Report from May 19, 2017 Board of Directors Meeting
Preparations for transitions in Outdoor Ministries and in staffing dominated the agenda for last Friday’s Conference Board meeting.
Cathy Green, vice moderator of the Conference, and interim Conference Minister John Gantt commended the many volunteers involved in the Templed Hills make-over.
Cathy Green chairs the Business Plan team to create goals for programming, utilization, financial expectations, and benchmarks for outdoor ministry at Templed Hills over the next 3-5 years.
Jim Ditzler chairs a Camp Operations Team which includes camp veterans, program people, an energy management expert, two architects (one paid, one a volunteer) and a gardener! Priority repairs are already underway. Volunteer groups are being scheduled under the supervision of Camp Manager Jeff Thompson.
Bobby Burtt, chair of the Outdoor Ministry team, supported by Nicole Havelka of the Conference staff, are working with camp directors to make each experience at Pilgrim Hills in 2017 the best. They will help those who cherish this “thin place where heaven and earth meet” to say heartfelt “thanks for the memories” and “farewell.” An all-Conference decommissioning event is scheduled for October 7 at Pilgrim Hills.
A Sales Team, chaired by John Kropf, will review inquiries from potential purchasers of Pilgrim Hills property.
UCCR (United Camps, Conferences and Retreats) continues to manage both Pilgrim Hills and Templed Hills through this calendar year. Their expertise and close coordination help us to be realistic as well as visionary.
Some individuals serve on more than one of these teams to assure careful communication, continuity and coordination of efforts. It is all about “letting the right hand know what the left hand is doing and thinking!”
The Board reviewed a proposal regarding transitional staffing for the Conference. The shared position which Nicole Havelka holds with Ohio Conference and the national setting of the UCC expires at the end of May. Pam Brown, Conference Administrator, retires at the end of September. The interim Conference Minister position is open-ended and depends on the work of the all-Conference Vision Team.
In response, the Board voted to extend Nicole’s part-time position to the end of 2017 and redefine her position description; authorized employment of a new full-time Conference Administrator to begin in mid-August; and approved employment of a part-time Outdoor Ministry/Volunteer Coordinator to begin in late summer or early fall. Positon descriptions are being developed and revised.
Sam Buehrer, Conference treasurer, and auditor Jerry Reichert reported the 2016 audit carries an “adverse opinion.” This finding is due to the difficulty of tracking earnings and transfers in our investment accounts. Two years ago, the method now being used was set up with the auditor’s assistance. Unfortunately, the system did not satisfactorily improve the auditor’s ability to track all the transactions in those funds.
The Finance Committee has already ordered a consolidation of those funds to improve their auditability, and has implemented other management recommendations made by the auditor.
The Board received a brief overview from the Visioning Team, made a slight amendment to Clergy Compensation Guidelines, and offered suggestions for the work of the Faith Formation Task Force. Nominating Committee reported nominees are in place for all but one position on the Board. Associations are each to name a representative to serve on next year’s Nominating Committee.
The next meeting of the Board is August 25.