Task Force on Location – Terms of Reference

FUCV Task Force on Location 

Click here for Location Task Force Work Plan

Terms of Reference

Background 

In considering long-term sustainability and vibrancy of the First Unitarian Congregation of Victoria (FUCV), the Board of Directors, with the help of the strategic planning team members and

members of the Congregation have identified the issue of location as an area requiring further investigation. In order to consider all options and implications, a thorough consideration of facts, history and options is required to inform what choices will work best for our community. 

2. Purpose 

The purpose of the FUCV Task Force on Location is to inform the Board of Directors and congregation on ideas, facts, considerations and options for improving current use and considering new places and formats for church activities. The Task Force will develop a variety of scenarios including expected costs and modes of operation for each.

An options paper with the Committee’s recommendation will be tabled to the Board of Directors for review and discussion. 

3. Values & Process 

The FUCV Task Force on Location will uphold UU principles and strive to ensure an inclusive and well-informed process. All members and activities will practice collaboration, communication, balance in views, and respect for different perspectives. It is understood that this topic holds great passion for many people. All views will be welcomed and heard. 

The Task Force will identify stakeholders and offer opportunities for consultation.

4. Membership 

The FUCV Task Force on Location will report to the Board and congregation. Expressions of interest to serve on the Location Task Force will be sought from the Congregation, and members will be appointed by the Board and consist of the following: 

• 1 Minister ex officio 

  President ex officio

• 1-2 Board members

• 3-4 members from the congregation 

In addition, subject-matter specialists, when required, may be sought as advisors throughout the process. Skills will be requested in the following areas: finance, property, research, programs, communications and congregational engagement.

Criteria for selecting Task Force members: 

• A church Member or Friend, familiar with Unitarian Universalism 

• Objective and open to other points of view 

• Available to do the required work and to attend meetings

  Able to meet deadlines 

  Has available time to do the required work

• A good listener, and diplomatic in handling opinions and emotions 

• Representative of diverse geographic areas, ages and genders 

• Members will have some understanding of the history of our church. 

5. Timeframe 

The Task Force will start in the fall of 2018 and conduct its work throughout 2019 with the aim to bring findings to a special Congregational meeting in 2020. 

The first task will be to develop a work plan with methodology, research teams, communications and timeframes. 

6. Communication & Reporting Back  

The Task Force serves the whole congregation and will keep the FUCV community informed on updates through a variety of media throughout the process. The Task Force will decide the best way to address each of the topics of enquiry.

Ongoing information sessions, discussions and updates will be shared as needed throughout the process and as soon as a draft options paper has been prepared. 

The Task Force will present a report to the FUCV Board of Directors for December, 2019 Board meeting based on complete and thorough research. 

Final options will be presented to the Congregation for discussion and feedback. 

Appendix 1 Suggested Approaches

  1. Theory and values 

• What questions should we be asking? 

• What theoretical guidance can inform the decision-making process? How important is physical place to spirituality and worship? To community-building? Attachment? 

• How would the current location make an ongoing contribution to environmental sustainability and climate change and is there a scenario that can help to offset this impact? 

B) Stakeholders & interests 

• Who are the key stakeholders? What are their interests? Where will funds come from for ongoing maintenance of the buildings and land? 

• Summarize FUCV views from strategic planning discussions (2016-17), survey (2017), possibly another survey to include willingness to fund a maintenance campaign 

C) Current land use and buildings 

• Fact-finding on what we know about our property? [eg. history, title map, Research what exists on land use, covenants, environmental information, ability to incorporate housing, zoning, etc]. Are there any information gaps? 

D) Location & format of current and potential programs and services:

• How are FUCV buildings and land presently used? What are the terms and dates of agreements? Are there improvements that can be made to present contracts and leases? 

• How else could the land and buildings be used differently or better, for spiritual context and practise? 

E) Alternate models of worship, looking at location and formats 

• What are some examples of innovative models of worship with emphasis on Unitarian Congregations throughout North America? What lessons can be drawn on how they are working/not? Why are they working/not? How similar is the context to FUCV? 

• How about costing out scenarios described below; 

F) Putting the pieces together : Task Force will consider 

• What advice to guide decisions of the Board? (eg. Revenue and cost $$, time, demographics, other) 

• What are the financial Implications for each option eg cost of staying and of leaving 

• What are the main options and scenarios for current and future location and worship? How can we improve the value of the land? Eg Future development options including rezoning, senior’s housing. Identify scenarios in terms of feasibility, from simple to complex. Eg 

Scenario A: Sell this location and buy someplace elsewhere. Include research on the highest and best use of the land in terms of future revenue and expenditures 

Scenario B: Keep this location and invest in holding services elsewhere. Look at other models with several campuses eg San Diego, Albuquerque, Houston, etc. Include collaborating more with Capital Fellowship. 

Scenario C: Stay in current location and expand its use and revenue capability. Project and revenue now and maintenance costs and projected revenue potential into the future. 

Scenario D: Sell the land.