Board Message – Darryl Ray

Starr King UU Church’s annual meeting will be Sunday, May 22 this year.

Unlike past years, most of you will be getting the entire annual report and budget by email. For most of us, email is now our main form of written communication, so this new way of distributing the Annual Report not only will save postage costs, paper, and volunteer time, but it will allow us to give you all of the materials including committee reports ahead of time. While this year we will provide plenty of paper copies of the annual report and budget at the meeting, we hope that in future years we will be able to save some trees, and let members print their own copies to bring if they want to.

There will be a couple of proposed by-law changes , one that the Committee on Ministry (COM) recommends and another that the Membership Committee wishes for you to consider. In addition, there will be nominees for the Board of Trustees, Nominating Committee and last but not least, a new President and Vice President to replace me and Andy Hansen, who will be President next year.

Most important will be the budget for this coming year. One thing that the RE Council had recommended to the budget committee was that we consider increasing the Director of Religious Exploration’s hours which are currently at 15 hours to 20 or 25 hours a week. The Council’s concern is that with the success of our RE program, we have seen a big increase in number and greater range in ages of the children participating. While this is a good thing, it may become necessary to increase the number of classes and make other adjustments. If our DRE had more hours, he or she could spend more time training teachers and assistants, develop family activities outside of Sunday and put more energy into our youth and nursery programming.

So the good news is that we have a balanced budget to submit to the congregation on May 22, but the bad news is that the canvass did not raise enough pledges to increase the DRE hours. Clearly the hard work that has been done these past few years is beginning to pay off. Lane Campbell has done a terrific job this year, but both she and the RE Council would be the first to admit that our success is fragile and much more needs to be done. I hope that between now and the annual meeting you will think about the importance of our vibrant RE program and then increase your pledge for this coming year.

Darryl Ray, Board President