The virtual meeting was called to order at 7:02.
Cabinet members in attendance: Rev. Beth Stotts, Pastor; Anne Malmquist, Moderator; Denise Molinari, Vice Moderator; Dave Sheibley, Treasurer; Larry Brown, Asst Treasurer; Diane Sheibley, Clerk; Lynn Pietras, Board of Deacons; Ed Buckland, Board of Trustees; Brad Barnsley, Board of Stewardship; Brianna O’Connell, Board of Christian Education; Bill O’Neil, Board of Christian Outreach; Ellen Crawford, Music Committee; Barbara Morey, History & Memorials Committee; Mike Bundock, Growth Committee; Bette deKoning and Terry Reynolds, Women’s Guild and Fellowship
Also present: Gail Wershing (Growth); Gordon Brailsford (Trustees); Krissy Cannizzo (Outreach); Ellen Atherton, Congregational Administrator; Connie Chandler (Outreach)
Rev. Beth opened the meeting with a prayer.
Anne did a roll call of those present, and Diane confirmed quorum was met.
MINUTES FROM AUGUST CABINET MEETING
The minutes from the August meeting were reviewed and there were no objections or corrections.
Rev. Beth noted that the number 1 issue is the need for connection. Tremendous pastor care needed currently; a lot of lashing out and breaking down; it is her hope that we can find creative ways to bring people together again. Online worship is phenomenal, but we need to gather. She noted that she would like to see a reopening task force formed (see later in the agenda). She distributed a report of the past month’s work, including baptisms, premarital counseling, and a funeral. While she would like to request permission to have her book study in the building if it rains this Saturday, she rescinded her request later in the meeting. Finally, she would like to celebrate the hard work of the care team: Bev Mitchell, Carol Chaffee, John Scott, Phoebe Hogg.
Dave Sheibley directed people to review the treasurer’s report, which was distributed prior to the meeting. We are still working off the old budget numbers pending the budget meeting on the 20th. The pledges to date are a bit behind from last year, but we’re already missing some of the fundraising funds we had as of last year at this time. Rev. Beth noted the “redemption” fundraiser (cans & bottle deposits), and Ellen Atherton reported that we took in about $120, and more
may come in. Dave reported that expenses are down from last year as we’ve cut the Director of CE and nursery positions. It was asked if we are still getting COVID-19-related funds. Dave said we are not as there was just a one-time opportunity to get a PPP loan, which we did.
BUDGET MEETING – 9/20/20
Anne summarized the logistics of the meeting, per the notice that appeared in Steeple Sounds, that was to be held online due to the pandemic.
· It was asked if a blast email would be going out to remind members to attend (and how), and the answer was yes, on the Friday prior.
· A quorum will be determined by the number of people that voted.
· Voting is available now and will be available for 24 hours past the time of the meeting.
· Voting will be done via email, phone, and online. The clerk will tally the votes.
HISTORICAL CHURCH BUILDING COMMITTEE
The grant amount of $200,000 that was preliminarily approved by the town council has been sent to the Finance Committee for approval. There is no date for that meeting yet. When the architect revises the proposal for the work that will be funded by the town, will they charge us for that? Likely yes, but nothing happens until town approval is received.
BUILDING REOPENING TASK FORCE
Anne reported that she was forming a Building Reopening Task Force to look at and manage the possibility of allowing use of the building for meetings, etc. She proposed the structure of the committee as a Deacon, a Trustee, and no more than four other church members, and they would work in conjunction with the Pastor, the congregational administrator, and the sexton.
· Two different issues will be addressed separately: 1. Worship, and 2. Meetings and other gatherings
· Krissy Cannizzo volunteered to be on the committee.
· The task force would be tasked with researching and monitoring the legal limits of occupancy and gatherings as well as any applicable state regulations, as well as UCC conference recommendations.
· Anne will compose a blast email to the membership soliciting volunteers, and Ellen will send it out Friday. Anne has already had a couple of people approach her about serving. The goal is to have the first meeting of the task force by 9/16.
· The task force will present their findings and recommendations at the next Cabinet meeting.
Anne encourages all boards and committees to think about ways we can connect.
· Advent Think Tank
· Mary Barnsley has a friend that she will be talking to about a creative fundraising idea. She also suggested having contact information on the screen during Sunday worship so people are encouraged to give.
· Gail Wershing reported that Growth is working on video intros for Sunday worships, “virtual greeters”. She noted that if Stewardship or perhaps the “men’s guild” would like to record a virtual greeting for use some Sunday, they could incorporate a brief message of giving.
· Gail also reported that she and Carol Chaffee were working on a “Ring of Care” project, similar to the old-time “phone trees”, where people would be put into small groups. The “ring leader” will call a person in their group just to say hello and connect, and then that person would call someone else, etc until it got back to the ‘ring leader’. Perhaps these small groups could also get together (safely and/or virtually)? Mary volunteered to be a ring leader.
· Brianna O’Connell noted that a few churches are doing virtual coffee hours via zoom. People could get randomly assigned to breakout rooms and visit with each other. Her parents are doing it at their church.
· Anne suggested that the Board of Christian Outreach could think about the youth of the church, and how they like to participate in service/mission projects and activities. Might there be any such project ideas? Maybe the usual Fall leafraking event? It could be a fundraiser for the church budget.
· Bette deKoning reported that Women’s Guild held a yard sale in July and it took in $639 in three hours. They’re having another one in October.
· Anne suggested we encourage people who sit together in church to get together to watch worship, if they can do it safely.
· Rev. Beth mentioned that she stops by Dunkin Donuts every Sunday, and there are a few people who meet there in the parking lot, and drink their coffee and visit from their cars.
Anne asked anyone who had any “grace moments” from their recent experiences to share. Where have you found grace in today’s world?
Rev. Beth closed the meeting in prayer. It adjourned at 8:45pm.
Next cabinet meeting is October 21. October Steeple Sounds deadline is Sept. 15.