Thursday, May 3, 2018
1. All board members participated in a board retreat and training that was held on April 27 and 28 led by Rev. Sonya Milton. It went extremely well with an excellent board training program developed by Unity Worldwide Ministries and bonding retreat activities among board members and between the Board, Rev. Larry and Joan Kershaw. As an opening, we shared our personal spiritual journeys and learned a lot more about each other.
2. Ani Ahavah has chosen to discontinue her term with the board. She is going to re-continue her volunteer work in the office and we are glad to have her actively involved with Unity of SB. We are beginning to consider a new board member.
3. Teams are meeting, choosing team chairs, setting goals and getting rolling. The is a special training for three Saturdays in May, and members of the future Peace and Reconciliation Team and others will participate in the training. One new team is the Risk Management Team; to assess, manage and advise the board of risks and liabilities of the church and support the administration and Board by reviewing UofSB insurance policies and giving advice when needed. There is also a new Spiritual Enrichment Support Team. Description as follows: Assist at classes, workshops and other spiritual enrichment events at Unity of Santa Barbaram inclyding room set up and support to the presenter. click here if you are interested in joining these or any of the UoSB teams.
4. If you have an interest in the church finances, there will be a CommUNITY Meeting on Sunday, May 27, after the Sunday service. This meeting will offer more information before the June Members' Meeting.
5. Mark your calendars and please attend our next Unity Members' Meeting, which will be on Sunday, June 24 after Sunday service. We will be approving the budget for this fiscal year, hearing reports from Rev. Larry and Board President Jim Kwako, team chairs will give updates, and any other new business that needs a member vote will be sent to members 10 days before the meeting.
Thursday, March 29, 2018
The following statement was unanimously approved by the Unity of Santa Barbara Board of Trustees on March 27, 018:
Moving Forward 2018
Unity of Santa Barbara
Board of Trustees
Statement of Support and Intentions
January and February brought unprecedented changes to Unity of SB culminating in an effort to terminate the Senior Minister. Over several membership meetings, that effort was rescinded, and the board was replaced by an interim board. The interim board was then voted in as the new permanent board at the Annual Meeting held on March 4th, 2018.
We have weathered the recent Board-Minister-Congregation conflict and affirm that crisis always precedes transformation. We are moving forward in positive ways. We have been meeting weekly with Rev. Larry to develop a plan to bring coherent structure, accountability, and stability to church operations along with financial sustainability. We have extended the minister’s contract until the end of June to give us time to collaborate on a new contract with Rev. Larry as our Spiritual Leader.
The strategy for going forward rests on the following cornerstones:
1) Rev. Larry Schellink – Statement of Support. After numerous meetings and long discussions, the board unanimously agrees that Rev. Larry is qualified to continue in his role as spiritual leader of Unity of SB. Furthermore, the board finds no justification for the abrupt termination of Rev. Larry. We extend our full confidence in his ongoing spiritual leadership.
2) Roles & Responsibilities - Areas of previous conflict and confusion over the roles and responsibilities of the Minister and the Board will be clarified and incorporated into Rev. Larry ’s new contract. New board training and materials will clarify roles and responsibilities of the Board.
3) Mission-Centered Spiritual Center - This Board, Rev. Larry and Joan Kershaw, Administrator, are initiating an operational transition from a Minister-Centered Pastoral Church to a Mission-Centered Community-based Spiritual Center. We will keep the membership involved and informed through “Board Liaisons” to our various Membership Teams and regular updates to the community at large.
4) Transparency – Some of the abrupt changes over the past year occurred with little warning or insight as to the cause. To keep information regarding team and board activity flowing and accessible, several of the new teams will incorporate a “Membership Liaison” to provide information on team activity to the membership. There will be frequent communication from the board to congregation via the weekly email, website postings, and Sunday meetings.
5) Financial Sustainability – The Finance Team will prepare and submit a new responsive budget for Fiscal Year 2018/19 to the board for review and approval. That budget will be presented at the next membership meeting in June 2018. The Finance Membership Liaison will make regular financial reports available to the membership.
6) Peace and Reconciliation Team – The Conflict Resolution Committee will be transformed into the Peace and Reconciliation Team which offers a process whereby congregants and staff may seek a resolution of interpersonal and organizational tensions and conflicts consistent with the core principle of love and demonstrated through the expression of self-awareness, forgiveness, mindfulness, and enlightened problem solving.
These main areas of focus will be managed to encourage ownership, participation accountability and spirit-centeredness at all levels of the Unity of SB organization.
The Unity of SB Board of Directors
James Kwako - Pres.
Allison Jordan – V. Pres.
James Knight – Treas.
Sarah Linares – Sec.
Russ Chaffin - at-large member
Ani Ahavah- at-large member
Rev. Larry Schellink, Senior Minister
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
1. The new board officers for the year are:
· James Kwako, President
· Alison Jordan, Vice-President
· Jim Knight, Treasurer
· Sarah Linares, Secretary
· The at-large board members are Ani Ahavah & Russ Chaffin.
2. We are meeting weekly at this point, gathering input and information, to begin to prioritize next steps and timelines, for many key items, such as the budget, forming committees, the strategic plan, goals and objectives.
3. At our meeting on March 7, 2017 we discussed the accusations against Rev. Larry by the previous board.
- Rev. Larry made a major effort, to write out his responses to each of the criticisms, given by the previous board.
- He reviewed major turning points and major differences with them.
- The board asked direct questions, and Rev. Larry responded.
- He admitted to overreacting in some of his interactions.
- He shared his regrets, and suggestions he had given for compromise with the previous board.
- We are satisfied, that we have begun a close, working relationship with each other, and plan to define our unique responsibilities and expectations of each other.
- We feel that Rev. Larry is an inspiring spiritual teacher and we are grateful for his presence with us.
4. The board is planning its annual retreat, and board training sessions soon.
- These are required in the bylaws, but, did not happen last year.
- We will bring you updates on Sundays, as well as in the weekly Unity e-newsletter.
- If you have questions or ideas, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your support and prayers.