Updates from June Leadership Team Meeting

The 2018-2019 Leadership Team held their final meeting on June 27th at the home of Dan Barrett. The current Leadership Team members introduced themselves for the benefit of Joash Mencias, incoming Lay Leader who will serve from 2019 to 2022. Dan led a brief discussion on Chapters 10-12 of Real Good Church. The LT reviewed attendance reports since the last meeting; if trends continue, attendance in 2019 will be similar to last year. The LT reviewed progress on 2018-2019 Goals in terms of what was accomplished, areas that still need attention, and what specific initiatives proved unrealistic. Dan shared the Financial Reports compiled by Bette Welch, noting an operating deficit of $4,300 as of May 30th. By August, the District Office expects to reply to our Open Door Justice Grant proposal. Open Door attendance this year has been below Dan’s projections with the cost of food, hygiene items, bus passes, etc. per visit now down to around $32.47. The LT approved the use of $1,245 from the Dimmit Fund to send Nicole Aldrich to the Sacred Music Conference in July 2019. Dan reviewed progress on the Financial Review recommendations from the yearly audit; several items will be handled in July or August. Alice Mohr presented the June Trustees’ Sub-team Report, noting:

·      The elevator passed inspection and will now require annual inspections,

·      There is water damage to the roof that will cost around $5,230 to repair,

·      Some exterior window trim needs painting (estimated cost $3,917), and

·      The women’s downstairs restroom should be updated (estimated cost $5,000).  

The LT authorized the Trustees to spend the necessary funds for the roof and window trim repairs and up to $5,000 from the Paine Fund to update the women’s restroom. The approved exterior banner concept will cost $913.50 to produce; this will be postponed until the exterior church walls have been cleaned. Rev. Diane and Pam Schmidt will update the Emergency Plan to account for active shooters and other incidents. The members of the 2019-2020 Leadership Team, Ministry Team, Nominations Team, UUM Preschool Board, and other leaders identified by the current Nominations Team were reviewed and approved. Rev. Diane thanked Dan and Alice for their completion of 6-year leadership terms with gifts and cards to show the congregation’s appreciation. If you have any questions, please contact Dan Barrett.

Charlotte Ellis’s Annual Conference Statement

First I would like to thank you all for allowing me to be your delegate to Annual Conference.

This year (because the conference time was shortened) there was only one set of workshops. They were held on Thursday evening and all were put on by people working on New Places for New People. I chose the one put on by Winter (who you may know as Tiffany) Hamilton called Shared Streets STL. She is the young adult pastor at Manchester UMC but along with a lay member has started this ministry for young adults in South City where they both live. They meet in places like coffee houses, restaurants and bars. They have one time events, ongoing groups and short classes. They don't expect participants to join Manchester UMC but a few have.

After the workshop, I went at 9:00 p.m. to a meeting held at a local church put on by MO UMC Next, a group formed after General Conference. They presented their chosen slate of delegates to be voted on for the next General Conference and the next Jurisdictional Conference. Several of the nominees spoke.

On Friday morning, I arrived at the expo center at 7:00 a.m. to take part in a living rainbow. We gave out Skittles and prayer cards as the delegates arrived.

After registration the session opened with a worship service and communion followed by the Bishop's address. He called for healing in the church and looks at his period of time as a great adventure. He emphasized the three priorities of the conference - new missional leaders, new places for new people and pathway out of poverty. This year there were 52 new places for new people and 54 new church/school partnerships. This year's new goal is to get 100,000 new books in the hands of 100,000 children - not just dropping them off but giving them to them personally and getting to know who they are. These projects have received a big boost from the Steward Family Foundation, which is giving a $3 million gift over the next three years with $1 million going to each priority. David Steward, who is president of World Wide Technology, is a member of Salem UMC in Ladue.

Friday afternoon was filled with reports from various committee chairs and a learning keynote by Rev. Joe Daniels, Jr. from Washington, DC.

There was an all-conference BBQ dinner that night in honor of 200 years of conferencing in Missouri.

After dinner we had laity sessions by district followed by a meet and greet with the laity candidates for General and Jurisdictional Conferences.

Saturday morning began with more business. Amy Thompson, conference lay leader, gave her address.

There was a Puerto Rico update. Missouri sent one team every week to help out; 25% of the teams that went were from Missouri.

There was a vote on Resolution #1 - Action for inclusive ministry in the Missouri Annual Conference. This will provide $30,000 from the conference for grants to churches doing specific ministries to LGBT people

There were to be five speakers allowed on both sides of the issue, but it was suggested we just call for the question. It passed by voice vote with only a few "nays" coming from one part of the room, which was probably the Ozark district.

The memorial service was held, and then after lunch was the retirement service. Rev. Dr. Tom Frank, formerly of this church, was one of the retirees, but it didn't look like he was there. I asked one of the other retirees, and they said they didn't think he was there.

After a break we had the vote for the laity delegates to the conferences. We used voting devices, and the vote went rather quickly with all but one of the candidates from MO UMC Next's slate elected. The clergy voted in the evening, and apparently they voted even faster. The lay and clergy delegates are a very diverse group with several people of color, many women, one person who uses a wheelchair, two people under 30, and one out LGBT person. I had a kind of backhanded compliment. I was sitting with some young people while I was voting, and I kept being the first one finished. One of the young women said, "Look at her. Who says old people can't learn technology?" I said I just retired from a library where I had to know all kinds of technology.

Sunday morning started with an ordination service and then more business meetings followed by the sending off service with fixing of appointments. Rev. Diane will continue as our pastor, but we will have a new district superintendent, Rev. Robin Bell, as Rev. Londia Granger Wright is retiring in the fall.

After conference I stayed for a meeting of MO UMC Next about what the future holds. There will be an event August 12-13 at The Gathering, and hopefully some of us will attend. There will be a leadership institute in Kansas City September 25-27 as well.

Updates from May Leadership Team Meeting

The Leadership Team met on Thursday, May 23rd. Keith Bertelsen stopped by to present a technology update, including the installation of a security camera, an upgraded and expanded WiFi network, a TV in the Parlor, and a keypad lock for the technology closet in the hallway. Irma Ruebling led a review of the annual Staff Parish Evaluation Form and received input from the Leadership Team regarding revisions. Rev. Diane presented a grant proposal written by Nicole Allen for the Gateway Central Social Justice Ministry grant program. The proposal asks for $7,700 to support the ongoing efforts of our Open Door Pantry as well as the creation of a 50-50 board made up of church and pantry members. The Leadership Team endorsed the proposal, and we’ll hear the outcome in August. On behalf of the Open Door committee, Karen Greening requested $6,000 from the church budget in addition to the $6,000 initially granted for 2019, basing this request on current income, fundraising efforts, cost reduction efforts (successful and unsuccessful) and spending. The Leadership Team agreed to this budget amendment while expressing two shared values: 1) to care for our neighbors in need, and 2) to be careful stewards of our congregational resources. The Leadership Team then reviewed and agreed to implement the recommendations from Kent McNeil’s financial audit. The final 2018-2019 Leadership Team meeting will take place on June 27th. If you have any questions, please contact lay leader Dan Barrett.

Updates from the April Leadership Team Meeting

The UUMC Leadership Team met on Thursday, April 25th. The meeting began by discussing the book Real Good Church, which encourages us to be visibly “Open and Affirming” to all people; UUMC now has a 12’ rainbow flag and will replace the banner on the north wall with one designed by Janet Muhm. The Leadership Team also discussed making church more relevant to young people by providing hopefulness and including multicultural expressions of worship. The Leadership Team reviewed feedback from two pairs of “mystery worshippers,” noting that areas for improvement include clear signage and better use of our outdoor space. Our elevator failed inspection, and we received a repair bid from Custom Home Elevator for $2,200, which will come from the Memorial Fund because the elevator was installed as a memorial. We will host another Eden Seminarian next year, based on the success with Pastor Jewell; half of the intern costs will come from the Dimmit Fund and half from the budget. In terms of finances, UUMC was 6% over budget as of March 31st, but our investments have gone up 7% since the end of 2018. UUM Preschool agreed to the rent and building use fee increases that were approved at the February 28th meeting. The next Leadership Team meeting will be May 23rd.

Special General Conference Session Information

University UMC Welcome Statement.png

Saint Louis is hosting a global gathering of United Methodists on February 23-26, 2019! This special General Conference of elected delegates from all over the world will look at a single issue: can the church stay together while disagreeing about sexual orientation? Several proposals will be considered, from increasing inclusion for LGBTQIA+ people to increasing discrimination. Many of the bishops are supporting the One Church Plan, which will allow for contextualization of policies regarding same-gender marriages and LGBTQIA+ ordination. Regardless of which plan is chosen, the denomination will likely see many members, congregations, and clergy leave. This is a General Conference that will have repercussions for decades. Please keep the General Conference delegates in prayer as they prepare. 

You can participate in the following ways: 

Go as an observer
Volunteer with the local hospitality team

Volunteer for LGBTQIA+ inclusion with the Love Your Neighbor Coalition (LYNC): email Missouri coordinator Trish Gunby

Follow online through live streaming or twitter (hashtags #umcgc or #gc2019 ) 

After the conclusion of General Conference, you are invited to attend the Reconciling (LGBTQIA+) worship service on February 27th at 10am (location TBD).  

Finally, Rev. Diane will host a "General Conference Q&A" in the UUMC parlor on March 17th (time TBD). 
Although we do not know what the denomination will decide, we know this: as a congregation, we will continue to invite and welcome people of all sexual orientations and gender identities to be part of University United Methodist Church. And we will work to increase that inclusion in our denomination through the Reconciling Ministries Network

UUMC Leadership Team and Preschool Approve Agreement

On August 23, the UUMC Leadership Team approved the first-ever, written covenant with the UUM Preschool; the Preschool previously approved the latest version. This Covenant aligns responsibilities and accountabilities so that UUM Preschool and UUMC can continue to thrive. It provides a framework for communication and joint decision making but is not intended to provide a complete description of daily working relationships.

This culminates a three-year effort deemed prudent because the Preschool has operated under the UUMC legal entity since the Preschool was founded in 1960. Thanks to the Leadership Team and the Preschool Board for their work on this covenant.

Congregation Provided Vision into 2019 and Beyond

After the 5/05 potluck, many members provided their ideas to help the UUMC Leadership and Ministries Teams determine the church goals into 2019 and beyond.

The visioning was two pronged: 1) To provide the UUMC Leadership Team with ideas to develop the church goals for July 2018-June 2019 and beyond and 2) to help the UUMC Mission and Social Justice Team determine the direction of our “Healthier St. Louis” theme for the coming year.

Numerous ideas were provided for church goals in the following areas:

  • Reaching new people
  • Reaching across ages, nations, sexual orientations, etc.
  • Buildings and Grounds
  • Ministries

On the other side, the Mission theme will come from the “For the Sake of All” study by Washington University of St. Louis on improving the health and well-being of African Americans in St. Louis. UUMC members expressed their interest to volunteer in one or more of these areas:

  • Improve economic opportunities
  • Participate with school-based health programs
  • Improve the quality of neighborhoods
  • Improve early childhood
  • Reduce chronic and infectious diseases
  • Improve mental health

Each area received some support with the strongest interest of improving early childhood and improving economic opportunities for African Americans in St. Louis.  

The entire church thanks everyone for their involvement during this important planning effort. In July, when the UUMC program year starts, the teams will use these ideas to identify the church’s specific goals and approaches for the coming year. After those are formalized, we will share them with the UUMC family.   

New UUMC Sign Coming in Spring

From Tom Mitchell:

We will have a new sign at the corner of Trinity and Washington sometime this Spring.  The contract and specifications were settled and the down payment made Feb. 2.  We will publish the final art work when that is completed in a few days. It will take about 8 weeks before the sign will be installed.

The two older signs will be removed as part of this process.  The new sign is funded by a combination of a grant from the Missouri United Methodist Foundation, UUMC Memorial Funds, and designated contributions from members of the congregation.

2018 Estimates of Giving and Budget

UUMC received fifty-two (52) Estimates of Giving for the 2018 fiscal year totaling over $287,500; that's about $7000 less than the 2017 estimates. Increased giving, plus fourteen (14) households estimating for the first time, helped make up most of a $25,000 reduction from four households who died or moved this year. A huge thank you goes to everyone who supports UUMC with their financial giving and all contributions.

The 2018 budgeting process is underway at the church. At their December 4 meeting, the Leadership Team will review a draft budget and, either then or at a later date in the month, approve a final budget; the meeting starts at 7:00 pm in the library and church members are welcome to attend. When approved, a budget summary will be presented to the congregation. If you have any questions, please contact Dan Barrett (314-459-3954), Lay Leader and Chair of the Leadership Team.

Leadership Team’s September 7 Meeting

The UUMC Leadership Team (LT) held a regular meeting on September 7.  This twelve-member team plus the pastor handles the church’s administrative functions (finance, buildings and grounds, and staff-parish relations) plus the overall planning, visioning, and mission fulfillment for UUMC.

Rev. Diane led an interactive learning session to understand the RACI approach that can be used for each significant action by our church to determine who is Responsible, who is Accountable, who should be Consulted, and who should be Informed as the action is developed and always before it is finalized.

In the strategy, future and big picture portion of the agenda, we reviewed the average monthly worship attendance from 2012-2017 showing that 2017 attendance is down about 5% compared to 2016.  We gathered more ideas on how to accomplish the 2017-18 UUMC goals which are:  

  • Tell our story within and outside the walls of the church.

  • Use personal gifts, financial and facility resources for achieving the greatest good.  This includes review and recommendations of long-term directions for church property and investments.

  • Discover and use gifts for social justice.

  • Promote newly developed discipleship path and roll it out to the whole congregation.

Key administrative highlights of the meeting included:

  • The conversion from Church Windows to QuickBooks software is nearing an end for the ongoing UUMC accounting and financial reporting.  One conversion highlight is that we are now using Commerce Bank’s free, online banking process to generate the church’s checks to eliminate UUMC expenses including postage.

  • The LT voted to increase the funding from the church’s memorial fund to help pay for the nearly-finalized, new exterior UUMC sign at the corner of Washington and Trinity; other funding came from members’ contributions and a grant from the Missouri United Methodist Foundation.   

October 12 is the next regular meeting of the Leadership Team from 7:00-9:00 pm in the church library.  These meetings are open to all UUMC members.

Please contact Dan Barrett, Lay Leader and LT Chair (314-726-2509) if you have any questions.

Our Church Is Good At... Giving

Dear Friends,

Our church is good at… inviting! Each month we’re challenging ourselves to take one step forward in talking about our faith. This month we’re using the phrase “My church is good at…” in conversation and social media as we invite people to University UMC.

Our church is good at… welcoming! In August, we voted to become part of the Reconciling Ministries Network in the United Methodist Church. We adopted this welcome statement: “We invite people of all ages, races, cultures, genders, and sexual orientations to be you, be loved, and belong.”

Our church is good at… mission and social justice! We will advocate, care, and serve in 2017-2018 as we launch our first annual mission and justice theme: A Healthier STL!

Our church is good at… focusing! This year we moved to a simplified board leadership structure. The Leadership Team will focus on the big picture for the church—setting goals, strategic direction, and policy—as we align our ministry and administration with our vision and values.

Our church is good at… generosity! Your gifts help us invite and welcome people to mission justice. Please review your attached giving statement for the first eight months of 2017. Contact Elizabeth Coker at with questions or corrections.

Our church is good at…. taking next steps! We’re good at many things. One thing we’re good at is taking each challenge as it comes. This year’s stewardship campaign is vital for the health of University United Methodist Church. We anticipate a loss of over 8% (about $25,000) in giving in 2018 due to deaths and moves of beloved members in 2017. We are grateful for the people who have supported University UMC in the past, and we want to continue their legacy.

So, if you celebrate the good of this church, will you please consider growing in your giving? We each have been given different gifts from God, so this will be different for different people:

§  If you are one of the fifty households who give occasionally, would you prayerfully consider making a regular commitment? (If your life changes, you can always change the estimate. The important part is to recognize God’s gifts to you, and then intentionally plan to return the first portion of that gift to God.)

§  If you are one of the ten households who regularly give between $500 and $1,000 per year, would you prayerfully consider giving an additional $10 per month?

§  If you are one of the thirty households who give between $1,000 and $5,000 per year, would you prayerfully consider giving an additional $50 per month?

§  If you are one of the twenty households who give over $5,000 per year, would you prayerfully consider giving an extra $100 per month?

Our individual decisions to grow in giving will have a big impact on the life of the community.

On Sunday, October 1, 2017, we will have a special worship service when we indicate our financial commitments on Estimate of Giving cards for 2018. Estimate of Giving cards will be available on Celebrate Giving! Sunday, and you will have time to fill one out during worship.

Every worship participant who completes an Estimate of Giving card will do so voluntarily and in such a way that no one feels personal embarrassment if he or she chooses not to fill out a card. The cards include ways to celebrate non-financial gifts as well.

If you are unable to worship on Sunday, October 1, 2017, please mail in your estimate of giving, drop it in the offering plate, or complete it online at www.universityumc.com/giving

After Celebrate Giving! Sunday, the Leadership Team will construct a budget for 2018 based on your generosity. We hope to continue the legacy of what our church is good at --- inviting, welcoming, mission, and social justice --- through each of us growing our giving.

With grateful hearts,

Rev. Diane Kenaston                            Dan Barrett, Lay Leader
cell: 314-309-0442                              cell: 314-459-3954

By Tom Mitchell

We are closing in on plans for a new sign for UUMC at Trinity and Washington.

This replaces the two existing signs (the old, steel and stone foundation sign from the 1950’s and a newer, maroon sign, taller and narrower).  Problems with the existing signs are their deteriorating interiors and appearance, narrowness of newer sign prohibiting any long words to be shown, letter rack on old sign falling apart, neither sign in best location for visibility.

Several options for the layout of the sign are under consideration.  These are included in a binder in Fellowship Hall.  The cover of the binder shows a “Photoshop” image depicting one of the designs as if it were already in place.

The sign will be metal, standing on two 18-inch metal posts.  The interior will be backlit by LED lights timed from dawn to dusk, which will illuminate the wording and logos.  The width of the sign is about 9 feet, and the height about 5.  The sign will be a few inches deep, and have content only on the front side of the sign.

The sign will be placed at the brow of the lawn, facing square onto eastbound Washington. This provides best visibility from eastbound Washington, and imperfect but best possible visibility in both directions on Trinity, both for pedestrians and cars.

The placement of the new sign and removal of the old opens up our lawn at the corner for better use.

The sign will consist of three panels, which can be independently replaced or updated, by unscrewing and pulling out.  One panel has the church name, and presumably needs little updating.  A second panel has our tag line, worship time and web site.  We envision that seasonally we could have a modified message on alternate panels.  The third section contains the logos.  These will be built pop-out several inches, and with colored inserts to display the logos.

We do not have final plans on the landscaping and/or skirt for the sign.  Ideas are:  low-lying plantings, or stone surrounding each leg or continuing between the legs.

In late 2015 UUMC was awarded a $2,500 grant from the Missouri Untied Methodist Foundation, based on a request submitted of $3,830, subject to us finding the difference of $1,330.  In 2016 we had initial discussions on signage update, and raised, quietly, $1,415 to do the match asked for by MUMF.  The $2,500 was received early 2017.  Of the $2,500, $1,660 was budgeted for a sign, based on a quote obtained by UUMC.  Several other smaller projects for signage and promotion of the church were in our proposal.

We were very naïve about signage costs --- Looking for a high impact, quality sign was going to cost much more, in the range of $5,000 to $15,000.  For example, the yellow and brown signs for the 570 Wash U. building across Trinity cost about $15,000 each.  The learning about our misestimate became apparent as most of the firms we requested proposals from declined to bid or referred us to other vendors.

We have been working with SOI Signs fruitfully for several months, including their visiting University City staff concerning design of the sign and University City regulations affecting our project.

The Leadership Council has approved the basics of the plans for the new signs and our financial plan for it.  There will be a final review and approval process at the appropriate time.

Here is our financial plan for funding the sign:

  • Quoted cost for sign, excluding electrical, permitting, skirt, removal of existing signs: $8241
  • Estimated cost of items not included in quote:   $1259
  • Total cost: $9500


  • MUMF Grant   $1660
  • Funds from congregation in hand: $2415
  • Memorial Funds: $2925
  • New fund raising needed for the sign: $2500
  • Total funding: $9500

We are looking for donors to get us the finish line.  We will take gifts of any size, but are suggesting gifts in the $100 to $500 range.

Gifts should be directed to UUMC with the notation “Signage Fund 4.95.26”


Mission and Social Justice Team Leadership Team Update

In 2015, the Mission and Social Justice Team articulated a vision of encouraging our congregation to build a missional life. We created a brochure and mission fair to help congregants identify opportunities and provide contact names and more information about the organizations we support. We said at the time, "Supporting mission is more than just 'throwing money at an issue,' although that is important. We want to provide opportunities for small groups to put 'boots on the ground.' …Participating in God's mission (missio Dei) through mission and social justice activities is an expectation for all church members. We desire to quickly and easily help newcomers to University UMC participate in mission. Mission is a form of spiritual formation in small groups and social justice is tied to mission/service."

By January 2017, the Mission & Social Justice Team still wanted to grow congregational participation in volunteer, feet on the ground, service. While, as a Team, we will continue to do all we can to support individuals in their service to the organizations and activities to which they feel called, we wanted to focus UUMC’s efforts in order to meet the goal of encouraging fellowship and building community through service and social justice. Therefore, we set the following goal: Choose 3-4 organizations/projects to invest in more heavily in a top-down, institutional way in order to encourage UUMC congregants to come together around these organizations and their work.

We reviewed all of the mission and social justice projects in which our congregation has been involved and used the following criteria to evaluate fit:

  • Does the project/organization present an opportunity for long-term engagement for a significant number of congregants (i.e. more than 1-2 people)? 
  • Are there short-term ways that individuals can become involved in the long-term projects? 
  • Will it build community within the congregation? 
  • Is there a potential for the relationship to be mutually transformative? What would need to be in place to realize that potential? I.e. money, time, education, trips, etc.
  • Will it increase our presence in the local community to address those needs identified by the community? (This should also be an avenue for reaching potential new members—why doesn’t the congregation more closely reflect the demographics of U City, for example?)
  • Can the church reasonably sustain the project/involvement with the organization for many years?
  • Is this accessible to all ages, nations, and races? Will it help us live into our mission, vision, and values of growing as an intergenerational, multicultural congregation?  
  • Does this project follow best practices for mission, service, and justice? For example, does this avoid creating dependency? Does it reject colonialist, hierarchical assumptions? Does it focus on needs or gifts? We read and discussed Toxic Charity to learn more about some of these pitfalls.  
  • Does this project have a champion, someone who will enthusiastically lead and share about the project? 

Through discussion, the Team decided to focus on the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), Safe Housing for the Elderly and Disabled (SHED), Health Protection and Education Services (HPES), and the Open Door food pantry. Each of these organizations have a history of engagement with the church and with the U City and/or greater St. Louis community. Due to the locations and activities of SHED, HPES, and Open Door, the Team agreed they provided the most immediate and sustainable options for increased investment of the church’s resources, both material and human. UMCOR allows UUMC members to connect with emergency and disaster relief efforts both domestically and internationally, which has long been an interest for our church. In the future, we will be looking to add an additional, international organization or opportunity but the Team is still evaluating possible fits, while paying particular attention to the principles of sustainable engagement and “do no harm.” We will also continue to support a few other once per year activities, such as ASP trips and

In order to orient UUMC to this new approach, various Team members and people who work with these organizations have been highlighting their activities over the last couple of months. This will continue in May as we highlight the work of SHED and in June when we will discuss HPES. Stay tuned for further announcements about all of these and how to get involved!

Last but not least, the Team has decided to initiate a new year-long theme to unite service activities and learning across age groups in the congregation. We will introduce a new theme each August, which will then run through the academic year. Around the theme we will have a sermon series, youth and adult Sunday school classes, and all-age service days, for example. The overarching goal is to, every three years, cycle through themes that are local, national, and international. In future years, around March or April, we will ask the congregation for other theme ideas. Future themes might be centered around topics such as restorative justice, food security and climate change, gender equity, or access to education around the world. The theme for 2017-18 will be “A Healthier St. Louis” and will include a focus on the many ways in which we can work towards building a St. Louis community that is healthier and more just for all its residents.

Also, be sure to check out the Team’s bulletin board in the Fellowship Hall for more updates and information.


New UUMC Leadership Structure Approved 

On February 10, the current Leadership Council and Administrative Team unanimously approved a new leadership structure for UUMC.  Our District Superintendent of the Missouri United Methodist Church will now review the structure and is expected to approve it.  Therefore, effective July 1, 2017, the start of the next calendar year, there will be one team for visioning and administrative functions at our church.  This Leadership Team will include thirteen UUMC members, not counting the Pastor:

  • Lay Leader & Leadership Chairperson
  • Lay Leader to Annual Conference (participates in UUMC Ministry Team meetings)
  • Staff-Parish Relations Lead
  • Staff-Parish Relations Sub-team Member
  • Trustee Lead
  • Trustee Sub-team Member
  • Finance Lead
  • Treasurer
  • Recording Secretary or Communications and Office Manager
  • Ministry Team Chairperson
  • Ministry Team Member At-Large
  • Ministry Team Member At-Large
  • Membership Secretary

Some of the current Leadership Council and Administrative Team members will continue on the new Leadership Team if they are in the middle of their three-year term.  The UUMC Nominations and Leadership Development Team will be prayerfully identifying and contacting members to fill any vacancies on the Leadership Team and the larger sub-teams for the Staff-Parish, Finance, Trustees, and Technology areas.

If you have any questions about this change, please contact Rev. Diane (314-309-0442) or Dan Barrett (314-726-2509).

Leadership Council Approves 2017 UUMC Budget and Discusses Future Reduced Giving

On December 15, the UUMC Leadership Council approved the 2017 budget for UUMC.  This is one of the annual responsibilities of the Council which is the strategic planning and final approval body of the church comprised of one member of each administrative and ministry team plus other key positions in the church. 

The budget represents expected income of $334,700, expenses of $337,681, and thus would require nearly $3000 more income if actual income and expenses exactly match the budget.  

A small budgeted deficit is minor.  Our problem is that budget shortfall will increase by several thousand dollars in the next few years because of known reductions in current giving unless UUMC brings in more income or slashes staff or ministries.  

There is a direct correlation between the number of church members and giving.  The bottom line is UUMC needs more members to avoid unpleasant outcomes.  We are fortunate that the active members measured by church worship attendance has stabilized at 96 per week for both the 2015 and 2016 calendar years after steadily dropping from 126 in 2011.  

The Council does not have all the answers to growing the church but that team will continue to address the issue.  Your input is welcome and needed.  Please direct those ideas to Rev. Diane (314-309-0442 or revdiane@university umc.com), Dan Barrett, Lay Leader Administrative Focus (314-459-3954 or danwbarrett@yahoo.com), or attend the UUMC Visioning Retreat (January 14, 2017 from 9:00 am – Noon).  Details on the retreat will be provided in the near future.                




Leadership Council Adopted Church Priorities for 2016-2017

In August, the UUMC Leadership Council adopted the following church priorities for the period of July 2016 through June 2017.  The LC is the strategic planning and final approval body of the church comprised of one member of each administrative and ministry team plus other key positions in the church. 


Build Trust:

  • Establish memorandum of understanding with UUMC Preschool for Leadership Council approval.  Responsibility:  Task Force that started last year.

  • Continue transparency with whole congregation.  Responsibility:  All church leaders.  Emphasis on communicating:  Budget preparation, financial issues and process changes, membership trends, minutes of meetings (Book of Minutes in UUMC library), church policies, and upcoming actions before finalized.

  • Review of and recommend long-term direction for church property and investments.  Responsibility: Trustee and Finance Sub-Teams starting in January 2017

Align ministries with our Mission, Vision, and Values:

  • Review and potentially reframe Mission and Vision Statements.  Responsibility:  Task Force

  • Start the Reconciling Ministries Process   Responsibility:  Task Force

  • Note: “Reconciling Ministries” is a 1980’s United Methodist term which basically means making churches and individuals open to people of any sexual orientation (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, and queer, LGBTQ, or gay community).  
  • Strengthen discipleship building.  Responsibility:  Discipleship Ministry Team

  • Connect better with inactive members  Responsibility: Membership Secretary & Congregational Care Ministry Team  

  • Plan activities so they are inter-generational and / or multi-cultural  Responsibility: Ministry Teams

  • Develop a strategic plan for mission and social justice, potentially including a flagship ministry, missional financial stewardship, and communication  Responsibility: Mission & Social Justice Ministry Task Force

  • Determine how to avoid problems encountered this year in filling church positions  Responsibility: Nominations & Leadership Development Team  

Leadership Council to Approve Church Budget on December 15

Any church member is welcome to attend the UUMC Leadership Council (LC) meeting on December 15, when the 2017 budget for the church will be reviewed and likely approved.  The meeting starts at 7:00 pm in the church library.  

On December 8, the UUMC Administrative Team (AT) recommended that the LC approve the budget that the AT prepared.  The budget represents income of $334,700, expenses of $337,431, and thus would require $2,731 more income if actual expenses exactly match the budget.

The budget is for the 2017 calendar year.  Earlier this year, the LC changed future budget years to start on January 1 rather than running from September 1 – August 31 of each year.      

The LC is the strategic planning and final approval body of the church comprised of one member of each administrative and ministry team plus other key positions in the church.

Administrative Team Update - December 8

The UUMC Administrative Team (AT) met on December 8.  The AT handles the UUMC functions related to buildings and grounds, personnel, and financial matters with our vision of growing as a church for all cultures, all nations, and all ages.

The AT has two primary goals from July 2016 through June 2017.  In January, the review will start by the Finance and Trustees sub-teams on the long-term needs and financial requirements of UUMC for proper maintenance and upkeep of the church and grounds.  The second goal is moving forward by a task force to prepare a memorandum-of-understanding to define the on-going relationship of UUMC and the UUMC Pre-school focusing on liability, expenses, income, relation to mission, vision, & values, and University City outreach.

In early 2017, the church’s financial processing and accounting will convert to a new software system.  Parallel processing has been occurring for some time.  Reduced processing time and improved reporting will result.   

We started the discussion on a possible, revised leadership structure for the current Administrative Team and Leadership Council; the Ministry Team structure might not be affected. Much more discussion will follow.

The group had received a draft 2017 budget for all operations and ministries of UUMC which was developed from the Estimates of Giving and requests from all budget areas of the church.  A motion passed unanimously to recommend that the Leadership Council approve the $337,431 budget at their December 15 meeting which would need $2,731 more income if actual expenses exactly matched the budget.

The next AT meeting will on February 23, 2017.


Our annual charge conference meeting will be held on Thursday, October 27, 2016 at 7pm at Salem-Ladue United Methodist Church. Charge Conference is the official, yearly meeting of a local church under the direction of the district superintendent.

Charge conferences are required to sell church property, elect new leaders, and establish a pastoral housing allowance --- things we have already done this year! This final charge conference will affirm the nominations report and pastoral salary, approve the membership audit (including reviewing active/inactive members), and receive the trustee report, staff-parish report, and pastoral continuing education report. It will also include a time of intentional learning.

Voting members of the charge conference are the people elected to Leadership Council. All of our church meetings (except for those dealing with personnel matters) are open meetings, so all are welcome to observe.