Immerse yourself in the awareness 
     of a Presence that is stronger,
     more powerful and more loving
           than you can imagine.
                      --Ellen Debenport, Hell in the Hallway, Light at the Door


Board Minutes

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  • 05/16/2016 9:52 PM | Ellen Debenport (Administrator)

    Board Meeting Minutes

    April 18, 2016




    Present: John Lichtenberger, Jan Gauvain, Coleen Hilton, Tommy Potts, Scott Price, Rev. Ellen Debenport


    Absent: Marianne Calvanese, Tim Alderman, Patrick Dattore, Andrea Ballentine


    Also present: Kit Holmes



    6:33 pm - Pray in – Ellen

    Check in

    Approve March minutes by voice vote



    6:50 pm – Volunteer Appreciation Dinner debrief


    The dinner April 8 was a wonderful evening with great help from volunteers. Judy Davoust, who headed this dinner, will write up procedures for next year. She said she would do it again, but the board believes she took on too many tasks herself. We need backups for each task, in case someone can’t do what they promised.


    Some discussion of food options in addition to pasta:

    • §  Jan – sliced chicken on the salad for those who don’t want pasta
    • §  Scott – meat and vegetarian dishes, choose when sign up
    • §  Tommy – says vegetarian is okay and simpler
    • §  John -- hard to serve if it’s not all the same, asking who had what


    We have room for two more tables but not enough dinnerware. Board members could give up their reservations and create 10 more spaces.

    Loved the round tables – the room felt less crowded, and more people tablehopped.






    Tim Alderman was not present but sent a list of comments with Jan Gauvain. They both questioned why we are feeding deer and, for that matter, birds.



    7:05 pm – Abundance (John)


    P&L for first quarter shows net loss, but tithing and gifts are up 22 percent from last year. The first quarter included $19,522 expense for facility. Payroll has gone up a bit and now includes Ellen’s health insurance (which was previously a separate expense item).



    Tithing - $1,640 left after 10-10-20 percent split to UWM, UWH, Bring It Home

    • §  $1,000 to Judy Davoust
    • §  $640 to Wimberley Valley Radio



    7:15 pm – Minister and Staff Report (Ellen)


    • §  Prosperity class ended with 17 students
    • §  Membership class has 4, all of them already involved in the church
    • §  Debbie Baumgarten has volunteered to replace Cherie Conway as Sunday coordinator
    • §  DJ Rosebaugh and Don Thompson are being trained as Sunday slide operators
    • §  Jason Hilton is completely gone from his church job (he has a fulltime job elsewhere). Replacement pending.
    • §  Jan McGowan has reinvigorated the Peace Park team for maintenance.
    • §  Pool memberships go on sale May 1 at the same price as last year. Lori Gosnell is handling the massive administrative task.
    • §  Lori painted Ellen’s office
    • §  On Easter, the older kids hosted a party for the younger kids, which was a great success.
    • §  Men’s campout in Serenity Garden was also a great success.
    • §  Ester Nicholson will be our first Guerra Series guest on April 24.
    • §  Rev. Linda Martella-Whitsett will lead an All-Church Prayer Workshop on June 4 and chaplain training on Aug. 6.


    Sunday, April 17, we heard a short presentation about the possibility of putting a hearing loop in the sanctuary to connect with T-coils in hearing aids. Eleven people returned cards of interest and pledged $1,350. Some, including Coleen Hilton, are concerned about the electromagnetic field this would create. More info is being gathered. Lori Gosnell is heading this project.


    Cherie closed on two CFO exchanges. Two other people would like to invest $30,000 and $35,000 in CFO, but the program is not officially open again until 2018.


    (The board took a break during this presentation to see a double rainbow outside.)



    Vision and Survey Review


    Brief discussion of the notes from last month’s board visioning session, and the results of a survey asking what people love about the church. Both attached.



    Howling Moon


    Ellen presented the staff’s current thinking on how to refresh and streamline Howling Moon.


    First, make the Christmas Party at Jeff and Cindy Anderson’s house this year an opportunity for year-end giving. Put a big bowl on a table and have people bring their checks. It emphasizes year-end giving, makes the Christmas Party more meaningful, and takes the pressure off Howling Moon to fill the entire budget gap.


    On Howling Moon:

    • §  Keep it as a fund raiser, not just a dance party
    • §  Cherie Conway is not willing to head it up this year, but a newcomer named Darrow Harris is an event planner who might take it over. They will meet in a couple of weeks.


    No advance ticket sales; sell them all at the door

    • §  No design and printing costs
    • §  No selling at tables on Sunday for two months
    • §  No expectations for church members to sell tickets outside the church


    No $2,000 drawing

    • §  It’s 25 percent of all expenses
    • §  Who wouldn’t come if it were dropped?
    • §  It has not attracted many non-church buyers, and they certainly do not cover the $2,000 cost as hoped.
    • §  It’s administrative work to keep track of entries


    Be honest about who attends

    • §  Mostly church people and their friends and family, with a few from the community
    • §  Give up attracting widely from outside the church
    • §  Relieves marketing pressure, which has been a weakness for us
    • §  Saves advertising costs (John advocates social media instead)


    Focus auctions on people and services

    • §  Services are the best sellers at Silent Auction
    • §  Relieves pressure to solicit from local merchants (another weakness)
    • §  No demand on congregants to give items, then buy them
    • §  No storage, pricing, curating
    • §  Live auction also focused on people and their services, such as Tommy Potts working at your house with his chainsaw


    The ideas were well-received, and the general consensus was that we will find someone or a small group of key people to head Howling Moon. Also eager to hear ideas from Darrow Harris.


    8 pm – Ellen prays out

  • 05/16/2016 9:51 PM | Ellen Debenport (Administrator)

    Board Meeting Minutes

    March 21, 2016



    Present:  Patrick Dattore, John Lichtenberger, Tommy Potts, Andrea Ballentine, Scott Price, Marianne Calvanese, Rev. Ellen Debenport


    Absent: Tim Alderman, Jan Gauvain, Colleen Hilton


    Also present: Cherie Conway, Kit Holmes, Santa Heinemann




    6:34 pm – Andrea pray in


    Check in


    7:09 pm - Approve minutes for January, officer elections, February


    7:10 pm – Abundance (Cherie)


    Income is way ahead of budget, and we’re doing better this year than last year at this time. But some major projects are pending.


    • §  Wildlife has $350 earmarked to spend
    • §  Tommy is using the $520 Serenity Garden fund
    • §  Peace Park is being taken on by Jan McGowan and Peggy Cole




    percentages to Unity, Unity Worldwide and the Bring It Home Fund

    $1000 to Cindy Millonzi

    $640 to Hays County Food Bank


    Signatories for Ozona Bank


    MOTION: Update Ozona Bank Checking Accounts signature authorization as follows: John Lichtenberger moves, Tommy Potts seconds



    General Fund 1004-0909

    Sinking Fund 1005-1864



    Board President—John Lichtenberger

    Board Treasurer—Patrick Dattore

    Business Manager—Cheryl G. Conway



    as soon a possible



    7:25 pm - Ministers and Staff Reports (Ellen)


    • §  Jason Marion has agreed to be events coordinator
    • §  The new website project has begun and is moving slowly. We were awarded a Templeton grant to pay half the startup costs, so we will receive a check for about $197.
    • §  A/C in minister’s apartment was repaired for $300.
    • §  David Conway is working on the muddy parking lot that floods. He has graded the land and will dig a small channel to complete the project.
    • §  We took bids for hearing loop technology and will have a woman from Estes Audiology explain it to the congregation in April. Whether to buy it depends on interest and donations.
    • §  Ellen has created an office, the one that used to be Kit’s.
    • §  Pool membership prices will go on sale May 1 at the same price as last year.



    • §  Pete Smith’s memorial was March 19
    • §  All-Church Workday on March 5 drew more than 40 volunteers
    • §  Membership Class begins April 3 for four Sundays
    • §  Volunteer Appreciation Dinner is April 8
    • §  Highway pickup is April 9
    • §  Men’s campout and breakfast is April 15-16


    7:35 pm – Money counting

    When Patrick can’t be at church to count money, he will first contact Scott to be his backup. Cherie needs to know who is counting each Sunday. Richard Newsum continues to be the regular counter, but bylaws require two people to count.



    7:50 pm – Visioning


    Kit Holmes led the board in a visioning meditation about the church and its future, asking:


    • §  What is the highest vision for Unity?
    • §  What must we become for that vision to manifest?
    • §  What must we release?
    • §  What must we embrace?
    • §  Anything else?


    We debriefed onto a flip chart and talked at length about what we love about the church, what might be missing and what the future could look like. Andrea and Tommy agreed to explore small group programs.


    We ended by talking about Howling Moon and whether we want it to continue, whether we really need fund raisers, and how to expand the giving consciousness of the congregation. To be continued next month.



    9:30 pm – Andrea prayed out









  • 03/22/2016 9:14 AM | Ellen Debenport (Administrator)

    Board Meeting Minutes

    Feb. 15, 2016



    Present: Coleen Hilton, Marianne Calvanese, Scott Price, John Lichtenberger, Tim Alderman, Patrick Dattore, Tommy Potts, Andrea Ballentine, Rev. Ellen Debenport

    Absent: Jan Gauvain

    Also: Judy Davoust


    6:30 pm – Pray In – Tim Alderman 


    January minutes will be next month


    6:53 pm – Volunteer Appreciation Dinner, April 8, 5 pm

    Judy Davoust has volunteered to be project manager. She will be here Thur-Fri to set up.


     Judy will talk to Cherie about tables

    • §  Staff sets up tables and chairs, board will return them
    • §  Probably different table arrangement, squares with 10 chairs
    • §  Or Tommy can get round tables from B&B barn where he works
    • §  Need 2 rectangles for dessert in Sanctuary, 2 in kitchen, 2 outside
    • §  Baxter will get linens, Tim flowers
    • §  Setting tables – Andrea, Coleen after 3 on Thursday; they will get dishes out of storage


    • §  We already have enough wine
    • §  Tim, Tommy and Carla will serve red and white
    • §  No wine on tables
    • §  At dessert, put wine away and have coffee only


    • §  Fill the glasses before they come in from porch, Coleen
    • §  Patrick to bring ice chests and 4 bags of ice.
    • §  Order extra bottled water. Talk to Cherie.
    • §  We don’t think we need iced tea.


    • §  Penne vegetable dish with sauce – yes, it has gluten and cheese
    • §  Salad - Scott will bring everything for salad; also pasture-raised butter, 1 stick per table; Judy will add Costco croutons
    • §  Judy will get artisan bread at Costco
    • §  Dessert - brownies, lemon bars, cheesecake, gluten-free cookies
    • §  They serve themselves dessert. Judy will put Lisa Cole in charge. Might ask Rodger to make coffee.
    • §  Board members put salads out before people come in.
    • §  Take salad plates away, bring out dinner plates, eat fast, then clear dishes from tables.
    • §  Board members don’t drink til dessert.


    • §  Tim will be bartender with Patrick or Carla.
    • §  Check whether plastic glasses are left from Howling Moon.
    • §  Board members bring hors d’oeuvres, enough for 25 each. Ellen heats crabbies. Just finger food, so only napkins. No little plastic plates.
    • §  Judy will email board about who’s bringing what.


    • §  John and Ellen do something
    • §  Go to each table to thank them
    • §  Jason to handle sound
    • §  Judy will ask Kelsey Wilson if she’s available for violin


    • §  Jan Gauvain and Stanley Tartakov have volunteered to do all dishes.
    • §  Richard and Jean Newsum will put dishes back in boxes.
    • §  Board breaks down tables and wheels out chairs, sets up for church again.
    • §  Recycling and trash need to go out.


    • §  Call some key volunteers a couple of weeks in advance, ask to put their names on the list. “We know how much you do.” Marianne and Coleen will make the calls.
    • §  Ellen, Cherie, Lori will come up with list.
    • §  Sign-ups will be cut off at 60 inc/ board and spouses


    7:30 pm- Abundance

    John – wonderful and blessed; general fund $17,356 end of January; from that, $5,000 was moved in February to Reserves for Chaparral A/C

    $1,200 still in Peace Park restricted fund

    • §  Santa had no families sign up for maintenance.
    • §  Ellen suggests buying benches.
    • §  Marianne suggests finding a new person to be coordinator for park.
    • §  Scott will call Kimberly Kruger.

    In this discussion, the board opposed ever returning restricted funds to general fund.

    Tithes - $2,203 after standing tithes to Unity World HQ, UWM and UWM’s Bring It Home Fund

    • §  Camp Noah $1,000
    • §  Church member Gabi Sommer suggested tithing to a woman in South Dakota named Mary Elizabeth Thunder. $200
    • §  Hays County Food Bank – will do later
    • §  Tim suggested yearly tithe to chaplains for stoles and training. Money for stoles should come out of tithe and go back to church. $1,003

    Tim moves, Tommy seconds – approved


    7:50 pm - Minister and staff reports (Ellen)

    • §  IRS donation letters and all W-2s and 1099s are out
    • §  Various painting and maintenance being done
    • §  No news from Red Hawk Roard Maintenance Association’s annual meeting
    • §  Hearing loop technology investigated for Sanctuary and Fireside Room; still more than we want to spend
    • §  Myla Rosebaugh training as volunteer Volunteer Coordinator
    • §  Prosperity Class has 18 students
    • §  Rev. Felicia Searcy speaking and workshop Feb 21
    • §  Church Cleanup Day March 5
    • §  Membership Class starts April 3
    • §  YOU has raised $630 so far selling Twelve Powers calendars

    The board discussed Howling Moon, particularly whether to raise the admission price. They reluctantly said $35 might be all right, and also suggested a lower price for early bird ticket buyers. Keep the $2,000 drawing.

    The discussion turned to ways Howling Moon could be marketed inside and outside the church. John Lichtenberger said he would check with his PR team, Coleen has a friend who does grassroots marketing, Ellen said a new couple, Wayne and Debbie Baumgarten, have a marketing company.


    8:23 pm - Vision/Mission (Marianne) 

    The Mission/Vision team (Marianne Calvanese, Scott Price, Jan Gauvain and Dylan Ebs) came back with suggestions.

    Vision (we agreed on this last month)

    We are an open-hearted spiritual community, powerfully transforming our world by honoring the sacred in all.

    Proposed Mission – Through the unfolding of our shared spiritual awakening, we offer practices to empower all to live healthy, abundant and meaningful lives. 

    (lots of discussion using the Unity Branding Identity Map and thesaurus)

    Agreed Mission: Inspired by our shared spiritual awakening, we offer practical teachings that empower healthy, abundant and meaningful living. 

    Aiming to present these at Sunday service on March 13.

    Marianne suggested including someone who was involved in the 2008 Vision/Mission statements to help present the new ones. She will contact Richard Newsum.


    8:42 pm – report on UWM Winter Meeting in Florida (Tim)

    8:55 pm – Tim prays out


  • 03/22/2016 9:13 AM | Ellen Debenport (Administrator)

    Board Meeting after Annual Meeting

    January 24, 2016



    Present: Ellen Debenport, Scott Price, Jan Gauvain, Patrick Dattorre, Marianne Calvanese, Andrea Ballentine, Tommy Potts

    Absent: Tim Alderman, Coleen Hilton, John Lichtenberger


    The board met briefly to elect officers: 

    -John Lichtenberger, president

    -Jan Gauvain will remain vice president

    -Patrick Dattor will take over as treasurer

    -Marianne Calvanese will be secretary, but Ellen will record the meeting minutes

  • 03/22/2016 9:11 AM | Ellen Debenport (Administrator)

    Board Meeting Minutes

    January 18, 2016



    Present: Ellen Debenport, Tommy Potts, Patrick Dattorre, Marianne Calvanese, Tim Alderman, Jan Gauvain, Scott Price, Andrea Ballentine, John Lichtenberger, Coleen Hilton

    Correction to December minutes: Lori Gosnell in charge of silent auction for 2016 howling moon; no HUG meeting scheduled for January



    Tithe: in addition to UWM and Bring it Home, we will give $1000 to Swan Song, $1000 to Wimberley Valley Watershed Association, and $333


    Minister and Staff Reports

    Ellen presented a lengthy list of the goings on around the church and with her staff including:

    Annual meeting scheduled for January 24

    All church clean up on March 19th

    Guest speaker Esther Nicholson on April 24

    Youth semi-annual fundraiser calendar sale featuring photos of the 12 powers quilts on sale during February 


    Open carry

    Any and all guns are banned in church. We can ask folks to take their guns back to their cars. If they refuse, call the sheriff. We will not be posting signs. Patrick suggested we have a written statement should we be challenged, but the majority of the group felt that isn't necessary.



    Ellen presented hand out and showed us webpage options on the big screen. Everyone was supportive and excited about the project, which will begin in February and take the remainder of the year to complete


    Vision/Mission statement

    Marianne reported on the committee's progress


    Annual meeting January 

    Ellen will present year in review/year ahead. Cherie will review financials. Jan will run the election, and Judy Bradbury will talk about nominating committee.


    Volunteer appreciation

    Friday April 8th; Tim will ask Judy Davoust to manage it.


    Board orientation 

    Not this year since there are no new members

  • 01/20/2016 3:54 PM | Ellen Debenport (Administrator)

    Board Meeting Minutes

    Dec. 21, 2015



    Present: Marianne Calvanese, Patrick Datorre, Jan Gauvain, Tommy Potts, Ellen Debenport, John Lichtenberger, Andrea Ballentine, Tim Aldermen, Scott Price 


    Absent : Coleen Hilton


    Guests: Susan Drews, Kit Holmes, Susan Cranshaw


    Budget presenter: Cherie Conway


    Budget Review

    Cherie Conway presented the budget for 2016 with the following being some of the highlights:


    •   $325,246 total budgeted income
    •   $332,986 projected expenses
    •   Net income $7740 per month
    •   Base tithe $2710

    See attached spreadsheet for more detail and explanation on last year's and this year's budgets. Everyone voted in favor of approving the new budget.


    During the budget discussion when the topic of Howling Moon fundraiser came up and the question was asked as to why it didn't earn more money, Tommy proposed that perhaps it wasn't held on the best possible date. He volunteered to look into finding a possible new date for next year. Patrick offered to help him explore/evaluate if there are competing fundraisers and/or events, i.e., Formula One on the current date.


    Ellen's contract

    Tim proposed changing the new computer allowance from $1200 every 5 years to every 3-5 years. With that change being made everyone voted in favor of approving Ellen's updated contract.


    Vision and Mission statements

    Marianne reported on the committee's progress on reworking the vision statement. All agreed that we need vision and mission statements that reflect who we are now. What the group presented so far:  "We are an open hearted, spiritual community, powerfully transforming our world by knowing/ honoring/respecting/realizing the sacred in all".  Everyone was excited about changing the current "us" to "all".


    We decided not to call a HUG meeting to introduce the new statements. Scott offered the idea of the committee presenting the new mission a few weeks ahead at a Sunday service as part of the announcements highlighting the contrast between old and new in order to vote on it at the January 24th annual meeting.


    Treasurer’s report

    After tithing to Unity, UWM and the Bring it Home Fund, we are left with $1560 to disperse:

    •   Jason Marion $520
    •   Serenity Garden $520
    •   Jeff Richardson  $520


    Staff reports

    •   Trinity Groundwater is being asked to increase our water draw 
    •   Church will be looking into providing hearing impaired assistance in sanctuary
    •   Water well repair totaled $7000; 450 feet deep with the water level at 290 feet
    •   Drainage work around front door is complete
    •   Labyrinth complete
    •  Tommy and Jon made a new path down to labyrinth 
    •  Christmas party at Judith and Ralph Ruth's was a success; next year it will be held at Jeff and Cindy Anderson's
    •  Men's turkey dinner was a success 
    •  Christmas Eve and Burning Bowl/White Stone celebrations are coming up
    •  Memorial service for Jill Honer set for December 30th
    •  Annual meeting on January 24th
    •  Jeff Anderson will be Howling Moon auctioneer next year
    •  Lori Gosnell will manage Howling Moon’s Silent Auction
    •  Ellen will be using more of her PTO this year to be gone to promote/speak about her new book
    •  Chaplains want more training
    •  Barnabas Connection Christmas Store was a success and resulted in a greater awareness of Unity
    • Jason Marion has mentioned again that after 5 years he would like to find a replacement


    Nominating Committee 

    Marianne Calvanese and Tommy Potts are the candidates for the 2016 board election


    Beyond the Walls

    Marilyn Van Hoozer has a relationship with social workers working with elder population on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation where we donated money for blankets. Tim would like to get more information from Marilyn on how we can help. Some of us expressed our appreciation that we have an opportunity to address the needs of the aged as well as the children.


    Website change

    Tim addressed the opportunity for us to convert our website to the UWM website. There are grants to help pay for the conversion. The advantage is for us to streamline our access to Unity information and resources.  Ellen will check in to how much IT work is involved and what other church's experiences have been with the conversion (including Karen Tudor at New Braunfels Unity).  


    Finally, Tim introduced a desire to post tithe recipient thank you notes for church members to see. Possibly on the Unity of Wimberley Facebook page?


    Tim prayed us out. Next meeting set for January 18th.




  • 12/22/2015 10:14 AM | Ellen Debenport (Administrator)

    Board Meeting Minutes

    Nov. 16, 2015

    Present: Ellen Debenport, Tim Aldermen, Andrea Ballentine, Tommy Potts, Marianne Calvenese, Coleen Hilton

    Absent: Patrick Dattore, Jan Gauvain, John Lichtenberger, Scott Price


    In John's absence, Ellen and Tim stated that we are in "great shape". Tithe: $842 to WWM and Bring it Home Fund, leaving $2527 to disperse.  For their service to Howling moon, $1200 to Cherie Conway and $300 to Lawry Ross; $500 to Capital Area Food Bank; $500 to purchase a stove for the St. Bonaventure Navajo School; leaving $27 to Heifer International for a flock of chickens.

    Staff Reports

    Staff changes: Caroline Harper is no longer on the church staff because of work obligations, but will continue as a volunteer. Jason will continue to work 5-6 hours on maintenance and repairs while Lori Gosnell will spend 10 hours a week as property manager and 5 hours as an administrator with a focus on learning how to back up Cherie on CFO, real estate etc. John Falcon is the house manager with Don Thompson as his back up.


                  the front porch will be jack hammered to connect the culverts on each side to facilitate greater drainage; $1500 was anonymously donated for this project.

                  Cynthia Millonzi is ready to get back on track with her labyrinth team

                  The possibility of paying Susan Drews $100 a month as a consultant for her work on our wildlife exemption is being considered

                  Annual Christmas party will be on Dec 11 at Ralph and Judith Ruth's house; a Martin Driscoll painting will be raffled

                  Dec 6 potluck will be the annual men's group turkey dinner

                  Dec 1 youth group setting up and running Christmas store 

    Reworking Vision and Mission Statement

    Marianne reported on the brainstorming ideas from the committee formed to address this topic. Committee members are Marianne, Scott Price, Jan Gauvain and youth member Dylan Ebbs. Tim suggested we have a HUG meeting in January in order to involve the congregation in reworking our mission and exploring how we can go "beyond the walls".  Perhaps present the base mission and then have the members break into groups.

    Beyond the walls

    Coleen suggested we address the mental health needs of the Lakota people. They have a very high rate of suicide among their youth. The Lakota tribe is known for being spiritually connected to the earth and not political.  We also discussed donating money to provide blankets to Indians in South Dakota and decided to wait until after the Christmas store to introduce it to the congregation.  

    Ellen's contract

    Ellen's contract hasn't been touched or amended since 2011. She presented us with copies with a few proposed changes to review. Ellen will continue to work on it and bring it back for approval at the next board meeting on December 21.

  • 12/22/2015 10:13 AM | Ellen Debenport (Administrator)

    Board Meeting Minutes

    Oct. 26, 2015

    Present: Rev. Ellen Debenport, Tim Alderman, Scott Price, Tommy Potts, Marianne Calvanese, Coleen Hilton, Jan Gauvain, John Lichtenberger

    Absent: Andrea Ballentine, Patrick Dattore

    Also: Kit Holmes, Cindy Millonzi

    6:32 pm – John prays in


    September minutes approved as amended

    6:50 pm – Financials (John)

    Note we have about $5,000 more in income than budgeted for this point in the year, but we’ve also spent about $5,000 more than budgeted. So we’re fine.

    Tithing – base amount of $2600

    10 percent to UWM’s Bring It Home Fund

    10 percent to Unity World Headquarters

    20 percent to Unity Worldwide Ministries

    $1,560 split three ways ($520 each):

    Southwest Indian Foundation

    Carebox program at Color Cancer in Austin

    Crisis Breadbasket

    7:00 pm – Minister and Staff Reports

    Visitor Table -- The board decided to discontinue its schedule for staffing the visitor table in the foyer, because that area is usually so crowded with greeters. Instead, board members will gravitate to the bookstore after the service. The board also wants to reinstate a 20 percent discount in the bookstore when visitors’ blue cards are returned.

    Ellen will let Jean Newsum know about the visitor table change.

    Ellen also reported:

    • §  15 people in the Lessons in Truth Class
    • §  We have an ad in the Wimberley Newcomers Guide
    • §  Judy Bradbury was chosen as the fourth member for the Nominating Committee, and candidate packets will be available Nov. 8
    • §  Ellen is speaking in El Paso on Nov. 1, and Kit will speak at the service and offer a vision workshop after the potluck.

    7:10 pm -- Howling Moon

    The board debriefed the Howling Moon event on Oct. 23, and Rev. Ellen offered preliminary fund-raising numbers.

    Gross profit $24,805

    Expenses $6,743

    Net income $18,062

    Percentage to Operation Good Shepherd $4,515

    Which leaves $13,547 for the church. That's a smaller number than last year, but we are grateful! Expenses were also lower than last year, thanks to the church members who underwrote some of the big ticket items.

    Rev. Ellen said organizers Cherie Conway and Lawry Ross were discouraged by the results and were already talking about ideas to change parts of Howling Moon for next year. The board is amenable to changes.

    7:28 pm – Drum Kit

    Kit Holmes mentioned that she would like to have a drum kit that can stay at the church, as well as a bass amp. That way, guest musicians won’t have to carry so much equipment with them. Drummer Ric Furley is looking for a used drum kit that might run about $500, and Jason Marion will bring an amp.

    7:30 pm – Beyond Our Walls (Tim)

    The board had a lengthy discussion about how we might reach outside the church to do good in the world, working with organizations and also finding programs our youth could connect with.

    Tim likes Native Americans, and said a woman in the church has a daughter working with a tribe to help kids read in the summer and to provide blankets in winter. The Southwest Indian Foundation asks for help buying wood stoves every year.


    Other Unity churches have built beds for children in Central America. There’s no shortage of good causes, but how to decide?

    Marianne suggested we revise our 2008 Vision and Mission statements to reflect better who we are now and how we want to show up in the world, recognizing the sacredness of all beings. Our goal should be to help with real transformation, not just giving money, she said, although the board agreed our tithing has made a real difference to some organizations.

    (As an aside, the board agreed we should share with the congregation the thank-you notes we receive for tithes, via the newsletter, announcements or bulletin board.)

    Tim also noted that a new Unity Connect program allows churches to share information about their projects online, so that several small churches can work together, if they choose.

    Coleen suggested we find a way to involve younger kids, not just the teens.

    At the end, Tim asked Marianne to lead a subgroup with Jan Gauvain and Scott Price, along with 11-year-old Dylan Ebbs, to talk about the Vision and Mission statements and possible projects. Other board members were also asked to bring ideas for projects to the next meeting, as long as it’s someplace close enough that we could travel there.

    The goal is to present ideas to the congregation at the annual meeting on Jan. 24, 2016, then schedule a HUG meeting to talk about which project is most appealing to everyone. Pulling together for one cause seems like the next step in our church’s growth, and Ellen said she is asked more and more often by new members what the church is doing beyond its walls.

    Pray Out – John

  • 12/22/2015 10:11 AM | Ellen Debenport (Administrator)

    Board Meeting Minutes

    Sept. 29, 2015

    Present:  Ellen Debenport, Andrea Ballentine, Tommy Potts, Patrick Dattori, Tim Alderman, Marianne Calvanese, Coleen Hilton, John Lichtenberger, Jan Gauvain 

    Absent: Scott Price


    John reported on Cherie's financial reports. Accounts are healthy and tithes/giving is up.

    Tithing Discussion

    Marianne compiled and shared an extensive list of past tithe recipients, and we discussed how to utilize this list and how to move forward with it in the future.  Ultimately, we decided that we would be grateful to Cherie for continuing to update this list and to add a place on her spreadsheet explaining why we chose each recipient.

    The conversation went on to discuss more on how our tithes are distributed. We decided to include in our monthly giving the UWM Bring it Home Fund (established to pay for the transfer of the seminary from Unity World Headquarters to UWM.) We decided from now on we will give 10% to World Headquarters and 10% to Bring It Home Fund, while continuing 20% to Unity Worldwide Ministries, leaving a base of $1,560 to disperse each month.

    For this month:

    $520 will go to the Carebox cancer support program

    $1,060 to the Bring it Home fund (in addition to 10%)

    YOU fundraiser

    Who decides where they will tithe on the proceeds from their fundraisers? They do, providing they have been educated on the requirement that tithes go to organizations that spiritually feed us and/or demonstrate Unity principals in action.

    Nominating committee board representative

    Each year before board member elections, a committee is formed to decide on candidates. This committee is made up of the minister, a board member, and a congregant. Colleen Hilton will join Jason Jones and Ellen to determine this year's ticket. 

    Staff report - Ellen 

                  Susan Drews is determined to address the wild hog problem. Cherie is investigating hiring trappers.

                  Jason painted Ellen's bedroom

                  Texas Disposal is our new trash service

                  Many volunteers have been maintaining our grounds

                  Jeff did his "big mow"

                  The pool is $5,000 in the black; enough to cover our expenses for the rest of the year

                  Lisa Cole's inquiry into solar heating proved that the cost is astronomical 

                  Wildlife inspection set for October 7 (question of paying Susan a monthly stipend for the work she does to prepare for this - to be discussed at a later time)

                  Jason consulted with an architect regarding knocking out the wall and reconfiguring the space between the Fireside Room, the bookstore and the Little Chaparral room.

    Ellen's report

                  Prayer workshops showed there is a demand for more of these

                  Lessons in Truth book discussion starting October 21 for 5 weeks

                  Seven or eight potential new members

                  Ralph and Judith Ruth will host annual Christmas party on December 11

                  Ellen will be replacing Lawry Ross as a board member to the Barnabas Connection

                  Santa's hours increased from 10 to 15 hours a week

    Peace pole lights

    Kimberly Kruger will pay approximately $150 to have 4 solar powered lights aimed at the Peace Pole. The youth group will be in charge of the upkeep of the Peace Pole Park, and Santa is hoping families will take turns caring for it. She and Matt will be in charge of organizing volunteers.

    Howling Moon

                  147 tickets out of 500 have been sold. 

                  $6,330 out of a projected $9,000 income has been reached

                  Live auction items include 2 time shares, helicopter and airplane rides, and a mountain bike

                  Silent auction items are trickling in

                  48 people recruited and assigned jobs

                  Lawry Ross is hoping to find a car to borrow while she's in town helping prepare for the event.

    And my notes ended with:

    This is a HEALTHY CHURCH! Don't take it for Granted!!

  • 12/22/2015 10:10 AM | Ellen Debenport (Administrator)

    Board Meeting Minutes

    Aug. 17, 2015

    Present: Tommy Potts, Ellen Debenport, John Lichtenberger, Jan Gauvain, Coleen Hilton, Andrea Ballentine, Marianne Calvanese 

    Absent:  Patrick Dattore, Tim Alderman, Scott Price

    Visiting: Kit Holmes

    Tithe discussion. We explored options for how to choose the monthly tithe recipient. Marianne offered to compile a list of possibilities for the future. This month we chose the SIMS foundation and HAMM, organizations that provide for local musicians medical and mental health needs.

    Ellen provided us with a handout spelling out the different functions of Unity World Headquarters, Unity Worldwide Ministries and Unity South Central Region.

    Ellen's report

                  Wildlife inspection on October 7

                  All ACs are working

                  Pool awning almost complete 

                  Lisa Cole is looking into heating the pool with solar

                  10 people attended chaplain training and will be announced on September 6

                  28 people came to strengths workshop

                  On September 20 the teens will lead a celebration at the peace pole for International Day of Peace, followed by burgers on the patio and a pool party

                  Howling Moon preparation will kick off first Sunday of September 

                  Introducing a song request auction- 4 top bidders get to choose songs for Kit and the band to play

                  6 youths attended a rally in New Braunfels

                  Teens will be taking over "ownership" of Peace Park (peace pole)

                  Santa would like to be paid for 5 additional hours a week. Everyone agreed to this but also wanted to make sure Santa asks for help when needed. Ellen agreed to talk to her about making clear and specific requests for help from the board.

                  Kit requested that she have an office at the church. Cherie Conway offered hers up. Ellen, without any objection from the board, said Kit can have said office.

    Preview of Board nominees

    Tommy and Marianne, having agreed to serving one-year terms, are eligible to run again on this next cycle. New nominees will start to be recruited in October.

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