March 2015 Board of Directors Report

– from Chelle Lyons Hanson, Board Member At Large

MN Conf UCC Logo (Square)The Board of Directors of the Minnesota Conference met on Saturday, March 7 at Mizpah UCC in Hopkins, MN. Rev. Garth Shumacher, interim minister at Mizpah welcomed us warmly and shared some information about the congregation. He described the church as a welcoming congregation and we certainly found that to be true. Thank you to Mizpah UCC for the hospitality.

The Board is continuing to consider a financial campaign to support the current and future work of the conference. The feasibility study is not yet complete so it isn’t time to make any final decisions. The decision-making process will extend into the summer so we can be sure we are including as many perspectives as possible. If we should decide to pursue a campaign, the planning process is critical to the overall campaign success.

The Finance Committee is working on the 2016 budget and so the Board discussed some of the issues associated with that process including an abbreviated review of the Ashley Endowment and the OCWM giving trends. We identified some funds to support activities of the Conference that contribute to leadership excellence and church vitality.

The Board received reports from the Personnel and Development Committees as well as the Committee on Ministry. Those committees are busy with their work as is the Conference Staff. The Annual Meeting Planning Work Group is hard at work on this year’s agenda and the Anti-Racism Task Group is working with them to finalize the program in response to last year’s resolution to address racism at this year’s meeting.

The Board reflected on the great work of all the committees, work groups, teams and task groups. So much good work is happening and so many people are involved in the conference. Reflective questions included: How is the governing structure serving the conference well? Where are the stresses to the structure and what opportunities could we pursue? The Nominating Work Group has the monumental task to fill all the volunteer positions that open each year as terms end and people move on to other commitments. We want to be sure that we are able to tap into the leadership potential within the conference and that we are using a governance structure that helps us address our strategic goals and makes us good stewards of the Conference resources.

The next Board meeting is scheduled for May 4, 2015. Please be sure to contact a Board member if you have any questions or concerns about the work of the MN Conference.

– Chelle Lyons Hanson, Board Member At Large