Words Rev. Justin Schroeder, Senior Minister
Appointment of Parliamentarian
Authorization of Board of Trustees to Approve Minutes of this Meeting
Senior Minister’s Report Rev. Justin Schroeder
President’s Report Dave Bach
Treasurer’s Report and
Presentation of Recommended Budget for 2015-2016 Dick Niemiec, Treasurer, and Rev. Justin Schroeder
Vote to Approve Budget Dave Bach
Vote to call Rev. Jen Crow as Minister Dave Bach
Vote to approve the Congregational Covenant Lark Weller, Chair, Governance Committee
Vote to approve Racial Justice Resolution Dave Bach
Report of the Nominating Committee Ginny McAninch, Chair
Election of Trustees, First Universalist Church
Election of Officers, First Universalist Church
Election of Directors, First Universalist Foundation
Election of Members, Nominating Committee
Election of Delegates to the 2015 General Assembly of the UUA
Special Recognition Dave Bach
Outgoing Church Trustees
Outgoing Foundation Directors
Outgoing Nominating Committee Members
Closing Words Rev. Justin Schroeder
Calling Rev. Jen Crow
Jen arrived at our congregation in the summer of 2012 as our new Minister of Program Life. Jen brought with her 8 years of experience in the ministry, and several years of service to our larger Unitarian Universalist Association. The creator of Wellspring, a Unitarian Universalist Program of Spiritual Deepening, a curriculum used in over 25 congregations, Jen has touched many individuals and congregations. Jen has served as a member of the Unitarian Universalist Minister’s Association Committee on Ethics and Collegiality, as a coach for other ministers, a mentor for new ministers, and a supervisor for 7 ministerial interns. Her writing can be found in both Rev. X: How Generation X Ministers are Shaping Unitarian Universalism, and Not For Ourselves Alone: Theological Essays on Relationship. Jen currently serves as the President of our Prairie Star Chapter of the Unitarian Universalist Minister’s Association.
As a hired minister these past 3 years, Jen reported directly to our Senior Minister, Rev. Justin Schroeder, and was responsible for overseeing the ministries of Pastoral Care, Faithful Action, Adult Spiritual Development, Membership, and ministry to Children, Youth and Families. In this time, we’ve experienced stability and new depth in our program life. It would be impossible to name all that has happened as Jen has partnered with congregants and staff these past three years, but here are a few things of note:
- The House That Love Built – together we raised $115,000 to build a home with Habitat for Humanity
- Families Moving Forward – we will become a host congregation for families experiencing homelessness beginning this fall
- A rejuvenated Environmental Justice team
- New structures for our Faithful Action ministry
- Wellspring is thriving in our congregation
- Spiritual development opportunities for adults have expanded
- A refreshed membership process for individuals joining the church
- Our religious education volunteers and classes are well supported and spiritually grounded
- Our ministry of Congregational Care has expanded to include welcoming new babies, a 15 member Pastoral Care Team of visitors, a chore service, and annual gifts of poinsettias for those who have experienced a loss.
As a called minister, Jen will be directly accountable to and can only be dismissed by a vote of the Membership. Jen will continue to oversee the program life of the church and will take on oversight of the operations of the church. This means that Jen will be responsible for the creation and monitoring of our annual budget and will work directly with the Board of Trustees to ensure the financial integrity of the church. Jen will also supervise our operations staff team, and will work with Justin to ensure that First Universalist becomes one of the best places to work in our Association. In our structure of policy governance, Justin, Jen and the Board all agree that it is best for the Board to delegate supervision of Jen to the Senior Minister. Calling Jen as a minister of our congregation represents an affirmation of her ministry with us, and an acknowledgment of the breadth of the new role she will be taking on.
Covenant of Right Relations
(to be voted on at Annual Meeting, May 31st, by Membership)
As congregants and staff of First Universalist Church, we interact and work together in ways that exemplify our spiritual values and honor our Unitarian Universalist principles as we strive to fulfill our mission and achieve our visionary goals. We abide by the policies of the Church and maintain a community of safety, security, and trust. We seek to work together in ways that help all contribute to our common vision and feel respected within our community. We share a collective commitment to analysis of racism and white privilege, and establish accountable, responsible and inclusive relationships with our entire community. We use this covenant as a framework for right relationships with others as we work outside our walls in the larger community.
We welcome, affirm, and protect the light in each human heart, creating a culture of mutual respect, trust, and care. We:
- Act with kindness and compassion toward one another.
- Treat each other with respect, even in times of confusion, misunderstanding, or disagreement.
- Work together to clarify and understand our own roles and to respect the roles and responsibilities of others.
- Actively listen to one another with openness and a desire for genuine understanding.
We communicate constructively demonstrating clarity, candor, and kindness. We:
- Share our own views with openness and tact.
- Offer generous thanks and encouragement, thoughtful criticism, and constructive options, as appropriate.
- Speak directly to others when we have concerns.
- Avoid gossiping.
- Assume positive intent on the part of each individual.
- Deal with complex, awkward and difficult to resolve issues to the best of our ability.
We make thoughtful, wise, and sound decisions. We:
- Commit to examining where white privilege and racism may be informing our interactions, discussions, and decisions, and to discerning what a decision made from a racial justice lens would look like.
- Seek out reliable information, consider alternative viewpoints, contemplate intended and unintended consequences, and use critical thinking.
- Understand that not all decisions within the church are consensus decisions; some may be staff decisions and/or the decisions of elected or appointed groups.
- Strive for transparency in decision-making.
- Communicate and respect the stated process for coming to closure.
We recognize that we will sometimes fall short, failing to do and be all that we would wish. We:
- Acknowledge our own mistakes.
- Stay engaged in the process of reconciliation with each other.
- Practice forgiveness and begin again in love.
First Universalist Church Racial Justice Resolution
For approval by the Congregation at the May 31, 2015 Annual Meeting of the Members
- We are witnesses to a crisis in our nation regarding systemic racism and oppression in education, employment, government and our justice system;
- Systemic racism has been highlighted in the news media because of the pervasive mistreatment, including recurring killings, of African Americans and other people of color by law enforcement officers in communities throughout the nation;
- We are guided by the following definitions: Racial Justice is the systematic fair treatment of people of all races, resulting in equitable opportunities and outcomes for all; a Racial Justice Lens focuses on ways in which race, racism, and whiteness shapes experiences with institutional and cultural power, access to opportunity, treatment and outcomes, both today and historically;
- The impacts of systemic racism are fundamentally at odds with our Unitarian Universalist beliefs, and confronting racial inequity and oppression is essential for our humanity and spiritual life;
- First Universalist Church has made a commitment to Racial Justice through intensive education and training of our congregation on the historical and current impacts of systemic racism and white privilege on society and the environment;
- We have created a Racial Justice Leadership Team and a Faithful Action Leadership Team to provide guidance for our Racial Justice work;
- First Universalist Church has undergone an extensive Racial Justice mapping process to define the most strategic areas for change, within our church structure, that will have the most impact on eliminating structural racism within our church;
- We have made a commitment to looking at our worship services, religious education curricula, board meetings, committees, and all our programming with a Racial Justice Lens; and
- Members of our congregation and clergy are standing next to our brothers and sisters in public protests, on social media, and in our communities to support efforts to address racial injustice;
Therefore, be it resolved that:
First Universalist Church of Minneapolis publicly declares its commitment to:
- Continuing the fight for Racial Justice through ongoing changes to the processes of the church, education, advocacy, self-reflection, and relationship-building; and
- Addressing structural racism and whiteness in First Universalist Church through intentional efforts in every area of our ministry and work.
Fill out the Congregational Survey
Sometimes the most important things we do go unnoticed and unrecognized. Sometimes the little things, like showing up year after year, are what make a difference.
First Universalist has made several commitments: to grow in our UU faith; to provide a home for ageless wisdom; to be an intergenerational community of mutual caring and support; and to build a just, loving and sustainable world.
To ensure that we are living up to these commitments, the Board of Trustees does a survey every year. It’s survey time again, and whether you’ve been here 6 months or 60 years, we need to hear your voice. Please take 10 minutes to tell us how the church is doing.
Take the survey HERE.
The results of our 2014 congregational survey are in!
Due to popular request, we have included an updated version of the survey results with additional responses/information included in the report.
The updated (as of September 8, 2014) PDF can be found by clicking here.
An extra special thank you to David Leppik for his work on this project.
May 22, 2014
Posted by: Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees needs to know if the church is living up to its values, and your help is needed! Whether you have been here 6 months or 60 years, whether you are 16 years old or 106, please take 10 minutes to tell us how the church is helping you (or not helping you) give, receive, and grow.
The survey ends on Memorial Day and we need your response!
Click here to take the survey.
April 29, 2014
Posted by: Board of Trustees
MN Valley National Wildlife Refuge
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Workshop: Revolution is Not a One-Time Event: A Conversation for White People Newly Seeking to be Anti-Racist
1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
11 a.m. - 2 p.m.