First News



MAY / JUNE 2024



The first few months of the year have been a relatively quiet time for the Board. The year began with preparation for Annual Meeting in February. The primary topics discussed in January were the proposed budget and the transfer of certain small memorial funds to the operating account.

The proposed budget was reviewed one final time and was presented to the congregation and approved. Regarding the small memorial funds, the Board agreed that the church should vote on the transfer of small memorial funds held by Ron and less than $10,000 each to the operating account.

Besides these two matters, there was considerable discussion at Annual Meeting on the mix of funds in the church portfolio, namely, the level of ESG funds. Two representatives from Bartholomew attended the meeting and reported on having analyzed overall portfolio performance using the current mix compared to setting a 20% level of non-ESG funds. The firm reported that the two approaches were nearly identical with a difference of roughly 1.5% either way, but the current mix provided the greater result. The decision for which approach to use going forward was brought to a vote with the result to remain with the current mix which does contain some non-ESG funds, just not at a defined level of 20%.

Following Annual Meeting, the Board met in March. The agenda consisted mostly of committee reports, but one issue had to do with the sound system. Heather explained that the system is old and hard to adjust. The Board voted to request a proposal to update the sound system. The Finance Committee cited budget concerns due to contributions being down from last year. Pledges were also down this year. We are looking at impacts on the church. The evolution of the portfolio mix and how the decision was made to take a primarily ESG approach was explained, namely, that being a church, it was felt appropriate to invest in socially responsible funds, consistent with how most churches invest.



Fiscal Year 2021 marked the first full year that invested funds were managed by our portfolio advisory firm, Bartholomew & Company.At the start of that year, most of the individual accounts previously held in CDís had already been transferred to our account with the firm.By year-end 2021, Bartholomew held all the individual invested funds.They continue to manage our portfolio.

Invested funds fall into three categories:1) restricted funds which are intended to support only budget operations and using only the interest earned on those funds, 2) unrestricted completely as to how those funds are used and with both principal and earnings available, and 3) designated funds which may tap both principal and interest but must be used only for the purpose specified, such as the Elevator Fund or Technology Fund.

It is important to note that in cases such as the Emergency, Elevator, Burrill, and McKenzie Funds that were previously invested in more than one CD of the same name, purpose, and category, those transfers were added to their corresponding funds of the same name and category within the Bartholomew-held portfolio.

See the printed version of First News for details.


FY23 closed with a slightly positive position.The surplus was due to the portfolio transfer and to having only a half year of ministerial and parsonage operating expenses.

Ron prepared a list of funds that had been established for more than one year and less than $10,000 total. Per policy decided a year ago, the list was brought to the Annual Meeting to vote on transferring these funds to the operating account. The congregation approved a transfer to help meet this yearís operating budget. Because this yearís list of funds went back for many years, future transfer totals will be much smaller.

Ron Dickinson has faithfully served as Treasurer for 35 years. He has continued to perform his duties with his typical diligence, paying bills, tracking expenses, and explaining numerous financial procedures. Nick has worked closely with Ron, and arrangements have been made to designate additional signers to the Treasurerís account.

Our next meeting is planned for May 14th.

See the printed version of First News for additional details.

PLEASE PRAY FOR THE FOLLOWING: Ron D, now at home; Rev. K T, at South Shore Hospital; Gail C, respiratory infection, Bruce C, for successful shoulder surgery on Wednesday, May 1st; and Lauren M, Gail Cís daughter, as she heals.



Close-up of a white flower with black text

Description automatically generatedOur prayers and sympathy are with the family and friends of Gerald Eaton, Rachel Eatonís husband, who passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, April 11th. Funeral Services were held on Tuesday, April 16, 2024, at Blanchardís Funeral Chapel in Whitman.




Special Offering for MayRight-Click on the filename below to download this image and choose "Save Target As" or "Save Link As"

The Strengthen the Church (STC) Offering reflects the shared commitment of people across the United Church of Christ to cooperatively build up the UCC Conferences and the national setting equally share the gifts given by members and friends through their local congregations. The funds raised support leadership development, new churches, youth ministry, and innovation in existing congregations.  By your generosity to this offering, which will be taken up all month, you build up the Body of Christ. As God calls our congregations to be the church in new ways, your generosity will plant new churches, awaken new ideas in existing churches and develop the spiritual life in our youth and young adults.


MAINSPRING BAG LUNCH PROGRAM AND CONWAY HOUSE (Our Room!) Juneís Special Offering Right-Click on the filename below to download this image and choose "Save Target As" or "Save Link As"††Once a month, bag lunches are made by volunteers, led by church members, Barbara & Dennis McLaughlin and Barbara Derosier, for Mainspring residents. Food costs have increased, as you all know, so your financial support is needed more than ever if we are to keep this project going!We also take care of re-supplying towels and linens in a room that we have sponsored for many years at the Conway House in Middleborough. Your generous help with this Special Offering, which will be taken up throughout the month of June, is much needed and sincerely appreciated.




RUMMAGE SALE: This Saturday, May 4th from 9:00-1:00. Volunteers needed before, during and after the event. If you can help, please contact Gail Clement at 781-447-4052 or Barbara McLaughlin at (home) 781-447-0496 or (cell) 781-654-1269. Thank you.



A large branch fell off the tree in the backyard at the parsonage, which has now been removed. There is also a small gap between the ground and the new rear stairs.This needs to be filled in to discourage unwanted tenants from moving underneath.The driveway stakes have been put away for now and lawncare is our next project there.

At the church, we will be looking into installing crash bars on all four exterior doors, as well as taking care of lawn care there.The toilet handle in the menís room loosened up again and so was tightened again.Also, speaking of bathrooms, every Sunday the Trustees go on ďpaper towel patrolĒ in the three bathrooms to make sure that everything is functioning as intended.

Mark Hall, Trusteeís Secretary