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SpringBoard - Governance in Motion


Beth Sandidge, President, Board of Trustees

“I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”

― Henry David Thoreau

The air is turning crisp, leaves are floating to the ground, and the seasonal sounds are settling in. I love autumn. The changes in seasons are Nature’s reminder of our own cycles in life. Our church as well has experienced some changes recently. Some are evidence of progress, others are painful choices made in honor of the greater good. In this blog I would like to highlight and praise the hard work accomplished and planned by our Building and Grounds committee.

During the past several months, Dave Goforth, Jerry Thornton, and Jonas Holdeman have been leading the effort to help maintain and improve our landscape through mowing, weeding, pruning, and planting. A generous improvement to our property has been put on hold pending more information from the city of Farragut. In addition to exterior landscaping, interior cleaning of the carpets has been accomplished in the past month. I am pleased how members are finding the resources to make our building look good and attract new visitors and members.

Recently, focus has been placed on finishing the memorial water feature in honor of Linda Kraeger. The B&G committee, with additional help from Brad Kurtz and Robert Darwin, has been assisting Duane in finalizing the details of this project. I look forward to seeing this project become a reality for our community. I appreciate the patience Duane has demonstrated in satisfying the board's needs to ensure that a noble memorial also complies with the mundane rules of upkeep and longevity.

Also of note is the upcoming Congregational Meeting on October 19th. Three very important issues are to be voted upon: changing the quorum to a super majority under Robert's Rules of Order for a congregational vote as recommended by the UUA; voting for Rev. Carol Bodeau as our new minister; and voting to ensure that the board does not take any action regarding the disposition of our land and property without a vote from the congregation. If you cannot make this meeting do find a proxy for your vote. According to our bylaws, each member present may be proxy for up to three absentee members.

Despite this progress, it is with a heavy heart that I report on the dismissal of our music director, Wendel Werner. Our community is a place of support and safety for us all. As the current president of the board, I intend to follow the guidelines in our bylaws, policy and procedures manual, and any additional governance documents that the congregation has adopted to uphold our Seven Principles. When an individual of our community neglects to adhere to these policies or contracts, we have a set of procedures for handling the misconduct. If misconduct continues, the board must act in the best interest for the whole community.

Despite having to dismiss a member of our community, it is not a shunning. I dearly hope Wendel finds the support he needs. He is a wonderful artist.

Due to the recent amount of governance proceedings, please be certain to check with the membership area of the website. That area is for your access to the documents about our governance so you may be an active participant in this church community. If you have any trouble accessing any information, please let me know. If I cannot directly assist you with the answer, I will direct you to those who can.

Take time to enjoy this season of change. It imparts on me that with the ending of one year comes the beginning of a new one. I look forward to working together throughout this year as our community continues to change to better serve ourselves and our community.

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