In our UCC congregational polity (church governance), the congregation is the ultimate decision-maker. But the decision before us is never what any of us or even all of us, the congregation, want. Rather, our system insists that we are to decide what God wants, and nothing less. “Not my will, but thy will be done,” to quote Jesus. While our Elders and Standing Leadership Groups and Directors and Staff have to make a whole lot of decisions for us in between Congregational Meetings, the important ones are saved for when we all gather together. Congregational Meetings are important for the life of Old First.
- Two years ago at the 2016 Annual Meeting, we approved an action plan for the Capital Campaign that involved concentrating our improvements on the Sanctuary building and investigating other possibilities for the buildings / land along 4th Street.
- Last May (2017), at a specially-called Congregational Meeting, we voted to proceed with looking for a development partner with whom we might replace the Fox and CE Buildings with a new building that would provide permanent housing for homeless people and office and administrative space for the church.
- Coming up on Sunday, there is no immediate decision before us. Rather, a recommendation is being presented, and a process suggested, that in a month or two, we might have another congregational meeting to vote on the recommendation. The recommendation involves the choice of a particular developer and very preliminary design scheme for the project. The recommendation will explain why this developer and plan has been chosen as preferrable. The elders want to offer the congregation the time and space to fully understand this recommendation. For example, we will probably schedule a time for the developers and the social service provider to make a presentation to the congregation.
Below are the reports that the church has received for the Annual Meeting, Sunday, 28. January 2018 after worship.
We will add more as we receive them. There will be a few printed copies at the Annual Meeting itself. And there will be enough printed copies of each action item for everyone present. This Annual Meeting involves the normal business that is handled every year at this time: Approving a Budget and Elections of Leaders. The high point of the meeting will be the Capital Campaign. It’s good news and a time for thanksgiving. There’s money to get us going on Phase 2: the redesign and renovation of the front courtyard. And then there’s this emerging possibility of a new building. Michael challenged the people in church on Sunday: “who can you call and invite to make sure everyone gets to the annual meeting?” His challenge stands: let’s turn everyone out. P.S. Don’t forget the potluck luncheon that proceeds the meeting (or worship before that).
2017 Financial Position Report
Parcel Committee’s Recommendation