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Annual Business Meeting Jan 25th
(Letter from the RET President)

January 1, 2009

Dear RETers,

Hello and Happy 2009!

On behalf of the RET Board of Directors, I’m writing to request your participation in our Annual Business Meeting (members’ meeting) that will take place the fourth Sunday of this month on January 25th. I hope you choose to attend - your participation is vital to RET’s ongoing success and stability.

Although there are numerous freethought/atheist/secular groups around the US, not many have the stability and program diversity enjoyed by RET. Our Sunday meetings and book club cover a wide range of topics, which is especially unique in this part of the country. Many dedicated members work hard each month to ensure we have a solid schedule of meeting topics and events.

We need your participation- for those of you who donate your time to help run RET- THANK YOU. For those of you who are more casual members- let me make a general request to you for increased participation and involvement. If you think about RET’s regular events, it is easy to understand how many “behind the scenes” activities are necessary to keep the group running. Some include: contacting and scheduling guest and member speakers; scheduling advertising; coordinating venue rental; A/V setup, bringing coffee/snacks to meetings; writing and distributing the newsletter, hosting parties, maintaining the website, keeping our events posted on community calendars, posting announcements via the web/email- and these are all separate from any Board Officer’s “job description”! Remember that this is a volunteer, non-profit organization, with no paid staff. I ask each of you to consider serving on the board, or volunteering to coordinate some other aspect of the group’s business. Each additional person who contributes lessens the burden on everyone else- and “rotating people out” keeps the group fresh and dynamic with new ideas and approaches.

The ‘business’ of RET is a very necessary part of RET’s existence, and I invite you to come and help shape the direction of the group at this members’ meeting. In addition to electing board members for the 2009 calendar year, we will take a look back at 2008 and set plans for what we want to accomplish in the coming year(s).

Also, please note that the Board of Directors recently voted to raise annual membership dues to $35/year for individuals. At this time rates have not changed for any other membership categories. This is the first dues increase in approximately 8 years, and based on our expenses and budget we felt it was necessary and appropriate. RET currently has almost 30 lifetime members and approx. 70 ‘regular’ members. To put costs in perspective, we spend approx. $1,200 per year on venue rental for the Pellissippi facility. Even at the increased dues rate, this amounts to approx. half of our regular dues revenue (~35 members’ dues). Accordingly, our advertising, special speaker costs, and other events have relied on remaining dues and special donations for their success. In addition to helping offset regular bills, we hope this dues increase will help strengthen RET’s overall financial condition and position us for greater achievements in the future.

You should be receiving a phone call from a current board member in the coming weeks, to once again remind you of the upcoming business meeting. If you are unable to attend the business meeting, please take the opportunity during that phone call to share any comments and opinions with the board member, and he/she we will be sure to take the information back to the group.

Once again, I invite you to attend this important annual event- remember this is a special fourth Sunday event, and we will still have our regular January meetings and book club.

WHEN: FOURTH SUNDAY – January 25th 2009 @ 10:00 AM
WHERE: PELLISSIPPI STATE – the regular venue – Goins Cafeteria Annex
WHY: Board Elections; 2008 in review; open long-term planning discussions

John McCaffrey
RET President 2008

Posted by jpmccaffrey
Jan. 01, 2009