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Oct. 2016: Splinters from the Board by Michelle Naples

Members of the Board of Trustees welcome your thoughts and concerns at any time. Our pictures are posted in the central corridor. We wear yellow name tags and are available during coffee hour. Our contact information is in the front of the member directory.

And we’re off and running!

The Board of Trustees launched into the new church year with an all-day retreat on August 6th along with our ministers and the Director of Administration. The day was facilitated by Reverend Jen Crow (First Universalist Church of Minneapolis) and Reverend Ian Evison (UUA consultant). This time together provided an opportunity to share with our new senior minister and each other some of our stories, traditions, and most meaningful experiences at First Church. Other activities included a discussion of the delineation of roles and responsibilities by governance and ministry. In addition, the Board of Trustees and the executive church staff at the retreat each worked on covenants between the two groups that outline how we aspire to be in relationship and the promises we need and will make to one another.

Our first Board of Trustees meeting of the year convened on August 23rd with a full agenda. Finance Committee chair Al Jaberg presented the financial results for the year ending June 30, 2016.   The year-end deficit of $160,785 was larger than expected. Shortfalls in revenue was the biggest challenge, while expenses overall were under budget.

Al Jaberg also reviewed with the Board the audit report, which confirmed that financial affairs are being appropriately managed.

The Board discussed the 2016-17 pledge drive results provided by Membership Development Coordinator Cheri Taylor summarizing confirmed and outstanding pledges. Additional fundraising activities are being planned for this year to coincide with the celebration of our 175th anniversary.

In her monthly report, Senior Minister Jennifer Nordstrom provided updates on a staff retreat, staffing changes, and the new worship associates program. She also reported on her response to a call from the Coalition for Justice to gather with other peacemakers, justice-seekers, and clergy in the wake of recent episodes of unrest in our city.

The Board expressed its profound appreciation to Associate Minister Dena McPhetres for stepping up to see us through the bridge period before the arrival of our new senior minister.

Reverend Jennifer shared with the Board an initial plan for a year-long series of listening sessions to hear from the congregation. The first such listening session will be at the “Breaking Bread, Building Community” event planned for October (see related article in this issue).

The next board meeting is at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 27th, 2016. Minutes are posted on the First Church bulletin board in the central corridor and on the church website.


First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee  is a home for spiritual community, social justice, and intellectual freedom, active in Milwaukee since 1842. Unitarian Universalism is an inclusive denomination; core principles include recognition of the worth and dignity of every person; respect for the interdependent web of existence; and the goal of world peace, liberty and justice.

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