Board of Business Administration

Members: John Bollard, Gary Winnie and Curt Utton

Two major projects occupied the board’s attention this year:

  1. The removal of our old oil-burning furnaces and the underground storage tank and the installation of two high-efficiency York LP fired furnaces and a larger 1000 gallon propane tank in place of our old 250 gallon tank.
  2. The repair of the corner spires which have begun to rot due to improper flashing and sealing against the elements.

The board put out to bid the furnace project to 3 different companies.  In the end we choose Chuck’s Heating and Plumbing from Colchester, VT to do the work.  They were the only company who provided specs close to what we were looking for.  The whole project was instigated by the fact that our underground storage tank was reaching the end of its life and we did not want to face the environmentally devastating prospect oil leaking from the tank into the ground and or ground/water.

We hired Ross Environmental Associates from Stowe, VT to do the work which they did during the first week of August.  The storage tank was found to be in “fair condition.”  Analysis of the soil around the tank revealed acceptable readings of 0.0 to 0.5 parts per million.

The entire project was approved at a special meeting of the congregation on June 3.  The total cost of the project was $16,739 ($11,464 for the Chuck’s, $3,450 for Ross Environmental and $1,825 for Bourne’s) coming in well under the approved $25,000 due to the fact that there were no complications.

Our second project was started by Steve James in mid-August.  Because he discovered more rot and complications than expected when he examined it in November, he only completed one spire for a cost of $2000.  The for this project was placed in our operating budget at an estimated cost of $3000 (the other $1000 for sundry repair items.)

To complete the project this summer, the Board is requesting approval of Article IV.  (Passage of Article IV will also approve money required to purchase an Automated External Defibrillator at the request of the Board of Deacons.) Steve James has again agreed to do the work.

We thank you for your continued care of this beautiful building – the way you treat it, volunteer to maintain it on a weekly basis, and give of your income to its operating budget and its endowment. 

Respectfully submitted,

The Board of Business Administration

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Board of Outreach

It was a busy year for the Board of Outreach and the following is a summary of the work accomplished thanks to your generosity and support.

In March, the Board voted to invest $4,000 of OikoCredit money in the Vermont Community Loan Fund.  The Fund is a mission driven, community focused alternative lender. It provides loans and other resources to local businesses, community organizations, non-profits and other organizations that do not qualify for a loan from a traditional lender.  The term of the investment was ten years which capitalized on an interest rate of 3%.

One Great Hour of Sharing was held on March 11th.  Through the generosity of the congregation, $1,227 was raised.  Funding through OGHS provides help for communities around the world who suffer from the effects of disaster, conflict and economic hardship.

In May, our church was the collection point for Church World Service kits. In total, 33 cases containing hygiene and school kits and 5 buckets with clean up supplies were assembled and collected from seven neighboring churches. Our church constructed 40 hygiene kits

The Board discussed moving the Human Food Chain from November to June, as the summer months see more scarce donations to the food shelf.  The date of June 10th was set, but due inclement weather and lack of participation, the event was not as successful as hoped.  Discussion will continue as to whether to try again, perhaps in May, or continue with the November tradition.

A joint worship service with Waitsfield and Warren was held at our church on October 7th.  After the service, we hosted a pot luck followed by the Crop Walk.  The walkers raised almost $3,000, of which $889 was returned to the community to support the Waterbury Food Shelf, the Duxbury Elf Shelf, and the Mad River Valley Interfaith Council food shelves.

On October 21st the Neighbors In Need collection was taken during the service and totaled $867.  Neighbors in Need is a special mission offering of the United Church of Christ that supports the ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States.

In early December, the congregation generously donated items, including socks, gloves, toothpaste, toothbrushes, a gift card to the Village market and shampoo.  The items were assembled into 39 gift bags for the residents of the Kirby House, and were delivered on Christmas Eve.

We continue to encourage food shelf collections and had various contests throughout the year.  Most recently, four food collection bags were handmade by Elaine and Russ Snow so that you can bring the bag home as a reminder to fill it with food and return it to the church.

Through the Board of Outreach budget, these additional donations were made during 2018:

  • $50 to Central Vermont Foster Parent Association to purchase school supplies
  • $200 to the Good Samaritan Haven
  • $150 to the Heifer Project
  • $250 to the Vermont Low Income Advocacy Council

We continue to collect loose change to support the Heifer Project, and 2 animal banks were donated to receive your pocket change.

The Board would like to thank the congregation for your generosity and continued support of our many projects.

Respectfully submitted,

Carla Lawrence, Chair
Debbie Utton, Secretary
Alice Durkin
Polly Sabin

Board of Deacons

The deacons meet monthly (except in the summer) to discuss the weekly deacon schedule, church events such as baptisms, holidays, communion, & specific parishioner concerns.    Every Sunday one deacon assists with the service by lighting & extinguishing candles (Ned Davis graciously performs this when he is present), taking attendance (discussed further below), taking the collection, passing the microphone during Community Matters part of each service, and tidying up the pews after each service.  In addition to these routine duties, this year:

  • We continue to take electronic attendance in an effort to help realize if someone is out for an extended period of time.  Diane Leavitt continues to add photos to each parishioner’s name in the Church Management software so that it is easier to identify people and to remember names of newcomers. Guests 1-10 were added to account for additional visitors to the attendance roster.  We have also added the feature to group family members to our attendance list.
  • We coordinated Laity Sunday on July 15, 2018.  All the deacons took part in this service.
  • We assisted with communion and special services as needed.  We had no baptisms this year.
  • We assisted a Guest Pastor, The Rev. Anthony Acheson, when Peter was out of town.  
  • We provided coloring pages and crayons for young children attending the early Christmas Eve service.  We also purchased luminary bags and tea lights to decorate the church outside for Christmas Eve service.
  • We sent cards to parishioners who may be ill, injured, or who may have lost a loved one.
  • Peter, Polly and Cindy Senning participated an Active shooter workshop at our church. Peter created a document for our church based on his experience with the workshop. The deacons discussed and reviewed Peter’s document on the ALICE Plan (active shooter).  The document will be put forward to the congregation in the beginning of 2019 to review and discuss.  The Gun Policy and ALICE Plan will be referenced during the Church Annual Meeting.                                                                       
  • We have arranged for a CPR and AED (defibrillator) training on February 5, 2019. The training will allow up to 15 members of the congregation to participate.  We are investigating the purchase of a Zoll Plus Defibrillator for the church.  Church Council has approved the purchase of an AED unit.
  • Church Council has approved our request to purchase a fire escape for the third floor of the church and the Church Council has directed the Board of Building Aministration to pursue this project.                                                                                                                                  
  • Additionally, we are still in the initial stages of a discussion regarding the hymnals.  We wish to determine if the ones we have are still meeting the congregation’s needs.  This issue will be referred to a separate hymnal committee.

Many thanks to all the deacons: John Bollard. Tom Leavitt, Diane Leavitt, Jill Loewer and Cindy Senning.  Rebecca Noyes will be joining us as a Deacon in January.

Respectfully Submitted,

Diane Leavitt, Chairperson & Secretary

Floral Ministry

I am looking forward to the new year before us in regards to our liturgical floral designs as another year has come to an end. I wish to thank all who have sponsored flowers to grace our sanctuary table each Sunday. I have to thank you for giving me the freedom to use my talent and creativity in creating displays for our table and sanctuary. This is a floral designers dream.

Balance and Wholeness

As always Lent and Easter is a big event for floral designs in our church and last year was a delightful challenge with a theme of Balance and Wholeness. With the scriptures as my foundation, each week’s display evolved around the natural physical and visual balance of different materials in the display. Some of the displays although physically balanced, visually looked slightly off balance. With God all things are possible.

The All Saints’ Day display is a great example of creating a different art form. This was also an interactive display.  The congregation was invited to place flowers into ninety water tubes that were place in a large contorted wire structure. The wire structure also represented the trials and struggles in our lives and throughout the world. The red roses were in memory of loved ones who had passed as well as remembering lives that were lost throughout the world.

I worked on the worship committee for the Vermont Conference of the United Church of Christ Annual Meeting at Lake Morey last spring. This theme was Telling A Story. The display base was similar to what we used for All Saints’ Day a couple of years ago with water tubes and branches. There were two-hundred-twenty tubes in the display. This time the branches represented the different ministries of the conference and the tubes represent the stories of all who work in those ministries as well as ministries in their own church. Everyone was invited to place a flower into the display representing their story. I also presented a workshop on storytelling with flowers for the conference.

Our Christmas display was repeated from last year. It had a great impact not only on our church but also the community and other churches that viewed our Christmas display. Just by adding branches to the wreaths, garlands and changing the organ display, the branches elevated traditional forms to a natural modern classical look. I had many people look me up at work and complement us on our Christmas Sanctuary that had not seen it last year. I also want to thank all for helping bring down the display materials from upstairs and then put them back after Christmas. I am working on a whole new look for 2019.

In closing it has been my pleasure serving you as the Minister of Liturgical Floral Design for the Waterbury Congregational Church, United Church of Christ and I look forward to another exciting year in the art of Liturgical Floral Design. To the Lord God I give all the Glory.

Respectfully submitted,

Ned Davis,
Minister of Liturgical Floral Design

Treasurer

 2018 was a smooth year for my work as treasurer. We continued with the systems we implemented in 2017. I gained confidence in all aspects of the job including paying bills, managing payroll, producing finance reports for the Finance Committee and Council, and recording all deposits made by Financial Secretary.

Diane Leavitt stepped up to help with doing the monthly reconciliation and covering for me when I am away. It is a huge help and we have a much smoother system for keeping all our records current and bills/payroll paid in a timely fashion.

Cash flow has been a little tighter this year. The Finance Committee will be reviewing the financial reports to see why this is so. While we still have a positive cash account at the end of 2018, it is down from the start of the year which means we dipped into it to pay some bills. It is so important that all of us keep up with our pledges, our primary source of income. We do count on them for sound financial operations.

That being said let me repeat what I said last year and the year before. I call it the treasure’s mantra!  “Your financial support of the church is admirable. Please keep those pledge commitments coming in on a regular basis. Having a clean, sufficient cash flow makes this job doable and keeps our church on a sound financial footing. Thank you all!”

Cindy Senning, Treasurer

Clerk

Total active membership 01/01/18 161
Members received in 2018 0
Transferred from inactive list 0

Members removed in 2018
By death 3
By transfer 0
To inactive 0

Total active membership 12/31/18 158

Average weekly worship attendance 65

Special Meeting Minutes

C. Murray called the meeting to order at 10:15.

C. Utton made the motion to approve the use of up to $25,000 to replace our current heating system. This was seconded.

Discussion:

P. Plagge explained the history of the heating system dating from installation in 1991 (a second furnace was replaced in 2008). Hot air furnaces typically have a life of twenty years. Several times a winter, the furnace to the sanctuary had failed and needed to be reset, usually on the coldest nights when the system couldn’t keep up with oil demand.

The building committee decided to explore propane and found that the cost of replacing both furnaces would cost $11,464 (only slightly more than a quote from 2007 for $11,420).

By their calculations, switching to propane will save $1,000 on the church’s heating bill. Though propane delivers fewer btu’s per gallon, propane is 60% the cost of oil and the old furnaces operate at only about 80% efficiency. Though heating will call for more gallons of propane than oil, the new furnaces will operate at 95.5% efficiency.

Also the oil tank must also be addressed as it is buried and is 27 years old. The risk of leaks becomes significant after 20 years. Ross Environmental in Stowe gave us a $3,450 quote for tank removal for an empty tank with no major leaks. If leaks were discovered, the clean-up would be subsidized by a federal program as well as insurance coverage depending on the seriousness of the leak. The cost in that case should only run from $250-500.

There are plans for Bourne’s Energy to replace the 250-gallon propane tank with a larger one for fewer/larger deliveries. Ross Environmental would coordinate with Bourne’s once the old tank has been removed.

Our endowment/investments did very well in 2017 and it seems an excellent time to realize those gains by replacing the furnaces now.

Questions were asked about timing (hopefully August), oil currently in the tank (due to sludge in the bottom, the oil could not be sold and has been all burned off), and whether any principal would be touched to complete the project (it would not as the gains that have been realized were banked and are now available).

When brought to a vote, the motion passed unanimously.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:10.

Respectfully submitted, Jill Chase, Clerk

AM 2018 Minutes

The meeting was called to order at 11:17 AM with a prayer led by Peter Plagge.

I. Presentation, discussion, and action on the minutes of the January 29, 2017 annual meeting.

The minutes of the January 29, 2017 annual meeting were accepted as written.

II. Presentation, discussion, and action on the reports of the officers, boards, and organizations for 2017 (excepting the 2018 budget).

It was noted that in the Clerk’s report, members removed by death in 2017 should read 1 instead of 0, changing the total active membership 12/31/17 to 161. It was moved, seconded, and noted to accept the reports as amended.

III. Presentation, discussion, and action on the FY 2018 budget proposal.

It was moved and seconded to approve the 2018 budget as proposed. Three special events are proposed for the coming year — the strawberry supper, tag sale, and apple pie sales on the interstate. A silent auction is being considered for the spring. Reasonable estimates have been secured for fixing the four corners of the church which have rotted. Work on the stained glass windows never got off the ground due to problems with the proposed repair company, so other advice was sought. It was found that the need for repairs is not in fact urgent, though should be undertaken within a reasonable time. Cost for such repairs are not reflected in the budget, but could easily be allocated when needed from the appropriate funds.

IV. Presentation, discussion, and action on the Nominating Committee’s report and slate of officers and board members for the year 2018. An amendment was moved and seconded to add John Bollard’s name, which was left off inadvertently, to the list of Deacons, and to add Cindy Senning’s name as “ex officio.” It was moved, seconded, and unanimously approved to accept the Nominating Committee’s report and slate of officers for 2018 as amended.

V. Presentation, discussion, and action on the Trustees recommendation to distribute any investment gain in 2017.

Dean King noted that it was a great year for the stock market, and due to generous pledges that have paid the bills, there was no need to balance the budget by dipping into our endowments. Based on advice from John Sherman at Edward Jones who handles the church’s investments, the Trustees feel that before the market reclaims the gains in a downward trend, some of that money should be invested in the physical church. Options for replacement of the current heating system are being explored with work being done incrementally over the next several years. Replacement of the signboard in front of the church also needs to be addressed at a special meeting in future, though some funds for that could come from “town encroachment” monies from the Main St. improvement project.

Dean King moved that the 2017 gains, realized and unrealized, earned on the Waterbury Congregational Church Endowments funds be allocated as follows: 75% (87,486.63) to the Firm Foundation; 24.5% ($28,578.97) to General Endowment; and 0.5% ($583.24) to Enrichment.

Deb Utton moved to amend the motion to transfer $1,250 from the Firm Foundation Fund gains and $1,250 from the Endowment Fund gains to the Enrichment Fund to help fund a possible mission trip planned for later this year.

The amended motion was seconded and approved.

V. Other Business

Peter Plagge heartily thanked the entire staff for their hard work, then added that two other church members who are not staff also need our deep gratitude. Ned Davis continues to inspire us with his flower creations and Torrey Smith sees that the church is adorned with community art. We are surely richer for the efforts of all these good people.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:51 AM.

Respectfully submitted,

Jill Chase, Clerk

Warning

The annual meeting of the Waterbury Congregational Church, United Church of Christ of Waterbury, Vermont has been called for Sunday, January 27, 2019 following worship, in the sanctuary, to consider action on the following:

Article I. Presentation, discussion and action on the minutes of the January 28, 2018 annual meeting and the June 3, 2018 Special Meeting.

Article II. Presentation, discussion and action on the reports of the officers, boards, departments and organizations for the year 2018 (excepting the FY 2019 budget).

Article III. Presentation, discussion and action on the FY 2019 budget proposal.

Article IV. To decide whether the church will approve an expenditure from the Firm Foundation Fund of up to $9000 for building upgrades.

Article V. Presentation, discussion and action on the Nominating Committee’s report and slate of officers and department members for the year 2019.

Article VI. Presentation, discussion and action on the Trustees recommendation to distribute any investment gain in 2018.

Article VII. Other business.