First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church

Task Force Report

Options for First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church

 

First Jefferson Unitarian Church is a wonderful and beautifully-designed religious center that blesses us with ample space and a wide variety of amenities we sometimes take for granted. Our sanctuary is a place of spirituality and peace that nurtures us and speaks to our message of Unitarian/Universalist ideals. The space was uniquely designed to maximize the acoustic quality of performances by our pianist, choir, and visiting concert performers. Our wonderfully serene courtyard gardens are a haven for birds, small animals, butterflies, and such. Coleman Hall and our commercial-grade kitchen allow us the opportunity to gather for special events, monthly pot-lucks, parties, and holiday dinners. Our religious education wing provides us with space for OWL classes, youth RE, and vital childcare facilities as well as weekly small group ministry functions.

 

We have reached a point in our history as a congregation however, in which we find it more and more difficult to maintain the cost of our building with the funds available from membership, fund-raisers, rentals, etc. When we took on the financial responsibility of our beautiful facility nearly two decades ago, our membership was much larger and covering our expenses was relatively predictable and reliable. We lost a sizable portion of our membership and our financial support when we split into First Jefferson and Westside a few years back. Our membership and contributions dropped substantially but our mortgage, energy, insurance, and maintenance/repair expenses did not fall as much. As such, we have faced years of "living on the edge" and now find ourselves at a pivotal point regarding our financial future. For years, the Board President, Board of Trustees, Financial and Endowment committees, and a host of dedicated volunteers have worked diligently to balance the books. In the past year, all involved have been very creative at cutting spending, improving our financial oversight through the re-organizing of our accounting procedures, negotiating relief on our mortgage, being better at fixing and maintaining our facility ourselves, improving rental income, increasing donations and fund-raisers, and applying for and obtaining grants. In short, we have tried to be the best possible "Stewards" of the financial well-being our congregation.

 

Despite our efforts, the Board of Trustees recognizes we cannot continue indefinitely along this path of financially balancing on the edge, month after month and year after year. In the upcoming year, the Board will need to make decisions regarding the future of First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church. Since we will be acting in the interest of the entire congregation, it is vitally important that all members understand what we are facing and what potential long-term solutions may be. We will soon discuss this issue at a congregational meeting but prior to that, we feel it imperative that all members understand what options are being considered and what the positives and negatives, personal obligations, and ultimate ramifications of any decision may be. Please review this guide prior to the congregational meeting so you will be adequately prepared to fully participate. We are considering the following options:

 

 

A look at current income and Costs

 

A 10% decrease in pledges and plate collections would result in a loss of $1,366 in income per month.

A 20% decrease in pledges and plate collections would result in a loss of $2,731 income per month.

 

Current costs are more spread out across different categories:

It is difficult to substantially cut costs by cutting from one category alone. Furthermore, cutting costs from a single category may be quickly offset by reductions in income due to decline in membership.

Cutting current building and utility costs in half (costs from mortgage, insurance, security system, utilities) would result in a net savings of $3,032 per month, as compared to a $2,731 reduction in income from a 20% decline in membership. Hence, even cutting current building costs in half would be nearly offset should it result in a decrease in membership.

 

Stay in Our Current Church – No Changes to Current Staffing

 

Advantages – We’re already here and are comfortable in the space. We are part of the local community. We have sufficient room for our youth Religious Education and Small Group Ministry Programs, child care, and popular social events such as potlucks and holiday dinners. We have been at this location for decades and because of that, potential new members and visitors perceive us as an established and legitimate spiritual center. We provide rental space for a variety of outside entities such as socially/politically-important events and educational conferences, local voting, commercial food prep, Al-anon, the local neighborhood association, Jefferson Freedom Café, Spectrum Chamber Society, Astrological Society, and as a past and future venue for private parties and wedding rentals. Our gardens and grounds though perhaps not up to their former glory, are still spectacular and a huge and impressive draw for visitors and new members. We have the opportunity to expand our local outreach with the Community Garden under development by the Green Sanctuary Team.

 

Disadvantages – This church costs more than our rental income and current members are currently providing. The building is showing its age and needs minor and doable repair, maintenance, and upgrade. We have a substantial mortgage because of the RE wing addition. We have inadequately met the number of routine volunteers needed to maintain the grounds and maintain the building.

 

What We Would Need To Do – We all need to step up in numerous areas. First, all members of our congregation must search their hearts to see what more they can contribute. For those with the ability, making a firm and meaningful financial commitment of support is the most obvious step. If a member is not financially contributing anything on a routine basis, pledging something, even a few dollars will help to cover their share of keeping the lights on, the A/C working, and replenishing expendables like office supplies, paper towels, toilet paper, garbage bags, etc. If a member is already contributing regularly they might consider if they could possibly bump it up a little. If a member currently has no financial ability, a contribution of volunteer time, talent, or effort could help. For example, a family committing a few hours each Saturday by taking on the responsibilities of our weekly janitorial services would allow us to substantially reduce our monthly overhead. Volunteering to repair or maintain some part of the building on an as-needed basis by providing the labor and materials would save us the cost of hiring a contractor. If a person has no financial or physical means to help, they could work the other end of the financial equation by inviting guests and potential new members who might join our spiritual home and deepen our financial and volunteer bases. Being active with welcoming, greeting, and engaging newcomers, actively donating to and helping with monthly potlucks and special events, and simply participating more actively with rallies and social justice programs will engender a more active spirit of what Unitarian Universalism is all about. Increasing our membership base is key to improving our financial health. In summation, we need to personally light fires under ourselves and commit more to the church and congregation that provides us with meaningful and substantial support in our own lives.

 

 

Options for Increasing Revenue

 

How many average-pledging members would we need to gain to achieve solvency?  How does this number compare to the number of members we generally gain in a year, or to the number of visitors we usually see in a year?  What would that do to the size/ character of the church?  What would be the issues associated with seeing potential members as walking revenue streams?  And so on...

 

I would like to work on a breakdown of the additional funds needed to make the church solvent ($3,000 more/ month, according to the report), and what combination of increased pledges, increased rental income, and increased fundraising might make it work.

 

     

  • Increased Revenue through Pledges
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For example, relying on an increase in pledges alone would probably require an additional $450/ year from each family in a position to increase its pledge (assuming 80 families can do so).  This would represent a 27% increase in pledge for the average FJUU family.  This would require a HUGE pledge drive push, and probably a huge membership drive.

 

     

  • Increased Revenue through Rentals
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Similarly, relying on an increase in rentals alone, at current rates, would require us to hold 24 weddings/ receptions per year, or an average of 2 weddings and receptions per month, plus an additional 24 events throughout the year.  This would in turn require a HUGE marketing campaign, and some volunteer effort to clean Coleman Hall and the kitchen.

Some combination of these things, combined with a fundraiser, might be ideal, but again would require a great deal of commitment from church members. When understanding/ voting on their options, I think that people need to understand that the choice to reject any of the truly unpalatable choices is also a choice to put unprecedented effort into the future of the church.

 

     

  • Increased Revenue through Membership
  •  

 

In addition to continuing our current outreach to prospective members through our website and social media, we may want to expend some effort on a marketing / branding effort. There are several on-line resources for instruction on branding churches. Perhaps this could be considered as preparation for a membership drive.

 

Rental Income Options

 

Combination of Options

 

An example of increasing income through combined strategies:

 

Increase pledge income by 10%: Additional $1241.20 per month ($14/ month/ family; approximately $165/ year per member family)

Eliminate janitorial service 2x/ month: Additional $220 per month

Increase rental income by one small wedding or 2 smaller events per month: Additional $650 per month

Increase membership by 5% (an additional 5 families): An estimated additional $682.85 per month

Receive one $1,000 grant for special projects: Additional $83.33 per month

Increase rentals of community garden plots: An additional $21 per month

One meal fundraiser per month: An additional $150 per month

Total increase in revenue: $3048.38

Stay in Our Current Church – Dismiss All Staff and Move to Fellowship Model

 

Dismissing the minister and moving to a lay-led ministry model would require a re-imagination of our worship services. Due to resource constraints, other UU congregations that operate on a fellowship model have less worship-themed services and instead follow a more secular meeting model. Moving to this model could require sacrificing some of the more spiritual components of our worship services, including regular sermons. Alternatively, it could require holding worship services only 2 times per month. These changes may appeal to some members.

 

Additionally, with an aging core membership, the minister is available to perform memorial services when needed. We had five memorial services at First Jeff in 2013. It is doubtful that there are many current members versed in the art of preparing memorial services. This would be an additional burden on the volunteers of Worship Arts and possibly the Caring and Sharing Committee.

 

Worship Arts volunteers currently spend approximately 30 hours per month on worship services (Approximately 20 volunteer hours are required to put together a single fully lay-led service, and 5-10 volunteer hours are required to put together a lay-led service with a guest minister/ speaker.) Keeping our current worship structure, a fully lay-led model would require 80 volunteer hours per month, or more than twice the current time commitment. Because the show must go on, i.e., worship must happen on time regardless of circumstances, worship arts requires a special level of volunteer commitment. During the past 5 years, there have been only 2 Sunday services at which neither of the Worship Arts co-chairs were present. Co-chairs arrive at the church one hour before the beginning of service to greet guest speakers, coordinate last-minute announcements, supervise sanctuary setup, etc. These circumstances often preclude volunteers who lack reliable transportation, who have other commitments during the hour before service, or who have outside responsibilities or illnesses that may prevent them from coming regularly to church. Hence, it has always been difficult to find volunteers able and willing to hold these positions. It is unrealistic to expect current Worship Arts volunteers to more than double their volunteer hours, nor is it clear that additional Worship Arts volunteers can be recruited easily. Some of the above changes would therefore be necessary.

 

The office coordinator currently handles all building rentals, rental marketing, and negotiation of service contracts (eg., waste and utilities). Loss of this position could result in a loss of rental income, due to decreased marketing, an inability to respond to rental queries in a timely manner, or inability to provide prospective renters with building tours. It could also result in the church paying higher fees for service contracts.

 

Because office volunteers would need to be trained in the phone system, the file system, electronic communication systems, procedures for creating and printing the order of service, etc., the current administrator would be paid for approximately 1-2 weeks of work simply to train replacements. Approximately 20 volunteer hours per week would be required to fulfill administrative duties.

 

 

Stay in Our Current Church – Dismiss Minister and Hire DRE; No Change to Office Staff

 

Dismissing the minister and moving to a lay-led ministry model would require a re-imagination of our worship services. Due to resource constraints, other UU congregations that operate on a fellowship model have less worship-themed services and instead follow a more secular meeting model. Moving to this model could require sacrificing some of the more spiritual components of our worship services, including regular sermons. Alternatively, it could require holding worship services only 2 times per month.

 

Additionally, with an aging core membership, the minister is available to perform memorial services when needed. We had five memorial services at First Jeff in 2013. It is doubtful that there are many current members versed in the art of preparing memorial services. This would be an additional burden on the volunteers of Worship Arts and possibly the Caring and Sharing Committee.

 

Having a volunteer DRE would require approximately 35-40 volunteer hours per week, by conservative estimate. Duties would include all administrative paperwork currently handled by the half-time MRE, teacher recruitment and training, Sunday morning RE coordination, implementation of summer camp, incorporation of youth program participants into worship services, RE fundraising and monitoring and replacement of RE supplies.

 

 

Worship Arts volunteers currently spend approximately 30 hours per month on worship services (Approximately 20 volunteer hours are required to put together a single fully lay-led service, and 5-10 volunteer hours are required to put together a lay-led service with a guest minister/ speaker.) Keeping our current worship structure, a fully lay-led model would require 80 volunteer hours per month, or more than twice the current time commitment. Because the show must go on, i.e., worship must happen on time regardless of circumstances, worship arts requires a special level of volunteer commitment. During the past 5 years, there have been only 2 Sunday services at which neither of the Worship Arts co-chairs were present. Co-chairs arrive at the church one hour before the beginning of service to greet guest speakers, coordinate last-minute announcements, supervise sanctuary setup, etc. These circumstances often preclude volunteers who lack reliable transportation, who have other commitments during the hour before service, or who have outside responsibilities or illnesses that may prevent them from coming regularly to church. Hence, it has always been difficult to find volunteers able and willing to hold these positions.

 

 

Stay in Our Current Church – Minister Half-Time Only; Volunteer DRE; No Change to Office Staff

 

Having a volunteer DRE would require approximately 35-40 volunteer hours per week, by conservative estimate. Duties would include all administrative paperwork currently handled by the half-time MRE, teacher recruitment and training, Sunday morning RE coordination, implementation of summer camp, incorporation of youth program participants into worship services, RE fundraising and monitoring and replacement of RE supplies.

 

 

Sell Our Building and Buy a Smaller Church

 

Advantages – Potentially could lower our mortgage payment. Potentially could lower our overhead for heating/AC, energy, etc.

 

Disadvantages – We would lose the home we have grown comfortable in for decades. We would have to be willing to give up and adapt to a smaller space. We would face significant challenges providing the same level of youth RE which is a major draw for new member families, likely reducing or completely eliminating the classes. We might also have to eliminate child care and paradoxically need more sanctuary room to accommodate children with no other place to go. We would have less sanctuary space and would no longer be able to have everyone welcome for pot lucks and holiday meals. We would lose the rental income we currently rely upon, further increasing our financial difficulties. We would lose our perceived position in the local and religious communities. By needing to downsize, we would seem to be losing our place in the eyes of our own members, the local community, and most-importantly, potential new members. If we were to downsize by moving to a smaller building, we should expect not only a drop off of new member interest, but it a likelihood that a large percentage of our members would simply leave the congregation.

 

If the building is sold and a new one purchased, there is no guarantee we would get an adequate asking price that would alleviate our current mortgage burden. As with a private home, we may lose out on the deal and selling is always contingent upon finding a qualified buyer. There may be no other congregation willing or able to purchase it. Our building may stay on the market for months or years, all of that time still requiring mortgage payments, insurance fees, utilities, security services, etc. while we are trying to pay for a new mortgage. Realtor fees and administrative costs for a building of this value would potentially take upwards of $100,000 out of our already-strained equity and resources.

 

Moving from one facility to another would require the payment of new utility deposits, phone contracts, security services, waste services, janitorial fees, etc. If there are no volunteers, a commercial moving company would have to be contracted at yet more expense to our resources. Invariably, a sale of this property would likely require repairs or upgrades discovered during a pre-sale inspection. Those repairs and upgrades would further strain our budget.

 

If the building is sold and we move to a new church, there would be significant logistical issues regarding the disposal of those furnishings, audio-visual equipment, pianos, archives, office machines, kitchen items, RE supplies, library books, and such that would not fit in a smaller place. It is far easier to move what you have into a larger space, than deal with what you have in a location with less capacity.

 

It is hard to think of any organization, corporation, or educational entity that has gotten better and ultimately thrived after getting smaller.

 

Community Displacement – There are many organizations besides the church that would be displaced if the building were sold. A brief list includes: Al-Anon, meditation class, Jefferson Freedom Café, Happy Tomato, PFLAG, Spectrum, North Texas Astrological Society, and neighborhood voting site.

 

What We Would Need To Do – There are numerous jobs that would need to be accomplished if we were to take this option. A task force would need to be created to search out a realtor and oversee all inspections, and regulatory requirements involved in a sale of our current building. A task force would also need to be created to investigate potential offers and recommend acceptance or declination. We would need a task force to locate and decide upon a new church to purchase. We would need volunteers for committees to decide which furnishings, equipment, RE supplies, kitchen utensils and equipment, folding tables and chairs, etc. we keep and what we get rid of. We would need volunteers to organize and accomplish the actual disposal of excess materials, furnishings, office supplies, etc. through garage sales, private sales, or donation. Dealing with these issues regarding our library would be a formidable task in its own right. After those tasks are managed, we would need willing, able, and available volunteers to actually pick up and move those furnishings, AV equipment, supplies and materials, etc., to the new building. We would need pick-ups and trailers to accomplish this. People would then need to volunteer to actually set up and arrange everything in the new building.

 

Sell Our Current Building and Rent a Smaller Church or Rental Space

 

Advantages – Would eliminate our mortgage. Could possibly reduce or eliminate our overhead for utilities, heating, cooling, insurance, security.

 

Disadvantages – We would lose the home we have grown comfortable in for decades. We would have to be willing to give up and adapt to a smaller space. We would face significant challenges providing the same level of youth RE which is a major draw for new member families, likely reducing or completely eliminating the classes. We might also have to eliminate child care and paradoxically need more sanctuary room to accommodate children with no other place to go. We would have less sanctuary space and would no longer be able to have everyone welcome for pot lucks and holiday meals. We would lose the rental income we currently rely upon, further increasing our financial difficulties. We would lose our perceived position in the local and religious communities. By needing to downsize, we would seem to be losing our place in the eyes of our own members, the local community, and most-importantly, potential new members. If we were to downsize by moving to a smaller building, expect not only a drop off of new member interest, but it is likely that a large percentage of our members would leave the congregation.

 

If the building is sold and a new one leased, there is no guarantee we would get an adequate asking price alleviating our current mortgage burden. As with a private home, we may lose out on the deal and selling is always contingent upon finding a qualified buyer. There may be no other congregation willing or able to purchase it. Our building may stay on the market for months or years, all of that time still requiring mortgage payments, insurance fees, utilities, security services, etc. while concurrently needing to pay for a leased building. Realtor fees and administrative costs for a building of this value would potentially take upwards of $100,000 out of our already-strained equity and resources. There is no guarantee that we could find a rental location available for which the monthly rental fees are any lower than our current mortgage. In fact, we currently pay approximately $0.30/ sq foot per month in mortgage/ insurance/ security system costs. As area building rental rates currently start at closer to $0.50/ sq ft/ month, not including insurance, we would need to downsize our space by almost half to achieve the same monthly payment. We would not be growing equity and value.

 

If we were to move into a non-church building or rental space, we would lose our physical sense of church and spirituality. We could likely end up in a single-story office-type building and would no longer enjoy the ambiance and beauty of our soaring heights, quilts, acoustics, etc.

 

Moving from one facility to another would require the payment of new utility deposits, phone contracts, security services, waste services, janitorial fees, etc. If there are no volunteers, a commercial moving company would have to be contracted at yet more expense to our resources. Invariably, a sale of this property would likely require repairs or upgrades discovered during a pre-sale inspection. Those repairs and upgrades would further strain our budget.

 

If the building is sold and we move to a new church, there would be significant logistical issues regarding disposing of those furnishings, audio-visual equipment, office machines, kitchen items, RE supplies, library books, archives, and such that would not fit in a smaller place. It is far easier to move what you have into a larger space than deal with what you have in a location with less capacity.

 

It is hard to think of any organization, corporation, or educational entity that has gotten better and ultimately thrived after getting smaller.

 

What We Would Need To Do – There are numerous jobs that would need to be accomplished if we were to take this option. A task force would need to be created to search out a realtor and oversee all inspections, and regulatory requirements involved in the sale of our current building. A task force would also need to be created to investigate potential offers and recommend acceptance or declination. We would need a task force to locate an acceptable new building for rental and negotiate an acceptable lease. We would need volunteers for committees to decide what furnishings, equipment, RE supplies, kitchen utensils and equipment, folding tables and chairs, etc. we keep and what we get rid of. We would need volunteers to organize and accomplish the actual disposal of excess materials, furnishings, office supplies, etc. through garage sales, private sales, or donation. Dealing with these issues regarding our library would be a formidable task in its own right. After those tasks are managed, we would need willing, able, and available volunteers to actually pick up and move those furnishings, AV equipment, supplies and materials, etc., to the new building. We would need pick-ups and trailers to accomplish this. People would then need to volunteer to actually set up and arrange everything in the new building.

 

 

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Report on the feasibility of selling First Jefferson UU Church

January 30, 2014

Richard Marshall

I am providing this report as a member of the task force that was set up to investigate various strategies relative to the current financial crisis. My task was to determine the feasibility of selling the church. My goal is to provide facts to the leaders as input to decisions, so I will try to focus on facts rather than opinions.

Facts about the Property

Square footage of the building

This turns out to be a controversial matter. The records of the Tarrant Appraisal District (TAD) say 9075 sq ft, which is way too low and must be incorrect. A note on the blueprints of the building say 17,750 SF, which is too high and must be incorrect. I made measurements on the blueprints and came up with an estimated 13,000 SF. I have guesses as to why there are discrepancies, but for brevity will not write them here.

Getting the square footage pinned down is important, because real estate agents and potential buyers will see the TAD number. If we list the church for sale at a different number, they will be puzzled by it. It will be an obstacle to sale. That's per the real estate agent. So if we decide to sell, the TAD records should be updated. To do that, it may be necessary to have an appraisal done by a real estate professional, which is expensive. Note that my number is only an estimate.

Seating

This is one of the metrics of listing a church for sale. First Jefferson has seating for 150, not counting the choir or the small area to the right of the stage.

Land

3.6 acres

Zoning

Is zoned "A-5" One-Family. The agent says it is common to build a church where there is that zoning, so it is not a problem. But potentially the property could attract a buyer who wants to use it for something other than a church. In that case zoning would be an issue.

Mortgage

The balance owed is approximately $527,000.

 

Discussions with the Real Estate Agent

About the agent

It is recommended that when attempting to sell a church property, the seller should use a real estate agent with the specialized experience of selling churches. I looked on the internet at websites that show churches up for sale, and found an agent who is handling the sale of several:

Gene Livens
Service Realty, Inc
5405 Hidden Trails Drive, Arlington
817-516-0071
churchproperties.net
www.servicerealty.com
churchrealty.com

He has a broker's license, is a Realtor, and specializes primarily churches, but also schools, day cares, funeral homes, etc. Attached is a letter from him introducing himself.

Discussions

The agent emphasized two points:

Before deciding to sell the church, we should look for what is available for a new home.
If you do decide to sell, the sooner you make the decision, the better.

He says that normally it takes 1 to 1.5 years to sell a church, but at present it takes 2 to 3 years. It all depends on waiting for some buyer who wants this kind of building in this area. The agent said that our chances of selling would be increased if the mortgage holder (UUA) would be willing to finance a buyer. We can continue occupying this property while it's on the market. It is common for the seller to remain in the church for 1-2 months after sale.

Most churches are not listed in the MLS. Most agents who deal in churches have other ways to market them. Our agent uses other ways and MLS too. See his letter for more about marketing.

The value of the extra land (3.6 acres) will vary a lot depending on the buyer. That is, different buyers will value it differently.

First Jeff is on a site that does not get good "visibility." That means we are on a lightly traveled street, not on a major highway or freeway. This has a negative effect on selling.

He said he can help us find a new place if we want to buy instead of lease. And he could help us find people who would lease the church.

His commission is 6 to 7%. If he is also the agent of the buyer, it's 6%. Otherwise it's 7% which he divides with the other agent. He says that he can be the agent of the seller and buyer at the same time, and this is common. To me this is a potential conflict of interest. If First Jeff decides to proceed and sell, we need to discuss this with him some more and establish guidelines.

When I first talked with the agent, he said it would be "difficult" to sell it for 500k, the approximate amount of the mortgage. After discussions and viewing the property he said:

"I would recommend listing your property at $799,000 and hope to get around $600,000."

The Meadow

As a sidelight to selling the property, I raised the idea of selling just the vacant land way out back. There are 1.5 acres beyond the rear parking lot that are not being used, and I thought a developer might do something with that. The agent said it would be a "tough sell." It has "minimal value" and "is not very marketable." It's not of much interest to a developer. The area has low priced homes, so new homes could not be priced much higher. It's problematic getting a new street to there, and expensive. If the developer had to construct the street, the cost would be prohibitive. The land looks low - we would need to see if it was in a flood plain or flood way. The idea is not being pursued.

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Combine With Another Church

 

Advantages – We could pool our resources with another church in similar circumstances and more-completely utilize our sanctuary and share our overhead costs.

 

Disadvantages – We would have to locate and identify another congregation with similar and compatible needs that is willing to consider an offer, and the odds of finding that within the time frame needed would seem remote. Combining and blending the spirituality, philosophy, emotions, and personality of two congregations would be a formidable task. We are already at or near capacity for available parking and space in Coleman Hall for pot lucks and holiday dinners.

 

What We Would Need To Do - Volunteers would have to reach out and locate another congregation that might be willing to combine with us. Task forces from both sides would need to negotiate issues regarding selection of minister and RE director as well as other paid staff. Other task forces would need to be formed for any other number of issues such as deciding which church building to move to, how to rearrange our assets to accommodate an influx of new members, the rewriting of bylaws and policy, the re-manning and organization of committees and volunteer responsibilities, etc.

 

Disband First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church

 

Advantages – It would eventually alleviate all our financial obligations, and the need for volunteers to donate their time and effort to keep our doors open.

 

Disadvantages – The obvious most-important effect is that we would cease to exist as a spiritual entity. Disbanding may seem simple, but the disposal of the physical property and all associated assets would be a massive undertaking as described in previous sections. We may also incur substantial costs in the course of disbanding.

 

What We Would Need To Do – Major volunteer efforts would need to occur to manage the sale of real property, the disposal or distribution of materials, supplies, and furnishings, the canceling of contracts, services, and associations, the firing of paid staff, and any number of other details. All congregants would need to find other acceptable locations to satisfy the spiritual needs of their families and themselves.

 

From the Bylaws:

ARTICLE XII (DISSOLUTION)

Should this church cease to function, the membership may vote to disband by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of voting members present.

In the event of the dissolution of the congregation, all outstanding debts shall be paid and the remaining assets, both real and personal, and including all property heretofore and hereinafter donated to said congregation, shall become the property of the Unitarian Universalist Association, 25 Beacon Street, Boston Massachusetts, or its successor, subject to all applicable laws.

Propose Alternative Solutions to Our Financial Situation

 

What We Would Need To Do – Get involved and bring ideas to our monthly board meetings or elevate them up to any member of the Board. Think of new and innovative ways to increase our cash income through boosting member contributions, donating to or purchasing items at our service auctions, referring friends, family and co-workers who may potentially rent our facilities for private parties, weddings, or business opportunities. Be a representative to the biennial Star-Telegram Wedding Shows and promote and enlist wedding rentals. Identify start-up small businesses, yoga trainers, tutors, music teachers, or any others that could rent office space in the RE wing during the week. Use our kitchen to make "First Jefferson" brand breads, jams, or preserves for sale at farmer’s markets. Promote membership by hosting neighborhood Friday night movie/popcorn/snack parties. Help the Green Sanctuary folks get the community garden off the ground. If you are an amateur artist, craftsman, or musician, donate any money from sales of your work to the church. Buy and proudly wear a "Standing on the Side of Love" t-shirt and be enthusiastic about preaching our message. Think of something else to save and promote our wonderful spiritual home, get involved, and help in any way you are willing and able.

 

If nothing else is done, simply increasing our membership would substantially improve the financial health of our congregation. Make a personal commitment to invite neighbors, co-workers, family, or friends to our many unique services such as Dia de Los Muertes, our Mother’s Day flower tribute, the annual water in-gathering, or any other special holiday presentation. This one thing could introduce a whole new group to our Unitarian Universalist faith and ultimately lead to a larger, stronger, healthier, more vibrant. and diverse membership.

 

 

Last Updated on Friday, 20 October 2017 13:25
 
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