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APPROVED BY BOARD 02-06-2010

Central Midwest District,UUA

DRAFT Budget 2010-11

July 2010 - June 2011 with FY 2012 and FY 2013 Projections

           
 

2009-10 Budget

2009-10 Projected Final

Projected 2010-2011 Budget

Income
   4000 District Contributions

197,594

200,101

202,102

   4010 UUA APF Share

42,622

33,580

33,916

   4020 MUUC/MUUF District Share

37,000

35,582

35,938

Total Income

277,216

269,263

271,956

Expenses
   5000 Staff Compensation & Benefits
      Total 5010 Congregational Services Director

42,792

42,792

41,901

           5040 Cong Services Dir Professional Expenses

12,000

12,000

12,000

      Total 5020 Faith Dev & Growth Director

58,796

58,796

57,571

           5050 Faith Dev & Growth Dir Professional Expenses

16,000

16,000

12,000

      Total 5030 District Office Manager

44,520

44,978

53,467

           5060 Dist Off Mgr Professional Expenses

2,200

2,200

2,000

      Total 5070 Writer & Event Planner

6,222

6,222

7,091

          5075 Writer & Event Planner Professional Expenses

1,600

1,600

1,600

      Total 5070 Youth/YA Coordinator

16,815

16,815

19,276

         5085 Youth/Young Adult Professional

4,000

4,000

4,000

     Total 5090 Communications Coordinator

9,282

11,894

15,930

          5095 Communications Coordinator Exp.

900

900

900

      5099 Organization-Paid Payroll Taxes

28,336

24,190

11,166

   Total 5000 Staff Compensation & Benefits

243,463

242,387

235,092

   5100 District Office
      5105 Supplies/Office Expense

750

750

750

      Total 5110 Office/Storage Space

1,000

1,269

1,300

      5115 Telephone

4,000

5,000

4,500

      5120 Office Postage / Mailing Services

900

900

900

      5125 Office Printing

90

90

0

      5140 Accounting Services

3,200

3,200

3,296

      Total 5150 Temporary Help / Office Assistant    

4,500

4,500

4,837

      5160 District Liability Insurance

1,625

1,625

1,674

      5180 Business License/Annual Report to State

150

150

150

      5165 Other Expense

500

500

250

   Total 5100 District Office

17,215

17,984

17,320

   5200 Programs & Services
      5220 Website

2,746

1,200

1,200

      5225 Telecommunications

500

500

500

      5240 Midwest Leadership School

1,200

1,200

1,200

   Total 5200 Programs & Services

4,646

2,900

2,900

   5300 Board & Committees
      Total 5301 District President

1,500

1,000

1,000

      Total 5305 District Board

2,800

2,000

2,000

      5325 Board Discretionary Fund

250

250

250

      5335 District UUA Trustee

500

500

500

      5340 Nominating

275

275

275

      5350 Annual Program Fund Chair

150

150

150

      5355 Dist. Compensation Consultant

200

200

200

      5358 Ministerial Settlement Rep (PT)

1,000

1,000

700

      Total 5365 Congregational Resources

1,050

50

2,550

      5380 Religious Education Support & Resources

2,200

2,200

2,200

      5385 Women & Religion Committee

10

0

10

      5390 District Youth Steering Committee - DYSC

3,000

3,000

3,000

      5395 Young Adult Steering Committee - YASC

3,000

3,000

3,000

      5405 New Initiatives

100

0

100

   Total 5300 Board & Committees

16,035

13,625

15,935

Total Expenses

281,359

276,896

271,247

Net Income

(4,143)

(7,632)

709

Daniel_OConnellAnnual Report 2010

T.S. Eliot said April is the cruelest month, but I don’t think so. Many of us look at the coming end of the program year with a sense of relief and thanksgiving.

I am concluding my 7th year on your district board– a term and a half as ministerial trustee, and one term as your president. I look back at all your district board and leaders have accomplished– from completing implementation of policy governance, to establishment of a sermon contest, to a complete rewrite of the bylaws, to an overhaul of the nominating committee structure and election process, to electing the youngest UUA trustee, to the many hours Ian, Dori, and their staff have put in to make us the showcase district that we are to the rest of the Association.

Your district board has traveled to congregations from the snowy reaches of Wisconsin through the windswept plains of Missouri. We have met with local lay leaders, made plans, laughed, prayed, worked hard, and thoroughly enjoyed each other’s company.

Our purpose has been to “work to support, enrich, and extend Unitarian Universalism in our area.” And our ministers and lay people have started new congregations, made connections with old ones, and sought to spread the good news of our religion.  Some wonder why anyone would serve on a district board– and give up a half dozen Friday nights and Saturday days to mostly sit around talking and listening and dreaming.

George Bernard Shaw says “...the true joy in life, [is] being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; [and] being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown onto the scrap heap.”  Your district board recognizes our purpose as a “mighty one,” and I feel privileged to have served it, and to have been some small part of our common endeavors.

Blessings,

Daniel O'Connell
President, CMwD

dori-ghostranch08ian-ghostranch08Directors' Annual Report 2010

The work of the past year of leadership has been to guide our congregations through the deepest part of an exceptionally deep recession.  This has been very hard.  In some places the stress of this has caused conflict or has brought conflict to the surface.  In some places it has forced tough choices about reducing compensation or giving furloughs.  In some places it has pushed congregations to take what have felt like tough steps backward:  eliminating staff positions, moving from two services to one, or deciding to move from full-time ministry to part-time ministry or to without a minister entirely.  These overall trends were reflected in the drop in our district membership growth to the smallest rate in a long time (from a typical average of 2% to under 1%). 

Yet to say that this has been a tough time or an anxious time, does not mean it has been a bad time.  Indeed, it has been one of the most interesting times for leadership that either of us has seen during our careers.  Congregations are asking tough questions about their spending.  Hard as this may be, this is forcing reinvention.  Congregations are retooling themselves to think of sustainability in growth as in energy use—and this is a good thing.  Some congregations are thriving against all expectation.  Five congregations added more than 20 people in the last year and five grew more than 10%.  Some that did not grow in numbers achieved amazing things. Most probably remember how Obama made Elkhart, Indiana, into the symbol for the recession.  Against all probability the UU congregation in Elkhart has raised money to extend its building and construction began this winter.  We sincerely hope that this will be the one of a number of building projects to commence as reduced construction costs meet the increasing hopefulness as we move out of the recession.  This could include both Mukwonago, WI, and Naperville, IL.

On a regional basis, our partnership with neighboring districts Prairie Star and Heartland continues to flourish and grow. We’ve continued and are expanding our online offerings of webinars on a wide variety of subjects of interests to our congregations. In a number of congregations, a group assembles to participate in the webinars, and we hear from them that much good conversation and planning results from these efforts.  This is very gratifying. 

Our regional also started our first Youth Leadership School this past summer.  We held this in conjunction with the long-running Midwest Leadership School (for adults), held in July at Beloit College. 22 youth from congregations across our three districts participated.  It was a great experience for all of us!  We have been especially pleased to see that many of the youth who attended are now involved in their home congregations, serving on committees, starting new multigenerational activities and inspiring their peers to be more involved. Planning is well underway for the upcoming Leadership Schools, and we expect that the Youth School will be a great new tradition.

As you all know by now, a new president of the UUA was elected last June. Peter Morales was elected as someone to bring change and growth to Unitarian Universalism. What this has meant for us as district staff is examining our role in the growth of UUism, and where we prioritize our resources of time, energy and money. Here in CMwD, we have built a strong partnership with our growing congregations. They are already actively engaged in various helping other congregations with many aspects of congregational life, such as planning, governance, faith development, youth and young adult ministries – to name just a few. 

We feel strongly supported by our new president’s administration in continuing to focus our energy on supporting growing congregations of all sizes. We find a huge generosity of spirit among the leaders of these growing congregations. They are excited to share what they are learning with others to grow and strengthen Unitarian Universalism. 

Another part of this focus on growth includes experimentation. It is good to know that there is support for trying new things – as we all know, trying new things can be risky, but if we never risk, we may lose many opportunities. So, where we can encourage congregations in trying new things, we will offer whatever resources and research to help them have the best chance of success.  An example of this is our winter Chalice Lighter grant, which will be given to Dupage UU Church in Naperville, IL. They are expanding their advertising and outreach in a variety of new media and we will be excited to hear about their experiences.

Lastly, we would like to discuss district finances. Along with our district board, almost 2 years ago, we planned for and announced an increase in our district contribution level per member, which was to have gone into effect on July 1, 2009. We had also planned for another increase for this coming fiscal year beginning July, 2010. This was after at least 5 years of no increases.

Due to the economy, we did not institute last year’s increase and we are not going to increase the contribution level for this coming year, either. What this means is that your district staff is providing more services for less money than we had 7 years ago (given the decrease in contributions we have experienced this past year). We feel good that we have been able to continue a strong level of service, largely because of increased use of technology.  We have achieved huge efficiencies by creating a virtual work environment and letting go our lease on our physical office space.  We have achieved even more efficiencies by eliminating the paper-focus to our work.  However, this work of reinvention itself needs support and asks more of our paid staff and volunteers.  We have reached the point where staff furloughs of one week each next year will be necessary.

In lieu of asking for an increase, we are hoping that ALL of our congregations can get closer to their fare share contribution level to both the UUA and our Central Midwest District.  We are truly appreciative of those congregations that already are fair share.  If we can get a greater percentage of fair share contributions to our district and also to the UUA’s Annual Program Fund – for which we receive a bonus based on the percentage rate – we feel that we can continue to offer a high level of service and continue our reinvention work without raising the fair share level.  So, anything you can do to help your congregation achieve fair share status will make a big difference for the district.

In closing, we want to offer our thanks to all of you who make our work deeply rewarding.

Ian Evison & Dori Davenport Thexton

gretchen2009Annual Report 2010

Major projects in Communications this year included the establishment of a CMwD Media Team to record and document events at the District Assembly and other District-sponsored events. Several volunteers worked with me and District Assistant David Pyle to cover DA2009. David was even able to coordinate fresh photos from the weekend's events to present in a slideshow theat Sunday morning. We added quite a few audio and video offerings via our Podcast site, www.cmwduua.libsyn.com. We have also recorded online workshops, and photographers have reported on some of the in-person events.

Our website saw a style and structure overhaul in July after much testing and research. A new look was introduced, and several improved functions such as online registration forms and document storage were added, giving the Board, Consultants, and Chalice Lighters Committee an easy way to access some of their important documents. We added online forms for congregation contact info updates and for mailing list update requests. News feeds from the UUA and the Standing On the Side of Love campaign debuted last summer.

CMwD offered help on a website set up for a small congregation in hopes that the process would be streamlined and offered as an example to other congregations in our District who wish for a multi-functional site. This portion of the project will be complete in 2010.

Midwest Leadership School needed a new home for their site, and CMwD pitched in to help. Thanks to hosting donated by hosted by our partner, Creative Core of Algonquin IL, MWLS has a new website, www.mwls.org.

Behind the scenes, we continued to find online solutions for communications questions, researched more possibilities for improvement of our database and information distribution, fended off attacks on our site from spammers, and made improvements to site security.

How can our District website be more useful to you? I invite you to contact us with your ideas and questions.

Peace,

Gretchen
Communications Coordinator

Meredith_Beckman_Vice_PresAnnual Report 2010

Be a Transformer

“We’re all assigned a piece of garden, a corner of the universe that is ours to transform. Our corner of the universe is our own life –our relationships, our homes, our work, our current circumstances—exactly as they are. Every situation we find ourselves in is an opportunity…to teach love instead of fear.”
-Marianne Williamson in Return to Love

I humbly serve as the Vice President of the Central Midwest District (CMwD) Board, so that I may be a transformer. I bring my energy and leadership skills to support this highly functioning mission and vision board.  I am most proud of the financial health of this district. In my day job as a retirement planning specialist, I encourage long-range thinking and saving. This board, in its collective, long-standing wisdom, has a solid history of making sound financial decisions. In the three years I have served on this board, I have seen or been part of the move to a virtual office, the creation of an investment policy, and the utilization of webinars to enhance and stretch our services. All of these help to solidify the financial strength of our district so that we may continue forward with our mission.

Even with the conservative fiscal nature of the Board, we are facing financial challenges in this current economic downturn. We could overcome some of these financial shortfalls if more congregations were at “fair share.”  In my remaining tenure as Vice President, I have made it a goal of mine to work towards getting more of our congregations to “fair share” so that the CMwD can continue to consist of healthy, thriving, nurturing, UU congregations and more UU’s living UU values for UU’s.

Yours in love and faith,

Meredith Beckman
Vice President, CMwD

Nancy_IronsAnnual Report 2010

Mission Statement

The Mission of the Unitarian Universalist Association's Central Midwest District Women and Religion Committee is to support women in their search for the Inner Feminine Divine in an atmosphere of connectedness, safety, and joy.

2009-2010 Committee:

There are currently seven members on the CMwD Women & Religion Committee. 

Nancy Irons – Chair
Leslie Peet – Past-Chair
Christina Conway – Treasurer
Lauree Cass – Secretary
Karen Books – Summer 2010 Retreat Liaison
Denise Tracy – Winter 2010 Retreat Liaison
Natalie Silk

We have all worked hard to make 2009 a successful and productive year.  We recruited and nurtured planning committees for our winter and summer retreats, which had more than 150 women in attendance.  We presented workshops, information tables and Sunday services to UU audiences.  We continued efforts to upgrade our website, maximizing our ability to publicize events; communicate with one another and provide easily accessible document archives.  Significantly, we took initial steps towards more fully integrating the Women & Religion committee into the district operations.

WinterWomanSpirit09In February 2009 our Winter WomanSpirit Retreat, “Weaving Our Sacred Tapestry,” was held at the Universalist Unitarian Church in Peoria, IL.  We welcomed over 100 participants for a weekend featuring the talents of singer/songwriter Shelley Graff.  Activities included 16 workshop sessions, a multitude of vendors, communal singing, dancing, drumming and weaving.  The silent auction raised over $500 for our scholarship fund; while the raffle of woven wall hangings created that weekend, raised $600 for the Betty Freidan Tribute initiative of the Peoria YWCA.
 
In April, we presented a workshop and had an information table at the District Assembly in Waukesha, WI.  The workshop, “Coed Cakes, Can it be done?” was the final event in our year-long joint project with the UU Women’s Connection to promote the newly revised “Cakes for the Queen of Heaven” curriculum.  Materials developed for this project have been made available to other districts through the Continental UU Women & Religion-sponsored website: www.cakesforthequeenofheaven.org.

In May, we held our annual planning weekend at Ronora Lodge, in Watervliet, MI.  We thanked and said farewell to retiring members, Sherry Dearborn and Pat Reed, as well as welcoming new members Denise Tracy and Lauree Cass.  In addition to setting our budget, goals and schedule for the coming year, we met with representatives of both the summer and winter retreat planning committees. 

In June, W&R office manager Gretchen Ohmann carried our banner and staffed an information table at General Assembly in Salt Lake City, Utah.

August brought our Summer WomanSpirit Retreat, “Embracing our Diversity, Celebrating our Unity” to Ronora Lodge inSummerWomanSpirit09 Watervliet, MI.  This year’s attendance of 49 was down from previous years and the weather was wet.  However, the energy and enthusiasm of all participants was tremendous.  Activities included 10 workshops, celebrations, rituals, drumming, chanting and a spontaneous evening coffeehouse.  Enthusiasm continued with 12 volunteers coming forward to serve on the planning committee for next summer’s retreat. 
 
Winter WomanSpirit 2010The end of 2009 found us well on our way to having a incredible Winter 2010 Retreat “Nurturing Ourselves, Sustaining Our World,” at the First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee, the last weekend in February.  Luckily, we were able to obtain Starhawk as our keynote speaker.  As of this writing, we have over 240 registrants and expect to reach our capacity of 250.  The planning committee at FUSM is doing an amazing job with this event and is to be congratulated!

We are once again planning a joint project with the UU Women’s Connection.  We will present a Women’s Leadership Day in March 2010 at the Third Unitarian Church of Chicago.  Plans are well in hand for this event.  All congregations have been asked to submit the name and story of one woman leader deserving of recognition.  With the help of financial support from CAUUC, we will invite all such honorees to attend this event free of charge.  

Former Women & Religion committee members, known as Wisewomen, continue their involvement through participation in our visiting Sunday service.  Wisewomen Gretchen Ohmann and Pat Reed presented a “Water Ceremony” at the UU Fellowship of Sheboygan, WI in September.  Wisewoman, Butterfly Peggy Stevens continues to serve as librarian to our Lending Library with over 300 titles. 

Progress was also made on a number of ongoing projects, including; expanding our electronic document archives; maintaining our attendee database; rewriting retreat planning job descriptions and timelines; as well as formally documenting our policies and procedures. 

While officially a committee of the Central Midwest District of the UUA, the Women & Religion Committee has long operated independently, a bit “off the radar.”  For a variety of reasons, the time has come to either strengthen our connections to the district or become an independent organization.  With reassurances from Rev. Ian Evison that monies raised at W&R events will remain under W&R control, we have taken the first steps toward strengthening our connections with the district.  Assuming things continue as planned, 2010 should see Women & Religion becoming a more fully integrated district program.

Nancy Irons
Chair, CMwD Women & Religion Committee

Brian_CovellBrian Covell, Third Church Chicago for President

Third Unitarian Church
work 773-626-9385; office fax is 773-626-9304.  Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Served as the CMwD Board's Recording Secretary since Fall 2006, when I completed the remaining year of Chip Roush's term in this position.  During that time, I've taken a lead role in reviewing and compiling the Board's policies, and assisting with the crafting of new statements.  This is a high priority, since the Board operates under "policy and mission" principles.  In doing so, I've worked closely on policy implementation with all members of the Board, and particularly with members of the Executive Committee, including our Congregational Service Directors Ian Evison and Dori Davenport-Thexton and Office Administrator Peggy Boccard.  Lastly, I've served as President of the Chicago Area UU Council since April, 2007, and have helped implement our region's successful "Chicagoland Marketing Initiative" through various media.

Sandra CampbellSandra Campbell, Rockford, IL for Secretary

815-997-6891 (cell), 815-484-1020 (home);  Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sandra Campbell, retired Air Force veteran, retired schoolteacher and full time UU volunteer.  I joined the San Antonio Fellowship in 1986 with my family.  We all enjoyed church school, services and numerous social events.  Our attendance and participation varied throughout the years but I became totally committed to the UU community when I came to Rockford, IL in 1999.  I joined the Rockford church in 2001 and served on the membership and activities committees.  Subsequently, I was asked to be a board member.  I attended CMW leadership school in 2003, became a member of the staff in 2004 thru 2007.  I have served my congregation as a member and chair of numerous committees, board president and search committee member.  I have the highest regard for those who serve the larger UU community at district and association levels.  There is always work to be done and we need everyone involved.  So when I was asked, I humbly offer my time and energy to advance our movement and support our district. 

Nancy_Armstrong_06-2009Nancy Armstrong for Trustee (incumbent)

309-452-8320; Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

I have been on the CMwD board just one year and am still getting my feet wet!  My husband Joe and I joined the UU Church of Bloomington-Normal in 1983 after years of searching for the right fit for both of us.  Over the years I have been actively involved in Religious Education, Caring, Finance, Fund Raising, Fellowship and Board Leadership.  I am currently serving my ninth year as congregation treasurer (and still like it!) and (most fun of all) I sing in the choir.  I am employed full-time as a financial planner and have no plans to retire any time soon. In our spare time, my husband and I garden, cook and travel.  We have one daughter, Larissa, who is a dedicated UU as well.

Suzi DeBeersSuzi DeBeers, Appleton, WI for Trustee at large, two-year term to replace Garret Cohn

715-258-7375; Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

My social service has evolved through the years from visiting children at Cook County Hospital and delivering meals from Hull House to the elderly in Chicago to being involved in Study Circles on Race and the Madison Institute for the Healing of Racism. For the past five years I have planned a Human Rights Film Series for my Unitarian Universalist congregation and others in my community.  I serve as treasurer of the Madison Area Family Advisory/Advocacy Coalition, a group that is addressing the achievement gap between minority and majority students.  (She lists many other social service activities.)

I have served as Regional Coordinator for the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee National Volunteer Network in the Central Midwest District for the last six years.  In May of 2004, I was honored to join UUSC staff, Board members, Ambassadors and Network Volunteers on a trip to Guatemala.  This trip was an opportunity to meet UUSC partners and learn of the importance and impact of our human rights work.

DianeBrown2009-smDiane Brown, Peoria, IL for Nominating Committee

309-693-0664. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

I'm a lifelong UU, raised is SW Michigan by parents, Kate and Marv Fuller, who co-founded the Berrien UU Fellowship.  50 years later, BUUF continues with a small but vital congregation.  Many a Meadville/Lombard student as well as other UU ministers came through BUUF during my time there.
 
As a young adult, I joined Second Unitarian Church of Chicago and was a member for 13 years.  In the first year, my husband Michael and I were co-awarded the 'Rookies of the Year' award for our involvement.  I served as DRE for 2 years while attending seminary part time at Chicago Theological Seminary as well as being a Mom of young kids. I have attended several CMwD  Conferences, over 20 Lake Geneva Summer Assemblies, and served on the LGSA planning council for three years.   I have attended over a dozen Central Midwest District WomanSpirit Conferences, serving on the Planning Board for the 2009 WomanSpirit in Peoria, Illinois.
 
I am currently an active member of the Universalist Unitarian Church of Peoria, Illinois.   I have attended several General Assemblies, most recently in Portland and before that in St. Louis and intend to attend the 2010 GA in Minneapolis.  I have also attended the Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago (1993) Barcelona (2004) and Melbourne (2009).

Nominating2010-11Rod-DePueRod DePue, 1st U Society Milwaukee for Nominating Committee

414-390-0454; Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

UU for 40 years. Past member of Unitarian Universalist Church West in Brookfield, WI, Unitarian Fellowship of Boca Raton and presently member of First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee. Served on Board, as Church President, Ministerial Search, Stewardship, Capital Fund Drive, Endowment, Social Justice, and Sunday Services committees. Taught RE and AYS (now OWL).
 
Community involvement:

  • Board President, Mental Health Association of Milwaukee County
  • Court Appointed Special Advocate for abused and neglected children under the protection of the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare.
  • Southeastern Wisconsin Common Ground (member of the IAF) core team leader.
  • Established the Sharon & Rod DePue Family Foundation at UW Milwaukee to benefit children aging out of foster care.

Schuyler VogelSchuyler Vogel, North Shore UU (Deerfield, IL) for Nominating Committee, 2-year unfilled term

414-238-4728;  Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Schuyler grew up UU at 1st Church Milwaukee, received both a teaching degree and a BA in religious studies from Carlton College.  Served as Director of Faith Development at River of Grass UU Congregation in FL and on the FL District Faith Development Council.  While there, he received the Association Sunday Grant, which focused on developing young adult ministries at three local congregations.  He currently serves as DRE at North Shore Unitarian Church.

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First Unitarian Church of Alton, IL CMWD Federated Church of Avon of Avon, IL CMWD Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington-Normal of Bloomington, IL CMWD Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship of Carbondale, IL CMWD All Souls Free Religious Fellowship of Chicago, IL CMWD First Unitarian Society of Chicago of Chicago, IL CMWD Peoples Church of Chicago of Chicago, IL CMWD Beverly Unitarian Church of Chicago, IL CMWD Micah’s Porch, Chicago, IL CMWD New Garden Community Church, Chicago, IL CMWD Third Unitarian Church of Chicago, IL CMWD Second Unitarian Church of Chicago, IL CMWD Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Decatur of Decatur, IL CMWD North Shore Unitarian Church of Deerfield, IL CMWD Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of DeKalb of DeKalb, IL CMWD Unitarian Universalist Church of Elgin of Elgin, IL CMWD Unitarian Church of Evanston of Evanston, IL CMWD Unitarian Universalist Society of Geneva of Geneva, IL CMWD Prairie Circle Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Grayslake, IL CMWD Unitarian Church of Hinsdale of Hinsdale, IL CMWD Prairyerth Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Hinsdale, IL CMWD Universalist Unitarian Church of Joliet of Joliet, IL CMWD Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Macomb of Macomb, IL CMWD Mt. Vernon Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Mt. Vernon, IL CMWD DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church of Naperville, IL CMWD Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Oak Park, IL CMWD Countryside Church Unitarian Universalist of Palatine, IL CMWD Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Park Forest, IL CMWD Universalist Unitarian Church of Peoria of Peoria, IL CMWD Unitarian Church of Quincy of Quincy, IL CMWD The Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockford, IL CMWD Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Rock Valley of Rockton, IL CMWD Abraham Lincoln Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Springfield, IL CMWD Unitarian Universalist Church of Stockton, IL CMWD The Federated Church of Sycamore, IL CMWD Unitarian Universalist Church of Urbana-Champaign of Urbana, IL CMWD Lake Shore Unitarian Society of Winnetka, IL CMWD Congregational Unitarian Church of Woodstock, IL CMWD Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Elkhart of Elkhart, IN CMWD First Unitarian Church of Hobart of Hobart, IN CMWD First Unitarian Church of South Bend of South Bend, IN CMWD Bay de Noc Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Escanaba, MI CMWD Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Houghton, MI CMWD Marquette Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Marquette, MI CMWD Berrien Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Saint Joseph, MI CMWD Cape Girardeau Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Cape Girardeau, MO CMWD Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia of Columbia, MO CMWD Emerson Unitarian Universalist Chapel of Ellisville, MO CMWD Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Jefferson City of Jefferson City, MO CMWD Kirksville Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Kirksville, MO CMWD Eliot Unitarian Chapel of Kirkwood, MO CMWD Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Rolla of Rolla, MO CMWD First Unitarian Church of St. Louis of St. Louis, MO CMWD West Plains Unitarian Universalist, West Plains, MO CMWD Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Appleton, WI CMWD Unitarian Universalist Church West of Brookfield, WI CMWD Unitarian Universalist Church of the Lakes of Elkhorn, WI CMWD Open Circle Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Fond du Lac, WI CMWD Green Bay Area UU Fellowship of Green Bay, WI CMWD Lake Country Unitarian Universalist Church of Hartland, WI CMWD Unitarian Congregation of Rock County, Janesville, WI CMWD Bradford Community Church Unitarian Universalist of Kenosha, WI CMWD James Reeb Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Madison, WI CMWD First Unitarian Society of Madison of Madison, WI CMWD Prairie Unitarian Universalist Society of Madison, WI CMWD Lakeshore Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Manitowoc, WI CMWD Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Marshfield of Marshfield, WI CMWD Unitarian Church North of Mequon, WI CMWD First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee of Milwaukee, WI CMWD Unitarian Fellowship of Milwaukee of Milwaukee, WI CMWD United Unitarian & Universalist Society of Mukwonago of Mukwonago, WI CMWD Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist Church of Racine, WI CMWD Prairie Lakes Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ripon, WI CMWD Free Congregation of Sauk County of Sauk City, WI CMWD Sheboygan Area Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Sheboygan, WI CMWD Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Door County of Sister Bay, WI CMWD Stevens Point Unitarian Universalist Association Fellowship of Stevens Point, WI CMWD First Universalist Unitarian Church of Wausau, WI CMWD Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Woodruff, WI CMWD


Peggy_June_2009Annual Report 2010

Another year has gone by and we have continued advancing step-by-step into the world of Virtual admnistration.  Since this time last year, we held a fabulous District Assembly.  At this meeting for the first time we set up a Media Team who managed to record virtually every workshop at DA and get many of them up on our website the same day!  It was so successful that this year we're going to have a table specific for the Media Team where our team members can gather and where you can come to ask questions and get knowledgeable answers with your technology issues!

At General Assembly we took advantage of being a Virtual Office and simply declared that a specific table in the exhibition hall was the Central Midwest District Office.  Folks knew to meet us there and they did!

We've discovered a number of tools to help us with this, some of which may be useful to you, too.  For instance,

  • We are holding more and more of our workshops virtually using telephony and internet connections.  Our thanks go to the office of the Prairie Star District for providing the hosting for many of these.
  • We continue to rely heavily on online file services to not only store our many files, but also to conveniently transfer larger electronic files to each other.
  • Speaking of files, we no longer mail out large packets of materials to our Board members.  Instead, we store one copy of the entire packet on a secure area of our Web Site, and Board members log in there to read them.  We do the same thing with our Chalice Lighter Grant Applications: the Chalice Lighter Committee reads the documents from their secure web site area, rather than in hard copy, saving many resources both financial and ecological.
  • And on a larger scale, most of you are reading this Annual Report online rather than in hard copy, and resource savings on not mailing the Annual Report has been substantial.  In terms of financial savings alone, we saved more than $1,300 in printing and postage.
  • A good third of our Chalice Lighters have opted to receive their Call letters electronically rather than on paper via the US mails, again saving printing and postage costs which can better be used for resources for our congregations.
  • The staff meets virtually every week using an internet telephony provider.  And we've even held Finance Committee meetings with some members dialing in.  I know Ian and Dori hold many multi location meetings via conference call.
  • We are continuing to record meetings and post links to them on our web site.
  • The UUA has created a web tool called MyUUA.Org where designated users from every congregation in the country can go in and update their own records online.  We have been working with them, and this year we are going to stop forcing congregations to repeat their same information to both the UUA and us, and we will get our information from the MyUUA.Org site.  Our information will be as up to date as you good folks can make it.

Board_2009-10_Warren_Thom_06-12-09Annual Report 2010

It has been my pleasure to serve as treasurer for the last four years.  

During that time, Ian, Dori, Peggy and I have met before every board meeting to review our financials and prepare a report.  We call ourselves the CMWD financial group.  During the summer, we meet with accountant and financial consultant, Mark Cull.  While Mark does not conduct a full audit, he quickly answers our questions and makes  suggestions based on good practices.  Two members of the CMWD board, but not in the "finance group", have professional experience in finance.  Vice President, Meredith E.S. Beckman, is a financial planner and Nancy Armstrong serves as church treasure and a tax preparer.  The full board reviews CMWD finances at each quarterly meeting and approves the district budget for the coming year at the February meeting.

We are thankful to the churches in Palatine, Oak Park, Hinsdale, and DuPage County that have provided the financial group with a place to meet.  Occasionally, shops like Panera Bread have been centrally located to meet.  The movement from the Hillside site to a virtual office did change our routine.

Under the direction of Ian and Dori, our district has been a leader in the UUA to improve services and to embrace new technology.  Many of the changes have affected the District finances.  Anyone that has attended a prior DA, must admit Dori has solved several problems with the new format.  While District Assembly is a self- funding activity and does not affect the budget, it is a good example of efforts to contain expenses and still improve services.  More members in my church feel the costs are low enough to allow them to attend.  Ian's technology skills have allowed us to use virtual meetings, when appropriate, usually at significant cost savings.  Generally, we have shifted from things like a physical office to activities that require human resources.  While this provides for programs, it means that if income is less, then we are less able to pay staff.  To deal with a worsening financial possibility, the staff has  created a plan "B" that includes furloughs of a week each.   This would  mean some services would not be available.

The volatility of the market has been a concern to anyone with investments.  Our reserves are about 30% in CDs and 70% in socially responsible funds.  The CDs are insured and have never lost value.  By board action two years ago, we did cash in a CD of about $15,000 to solve a cash flow problem in the checkbook and fund a youth program in its first year.  As of December 31, 2009, the socially responsible funds returned to a value greater than they were before the September 2008 market drop.

Concerns about the percentage of churches that meet CMWD Fair share ($21/certified member) and UUA Fair share ($56/certified member) were expressed at the February 2010 board meeting.  The board appreciates the efforts of Neil Lichtman with The Annual Program Fund.  It was pointed out that if we increase the percentage of churches in our district that are UUA Fair share, our district benefits by a greater contribution from UUA.   Both the UUA and the CMWD have postponed any increase in fair share for a year.

Respectfully Submitted,

Warren Thom
Treasurer
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