The Vestry took two major actions at its regular meeting on Tuesday April 12: approving a report from Finance Committee chair Tom McCord to expand the committee’s role to a year-round program that will involve the full parish in long-range planning; and also approving a request from the Belfast Unitarian Universalist Church to use space at St. Margaret’s for some of its meetings and choir rehearsals while that church undergoes major renovations beginning in August this year.
The Finance Committee will assume a variety of roles for St. Margaret’s beyond preparation of the budget, working closely with the rector, wardens and Stewardship Committee to make sure that diocesan, canon, legal and accounting rules are followed and deadlines met. It will also lead the parish in “Daring Faith,” a period in May and June when parishioners will be invited to dream and advocate for specific projects they would like to see included in a new capital budget to help the church grow in 2017 and beyond. Time will be set aside for discussion on coming Sundays. The Finance Committee will then look into costs and options and report to the Vestry, which will decide priorities and choose what will become part of the 2017 capital budget. That information will help guide the Stewardship Committee when it sends out its annual pledge letter at the end of the year. More information about this process and the role of the Finance Committee will be presented in coming weeks.
In welcoming the UU Church to St. Margaret’s, the Vestry approved inclusion of four specific programs starting in August and continuing for six to eight months:
1) The UU choir will rehearse in the church on Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. There is no conflict with our own choir, which uses the parish house for its rehearsals starting at 6:30 p.m. that night.
2) A small UU youth group of 2 to 7 LGBTQ teens will meet on Fridays from 4 to 5:30 in the upstairs conference room of the parish house, led by adult leader Patty Heath.
3) A seniors’ group, “Seasoned Souls,” led by The Rev. Deane Perkins, UU minister, will meet in the parish house on Tuesdays from 10-12. This discussion group was recently featured in an article in the Bangor Daily News and usually involves 12-15 participants.
4) Once a month the UU Church will have a family night gathering and pot-luck dinner in the parish house. This will be scheduled on a month-by-month basis to avoid any conflict with St. Margaret’s use of that space. We will invite the organizers of this event to our monthly international pot lucks to help familiarize them with the kitchen and how the parish hall can be arranged for meals.