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Council Minutes

MARCH 17, 2020

Attending: Carolyn Ball, Rick Hamilton, Sherry Lambert, Sue Lewis, David Sandridge, Andrea Zimmerman, Matt Zimmerman, Isaac Collins, Wayne Malbon, Juliana Piacentini, with Paige Sharpe and Angelique Ciliberti from Arnold & Porter

Not present: Alan Drinkwater, Roger McDonald


Arnold and Porter Discussion

  1. Introductions (Paige Sharpe and Angelique Ciliberti, from Arnold & Porter’s D.C. office)

  2. Review of Maria’s current status and interactions with ICE, including timeline A&P is aware of

  3. Overview of potential legal claims and requirements

    1. 1st Amendment

    2. Less well-known, Religious Freedom Restoration Act--government practice is placing substantial burden on religious practice (similar to bullet above but low bar and fairly easy to meet)

    3. Requirements to meet: 1st is Standing--imminent fear or threat of injury; 2nd is Rightness--now is right time to bring case (something is about to happen and a lawsuit could solve the problem)

  4. Discussion regarding effects on congregation

    1. Council talked about history of social justice of this congregation through Civil War, Vietnam War (including refugee resettlement), homeless shelter through PACEM in church, and letting LGBTQ individuals hold events on grounds and then extended inclusivity further

    2. Denomination put out a global statement in favor of what we are doing after we began sanctuary

    3. Letters and notes from church members

  5. Recommendations and next steps

    1. A&P will write a template complaint/motion and leave blanks to fill in, and if the government makes a more threatening move, they can fill those in and file the motion immediately

    2. Other firms may be immigration rights group dealing with cases and unsure if we need to partner with Rutherford or another entity

Approval of minutes

  1. February 18 minutes--incomplete statements filled in.

  2. February 22 special discussion minutes--date changed from February 18. Removed some details regarding Chris’s situation.

  3. Sherry recommended approval, David seconded. All voted in favor, minutes approved.

Finance/Treasurer’s report

  1. February income $23,396.23. Had to draw down portion of 2020 vision account to cover Rosie and Monica. Expenses were $26,826.15 with a negative balance of $3,429.92.

  2. Maury and Sue are willing to come in weekly to make sure checks are counted and deposited. The counter sheet will be sent to Gina to submit in the system.


  1. MOU between church and the Preschool has been created. Preschool wants to come next week and measure for painting to do that work at the beginning of May. MOU would start May 1 for a full year and require they have full insurance. MOU may need clarification for whether rent is due months they do not host sessions in pre-school (question came up with the COVID19 situation where many places are closing for foreseeable future)

  2. John Hughes Tree and Landscaping will cut lawn and weeds for $450/month between March 15-November 15. Roger has committed to doing some of the work Mr. Hughes is not doing. He is doing the Wesley Foundation and also did the snow removal we had this year. It is more than D&D, but the work has been more thorough. Matt made a motion to move forward with Hughes. Wayne seconded. All voted in favor.

  3. Carolyn talked to cleaning group about cleaning less, but the company does depend on this money and questioned how often to clean and expectations. Still need to do kitchen, bathrooms, shower. Carolyn will discuss additional jobs that are not often done that we especially need at this point like buffing the pews, cleaning door handles, etc.

  4. Trustees would like to purchase a baby changing station for upstairs bathroom in sanctuary and possibly. Trustees will investigate cost and installation before next meeting.

  5. Furnace is running as if business is usual, and Carolyn suggests altering temperatures for a couple of weeks. All are okay with this.

  6. Rosie sent application to Council for swale for review and approval to move forward. This application is for funding assistance from TJSWCD to off-set the cost for building the swale.. Carolyn moved that we approve the application process. Sue seconded. All voted in favor.


  1. Nursery assistant is on agenda. Wayne and Sherry evaluated the last 3 resumes. Potential candidates did not meet our needs. Will talk to Deborah Lewis regarding suggestions to target UVA community. Isaac brought up SPR will check into this to post ad.

  2. Linda is currently paid per service, but with changes to services, she may not be able to contribute. We would like to find ways she can record prelude/postlude, music along with hymns, or other contributions to services.

  3. Rosie requested using some of her funds to take Spanish. Rick will respond this is okay.

Outreach ministries

  1. Task force with Chris-Rosie, Lou Jordan, Sue, Carolyn met to discuss situation, options, and resources.

Minister’s report

  1. Conference extended mandatory closure of churches through the end of the month. General Conference postponed and Annual Conference likely to be postponed as well. Staff will begin weekly calls to members of the church to stay in constant contact. Isaac asked for some of the educational funds to conduct interviews with scholars to keep the congregation engaged and connected with spiritual practices but still be intellectually stimulating.


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