November 2020 News from the Board
Thank you so much to Sarah Linares for her service on the board these last two and a half years. Sarah has stepped down from the board for personal reasons. We are so grateful for her dedication, all her hard work and amazing service. Debra Ernst was appointed by the Board to fill the vacant board position for the remainder of the term until March 2021. Clyde Blair is now the Vice President of the board.
The Unity Board of Trustees met on October 20 and many housekeeping activities were done, with Bob Vitamante taking on a larger role as Treasurer. We reviewed the budget and made agreements to conserve our resources during this time while planning for future expansion of our activities. We all agreed we want to create more connections and opportunities for people to stay involved and support our beloved congregants.
Our annual fundraiser, the Blessings Registry, is taking place the month of November. This is an opportunity for us all to give to what speaks to us about unity and where we feel called to share and give back to our wonderful spiritual home. This is the only fundraiser we will have for this year, since we were not able to have an auction and raffle this past summer. We are grateful for all the abundance and generosity in our Unity community.
October 2020 News from the Board
"The State of UoSB and Beyond", a vision session, was held in late September with the Board, and the Finance and Marketing teams. Moderated by Dr. Chris Michaels, the group came up with specific goals and tasks focused on financial health, marketing and spiritual programming for UoSB for the next 12 months. Those goals will be shared at a special membership meeting in November, when we will also be voting to approve the new bylaws and budget.
A heartfelt THANK YOU to Kathleen Donelan-Maher for her significant contributions to UoSB as the Board Treasurer! Kathleen has stepped down from the Board as she and her husband Michael are moving to San Diego. We wish them well in their new adventure. The Board will be appointing a new board member to fill the position for the remainder of the term until March 2021.
September 2020 News from the Board
We are excited and truly blessed to welcome our new minister, Rev. Heidi Alfrey, to Unity of Santa Barbara with her first service this Sunday, September 6. We have had many conversations with Rev. Heidi, including our first board meeting together in August, and we’re excited for her leadership as she elevates our spiritual community to a whole new level.
We have many exciting events planned for over the next couple of months – including expanding our vision and strategic plan and presenting a new version of our bylaws. Although the pandemic limits in-person fellowship, Rev. Heidi’s knowledge can enlighten our virtual experiences.
We are honored to have Ann Self Lowen as Board Secretary and with Lauren Bell joining us, we have a full board: Alison Jordan as President, Sarah Graham Linares as Vice President, Ann Self Lowen as Secretary, Kathleen Donelan-Maher as Treasurer, Lauren Bell, Clyde Blair, and of course Rev. Heidi Alfrey.
July 2020 News from the Board
The UoSB Board of Trustees is excited to announce our new permanent minister! The UoSB Membership had overwhelming approval for Rev. Heidi Alfrey, exceeding two-thirds of the advisory vote (as required by our bylaws), so the Board offered the position to her and she accepted! Rev. Heidi will start with us on a part-time remote basis on August 16th and then full-time on September 1st.
Thanks to everyone involved in the process, especially the Search Team, Board, and the UoSB Membership, working together as we embark on an exciting new chapter at Unity of Santa Barbara!
June 2020 News from the Board
Thank you to the Search Team A huge thank you to the Search Team for their excellent work in selecting the minister candidates. We are so grateful to the members of the Search Team: Russ Chaffin, Catherine Weissenberg, Luke Pinoli, Prissy Barbour, and Sarah Linares. The Search Team put in long hours and was professional, thorough and did an excellent job.
Minister Candidates Visits
Our minister candidates will be visiting us in June and July. There will be an opportunity to meet with candidates in small group meetings. Information will be sent to all UoSB members on the candidates visits and how to sign up for a small group. Keep a look out in your email box for the member only announcements. If you are a member and are not receiving information on the minister candidates, please call the office at (805) 966-2239.
April 2020 News from the Board
We continue to evaluate and work on the financial health of Unity of Santa Barbara as we navigate these uncertain times. We have lost all rental revenue due to our closure. Thank you to everyone who continues to financially support Unity of SB. Some good news, Unity of SB received a loan through the SBA PPP for $47,250.This is Rev. Phil’s last Sunday (4/26/20). We are so grateful to Rev. Phil for being with us this last year and leading us on a wonderful journey to prepare for our new permanent minister. Thank you Rev. Phil. We will greatly miss you. (Click here for Rev. Phil's good-bye letter.) Rev. Cathy Norman and Rev. Beth Ann Suggs will continue as our interim co-ministers. We have several potential permanent minister candidates and we are looking into the possibility of hearing a Sunday message from them in the near future.
March 2020 News from the Board
Your 2020-21 Board’s First MeetingOn Tuesday, March 31, UoSB Board of Trustees met by Zoom and appointed a new board member, Ann Self Lowen, for the term ending March 2021. Welcome and thank you to Ann! We also elected officers: Alison Jordan (President), Sarah Graham Linares (Vice President), Kathleen Donelan-Maher (Treasurer) and Clyde Blair (Secretary). We currently have one board position open, so if this opportunity to serve calls you, please let us know. Time commitment is only a few hours a month with one board meeting and many decisions and approvals through email. Our next board meeting will be on Tuesday, April 21, by Zoom.
How this Covid Situation is Affecting UoSB Finances
Although we know this period will come to an end, in April we will lose ~$4,000 of rental income due to our closure. To address this revenue loss, we are looking at cost cutting measures and fundraising efforts. Additionally, our Finance Team is reviewing the Federal Government assistance opportunities including loans for non-profit organizations. Your continuing member owner financial contributions will carry us through these uncertain times.
The Search Team is excited to report that we have some strong candidates under review and look forward to interviews over the next few weeks. We continue to affirm: “We are one with the all-encompassing presence of God and are guided by the Christ Spirit within to attract and receive the minister who shares our vision for Unity of Santa Barbara, and has the capabilities to support our congregation in bringing it forth. Our future is full of promise and we are blessed.” We continue to enjoy the continued support of our wonderful interim ministers.
The Bylaws Team has finalized recommended changes to the bylaws. The Board has given input on the changes which are now under review with the Bylaws team. As soon as we have the new version approved by Unity Worldwide Ministries and after a final approval by the Board, we will send them out to our members for review, which will culminate in us approving the bylaws in a Special Membership Meeting (TBD).
From the Social Team, Clyde Blair and Ann Self Lowen hosted our second online fellowship Zoom call this Wednesday, as we continue to find ways to connect online with each other and offer support, love, and Unity. These will be recurring in the foreseeable future.
The Courtyard Landscaping Project continues to progress including currently the laying of the pavers. We are excited to revitalize our rental program in preparation for completion of this beautiful new space.
In conjunction, the Marketing & Communications Team continues to spruce up our website and enhance our marketing plan.
The Board communicates with each other almost daily and we are always open to your suggestions. We are grateful to serve our church in this expanded capacity and look forward to seeing you on Zoom over the next few weeks and in person as soon as is possible. Oh, what a happy day that will be! We are blessed.
January 2020 News from the Board
1. Search Team Update: The Minister Search Team is continuing to review applications and has conducted one interview with a potential candidate. There are some interesting possibilities arising and we hold our highest vision for right and perfect outcome. We continue to speak our new minister affirmation: We open to Divine guidance as we welcome and celebrate our new minister. Our future is full of promise and we are blessed.
2. Openings on the Board: There are 3 openings on the UoSB Board of Trustees for the term starting March 2020. If you have any questions on how much time is involved being on the board, what are the responsibilities, etc,please speak with a current board member. If you are interested in serving on the board, please fill out the board member application and submit to the office. /sites/santabarbaraunity.org/files/Board_Application_Uosb_rev.01.20.pdf
3. Strategic Plan 2020: Teams will be updating goals and tasks in the Strategic Plan Working Document for 2020. Also, any tasks from 2019 that weren’t implemented are being reviewed and timelines are being developed for completion. Major revisions to the Strategic Plan will be assessed once our new permanent minister is on board.
4. Landscaping Courtyard Project is a Go. Such exciting news to celebrate, we have broken ground on the landscape courtyard project. Thank you to those who volunteered many hours to make our vision of improving our grounds a reality
5. Blessings Registry UpdateOur Blessings Registry fundraiser topped $35k as a result of a generous gift we received in early January! A portion of that gift will be used to purchase benches for our new courtyard! We are so grateful for this and everyone's contributions in support of UoSB.
December 2019 News from the Board
1. Update on Teams: Our teams are active and doing great work. If you would like to manifest your magnificence and share in our community, then consider joining one of the many teams. Click here for more info and contact Peggy H. on getting involved at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Search Team Update: The Minister Search Team is continuing to receive and evaluate applications. There are some interesting possibilities and we hold our highest vision for right and perfect outcome. We continue to speak our new minister affirmation: We open to Divine guidance as we welcome and celebrate our new minister. Our future is full of promise and we are blessed.
3. Functions of UoSB Members, Minister & Board are now listed in an easy to read pamphlet here.
4. Thank you to everyone who participated in our fall fundraiser, the Blessings Registry, helping us raise ~ $23,000 of our $25,000 goal! Contributions are still being accepted via online at santabarbaraunity.org/blessings, with the Sunday service offering, or at the office.