Board Buzz: From the President, September 2019

Aug 31, 2019 | News

by Dennis Fleck, Board President


I know what I meant to say, but that doesn’t mean I actually said it. I’m sure that others have had similar issues, especially when speaking in front of a group. At the June Congregational meeting, I referred to Sheridan Botts as Sheridan Hopper, and wish to apologize for that error on my part. Also, at the Congregational Meeting, Tom Doe publicly thanked a number of individuals and groups for their efforts supporting the church during the year just ending. He had a list (I saw it as he asked a number of us to make sure nobody got left off), and he did what I have done on a number of occasions – skipped over some names on the list. In this case, it was an individual and Board team that were on the list, but not publicly thanked. Thus, I would like to publicly recognize and thank Linda Flanagan Freeburg and the Holly House Task Force for the significant amount of work they did last year, bringing us to the Holly House vote on March 24. I can’t imagine the number of hours invested by Linda and the task force members, Thank you, now, and I apologize that your recognition was skipped over as Tom read through his list at the Congregational meeting.

Holly House Update

Speaking of the Holly House… In case you haven’t heard, the purchase and sale agreement was executed with the buyers on July 31. The official close of the transaction will happen sometime between January 1 and July 31 of 2020. Mike Radow, Board Vice President, is taking the lead to solicit input so the congregation can determine the best process to be used to determine how the congregation wishes to allocate the Holly House sale funds committed for Earth and Social Justice. This first step is to determine the process to be used, not to determine how the funds to be spent – a very important difference.

Mission Fund Drive Update

We still have some members who haven’t completed their pledge cards for the 2019-2020 church fiscal year that runs from July 1-June 30. Please complete and return your pledge card if you haven’t done so, or you can call Nicole and let her know what you wish to pledge. Thank you.

Church Community Night

In September, East Shore will be scheduling potluck dinners on Tuesday evenings (see this article). This is an example of building community and providing a welcoming space for East Shore visitors, new members and longer-term members. I can remember weekly East Shore potlucks back in the 80s, and one particular evening where everybody brought deserts – our kids loved that night in particular. So, if you have meetings on a Tuesday, please plan to also attend the potluck. If you don’t have a Tuesday meeting, come to the potluck anyway, and enjoy your East Shore community.

Board Retreat

On August 3, the Board had its annual retreat at the home of Marcy and David Langrock (thank you, Marcy, for hosting a wonderful setting in your home). During the retreat, we began our work with Pam Orbach – focusing on how we can better work together as a team and assure all voices are heard as we do our work. This was our first of several sessions to be scheduled with Pam. We also met with Louise Wilkinson to review the results of the Board members’ Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) survey results. Prior to the retreat, each Board member took this survey that helps us understand our intercultural awareness. We hope to offer interested congregants the opportunity to participate in this tool during the upcoming year. We heard from several of the Board task forces and ministry teams and then shared our thoughts as to what our Board goals should be for the church year.

Board Goals: 2019-2020

At the August 20 Board meeting, we approved the following goals for the 2019-2020 church year:

  1. Increase net membership and pledging units according to the 10-year plan
  2. Educate congregants about ESUC and about policy governance
  3. Develop an ESUC Safety Plan
  4. Develop a Master Campus Plan
  5. Continue to work on moving our congregation to becoming anti-racist

These goals become the framework of our efforts during the church year. While we look to our staff to execute in support of these goals, we are all responsible for their attainment, especially goals 1, 4, and 5. Each of us plays an important role in membership growth, be it inviting friends to check out our church, individually being intentionally welcoming of visitors on Sundays, and in helping new members find ways to get involved with and grow from their participation in church activities.

Salmon Bake Discussion

As I write this, we are looking forward to our annual in-gathering meal – Salmon Bake. I would like to share that your Board is having conversations regarding the appropriateness of serving salmon as the non-vegan option. We are aware of the dwindling chinook salmon runs and the subsequent impact on the orcas. While we serve Alaskan sockeye salmon (not a primary food source for the orcas), we are still sensitive to the potential impact. How does serving salmon, pork, chicken or beef impact our environment?

Your Board discussed Salmon Bake at the August Board meeting. While it has been a tradition at East Shore, it can also be viewed as appropriating Native American/First Nation culture. Additionally, there is concern among many about the depletion in salmon levels. After much discussion, the Board voted to serve both salmon (Alaskan Sockeye) and a vegan dish at Salmon Bake this year and to solicit congregational input as to how best to approach future September church-year commencement celebrations. There will also be chicken nuggets served for children (instead of hot dogs).