The meeting was called to order at 7:05 by Anne Malmquist, Moderator.
Cabinet members in attendance: Rev. Beth Stotts, Pastor; Anne Malmquist, Moderator; Jae Stotts, Board of Deacons; Gordon Brailsford & Ed Buckland, Board of Trustees; Barbara Morey & Terry Reynolds, History & Memorials Committee; Ellen Crawford, Music Committee.
Also present: Deborah Lancaster, Congregational Administrator
Rev. Beth opened the meeting with a prayer.
Pastor’s Report [also see written report] – Rev. Beth Stotts
There has been lots of pastoral care, and lots of planning for Lent.
Treasurer’s Report [see financials]
Board of Deacons – Jae Stotts
Jae reported that the Deacons are preparing an all-church mailing to go out next week with Lenten materials. The theme is “Returning”. (Returning to God, Returning to the Building, Returning to Each Other)
Congregational Administrator’s Report [also see written report] – Deborah Lancaster
Deborah reported that she has been spending much of her time preparing the annual report. She thanks Rev. Beth and Diane for their help in getting it all put together.
Food Pantry Report [see written report]
Food Pantry report was discussed. A new freezer was purchased and the old freezer was donated.
Board of Trustees – Gordon Brailsford
Gordon reported on the ceiling in the sanctuary. Plasterers have begun their work. Scaffolding is up. Rev. Beth put a video of the scaffolding up on the church Facebook page so people could see just how extensive it is. The main segment is 4 feet by 16 feet, but there are several patches that need to be fixed. Gordon and the plaster company did a fantastic job working with the insurance company, though we’re not sure if we’ll receive any help from the m yet.
Barbara reported that she has a person to do the louvers. The DAR grant needs to be used by April or we lose it. Chris Burgess from Steeple Jack has promised that he will remove a louver, take it to his shop, and make 4. Bridgewater Historical Commission has approved the changes. $10,000 includes louvers, re-glazing of the windows, and painting.
Rich is on vacation and Gordon has offered to take out the trash while he’s away. Furnaces went out two times in the past week. Oil company has been in and took care of the electrical issues that had caused the issue. We’re going to have to keep in mind that eventually, sometime soon, we’ll need to make some major fixes to the boiler.
Deborah sent a letter to all of the groups that meet in the building with the church’s emergency contact info should they ever need to report an issue.
Historical Church Building Committee – Barbara Morey
Barbara updated about progress on the deed restriction. In one part it goes over the boundaries of the church. If we are challenged on our boundaries, we’d have to get a lawyer, a surveyor, and it would extend the process even further. Barbara is going to ask the CPC about beginning the application process for Phases 2 & 3.
Rev. Beth asked if the requirements of the Deed Restriction are the same as the requirements of us being in a Historical District. Barbara said yes.
Gordon shared some concerns with the deed restriction. Weren’t we supposed to get a grant approval letter? Barbara has asked for it about 14 times from the town/CPC. The deed restriction restricts the use of the church. It also requires 100% insurance with no deductible. We can’t afford that. The town can give the deed restriction to the state or to a national organization. If something happens and we have to sell the church, it has to be approved by the town.
• Ed reported that updates about masking and distancing for the church will be in alignment with the state and local recommendations. We will defer to Julia on singing recommendations.
• Rev. Beth talked about keeping attendance and contact tracing. What is this going to look like now that we have such a strong hybrid worship community? Deacons will have to talk about it.
• Ed has taken on updating the food permit. Deborah will be in contact with Tom Struzik.
• Ellen had an idea that for Julia’s 10 year anniversary – we could take up a collection to make a group donation to Juventas New Music Ensemble in her honor. Deborah said we should get her a plaque or a Paul Revere bowl.
• Gordon worked on the computer that makes the bells work. The power outages have messed it up. They work now.
• Steeple sounds articles are due NOW.
Next month’s meeting is March 16 at 7pm at the church. Rev. Beth will be leading a prayer service and won’t be in attendance next month.
Rev. Beth closed the meeting in prayer at 8:05.