Below are the minutes from our monthly Church Leadership Council meetings. Minutes are typically published one month after meeting.

CLC Meeting Minutes by Month

April 20, 2021 meeting minutes

Present– Sally Carlton (Inreach), Tim Damon (Moderator, CEC), Robert Grammo (Music & Worship), Jim Johnson (Deacons), Lisa Kochian (Outreach), Al Lehmann (Properties), Martha May (Finance), Roy Perdue (Treasurer), Karlene Shea (Personnel), Paula Thouin (Clerk)

Absent- Bobbie Morkin (Pastoral Team), Chuck Morkin (Pastoral Team)

The meeting was called to order by Moderator, Tim Damon at 6:33 p.m. Tim opened the meeting with a prayer.

The March meeting minutes were accepted as corrected.

Clerk’s Report– No changes.

There will be a notice in this week’s Church Update encouraging church members to volunteer to serve on the Pastoral Search Committee. The committee will consist of 5-7 members and should represent a diverse representation of our church membership.

Treasurer’s Report– Roy sent out his reports via email for members to review in advance of the meeting. He explained some of the items that were printed in red.

Finance- The asking price for the sale of the Robinson Center has been set at $614,810 ($35 per sq. ft./17,566 sq. ft.) Mel’s Restaurant, which abuts the Robinson Center, is also for sale under the same realty company but with a different broker.

The topic of leaving the UCC Conference was brought up. Pros and cons were discussed. No action or vote was taken. There was also a discussion of moving the pastor’s office to the main level, possibly next to the office. This could be achieved by dividing Parlor C (presently being used as the nursery) to make two rooms. Some members felt that having the pastor’s office in that location would make him/her more accessible to members and to staff. This was referred to the Properties Committee to investigate the feasibility and costs. It was suggested that Robert form a sub-committee to explore hiring a church organist/choir director.

Worship & Music- Robert reported that the Sunday worship service on April 25th will be held via Facebook and YouTube from 10:00-10:35 a.m. There will be a Service of Release/Litany of Farewell held at 10:35 a.m. via Zoom. It will be conducted by Rev. Terry Yasuko-Ogawa and Tim Damon, Moderator.

Personnel- The Personnel Committee will be working on a salary and benefit package for the interim pastor and new pastor.

Properties- The return pipe in the boiler room that has been leaking still needs to be replaced. The organs and pianos need to be tuned. Al is still waiting for another bid for the tower repair.

Inreach- Sally delivered 8 Easter lilies to our shut-in members and made several visits.

New Business- There was a discussion of removing the park bench from the Appleton Street entrance due to it being used as a sleeping area for homeless persons. It was decided not to remove the bench at the present time and to monitor the situation.

Sally announced that she was resigning as the Chairperson of the Inreach Committee as of May 1st.

There being no further business brought forth, the meeting adjourned at 8:09 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Paula L. Thouin, Clerk

March 16, 2021 Meeting Minutes

Present- Sally Carlton (Inreach), Tim Damon (Moderator, CEC), Robert Grammo (Worship & Music), Jim Johnson (Deacons), Lisa Kochian (Outreach), Al Lehmann (Properties), Martha May (Finance), Roy Perdue (Treasurer), Karlene Shea (Personnel), Paula Thouin (Clerk)

Absent- Chuck Morkin (Pastoral Team), Bobbie Morkin (Pastoral Team)

The meeting was called to order by Moderator, Tim Damon at 6:42 p.m. It was held via Zoom. Tim introduced Rev. Terry Yasuko- Ogawa, Regional Conference Minister of the Southern New England Conference who opened our meeting with a prayer. Rev. Terri gave a presentation entitled “The Journey of a Pastoral Transition”. She stated that it is a sacred journey that will take time. She said that she and Rev. Martha Goodman would be available as resources to our Search Committee. She also explained the three choices for us to consider and the duties of each- Pastoral Supply Ministers, Bridge Ministers, and Intentional Interim Ministers. She suggested that we call an Intentional Interim Minister.

Upon the conclusion of Rev. Terri’s presentation, our regular business meeting was held.

The February meeting minutes were accepted as amended.

Clerk’s Report- 1 death: Pamela Rodzen on 3/8/21. A letter of Transfer of Membership was received from the Granby Congregational Church for Rev. Lance Humphrey and Shaina Humphrey. We unanimously accepted both Lance and Shaina into membership. The clerk will fill out the paperwork to send to the Granby church notifying them of the transfer.

Treasurer’s Report- Roy stated that the balance in our bank account is dwindling due to unexpected expenses. He has opted to pay the fee for licensing of Quick Books for the whole year instead of paying it monthly. Roy also sent his February report to all CLC members via email for review before the meeting,

Inreach- Sally recommended that we list our church in The Family Resource Guide that is published locally. She recommended that we delay our Centennial Celebration for a year due to Covid-19 and other issues.

Outreach- The “Souper March” fundraiser has proven to be a huge success, netting over $360 to continue funding the weekly Peanut Butter and Jelly Lunch Sack Project. Lisa brought forth the name of Nicole (Giroux) Neto. Nicole expressed her desire to be moved from the inactive member list to the active member list. She also has requested to serve on the Outreach Committee. A motion was made and seconded to approve the addition of Nicole Neto to the Outreach Committee. Motion passed. Several hundred white flags will be placed on our church lawn in memory of those who lost their lives to Covid-19 in the Greater Holyoke area. The issue of the locked gate on the High Street entrance was brought up, as was bringing the large picnic table back outside. These were tabled to our next meeting.

Finance- The Finance Committee has been looking into several options for the E.B. Robinson Center. Tearing the building down would be very costly. The building is commercially zoned. A realtor has estimated that we could list the property at $702,000. The realtor would receive a 5% commission. A motion was made by Martha that the CLC recommend to the congregation that the Robinson Center be sold. The motion was seconded. Following discussion, a vote was taken by a show of hands- 7 yea, 2 nay and 1 abstention. Motion carried. A letter will be sent out to all active members of the congregation along with a mail-in ballot.

Personnel- Karleen nominated Paula Thouin to the Personnel Committee. A motion was made to accept the nomination. The motion was seconded. Motion passed.

Personnel- Al stated that the gate on High Street will be locked at the end of each weekday and unlocked each morning. Recently there were lights left on in the altar area of the sanctuary.

Worship & Music- Holy Week Services will include an interactive Maundy Thursday Service via Zoom, a Good Friday Service at noon, which will be streamed on Chuck’s Facebook page and on UCCH YouTube and an Easter Sunday Service which will also be live-streamed. A motion was made and seconded to review going back to in-person services. Motion passed. We will review this at our April CLC meeting.

There being no further business at hand, the meeting adjourned at 9:55 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Paula L. Thouin, Clerk

February 16, 2021 Meeting Minutes


Present– Sally Carlton (Inreach), Tim Damon (Moderator, CEC), Robert Grammo (Worship & Music), Jim Johnson (Deacons), Lisa Kochian (Outreach), Al Lehmann (Properties), Martha May (Finance), Bobbie Morkin (Pastoral Team), Chuck Morkin (Pastoral Team), Roy Perdue (Treasurer), Karlene Shea (Personnel), Paula Thouin (Clerk)

The meeting was called to order at 6:33 p.m. The January CLC minutes were accepted as printed. The minutes from the Congregational Meeting to accept the 2021 Budget, which was held via Zoom on February 7th, were also accepted as printed.

Clerk’s Report- 1 death: Shirley Morrison on 2/6/21.

Treasurer’s Report- Roy went over his latest report which was sent to all CLC members via email.

Open Discussion– The topic of the term limit for the Treasurer was discussed. Due to the COVID pandemic, it was decided to maintain all current officers and committee chairs for one more year. We will review the Treasurer’s term limits in the future.

Deacons– Jim presented the following members’ names who have indicated a desire to become deacons- Sharon Farmer, Joy Harrington, Lisa Hraba, and Elizabeth Veillette. A motion was made to accept all four members as deacons. The motion was seconded and passed with one abstention.

Inreach– Sally reported that we have been meeting for almost 6 months on Zoom for Coffee Time, which has been a successful way for people to keep in touch. The six-month anniversary of Coffee Time was February 5th. Attendance averages about 13 participants. It has been as many as 19 people on some Saturdays and regularly about 11 people. Thanks to all who attend and share! Sally would like to see a list of resources that could be posted on our website. Sally will work on developing it. Sally has also been working on Motivational Messages which will be included in the Weekly Updates.

Outreach– The Valentine cookie sale raised $60 for the PB & J lunch sack project. The recent warm clothing give-away was successful. One more warm clothing give-away will be held sometime in March. The Outreach Committee will be doing a soup sale in March. The proceeds will go to further fund the PB & J project.

Worship & Music– Sunday morning services are still being live streamed on the church’s web site and on Chuck’s Facebook page.

Pastoral Team– A Lenten discussion group based on some of Emily Dickinson’s poems and related scriptures will be held on Saturdays during Lent for 10:45-11:15 via Zoom. A Maundy Thursday Service will also be held via Zoom. Chuck will be meeting with a representative from the Salvation Army to discuss ways to further outreach to the community.

Finance– The Finance Committee is in the early stages of researching the possibility of selling the Robinson Center which would ease some of our financial burdens.

New Business- The Performance Project is looking for sponsors for their upcoming performance on April 24th. It was suggested that we donate $500. A motion was made and seconded to donate $500. The motion passed unanimously.

There being no further business, the meeting ended with the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer.

The meeting adjourned at 7:50 p.m.

The next CLC Meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 16th at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom.

Agenda items are due to be submitted to the church office by Friday, March 12th by noon.

Respectfully submitted,

Paula L. Thouin, Clerk

Meeting Mintues from January 20, 2021

Present- Sally Carlton (Inreach), Tim Damon (Moderator, CEC), Robert Grammo (Worship & Music), Lisa Kochian (Outreach), Al Lehmann (Properties), Bobbie Morkin (Pastoral Team), Chuck Morkin (Pastoral Team), Roy Perdue (Treasurer), Karlene (Personnel), Paula Thouin (Clerk)

Absent- Jim Johnson (Deacons), Martha May (Finance)

The meeting was called to order by Tim Damon, Moderator at 6:47 p.m. Chuck opened the meeting with a prayer. The December minutes were accepted as printed.

Clerk’s Report- 1 death: Hazel Masse on 1/13/2021

Treasurer’s Report- Roy sent his report to all CLC members via email. It is essentially the end of the year report except for a few items still to be received. He explained some of the line items that were either under or over budget.

There was a discussion of having an agenda for our meetings. It was decided that agenda items for upcoming meetings should be sent to Andrea by the Wednesday prior to the next meeting.

The topic of term limits for the Treasurer was tabled to our next meeting due to Jim Johnson’s absence.

A date for a Congregational Meeting to Approve the Budget was set for Sunday, February 7th at 2:00 p.m. via Zoom. Notice of the meeting will be included in the Weekly Updates.

Pastoral Team- The weekly services via Facebook and YouTube have moved from the sanctuary to Skinner Chapel. There were many positive responses to the service that featured members thoughts on the Advent themes of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.

Worship & Music- The Sunday services continue to be streamed via Facebook and YouTube due the continuing high numbers of the Corona Virus. Easter is on April 4th this year. The service will probably be done online but we will evaluate the possibility of an in-person service if it is deemed to be safe to do so. We will have a few lilies to decorate the altar.

Outreach- The Winter Warm-up Project continues to go well. Coats and other warm clothing will be given out in Westport this Saturday and in Holyoke on January 30th. The Outreach Committee is planning on selling Valentine cookies in February and homemade soups in March. The monies from these sales will help to fund the ongoing PB &J sandwich lunches that we have been giving to Kate’s Kitchen for distribution on Fridays. We are hopeful that another community garden can be planted this year.

Inreach- Unfortunately, we never got to interview Hazel before she passed. Phone calls have been made and cards have been sent to our shut-ins as a way of letting them know that we are thinking of them. The Seekers group continues to meet via Zoom and is going well.

Personnel- There were no changes to the vacation accruals for church employees for this year.

Properties- The tower repair bid from Artec is $80,000. Al is waiting for a third bid. There was a large donation of dishes from a former caterer. The Robinson Center continues to receive rent from three churches. There has been some interest from the Masonic Temple to rent space at the Robinson Center.

New Business- It was suggested that a motivational message be sent out each week.

There being no other business to discuss, the meeting adjourned at 7:55 p.m.

The next CLC meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 16th at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. Agenda items are due to be submitted to the church office by Wednesday, February 10th.

Respectfully submitted,

Paula L. Thouin, Clerk