Blips on the Board’s Radar Volume 1, Number 1, August, 2022

Submitted by Peter Livant

With this offering, appearing every month, the Board tries to convey to the whole Fellowship what issues the Board is thinking about and what all that thinking and discussing adds up to so far.

The official records of what transpires at Board meetings, that is, the approved Minutes, are published in the “Members Only” section of Those official Minutes 1) are archival in nature, 2) appear a month or two after the Board meeting they refer to, and 3) live behind a notice that says “Members Only.”

The Board thought we could (and should) keep everyone better informed and more up-to-date about issues we are tackling. Et voilà! “Blips on the Board’s Radar” was born.

Who Is on the Board?

Here’s the lineup for July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023:

President… Peter Livant
Past President… CJ Marbutt
Vice President for Finance… Billye Leah Welburn
Secretary… Ayesha Alam
Treasurer… Jim Newton
Trustee (term expires 6/23) … Eric Scotch
Trustee (term expires 6/23) … Kristen Starr
Trustee (term expires 6/24) … Sally McCreary
Trustee (term expires 6/25) … Emily Livant

Rev. Chris is an ex officio member of the Board, not voting.


There are at least two kinds of blips the Board keeps its eyes on. Nearby blips that are headed our way for sure, and distant fainter blips that may or may not turn into big blips someday. The nearby blips are usually the result of changes in the status quo of the universe; not caused by the Board but needing a Board response. The distant blips more often are created by the Board itself.

Distant blips

  • Retreat at the Mountain
    As an example of the latter, we’re looking into whether we might try to organize a Fellowship-wide Retreat at the Mountain. We’ve done an AUUF retreat at the Mountain in the distant past, and it was great. Can we do it again? We’re in the fact-gathering stage. What will it cost? When is there an opening we could book? We’ll see what happens.
  • Electric vehicle charging station
    Another faraway blip: Would it be feasible to install an electric vehicle charging station on the grounds of the AUUF? As you can imagine, it’s complicated. A group of our board members is looking into all the ins and outs. Stay tuned!

(Parenthetically, to choose boardsters to take on a task such as working on the EV charging station, we have a brilliant method of volunteer selection: we pull names from – no, not a hat! – a brown paper bag. (We tried the hat method, but all we got was a tag saying 6 and 7/8.) These little task forces are now referred to in Board-ese as “Brown Bags.”)

Nearby blips

Some nearby blips were/are

  • Finding Co-chairs for the Congregational Support Committee, pronto
  • Organizing a Board retreat
    Working on it.
  • Improving streaming of Sunday Services from the Sanctuary
    We now have a dedicated internet connection in the Sanctuary. Previously we had only one connection, in the Busch Center; now we have two.
  • A bulletin board for the Sanctuary
    A Brown Bag is looking into it.
  • Working with staff and committees
    The Board sometimes invites staff members or committee members to attend the Board meeting to work on an issue that involves them. In our July and August Board meetings, we’ve shared the Zoom screen with folks from Religious Exploration, Committee on Ministry, and Safety Committee (now Safer Congregation Committee) and made progress in each instance.
  • New system for appointing chairs of committees
    The by-laws changed recently. Chairs of almost all committees are no longer subject to a vote of the congregation; rather, the Board is charged with appointing committee chair positions. So, the Board had to come up with a system for doing that, and we did! It was decided that the term of a committee chair would begin on April 1 and last until March 31 of the following year. Every January, the Board would determine which committee chairs want to stay on and which want to throw in the towel. Then the Board would recruit any needed new committee chairs during February and March. In the best case, a new chair would be identified early in the February-March period and could work alongside the outgoing chair and gain the benefit of the outgoing chair’s experience on the committee.
  • Online Board Training
    Some of the Board attended a very recent “Board Training” program offered on Zoom by the Southern Region of the UUA. There was a lot of great stuff! In fact there was too much great stuff! I’m still turning it over in what’s left of my mind. I hope that at our Board retreat we can start to own some of the suggestions the Southern Region personnel offered for how to snazz up the way the Board works. Gosh, another blip:
  • Snazz up the Board!
    Working on it.
  • Write the Board Blips column