New Church Family Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
November 12, 2019
Board Members present: Dennis Brooks; Jerry Corlis; Bonnie “T-Bear” Frazee; Bryan
Guest present: Bob Austin; Tom Brown; Jeff DeYoung.
Call to order: Dennis Brooks, Board President called the meeting to order at 5:13 pm.
Opening Prayer: Opening prayer was given by Dennis Brooks.
Review and Acceptance of Agenda: Motion by Bryan Poaches; second by T-Bear to
accept the Agenda. Motion passed.
Acceptance of Minutes: Bryan Poaches told that his name was misspelled in paragraph
2. Motion by Bryan Poaches; second by T-Bear to accept the amended minutes. Motion
Pastor's Report: The Pastor's Report was passed out. Motion by Jerry Corlis; second by
Bryan Poaches to accept the report. Motion passed.
President's Report: President Brooks reported that he, Rev. Donna Choate, Bonnie
Frazee and Bryan Poaches have been put on all accounts to sign checks and etc. Motion
by Jerry Corlis, second by T-Bear to accept the report. Motion passed.
Vice-President's Report: At this time there was nothing to report.
Treasurer's Report: Treasurer Frazee and Bookkeeper Jeff DeYoung handed out the
Treasurer's Report. The Internal Audit found no discrepancies. Operation Teresa's
Needy Kids will get $700. Budget Committee needs to start meeting and come up with
the budget for 2020 asap. Motion by Jerry Corlis, second by Bryan Poaches to accept the
report. Motion passed.
Building and Grounds Report: Building and Grounds manager Frazee reported she is
getting bids on Peel & Stick and Vinyl signs for the sign out front of Church. Trash
disposal has increased to $75 a month. Motion by Bryan Poaches, second by Jerry Corlis
to accept the report. Motion passed.
Social Director's Report: Director Poaches reported that Church event dates will be
discussed later in the meeting. Motion by T-Bear, second by Jerry Corlis to accept the
report. Motion passed.
Cookbook: The Board will talk to Dave McBride about the status of the cookbook. Tabled until next meeting.
Business Cards and Banner: Dennis Brooks had Business Cards and a Banner and
Yard Sign made and donated to the Church. Motion by Bryan Poaches, second by T-Bear to accept the donation and use them. Motion passed.
Stationary: It was suggested to use the Business Card as the heading for the Stationery.
It will be announced at the Forum on Nov. 17th if anyone would like to do the Stationery
design. If no one wants to then the Board will handle it. Jeff Farance Library Plaque Dedication: T-Bear and Rev. Donna Choate will handle this.
Pastoral Search Committee presents packet: The Pastoral Search Committee
presented the “Employment Packet” to the Board. Salary and etc. was a big discussion.
Motion by Bryan Poaches, second by Jerry Corlis to temporarily accept the packet
pending on everyone going over it and reporting back by November 17th. Motion passed.
Schedule of who will fill in for services after Rev. Donna Choate leaves: It will be
brought up at the Forum on Nov. 17th asking anyone if they would like to fill in.
Tabled till December meeting.
Church Social excursion: Social Director Poaches informed the Board of a Social
excursion to see the musical “The Color Purple” on March 16th
at the Peabody Auditorium in Daytona Beach. Tickets will be $25 and Dinner will be $14. They will
start announcing it at the Forum on November 17th and posting it on Facebook page for
anyone wanting to go to see Bryan Poaches.
NCF Board of Directors' Award: Social Director Poaches has a program he is wanting
to start at NCF to award members for their service to NCF. The Congregation can
nominate someone on a form he has for the monthly service award. The Board will then
pick one and they will be given a Certificate and their picture posted on the Bulletin
Board. He also wants a Human Rights Award to be given to someone once a year on
Human Rights Day. This would be a plaque and holding a Continental Breakfast after
service. Bryan Poaches will be the head of these programs. Motion by Jerry Corlis,
second by T-Bear to approve the program. Motion passed.
Renovation of our Church marquee (down by the street): This was talked about
during the Building and Manager's Report. T-Bear to head this.
Upcoming Church events: November 24th – Thanksgiving Dinner after service;
December 1 – Monthly potluck; December 22nd
– Christmas dinner, gift exchange, Hanukkah and Blue Christmas all on that one day; January 19
Th – Church will recognize Dr. Martin Luther King Day and Human Rights Day. Motion by T-Bear, second by Jerry C. to recognize a Local Leader for Human Rights Day in January 2020. Motion passed;
January 19th could possibly be Rev. Donna Choate's last day; March 8th – Women's
History Month recognition.
Location of minutes of last Annual Meeting: Bob Austin showed the Board where the
minutes were stored. Bookcase by front desk.
Budget proposal for next year: T-Bear, Jeff DeYoung and Jerry Corlis will be the
Budget Committee to work on the budget for 2020.
Rainbow Alliance request for a donation: Tom Brown presented a request to the
Board for a donation to the Rainbow Alliance to help with scholarships for LGBTQ
youth. Motion by Bryan Poaches, second by Jerry Corlis to have the March Benevolence
Offering given to the Rainbow Alliance. Motion passed.
Agenda Additions from the Floor:
Storm Water Fees: Bookkeeper DeYoung stated that the fee is $512.52 due by
November 30 th . Motion by T-Bear, 2nd by Bryan Poaches to take the fee out of the
Building Fund to pay it before penalties are added. Motion passed.
Donation Letters to be sent out: Bryan Poaches informed the Board that he will be
sending out Donation Letters to several asking for donations to NCF.
Letter from Rev. Alan Austin: Rev. Alan Austin sent a letter to the Board asking that
his membership in NCF be removed. He is starting his own Ministry “He Carries Me
Over Ministries” and according to the By-Laws of that Ministry he cannot belong to
another Church. He informed them that he still will be visiting NCF regularly. Motion
by Bryan Poaches, second by T-Bear to approve removing his membership. Motion
Set meeting date for December: December 10th was set for the next Board Meeting at 5 pm.
Adjourn and closing prayer: Motion by Jerry Corlis, second by T-Bear to adjourn.
Motion passed. Adjourned at 8:00 pm. Closing prayer was given by Dennis Brooks.
A special Congregational Meeting on Sept. 29, 2019 elected Dennis Brooks and Bryan Poaches to fill two vacancies that opened up on the church's board of directors. Dennis, as top vote-getter in a five-way contest, will serve through January 2021; Bryan as runner up will serve through January 2020. Both will be eligible to seek re-election if they wish. Jerry Corlis was elevated from a non-voting member emeritus to a voting board alternate. Also standing for election are Pam Bernabes and Jodi Llewellyn.
In a short board meeting following the congregational meeting, Dennis was designated vice president, while Bryan will be social director.
The congregational meeting drew 19 members out of 37 eligible to cast votes. The new members replace Jeff DeYoung and Bob Austin who resigned in August.
Call to Order – Opening prayer – Note attendees
a. Called to order at 5:16PM
b. Opening Prayer given by Rev. Donna
c. In attendance – Board Members Judi O, Char R, Jerry N, & Bonnie F, Rev Donna,
Member Emeritus Gerry C, and Frank O
2. Review and Acceptance of the agenda
a. Motion made by Donna C, seconded by Char R, unanimous approval
3. Acceptance of the minutes of the June 5th Board meeting & July 20 Special Board Meeting
a. June 5th Board Meeting Acceptance of Minutes tabled to next Board Meeting
b. July 20, 2019 Board Meeting minutes – Motion by Rev Donna to accept, seconded by Bonnie F, unanimous approval
4. Pastor’s Report
a. The Women’s Ministry has been disbanded. The money in their treasury was turned over - $571.60. $500.00 was designated for Teresa’s Kids in the upcoming Christmas season and $71.60 was designated for donation to the Veteran’s Nursing Home Activties / Arts & Crafts. The money for the Veteran’s Nursing Home was delivered by Char R.
b. The report was given for both June & July 2019.
5. President’s Report
a. Judi O tendered her resignation as President of the Board of Directors. Char R was then elevated from Vice President to President of the Board. Judi O was then nominated to be moved to the Treasurer position. Rev Donna C motioned to accept and Bonnie F seconded. Voted 4 in favor, 1 abstention. Motion passed and Judi O was appointed Treasurer
b. Motion made by Judi O to make Jerry N Secretary, seconded by Rev Donna. Motion passed Vote 4 in favor, 1 abstention
c. Judi O has been researching the Pastoral Search process. Has found the information from the previous Pastoral Nominating Committee from 2013 which included a booklet on how to perform a Pastoral Search. Will continue the process so that when the Committee is formed, they will have a starting point.
6. Vice President’s Report
a. Char R indicated she will continue to maintain the attendance records after her being made President with the resignation of Judi O as President and move to Treasurer.
b. Char R. will be working on the attendance, etc. in preparation for the Special Congregational Meeting to elect new Board members to complete the terms of Jeff D.
(Feb 2020) and Bob A (Feb 2021)
c. Read a letter received from the Veterans Council of Volusia County that runs the activities and arts & crafts for the Veteran’s Nursing Home, thanking us for our donation for the 120 residents of the Emory L Bennett Veterans Nursing Home to purchase items needed. This money is greatly appreciated as they only have a budget of $250 per month.
d. Motion made by Jerry N and seconded by Bonnie F to accept report, unanimously approved.
7. Treasurer’s Report
a. Given by Judi O who has been handling the Treasurer position since the resignation of Jeff D as Treasurer, effective July 31, 2019
b. Reviewed Tithes Analysis and Budget vs Expenses thru June 30, 2019
c. Reviewed Profit & Loss for January – June 2019 for the General Fund, the Building Fund, and the Benevolence Fund
d. Reviewed July 2019 Monthly Profit & Loss for the General Fund, the Building Fund, and the Benevolence Fund. The General Fund showed a loss of $846.23 for the month of July 2019
e. Reviewed Profit & Loss for January – July 2019 for the General Fund, the Building Fund, snd the Benevolence Fund. The General Fund showed a loss of $149.08 thru July 31, 2019.
f. Motion to approve Treasurer’s Report as read by Rev Donna C and seconded by Bonnie. Approved as read.
8. Building Report
a. Peep holes have been installed. Dead bolts changed and new keys have been issued to Board Members & Rev. Donna. Air filters were purchased and changed.
Looking into Air Reed as supplier of filters as we have dimensions out of the norm.
b. Cleaning has been done primarily by Bonnie F. since Bob & Alan left the cleaning position at the end of July. Was to be done by volunteers but not many have stepped up. Rev Donna suggested compensating Bonnie F by allowing her to purchase $50.00 of diesel per month as she is coming to the church numerous times per week to clean. Motion was made by Rev Donna and seconded by Jerry N. Unanimously approved.
c. Motion to accept Building Report as read. Unanimously accepted
9. Social Director’s Report
10. Old Business
a. Cookbook Update – Dave M said he would get it to the printer in September so we will have it in time for holiday sales.
- Still in progress. Will get an update from David M when he returns from vacation
b. Logo Contest Update – Stan was going to do some revisions and let us know. There have been comments regarding the Logo showing an X thru the cross. This was discussed and made known that it was done in Paint. Needs to be converted to a format useful to be able to use on business cards, letterhead, etc. Char R indicated she had a program that might convert it. Otherwise, there will be a need to hire someone to do so. Will revisit at the September Board meeting.
c. Carpet Fund – Update from Bonnie as to whether the process to get quotes has begun. Bonnie is going to get some further clarification on the quotes received to date and give an update at the September Board meeting. Hoping to have the carpeting installed in September or October.
11. New Business
a. Pastoral Nominating Committee – Need to get this formed as soon as possible to begin the process. Judi O has found the book from the last search committee and will be going out on the internet to find more info to get them started.
1. Char R, Bonnie F, and Gerry C as Member Emeritus indicated they would like to be on the Pastoral Nominating Committee as Board representatives. Frank O indicated he would like to be on the Committee as a congregational member. Pam B. also previously expressed interested in being on the Committee.
2. It will be taken to the Congregation on Sunday, August 11th to make it known to a Board member if they are interested in being on the committee.
b. Set a date for the special meeting for election of 2 new board members. We need to give 2 weeks advance notice so we are probably looking at September 1, 2019.
1. Char R is working on the attendance and member records for quorum numbers needed for the Special Congregational Meeting.
2. The positions to be filled are Vice President & Social Director.
3. Jerry C indicated he is interested in running for one of the seats.
4. It will be taken to the Congregation on Sunday, August 11th to make it known to a Board Member if someone is interested in running.
5. Special Congregational Meeting was set for September 8, 2019
c. Need to discuss the reinvestment of approximately $12,500 in the cash portion of Morgan Stanley from a called bond.
1. Sun Trust called one of the bonds we had in our portfolio and there is now approximately $17,500.00 in the cash portion of our Morgan Stanley portfolio. Not
making us any money sitting there. Need to move it back into an investment to have it continue to make us money.
2. Judi O is awaiting paperwork from Morgan Stanley to remove Jeff D as Treasurer and have her listed as Treasurer in order to talk to them. Going to look at investing back between $12,000 & $12,500 back into a bond. Will also discuss possible highly rated stocks that pay a regular dividend.
d. Setting a policy for the admittance of service dogs ensuring they have the proper training and not just paperwork for certification
1. Examined the Florida ADA site regarding service animals. Churches are exempt from the Title 2 & Title 3 ADA requirements regarding service animals and policy can be made to not allow any service animals.
2. Board discussed and determined that no animals would be allowed for the comfort of those congregants that are allergic or phobic.
12. Set Sep ’19 Meeting Date
Next meeting was set for Wednesday, September 11, 2019 at 5PM
13. Adjournment and prayer
Meeting was adjourned at 8:48PM and prayer was given by Char R.
ANNOUNCEMENT FROM NCF BOARD PRESIDENT JUDI OMELIA on July 29, 2019
Good morning and Happy Monday to everyone. For those of you not at service yesterday, I wanted to let you know that at the end of service Rev Donna announced that she will not be renewing her covenant. She will be with us thru January 31st, 2020m when her current covenant expires. There were a number of factors that came into this decision. She also wanted it to be clear that the Board of Directors did not initiate this action and that she believes the work God called her to do with our congregation has been completed and it is time for her to move on. She also indicated that anyone who would like further discussion about her decision should contact her and she would be more than happy to meet with them.
Have a blessed and awesome week!!
New Church Family is collecting school supplies for the benefit of newly placed foster children, especially kindergartners. Dee James and Steph Hampton, organizers of the supply drive and foster mothers themselves, said the aim is to help families who receive placements just before school starts. Typically it costs more than $100 per child to provide the uniforms and supplies required by the Volusia School System. Here are items being collected in the church lobby over the next few weeks. Call the church office if you have questions -- 396-527-5952.
2019-2020 Kindergarten Supply List
Qty Item Needed
packs large primary pencils
boxes of regular #2 pencils
boxes of 8 count Crayola crayons
boxes of 24 count Crayola Crayons
large pencil box
glue sticks (preferably Elmer’s)
ream of white computer paper
pair Fiskars non-pointed scissors
plastic folders with pockets and prongs
4-packs of black dry erase markers
large boxes of tissues
packages of wet wipes
large bottle of hand sanitizer
New Church Family Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
June 5, 2019
Board members present: Bob A.; Jerry N.; Judi O.; Charlene R.; Rev. Donna C.; Jerry C.; Bonnie “T-
Bear” F. (Jeff D on sabbatical.). Guests present: Frank O.; Dave M.; Jim B.; Pam B.; Tom B.
Judi, board president, called the meeting to order at 5:09 p.m. Rev. Donna led opening prayer.
Pastor's Report: Key Points – Emergency Contact information form was shown to the
Board. New Confidential Membership agreement was shown to the Board. Women's Ministry
is to be reconfigured in the fall. Rev, Donna asked the board to roll back the pastor's hours to 24 a week in light of board members now handling Wednesday office duties. Motion by Bob A. to approve the request and change the pastoral covenant accordingly. Charlene seconded, approved by a voice vote. Rev, Donna noted that negotiations for a 2020 pastoral covenant will begin shortly.
A written treasurer's report was distributed.
Building report -- Bonnie circulated 3 bids received for new carpeting, and discussed their pros and cons. Bids ranged from $3913, to $6836 depending on the square footage to be covered and thickness of the material. Several details need clairifying and more bids may be sought. The capret fund has $5152 available. Bonnie also noted the parking lot striping project is continuing.
Events: Social director Jerry N. noted these events are on the calendar: Rocketman concert at the Daytona bandshell June 8; Father's Day Potlukc at church June 16; Pulse Remembrance ceremony in downtown DeLand on June 12; NCF pancake breakfast Aug 11, featuring pineappe upside down pancakes.
Logo: There was further inspection and discusion of a Cross Starburst design developed by Stan. The project is nearing completion. Board members will be emailed a request for final approval.
Safety -- Charlene R. reported that South Daytona Police Dept. offers a CPR course without certification for $25. A person can be certified by passing an online course and paying addition $35. Volusia County Sheriff's office will assist us in drawing up an evacuation plan in the event of a fire or shooting incident.The Volusia County Fire Department willwork with us on outdoor safety.to reduce brush fire hazards.
Hope Place Volunteer opportunities: Tom B. ia awating details from the shelter's volunteer coordinator.
NEW BUSINESS --
Prayers of the People -- In a lengthy discussion, board members agreed with the pastor we should let members continue voicing their concerns as the spirit leads them, including painful memories of rejections and assaults. . The board also agreed that youngsters in the congregation should be protected againt X-rated stories they are too young to understand. The prayer leader, assisted by the pastor and others, will intervene if a person gets overly emotional and might need private comforting. Rev. Donna said she hopes by early July, a faith-based therapist will be available to help church members work through their personal issues in weekday group sessions.
A discussion of new fundraising activites was tabled.
Facebook: Board members discussed details of the board's continued monitoring of our Facebook group. The board agreed the page remains off-limits to commercial promotions and political statements. FB membership requests have to come from the person seeking membership, not from a third party, and applicants must state why they want to join.
Memorial -- Board approved Jerry N's motion to dedicate our library in memory of Jeff Farance. It also approved Charlene's motion to update the angels' plaque as needed.
A change in the church's vision statement was tabled so it can be discussed at a July 28 congregational forum.
The July board meeting was set for July 3 at 5 p.m. Meeting adjourned at 8:55 p.m.
(Compiled by Tom Brown from a draft of the minutes. The full text of the minutes with additional details is available at the church office.)
NCF Board Highlights of May 8, 2019 Meeting
(From condensed minutes; the full text of the minutes is available at the church office)
Board members present: Bob Austin; Bonnie T-Bear Frazee; Charlene Rywant; Jerry Nelson, Jeff DeYoung; Judi Omelia; Rev. Donna Choate. Guests present: Tom B., Frank O., Jim B., Stan R.
Meeting called to order 5:09 p.m. by Judi, board president, presiding.
April 3 board minutes, agenda and several reports accepted.
Pastor reported she is asking the state to post “Church Entrance” signs on US 92 to help slow up traffic. Char is gathering emergency contact information sheets from members willing to have the church keep them on file. Treasurer reported the year-to-date deficit stands at $363. A year ago, at this point, it was $2,000. Building manager (T-Bear) reported she is awaiting a county inspection that will determine whether we have to buy 6 small trees to replace the large pine we removed from the front lawn. She is optimistic our woods in the rear of our property will meet our tree requirement. She is seeking a large wicker basket to hold our artificial indoor tree.
OLD BUSINESS – Cookbook ad prices have been set as follows: $20 for a one-line name listing; business card, $25; half page $50; full page $100. Final editing of cookbook pages is under way.
LOGO – Stan presented a preliminary design of a cross positioned against a rainbow-colored starburst. The tweaking continues.
NEW BUSINESS – A memorial roll of 86 deceased members will be presented at Memorial Day weekend’s Sunday Service.
A carpet sample book was passed around at the May 5 congregational forum, and most members favored on particular color. The building manager will seek bids for purchase and installation.
SAFETY: Char will lead a committee that will come up with a church evacuation plan in the event of fire or a shooting. Other safety measures discussed were door peepholes and a 90-degree convex mirror outside the front entrance so we can see who is ringing our doorbell. We discussed having a church member with a concealed carry permit bring his or her weapon to church as a precaution. The board, at the pastor’s recommendation, decided against this measure.
Father’s Day – Frank O. and Jerry N. will plan a fathers’ recognition event for the Father’s Day service.
CPR Training – Rev. Donna is seeking quotes. Red Cross training would cost $858 to have 8 people trained in defribillator use. Further discussion tabled until the next meeting.
Parking lot painting – The board approved yellow as a color for bump stocks and curbs near shrubs. Parking space lines will be white.
Back-door ramp – Char suggested a ramp would help with loading and unloading of large items. Others felt the front patio ramp is sufficient. On motion of T-Bear, the board voted 5-1 against adding a back ramp.
Surplus organ – Tom B. asked whether the unused spare organ in the front corner of the sanctuary will be included in the upcoming yard sale. Char is checking to see if a start-up church wants it as a donation. If not, the organ will be available for sale.
June board meeting will be June 5 at 5 p.m. Meeting adjourned at 6:51 p.
New Church Family -- Agenda for Board of Directors Meeting
May 8, 2019 -- 5 p.m. -- NCF Conference room (or possibly the Library)
1. Call to Order – Opening prayer – Note attendees
2. Acceptance of the agenda
3. Acceptance of the minutes of the April 3rd Board meeting
4. Pastor’s Report
5. President’s Report
6. Vice President’s Report
7. Treasurer’s Report
8. Building Report
9. Old Business
a. Cookbook Update
b. Logo Update
10. New Business
a. Memorial Day Reading of Deceased NCF members.
b. Carpet replacement
c. Church security options
d. Hope Place Volunteer opportunities – FYI item
e. Father’s Day observance
f. CPR training
g Parking lot painting
h. Need for a back door ramp
i. Yard sale details – FYI item
11. Set Jun’19 Meeting Date
!2. Adjournment and prayer
New Church Family -- Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
March 13, 2019
Board members present: Bob A.; Char R.; T-Bcar; Rev. Donna C.; Angel O.; Judi O.; Jerry N.
Guest present: Dave M.; Frank O.; Keith H.; Michael F.
1. Call to order and Opening Prayer: The meeting was called to order at 6:31 pm. Opening
prayer was given by Rev. Donna C.
2. Review and Acceptance of the agenda: Motion by Rev. Donna C. and second by T-Bear to
accept the agenda as handed out. Motion passed.
3. Review of Congregational Meeting Minutes for February 24th: Motion by Jerry N. and second
by Char R. to accept and submit at the next Congregational Meeting for approval. Motion passed.
4. Review and Acceptance of the minutes of the February 24th Board Meeting: Motion by Rev.
Donna C. and second by Jerry N. to accept the minutes as handed out. Motion Passed.
5. Pastor's Report: The Pastor's Report was handed out. Rev. Donna C. will be on vacation April 7
- 13. Memorial Service for Jeff Farance will be on April 6th at 11 am at NCF. The 3rd Sunday of
each month will be “Movie Sunday.” Much discussion on membership proposal (voting and no
voting status). Alan Austin will be in charge of the Mother's Day Celebration on May 12th.
The May monthly potluck will be changed to the second Sunday May 12th. Motion by Bob Austin second
by T-Bear to accept Pastor's Report.
6. President's Report: none.
Vice President's Report: Things are going smoothly, working with Dave M. learning reports.
Need emergency contacts from members so Pastor has access to it in case of a emergency.
Treasurer's Report: In absence of the Treasurer Jeff D. Board President Judi O. gave the report.
Jeff and Judi are working hard getting everything put on and transferred to Church Quick Books.
There are a few discrepancies that will work themselves out. Motion by Rev. Donna C. second by
Bob A. to accept the Treasurer's Report. Motion Passed.
Building Report: T-Bear reported that the roof has been fixed. She received 2 estimates on tree
removal for the tree in front of the Church. She will find out if a permit is needed to remove it.
Motion by Char R. second by Bob A. to accept the bid from Clayton's Quality Tree Service for
$400 pending permit info. Motion passed.
10. New Business:
• a.) Relay for Life Track Marker Sponsorship: Motion by Rev. Donna C. second by Char R. to
purchase one and use Benevolence Fund to pay for it. Motion passed.
• b.) DeLand Pride Block Party: Motion by Rev. Donna C. second by Bob A. to purchase a
Vendor space for the early discount of $50. Motion passed.
• c.) Schedule a Congregational Forum: Since the May potluck is being changed to the second
Sunday of May the Congregational Forum has been set for May 5th after service.
• d.) Men's Ministry Flea Market Sale: It will be held on May 1st at the County Fairgrounds.
Motion by Rev. Donna C. second by T-Bear to partner with the Men's Ministry to promote the
sale. Motion passed.
• e.) Board Goals for 2019: Look at By Laws in depth to determine if there are any other
refinements or changes necessary. All records need to be digitized.
• f.) Cookbook Update: Where are we? Dave M. will try to get everything together and submitted
in a couple weeks.
• g.) Logo Contest Update: Nothing is sufficient as of now. Scrap idea of contest. Leave to Board
and Pastor to work on it. Touch base with Stan to work on his idea.
11. Schedule next Board Meetings: Board meetings are moved to the first Wednesday of each month
at 6:30 pm. Next meeting will be April 3rd.
By Rick De Yampert
Editor's Note: Rick and Jeff worked together for many years in the Accent Department of the Daytona Beach News-Journal.
Once upon a time I lied to my friend Jeff Farance. It was sort of a big lie, too, given the subject at hand. Even now I try to convince myself that it was what Kurt Vonnegut, in the fictional religion of Bokononism that he created in his novel “Cat’s Cradle,” would call “foma” – a “harmless untruth.”
Jeff, who was not only my friend but also my colleague and editor at the Daytona Beach News-Journal, passed away, seemingly peacefully, at his Holly Hill home on March 7 at age 67.
Along with being the Daytona newspaper’s entertainment editor, movie reviewer and wine columnist, Jeff also was a wit in the Oscar Wilde sense (truly!), a devoted caretaker of his kitty companions L.A. and Sally B., a helping, roll-up-his-sleeves friend, my wine pimp, my own personal Roger Ebert, a tool collector who possessed more devices than Inspector Gadget, and a subscriber to every magazine in the world (at least the worthy ones in the fields of cultured literary writing, arts and entertainment, and progressive politics).
Jeff was laid off from the News-Journal in 2008 along with about half of the paper’s workforce, including my wife Cheryl, who worked in the marketing department. Jeff and Cheryl were friends too – he adored her!
I still had my job as the News-Journal’s arts and entertainment writer, and Jeff and I kept in touch by having lunch together every few months or so. After Cheryl died from breast cancer in April 2015, Jeff and I had lunch or dinner meet-ups more often.
Some months after Cheryl’s death, I had Jeff over to my home for dinner. This was after L.A., one of Jeff’s two cats, had mysteriously disappeared from his home, never to be seen again and leaving Jeff heartbroken.
We were sipping our post-dinner wines – procured as always by Jeff -- when he became a bit subdued and asked me: “Do you believe you’re going to see Cheryl again?”
“Yes, I do,” I said quietly.
But I was lying. At that time, in the early months after Cheryl’s death, I was still reeling, and I didn’t know what I thought about any sort of afterlife. I had been an agnostic on the subject long before Cheryl was diagnosed with the Breast Cancer Demon in October 2011. Anytime the subject had come up in philosophical-spiritual discussions with her or friends, I would shrug and say, “I’ve read a lot about what different faiths believe, but for me any sort of afterlife is a big question mark, and I’m OK with that.”
But I lied to Jeff that night at dinner. I told him that I did believe I was going to see Cheryl again whenever I left this earthly realm. (These days, following numerous strange, spooky, woo-woo occurrences over the past several years, I genuinely have come to believe that I will meet Cheryl again in some sort of afterlife. But that is a story that is being told in another place and time.)
That night I lied.
Jeff smiled meekly before his expression turned wistful.
“I believe each one of us will spend eternity with our one true soulmate,” he said. “For me, that will be L.A.”
I recognized the hesitant, sheepish tone that had crept into his voice. Since Cheryl had died, I had talked to a number of friends who had lost animal companions. Often as they poured out their grief, they would suddenly get that deer-caught-in-headlights look and their voice would falter and hesitate, and I knew what they were thinking even as their thoughts remained unspoken: “I didn’t mean to compare my loss to yours, Rick.” Sometimes friends indeed would verbalize such apologetic sentiments to me.
I reassured Jeff just as I had other friends: “You lost a beloved too. That’s hard. That’s heartbreaking.”
Some years earlier Jeff had fallen at his home and was unable to get up, and it was three or four days before a friend figured out something was wrong and checked up on him. Jeff told me and others that he was able to survive his ordeal only because L.A. was there beside him and kept reassuring his human that he was going to be OK.
But I didn’t know the true depth of Jeff’s relationship to his cat L.A. until that night at dinner.
Jeff’s fall was due to the chronic pain he suffered from back problems that had proved difficult for doctors to diagnose, and from hip and knee problems. His hip replacement surgeries went well and, during his last several years in this world, Jeff was rather pain-free from what I could see.
And he was happy during our meet-ups. My heart leaped up to see him in such a good place. And he was happy to know I had found love again with my girlfriend Rachel – he adored her, too!
Jeff and I would talk movies and, because he was then a freelance movie reviewer who received DVD screening copies of the latest flicks, he would loan me ones that he knew I would like: “The Shape of Water,” “Loving,” “Manchester By the Sea” and many others. And he’d gift me with an insightful mini-review off the top of his head.
Jeff also was my sweet-wine pimp. Jeff loathed sweet wines but he lovingly procured them for me without condemning my philistine taste in vino, and without condescension – unlike another editor and wine enthusiast who had sniffed that sweet wines were “Kool-aid.” Rather, Jeff would gift me some sweet vino and genuinely extol the peculiar virtues of each bottle – or at least what he had heard about them.
Each meet-up with Jeff also would mean I would walk away with three or four bags bulging with the latest issues of The New Yorker, National Geo, The Nation, Entertainment Weekly, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic and dozens of other mags. I often wondered why Jeff subscribed to so many magazines, and if he ever got around to reading even a tenth of them.
The last three bags he gifted me, after we had lunch at Einstein Bros. Bagels last month, are still piled up in a corner of my home.
People who were close to Jeff know that he was a multi-faceted personality. Some Facebook posts by friends have called him “complex,” “complicated” and “unique.” All true!
I’ve never known anyone else who had as big a heart as Jeff while also possessing an acerbic wit and a scimitar-sharp tongue to match. Jeff could go Oscar Wilde on bullies and assholes who had shown themselves to be heartless – whether it was national newsmakers or local folks known to both of us.
His tart tongue was still evident during his last few years in this world, but he seemed just as content to regard the heartless ones with bemused contempt rather than dismiss them with acidic one-liners. But still, you didn’t want Jeff to go Oscar on your ass!
And just to be clear: Jeff was not being mean-spirited at such times. Anyone who might have been eavesdropping on our conversations would have silently nodded in agreement and thought “Yes, that bastard deserves to be taken down a notch.”
Jeff was happy during his last years in this world. He smiled a lot. He laughed a lot. I miss him. I miss hearing his laughter. I especially miss hearing him when he would get what my mom would call “tickled” – when he would share something silly and he would begin giggling and then wheezing as he fought to suppress a belly laugh that would have rattled the windows of whatever eatery we were at.
Jeff, like your fellow movie critic Roger Ebert, I know you have an aisle seat in heaven. And I know L.A. is curled up in your lap as you sip wine and the two of you watch movies together. And I imagine Sally B. will join you both one day.
Namaste my dear friend: The Light of the Divine in me bows before the Light of the Divine in you.
-- Rick de Yampert
HOLLY HILL -- Jeffrey Edward Farance, 67, a retired writer and editor who had worked at the Daytona Beach News-Journal for 18 years, was found deceased March 7 in his Twelfth Street home after friends asked police to conduct a wellness check.
Known throughout Florida for his incisive movie reviews, Jeff was a member of the Florida Film Critics Circle, formerly served on the board of the Cinematique art moviehouse and helped organize the Daytona Beach Film Festival. More than 300 of his mini-reviews can be found online at the RottenTomatoes.com cinema website.(Look for the "critics" tab and search under his name.)
Besides writing reviews, he wrote and edited many entertainment, travel and food articles for the newspaper’s feature sections. He also served as the paper’s wine columnist. Cathy Klasne, a longtime colleague who was the News-Journal’s food editor, rated him the best headline writer on the 14-member features team.
Mike L. Czeczot, one of Farance’s former supervisors, remembered Farance for his rebellious streak in the newsroom – “always ready with the quick one-liner retorts to senior management (mostly in whispers, but effective nonetheless), and always, always a great confidante. His writing was witty, often scathing, but fair.”
Born in Erie, Pennsylvania, Farance attended Case Western University and then transferred to Pennsylvania State’s Erie campus, where he received a degree in journalism in 1972. As a high school student, he wrote a column for a weekly newspaper in Pennsylvania. After college, his early career included 17 years at the Derrick newspaper in Oil City, Pa. His beats ranged from municipal governments to courts to food.
After visiting the Daytona area as a tourist, Jeff moved to Florida and began working at the News-Journal in 1990. He took a buyout in 2008 when the paper, under new management, began major staff cutbacks that eliminated many of its locally written lifestyle features.
His dry wit and self-effacing personality earned him a devoted following among Daytona’s movie buffs and restaurant patrons. He guest-lectured at many high schools, introducing students to the technical aspects of film production.
Jeff was a member and tireless volunteer at New Church Family. He kept a hand in film reviewing by penning occasional pieces for the church’s website and newsletter. He also encouraged church members to attend movies, plays and museum exhibits. He frequently attended and took part in film discussions at the Southeast Museum of Photography at Daytona State College. Helping with the editing of a church cookbook was one of his final projects.
Jeff also served as chairperson of the Volusia-Flagler Rainbow Alliance, a nonprofit scholarship provider for gay, lesbian and transgender youth. He represented both the church and the alliance at several GLBTQ pride festivals in Volusia County.
He was the son of H.W. Farance and Sara Louise (White) Farance of Conneautville, Pa. He is survived by a sister, Elaine, and her husband Paul Mattis of Poinciana, Florida, niece and great-niece, Ann Mattis and Sara Bilal of Westminster, Colorado and nephew Steven Mattis and his wife Kathryn Beaty of Munich, Germany. He also leaves behind his loyal feline friend, Sally Bowles.
Arrangements are being handled by the Dale Woodward Funeral Home in Holly Hill, and the McCauley Funeral Home in Pennsylvania. Interment of ashes will take place at the Conneautville Cemetery in Conneautville, Pa. A memorial will be held April 6 at 11 a.m. at New Church Family, 3520 W. International Speedway Blvd, (US 92), Daytona Beach. Friends are invited to share their photos and memories of Jeff. Memorial donations may be made to New Church Family or any humane society.