August 2023

By Ann Lin

The big news this month is the successful August 20 launch of NextGen. There were 53 children and students attending our kickoff! Forty children attended Sunday morning classes Pre-Kindergarten through Middle School and 13 students attended the 4pm high school session. This is an outstanding increase over the past couple years’ same day attendance. The CE Building has been transformed with a bright new look and feel and new programming in the classrooms including large monitors that bring music and invite singing and dancing as part of classroom activities. Because new California state mandates for children’s security prevent walk-in by unregistered non-parents, future tours will be announced for those interested in seeing for yourself.

Here is the President’s report for the Board of Trustees meeting held August 14, 2023.

Stewardship continues to refine the messaging and timelines for component drafts of the Stewardship campaign.  CE Building upgrades, compliance, and deferred maintenance costs above the originally budgeted $60K will be addressed in our fundraising.

Buildings & Grounds reports drainage work at the Manse is complete. The installation should prevent future flooding issues.  A new landscaper was hired and Toni says their work is quite satisfactory.  A Buildings and Grounds sub-committee working on the Facility Report will reconvene this month.

Finance Committee reported the fiscal year anticipated budget deficit of $201K turned out to be a deficit of $188K. A transfer from our Shared Equity Fund covered that amount. The Investment Committee, a subcommittee of Finance, will meet with Tim Recker as the new chair following Bob Coleman’s departure.  NextGen program and Buildings and Grounds budget was underestimated as it was set and approved before Kerry coming on board and the NextGen CE Building needs were fleshed out. The Mission Board requested, and the Trustees approved, reimbursement for $1000 for various Piedmont Church groups to prepare a week of lunches for the Harbor House children’s summer camp.  A three- year budget plan for Piedmont Church will take place after this Fall.  

Personnel Committee reports Jean’s retirement celebration is set for August 27 and her last day in the office will be August 31. The Operations Coordinator position has been posted in the bulletin, Messenger, and Indeed (an Oakland job website). The job will also be posted in local papers and LinkedIn.  The new medical coverage for the staff has started and has had positive feedback.  The church’s new 403(b) retirement plan went live July 17. Our HR consultant is working with staff to update the employee handbook to include sections on sabbatical, merit increases, benefit changes and other issues.  The goal is to have a final draft for Board of Trustee review this Fall.

Mission Board reports two upcoming service events: September beach cleanup as part of the California Coastal Cleanup Day September 23 and serving a meal at CityTeam Hope Café November 18.  The Alternative Gift Market is scheduled for December 10. Mike will coordinate with Kerry to get kids and their parents involved in these service opportunities. Mike will work to get volunteer hour collection as part of our new software database. Moments for Mission are scheduled for our three Mission Partners:  Harbor House August 27, City Team September 17, and Children Rising October 8. Mission Board is asking the Nominating Committee to assist in tapping four new members for the Mission Board. One is resigning because of increased family responsibilities and  three members chose to be on Deacons (dual Board membership is not permitted). Mission Board is particularly looking to recruit new members who are: parents, high school student(s), from ministries such as Men’s Bible Studies, and new church members, to add their perspectives for service and mission.

Deacons did not meet in July so no report given.

The NextGen team focused on the August 20 launch preparing environments, screening and training volunteers, and putting final touches on our programs. CE Building work moved fast and furiously, and is nearly complete. Twenty-three volunteers have been recruited to date and more are needed for check-in and for Pre-Kindergarten/Kindergarten Large Group Leader.  Volunteer training includes LiveScan fingerprinting, in-person training and an on-line component. A volunteer handbook as well as a parent handbook specific to Piedmont Church have been created. Two parent introductory dinners are planned for August to increase NextGen awareness and participation. All NextGen events have already been scheduled for the school year for ease of getting on families’ calendars. Marketing NextGen will rely heavily on social media and apps for both students and parents. As the preferred ways these groups interact with each other, we must too. Mailchimp emails to students, parents, and volunteers have already been sent from NextGen. Social channels: ‘Piedmont Church Kids’ and ‘Piedmont Church Students’ (for high school students) already have been created and content will be added weekly with intentional targeting using hashtags to increase visibility. Scott had a one-week study leave in New York State at the Holy Cross Monastery. Due to the construction in the CE Building, Sunday school did not meet in July. Leslie encouraged families to attend Sunday sanctuary worship services.