Communications Committee

Looking for the monthly Moderator's Letter?  Click HERE.

• Committee Composition and Charter 

Board member lineup for the 2016-2017 Communications Committee (from left to right):
--Ameena Amdahl-Mason
--Alan Comnes-Chair
--Kathy Ludlow
--Evie Zaic

--Leila Wrathall

The Communications Committee is a standing committee of the Board of Trustees. (4.10.3 GP, Article VII, Section 1 (a) (2) B).    Its mission is to communicate actions of the Board of Trustees and to facilitate engagement (linkage) among the congregation, the Board, and the Church's Executive Team.  Specific duties include: 

  Maintain church website pages and other public communications (e.g. bulliten boards) pertaining to the Board; 

  Conduct Cafe Conversations, Listening Projects, and other Board forums; and

  Maintain the Board's s.

Meetings of the Communications Committee are open to all.  The committee meets regularly, typically the first or second Tuesday after the monthly Board of Trustee meeting.  Meetings are generally held in the evening at the Church. Check out the Church's calendar for upcoming committee meetings.   Agendas for the meetings may be requested (or ideas for agenda items submitted) in advance by writing to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  Committee meeting minutes are included in the Board of Trustee meeting agenda packets. 

Congregational Concerns Forum - February 5, 2017

In recent months, congregants have expressed concerns on several topics including: our church's policy and decision-making processes, Dr. Keyes' consultant report recommendations, Kate Lore’s departure, and our commitment to social justice.  With the facilitation assistance of Fr. Jim Galluzzo of Portland's Urban Spirituality Center, Board members and First U's Executive Team addressed these important issues and follow up questions at a congregational forum held on February 5. Please check out the forum minutes.  Questions raised at the forum but not addressed will be answered in on the Board's FAQ page as well as the monthly Moderator's letter If you have additional questions, please e-mail the Board at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


• Communications Committee Review--June 2015 through May 2016 

During the 2015-2016 year the Communications Committee accomplished the following:

·         Cleaned up and updated our webpage to be more current.

·         Cleaned up and updated Board-related pages on the church’s webpage. Information during the year was more accurate and timely.

·         Issued the annual Congregant Survey and received one of the highest participation rates in the last 10 years.  Among other uses, information collected by the survey was shared with Dr David Keyes, who was hired by the board to conduct the an external review of the church’s operation and administration.

·         Held Cafe Conversations about Transparency with congregants.   A synthesis and summary of these conversations is below.  The board is now using this information to help inform its continuing work to improve transparency and communication with the congregation.

·         Solidified our role as a vehicle for ‘linkage’ between the congregation, the board, and the Executive Team.

·         Responded to letters and public comments from congregants

·         Updated the board’s information wall in Fuller Hall.

• Congregational Forum - 5-Year Church Goals - November 13, 2016
This forum, attended by almost 200 congregants, had two parts:  gathering input on the four 5-Year Church Goals adopted by the Board last spring; and a time for 'open mic' to listen to congregant concerns.  All of the comments are here.  The Board will be continuing this work and communication with the congregation.

Cafe Conversations on Transparency
Facilitated by the Board during April 2016 (synthesis posted July 2016) 


Our two Cafe Conversations held during April 2016 were a great success--thank you to all who attended. Approximately 40 congregants attended and shared their thoughts on transparency and the Church.  We have shared all of your ideas with the Board of Trustees and the Executive Team, which consists of Rev. Sinkford, Rev. Disrud and Kathryn Estey our church administrator.  They will also share these findings with the staff. 

You will find a synthesis of all the comments along with highlights from the conversations here.  
We as a board want to be a representative of you the congregants and foster better linkage between you and the church. Here are some of things we are working on in hopes to aid in this effort :


1.     An extended annual report by the Executive Team will be coming out this summer.

2.     A detailed report on social justice committees and programs that is being compiled by Stan Jewett. Stan and others have worked all year putting this together. Please look for a link to the annual reports this summer in the e-news.This will give you a report on what all the groups have accomplished over the 2015-2016 church year.

3.     Board Moderator’s letter.  Randy Russell, the Board Moderator, will be doing a monthly letter you will find in the e-news.  This letter will give you ideas of what we as a Board are working on along with a Question and Answer section intended to improve the flow of information between the Board and Congregants.

4.     Communication Committee Café Conversations.  We as the Communication Committee will hold 3-4 sessions during the year for you to come and share your thoughts on topics the Board will be addressing during the coming year.

5.     Revamping our web page.  Corbin Scott, Communication Coordinator, is working on a new user-friendly web page designed to improve the flow of information about the Church.

• More Postings of the Communications Committee: 


Guidelines for how to organize various communication forums may be found here.

Overview of Policy Based Governance

 2015 Annual Survey of Congregation Results

Led by the Board of Trustees, First Unitarian Church conducts an annual survey of its congregants (“Board Survey”). The 2015 Board Survey was conducted during February 2015 and two hundred and fifteen (215) congregants responded (“Respondents”).

The 2015 Board Survey focused on three areas: (1) how well First Church meets the elements of its Mission, (2) whether Respondents preferred new statements of Mission elements over older or “original” elements, and (3) demographic information about our congregation.  Results are summarized in the document located here.