December 12, 2018
Dear Church Family,
On Sunday, December 9 we had significant and detailed discussion of a proposal from the Finance Board to create a Union Church Endowment Fund by adding a by-law to our constitution establishing the fund, defining the accounts, and creating an investments oversight committee. The proposal is endorsed by Church Council and was presented for discussion prior to our vote this coming Sunday, December 16th, immediately after service. You can find the full text here.
You Had Questions, We Researched Answers: We wanted to make sure that everyone gets the benefit of the good questions and vigorous debate from 2 days ago, even if you were not able to attend. To that end, we have tried to collect and respond to every question asked at the meeting, and in writing here in this “Frequently Asked Questions” document. Even if you were at the meeting, you might find having written answers helpful!
In addition, the meeting was very helpful to us in identifying concepts and language in the proposed by-law that needed clarification and revision. We want to be very responsive to the issues identified by those who spoke at the meeting, and want you to know that your concerns are important to us, and to the the good and careful stewardship of our ministry.
We Listened and We Think We’ve Made Improvements: Taking into account all that was discussed, the entire Finance Board has taken the last two days to craft what we feel will be a better expression of the proposal, directly clarifying issues raised, changing the structure to be more clear, and emphasizing elements we heard were important to the congregation in the discussion. This “Version 2” is also attached. We hope that the revision will address those concerns, clarify areas of confusion, and reinforce the concepts that will lead us to a better implementation, per your comments. We hope you will look it over carefully and respond with any additional comments as we come to our vote on Sunday.
What Will Happen For the Vote on Sunday: After consultation with Rev. Kent and Church Council Chair Jean Boyce on procedural matters, here is our proposal for our upcoming discussion and vote so as to be able to include this revision’s improvements in our discussion:
- Finance Board will move the adoption of “Version 1” of the proposed by-law change. This is the document that has been previously distributed and discussed. We will move it first, because it is the one for which due notice has been given per our constitution. As a motion coming from a board, it does not require a second.
- After the motion is on the floor, the Finance Board will move to amend “Version 1” in order to adapt it to “Version 2” (the version included here). The easiest way to do that will be suggest amendment by substitution: swapping out Version 1 for Version 2, rather than having to tediously amend each and every section of our previous work. The basic content and end result is the same in both versions, but the improved Version 2 includes language to strengthen and clarify areas of concern expressed on December 9.
- The congregation can then decide whether or not to accept the swap.
- If a majority approve of the change from Version 1 to Version 2, it becomes the main motion and we can debate and discuss it and potentially further amend it if required/desired. Then a vote will be taken on this new language to approve or reject the by-law.
- If a majority reject the swap, we will discuss and can amend the original “Version 1” in other or incremental ways as the congregation sees fit, followed by a vote.
We are so very appreciative of the many, many hands who have participated in the many months of research, questioning, investigating financial partners, and considering all the aspects of sustaining our mission and ministry through endowed funds. We hope you will find the revision suggested here acceptable and responsive to those concerns raised. We tried to listen very carefully, and respond to the best of our ability so that Union Church may continue to “increase in usefulness and joy in God’s service.”
Shirley Carlberg & Charles Hoffman, Finance Board Co-Chairs,
Martin Hensley, Sharona Nelson, Patti Smithson, Financial Secretary,
Rev. Kent Gilbert, Dave Kobersmith