2020 Annual Meeting Minutes!

Unity Center of Des Moines

Annual Meeting

Sunday, December  6, 2020


  1. Opening Prayer (Rachel)

  2. Introductions- (Holly, Rachel, Gary, Laura, Deb, Laura)
  3. General State of Unity Center of Des Moines 

    1. We are holding together and growing at the same time. This is a very special time- there is really no possible comparison to last year. We are finding success in an online platform (FB, Zoom) as it brings more people to our center and allows people from all over the country to participate. We are also noticing that people are engaging with us consistently throughout the week because our FB videos are getting many views. We are accessible at this time, despite our doors being closed. 

  4. Reports

  1. Accomplishments through the year 

Website- Holly and Lamont

More consistent social media presence and communication


Team effort to answer and return calls thanks for Unity Cares team

Interesting and well attended online offerings (and more to come)


New attendees that are getting involved in the life of the center (tithing, workshops, fellowship hour, virtual giving tree)

DMARC matching campaign was a success, reaching almost 5000.00 in matching funds


Rocktoberfest was a successful first try for an online musical fundraiser. We raised enough money to help someone with her rent and gained a lot of experience.

Physical upkeep- ready for when people can safely return; identifying what needs fixed while we have the time to do so. Kristy Patterson, Holly Moore and Lamont Wilson have been integral in keeping our building and grounds in good shape.


Janet Drey work with the board, then with the congregation.


Two-corded budget system: Cord One/Operational Costs. Cord Two/Ministerial/Non-Operational Costs. We will build this budget over 2021 and fully implement it in 2022.


Prosperity work: Individuals (and board as they are able), then Unity community through a book study on Who Have You Come Here to Be in January and February


Tech updates have allowed us to live stream Zoom and to get ready to bring in remote speakers. Our first remote speaker will be Greg Tamblyn next week.

Donations have been easier for people through the addition of Venmo and a streamlined process between PP, Venmo and our online donation system.


We are preparing systems that allow people to give automatically each month. Vivienne Woodson has done a wonderful job overseeing donations and sending thank you notes. 


Neighborhood outreach has expanded with small gifts and letters dropped off at people’s doors. Some neighbors wrote back and thanked us for our care. We invited them to use the patio anytime and to join us for service and events. We thank the Mannings for delivering the gifts to the neighborhood.


Unity was able to still provide a wedding experience for a member outside (Rachel officiated)

We have renters preparing their spaces so they can be ready when it’s time to open up. At this time, we have three new renters who will pay by the hour, and then move to standard monthly rent as their businesses grow.


The board and I created a safety protocol for covid-19. We use this now to keep the building safe and clean and will use it more fully when it is time to open the church. 


  1. Opportunities for Growth and Potential 

    1. We are looking for someone to lead the Sunday school ministry. It used to be Rachel’s position until she moved into the director’s position. 

  2. Specific Ask: Let’s share the work.  We are seeking volunteers to help us care for the church. Here are some of those needs:

  • Routine cleaning 

  • Disinfecting as part of our COVID-19 protocol

  • Youth Education: Online engagement

  • Organization in the business office

  • Organization/light renovations in the basement (paint)

  • Community Outreach 


  1. Financial Report 

    1. Gary shared that we are doing as well as can be expected at this time. The sale of the house allowed the center to become financially secure, and we are utilizing those funds wisely. 

    2. Gary is overseeing the PPP loans from the government and will follow up on the reporting out phase. We will share how we used the money so that we are in compliance with the loan. We do not have any concerns about this happening. 

    3. Donations have been strong, equal or greater than donations in a non-COVID-19 year. 



Rachel shared the two corded budget plan and thanked Vivienne Woodson and Holly for keeping the donations and books up to date


Laura Jones presented the idea of “Unity Angels”. There are some bigger ticket items that need addressed at Unity, and Laura suggested that those who had the means to share could help us. Examples: expenses for a month, fixing the back railing, covering salaries for a month


Maintenance Report: From Holly Moore, Church Administrator and Kristy Patterson

We have made a lot of progress on some very important maintenance projects since we started in June.


We had the drain in the basement cleaned and scoped - which has drastically diminished the water damage that was occurring. We also have repaired the door so that it is more usable and may now be able to pass fire inspection.


We rented a lift and repaired some of the woodpecker damage to the outside of the building - as well as removed the ferns and deep cleaned the atrium. 


We took down the defibrillator per the insurance company audit.


We have done a lot of minor repairs around the building including many light fixtures, doors, heat registers that were loose - and we continue to change batteries in thermostats and clocks (2x per year at the time changes).


We need to make new arrangements for the lawn and snow removal. We had redbud do our lawn and the Leveque’s - and it was very expensive. DMU clears the snow from our parking lot, so we only have the walks and entrances to do and we have done those ourselves this year. 


We are in the process of making arrangements for the needed elevator and fire inspections.


There are several ongoing deep cleaning projects we have been working on. 


We will be making a new awning cover for the back door and the mailbox.


We will be getting estimates to repair the railing in the back when the weather warms up. We will also be completing the peace pole and woodpecker repairs in the warmer months to come. 


Update on Board of Trustees:  

  1. Mavis Curry helped Rev. Cynthia put together a new board that began working together in May/June. That board included Mavis Curry, Gary Johansen, and Laura Jones and Deb Jennings.

  2. Mavis Curry rolled off the board in November. Gary, Laura and Deb decided to serve one more year.

  3. We have room for more board members and will begin seeking people out for this role in January. If you are interested, talk to us. If you have experience and are interested, step up

  4. Rachel’s contract is up in May but the board decided to extend it. Rachel is finished with all pre-requisite classes and is waiting to see if she is accepted into the field ministry program. This program would allow her to stay at Unity and work toward ordination at the same time. Rachel is currently ordained but is working for an ordination through Unity Worldwide Ministries. 


Ongoing and Upcoming Events

  1. Prosperity Project- runs through Dec. 16 (Rachel)

  2. Service of Remembrance- Dec. 20 at the Celebration Service time (Rachel)

  3. Christmas Eve/Day Video Message (Zoom, FB website)

  4. Unity Community Book study on Who Have We Come Here to Be. This book study continues the work the board has been doing with Janet Drey by including the community. Sessions will be led by the board and will take place Sundays during fellowship hour, Jan. 10- Feb. 14.

  5. Stewardship Campaign, details TBA.