Governance Executive Summary

Moving forward we will plan to post an executive summary of the content, discussion, and meaningful actions of each of our meetings within a week of the meeting here. While there are some aspects of our work that will need to be kept confidential (particularly as it relates to certain personnel and legal matters), we believe this will go a long way toward improving the transparency of our actions and conversations. 

Read November's Summary Here Governance Structure

Executive Summary

NOVEMBER 2021

The following are highlights from the 11/8/2021 Governance Board (GB) meeting:

  • Reviewed and debriefed the October Congregational Open Forum. The Board committed to continue to listen, be transparent and visible with the congregation. Questions and concerns can be raised by emailing governance@asburyfirst.org. As board Chair, Valerie Benjamin, monitors and responds to questions and issues raised via the mailbox and seeks input from the GB. Issues determined to be of interest to the broader congregation will be addressed in the FAQ section of the website. The GB agreed to have one member of the board available in person in the Gathering Space prior to and following the 11 am Sunday worship service for conversation and to answer any questions. Further, taking a suggestion from the congregation, the Board will commit to writing an executive summary of every meeting to be posted following every meeting. 
  • Rev. Dr. Stephen Cady provided an update on the recent UMC Conference he attended in Kansas City in October. It was a gathering of about 700 clergy and lay persons from the 400 largest US UMCs that are likely to stay in the ‘post separation’ UMC. The pandemic caused a delay in holding the May 2020 General Conference where voting on the Protocol (Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace through Separation) which was announced in Jan. 2020 was to occur.  General Conference has been moved to Aug./Sept. of 2022 however Stephen anticipates further delay may occur. The Protocol needs to be passed for the separation process to begin. The situation is very complex, and an opportunity might exist for Asbury First to be part of leading and shaping what it means to stay in the post separation UMC. The Board asked Stephen to find ways to update the congregation on the status of the denomination over the next few months. 
  • Reviewed and discussed the status of the 2021 AOP budget vs. projected actual income and expenses. The pandemic continues to impact assumptions made during the 2021 AOP process. The result is that some of the income assumptions (based upon a fuller return by June) are less in plate offerings, holiday offerings, and about $40k off in pledged income to date. Expenses are on target. Some of this will change in the next couple of months. The first pass on the 2022 budget is being drafted awaiting results of the 2022 Stewardship campaign, but the Board is aware that a larger gap than recent years may need to be overcome in order to balance the budget.
  • Board approved a motion by the Investment Committee (IC) to place some monies being currently held in escrow into funds administered by the IC which can yield a return. 
  • Discussed a request for the GB to support Foodlink employees, a longtime partner of our Dining & Caring Center in combating hunger in Rochester, as they are seeking to organize a union. More information was sought and no formal action by the board taken at this time.