President’s Blog – December 2013

One of the first items of business on the November Board agenda was to review the mail ballot for the proposed changes to Articles XII, XIII, & XIV in our bylaws. As you can see from the results below, we were just a couple of votes shy of making the recommended changes that would make the text consistent. We saw ways in which we could have improved the number of ballots received, as well as the general process. In conclusion we found this to be a valuable learning experience. I suggest we create a document of our experience together with suggested guidelines for any future mail ballots.
Here are the results from 88 ballots received and counted.
Our current bylaws state we need 86 approvals for any changes to take place.
Proposal A: Define “the membership as those who are listed on the current Membership Roster, and change all mentions of percentages or fractions to include both.
Approve: 84
Reject: 3
Abstention: none
Proposal B: Replace the word “society” with the word “church.”
Approve: 84
Reject: 3
Abstention: none
Proposal C: Allow the Board of Trustees to initiate mail ballots to change Articles XII, XIII, and XIV without requiring a petition.
Approve: 64
Reject: 22
Abstention: 1

We also welcomed a number of guests from two different committees offering proposals to the Board this past month. From the Finance Committee Keith Lewis and Beth Ogilvie were available to discuss the new data base system for our office. The features we can benefit from this new system include an online membership directory (private to members), a stewardship module to make it easier for our pledge secretary to record donations, and the possibility of adding electronic giving. Will Fitch also participated in the presentation as someone who is interested in learning more about Church DB and its functions. Funding for the setup fees has been generously donated by Beth Ogilvie, with an annual cost of 151.00 per year.

Next we heard from our R.E. Council Chair, David Middleton with a proposal from the council and the families of our children for developing a new playground. The current outdoor equipment has been well used, and they have come to an agreement that it is time to invest in new, safe play structures for our children. Just days prior to our meeting, the most unsafe play structure was removed from the grounds. Once funding is secured the Council would like to remove the current play structures, build a fence around the play area, and with the help of the congregation move quickly to build 1 or 2 new structures. The goal for completion of the project would be spring 2014. The Board has approved a budget for the new fence and structures. David will be joining us at our December meeting with a proposal update.

I am so grateful for the work being done by the leaders of our congregation, and the time they have sacrificed to attend our meeting. The amount of involvement to improve the different areas of our congregation is happening within all our committees, thank you!

Warm Regards, Colleen Dino