; charset=UTF-8" /> 2010 Annual Gathering Report of the Board Chair : Connecting Voices
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2010 Annual Gathering Report of the Board Chair

by Ann Feaver

The Report from the Board of Directors to Annual Gathering summarizes the activities of a busy, faithfully committed board this past year who often times completed committee work  requiring meetings outside the regularly scheduled board meetings.   In July the Self-Study Team, the Search Committee and the Financial Development Team met to share information and direction.  We have also read and discussed at each meeting the book Recreating the Church , Leadership for the Postmodern Age by Richard L. Hamm.  I believe these experiences have guided our priorities.

We are excited to be presenting the search committee’s candidate for conference minister.  We commend their process of discernment.  We feel that Felix Villanueva  is exactly the right leader at this time in our life as a conference.

The board enthusiastically adopted the strategic plan for church vitality and growth as developed by the Church Development Implementation Team.  We believe this plan offers a clear path for  renewed mission and vitality for every church in the conference while continuing our work of developing and supporting new churches.  Spot us at Annual Gathering to ask how you can become involved.

We have continued the practice of careful expense management.  To achieve our goal of a balanced budget by 2013 we will need to reap the benefits of intense focus on raising revenue.  One of our difficult decisions this year was the need to reduce the budget funding of 3 of our Latino Churches.  These faith communities are strong in their call to be successful churches. They are committed to finding new funding sources with the help of their Church development team partners.  We eliminated the Associate Conference Minister position when June Boutwell completed her tenure in December.  We do not believe that any further expense cuts can be achieved without dire consequences for the conference work and life.
 
We are working with a talented financial development team to lay a foundation for increased Our Churches Wider Mission, accurate Per Capita dues and increased Friends of the Conference donors.  We approved a new data base system for the conference office which will help us in communication and tracking of our conference activities.  Many members of the board of directors hand delivered Our Churches Wider Mission certificates to local churches to strengthen communication with our congregations. With the generous support of the Samoan Ministries Table and a seed money donor we will host a conference wide Tour of the Pacific Islands Luau fundraiser extravaganza in Long Beach at the Queen Mary, August 21.  It is an opportunity to enjoy an evening of exceptional food and entertainment while reconnecting and meeting new SCNC UCC friends.  We hope everyone reading this report will plan to attend.

We renewed and expanded our covenant with the Romero Center approving new processes to strengthen SCNC partnership in the Center’s program and outreach.  We will hold one of our meetings in San Ysidro this coming year.

We are revamping the Mission Grant process with clear instructions and ongoing access.   Look for the application form to be on the SCNC website soon.  It is the hope of the board that many churches will make creative applications through out the year for these small grants.

We met at Pilgrim Pines in March to see and hear of all the work that is being accomplished to strengthen this vital part of our conference life.  Following the trip board members held a “shower for Pilgrim Pines” choosing items from their wish list.  It was a rewarding experience and I would encourage  churches and associations to hold such an event.

Through out the year we appreciated the reports by our national representatives to keep us apprised of denominational activities.  We have been challenged to improve our 54% participation in One Great Hour of Sharing for example.

We all benefit from the dedicated work of our staff.  Jane Fisler Hoffman has guided us wisely through this interim period leaving us well prepared to move forward with new leadership.  She leaves her mark of communication skills and strong links to our denomination.  Gary Roberts has been the visionary guide for the vitality grant/ program and the source of creative ideas for funding new churches and sale of property. Neal Washburn has guided and advocated for our youth and young adult programs,  Keith Clark has pursued clarity of our financial statements, updated our computer data base, inspired our communication networks; he is our general go- to- man for “connecting”.  Virginia Arroyo is not only a resource for history and relationships she is ever ready to help whatever the project.  She is the voice we all depend on guiding us when we contact the office.

We are grateful for the work of the board members leaving us this year: Arthur Cribbs, Myriam Gramajo,Sandy Healy, Douglas Lima, Malaki “Mack” Tauilili, Joan Rich, and Patricia Walton.  It is a privilege to serve on your board of directors and we thank you for the trust you have placed in us.

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