The First Church in Belmont, Unitarian Universalist
Parish Board in attendance: Laurie Graham, Martha Read,, Pam Eggert, Doug Massidda, Ariane Frank, Rev. Chris Jablonski, Priscilla Cobb, Martha Courant, David Deese, John O’Connor, Anjali Kumar
Absent: James Hencke, Sam James, Roger Gallagher Guests: Katherine Crawley, Roger Read, Mark Thurber
Opened by Laurie G.
Reflection by Rev. Chris – Gretchen Haley “This Wholeness is Our Practice of Resistance” Process Observer Volunteer – Ariane F
Committee on Ministry Update – Kathy Crawley
Kathy Crawley chair, Jackie James Vice Chair
9 member committee with staggered 3 year terms; 3 members elected each year Focus on connection; facilitating connections
Seeking community awareness of Committee on Ministry
This year primary charge “reimagined” listening circles,
o Inviting entire community through Sign-up Genius
o Adapted walking meditation meeting to ask each participant: What do you need from FCB in
next 5 years? What does the world need in next 5 years o 3 Sunday in-person meetings; 1 evening Zoom meeting o Sample families group; Youth group
Results to be shared with Parish Board, congregation at Annual Meeting Questions/comments:
Do we consider 1 service, will FCB become siloed if we don’t have critical mass at one time?
Once people come back they are connecting well, attendance is steadily building Is there a way to randomize people contacted/invited to listening circles?
Asking people to keep an eye out for friends not coming; Committee on Ministry members
contacted people they don’t know well.
Congregation members Input to Minister’s review/evaluation?
Chris’s letter of agreement/job description by categories for questions for specific assessment; COM gets feedback from this process; reach out to others.
COM main role is assessing our ministries broadly
Can COM share feedback as process proceeds?
COM will be ready by April with useful material to report.
Minutes - Approval of January 10, 2023 Minutes 1
o Approved unanimously.
Staff Board Report – Rev. Chris
o Fellowship meeting soon to brainstorm possible events to hold
o FCB lost people at normal rate during COVID but not gained at normal rate to replace
o Pledge units decreased significantly for this year; total is 235; most useful numbers are
pledging units and participants.
o Membership numbers are complicated because lots of people are not seen; will know
more by end of Stewardship cycle in June. Difficult to count Sunday service numbers because kids often start downstairs.
Bylaws Review Task Force – Roger Read, Martha C. Update on revision process.
o Special Meeting 4/2 in person to approve bylaw changes
o Need quorum of at least 65 members
o 2 votes: 1) covenant removal – process will continue to replace at a later date; expect
people to be asking about interim process
2) up or down on all changes/amendments
o Bylaws Review Task Force continues to reach out to members to review draft
o Current legislation approving remote meetings ends March 31 unless made permanent
by Mass State Legislature. Recommending removing language about remote meetings and returning to in-person unless legislators vote otherwise. Note: does not apply to committee meetings, only those with major vote such as Special Meeting, Annual Meeting
FCB Employee Handbook – Dave D, Martha C, Pam E. , Martha R
Compensation Committee presented proposal to formalize definition of fulltime employee as 40 hours weekly/12 months annually. Will update employee handbook and notify employees
Motion Made: Define fulltime employment as 40 hours weekly and 12 months annually
o Adopted unanimously
o Getting handbook up-to-date and clearly elaborated is important for future new hires as well as
o Chris offered that other parishes tend not to have a compensation committee, we are ahead in
Johnson House – Roger G.
Update below submitted by Roger G.
No issues from the recent cold snap. Utilities cut and capped last fall.
o majority of bulk demo o new basement windows installed o rough framing for future windows o rough framing for ground floor bathrooms o reshoring/reframing of ground floor joists • Work in Progress o sealing/pointing foundation wall 2
o demo of basement partitions and overall cleanout o patching & leveling of basement floor
• Upcoming Activities:
o fuel oil tank removal - next week
o begin rough plumbing - next week
o begin electrical rough - toward end of February, following plumber
o Rob Scott, general contractor and owner of Cornerstone Homes LLC is working on getting
insurance certs in
Are we getting the necessary insurance in place?
There has not been a problem with getting certificates so far, although Iris and Amanda feel like the church is holding them to too high of a standard with what we require for coverage. I think we have gotten past that issue, and so far, all the certificates have come in as requested and have been approved by James Hencke.
We expect that plumbing and electrical installation activities will begin soon, and we do not yet have certificates for those trades, so that is what Joel is referring to.
Social Action Committee – Priscilla C
o SAC been very active with FCB Green in 40 for the Earth effort.
o Participated in Intergenerational Conversation re: Climate Crises with Youth Group on January
o Turnout by youth, parents, FCB Green members and other adults was very encouraging o Raeann very happy with outcome and working very actively on developing this refreshed
o Two small house events planned; one held, one delayed to a later date o Packets have been mailed to FCB members
o PB members asked to pledge before March 1
o Campaign goal is $675,000; no one was put off by amount at 1st event
Strategy Committee – Laurie G
o Visioning Meeting discussion – Where do we want to be and what do we want to be doing in five years?
o Can the strategy committee assess the results and decide a main focus for our future?
o Priorities that emerged from the meeting were clearly social justice and climate justice; can we
have discussion over next couple of months on how we move towards these priorities
o How are we moving forward with our larger goal
o Chris noted that we have a training meeting with our Social Action Committee; this is an
Partner Church -
o Partner Church members will be arriving just before Chris’s installation (May 7)
o Partner Committee needs help organizing itinerary for their time here. Need a PB liaison –
Ariane F. volunteered.
Additional thoughts/commentsAuction will be May 6. There were promises/auction events not fulfilled at last auction (due to Covid); lets clarify for people that we are starting fresh from here. 3
We will be very clear about this for the auction
o We should take note of the Boston Globe article about slavery/racial connections to UUUM
Boston and their facility
Process Observer – o Meeting seemed to run well; ran on time o Anyone with a question got an answer