Posted by Clyde Derrick

Dear fellow church members,

I’ve received several requests from church members to please offer updates on recent Board business and church developments through this blog. I am happy to accommodate this recurring request!

Good news about church finances: We ended the previous church financial year at 105% of pledging for budget which is a positive indicator for the church. As of September 30, we were just roughly $5,800 shy of our anticipated income for the year, a very small margin indeed. Thank you to all of you for your generosity!

At our last Board meeting, we noted a $30,000 budget shortfall attributable to unexpected facility expenses, but anticipate this being offset with future income. Our Board Treasurer Gary Breaux has noted that for next year, if we can realize a 10% increase in pledging, we can look at expanding staff as well as replenishing reserves tapped by the CUP (more below).

The upcoming pledge drive: As a sneak, peek, I’d like to share that our theme will be “Richness through Giving.” This will be the charge of the Stewardship Committee including super members John Blue, Mary Brennan, Andi Eaton, and Eunice Howe with event volunteers Toni LeBel and Beth Powers.

CUP (Conditional Use Permit): We have met all 68 stipulations of this extensive document that was provided to us by the City of Pasadena in summer 2016. These conditions needed to be met in order for the church to be a good neighbor and a home to Sequoyah High School. The final last conditions met—a new fence for the preschool play yard and restriping of the parking lot—have contributed to the beauty of our campus. Our one-year hearing will be held on November 1 to confirm our compliance with the City. In the future, we aim to dialogue with the City about adjusting week night curfew times for our church programs that meet during those hours, including Pasadena Pro Musica and the choirs (bell and voice). We owe huge thanks to the CUP Task Force that engineered this tough work! The Task Force includes Alan Freeman (chair), Nancy Steele (Co-Chair), John Blue, Kirk Dillman, Mary Fauvre Holmes, Scott Gaudineer, Brent Huss, Bob Snodgrass, and yours truly.

Policy Governance Update: The Board completely revised the church’s policy document over two years with your input through the listening sessions held on campus. Our work now is to link these policies (including mission, vision and ends) to church life in a dynamic and meaningful way. The Board is doing this through two powerful questions about change (which includes inclusivity) and our church campus plan. The powerful question related to change, How do we challenge our hearts and minds to grow?, is being explored in services, chalice circles and RE classes, and will be the theme of the Board’s Sunday service in January. The Board will begin to explore a powerful question related to the campus plan at its October meeting. Concurrently, the Green Council is conducting a careful assessment of energy usage throughout the church campus to come up with a multi-year plan to achieve “Net Zero” status.

Presidential goals: Former president Roger Patterson offered me very thoughtful advice, to choose three goals that mean the most to me to realize, as a two-year tenure and other Board business are unlikely to allow for more. My three key goals are inclusivity, a church campus plan, and financial stability. The last two seem to be well under way. The Board has explored inclusivity in some powerful conversations, and I have been in dialogue with some dedicated and visionary church members about how to realize greater inclusivity in our church. More about that will be “report-able” in the coming months! That makes me very excited.

Thank you for the opportunity to work with and for you.


Clyde Derrick