Please join us on Sundays at UUCWC as we strive to Create Community, Celebrate Life, Change the World. Our multi-platform Sunday services may be attended in person or online.  If joining us in person, we continue to strongly recommend vaccination against Covid, including booster shots for all persons, but do not require vaccination; masking is optional.

Welcome to CrossCurrents!  Your comments are welcome at

In this issue:

Four Is My Number One, by Julie Rigano, Director of Family Ministry

Reflections and Questions For the Year Ahead, by Maria Baratta, Board of Trustees, Member at Large

Our Financial Year In Review, by Steve Saddlemire, Past Chair, Finance Committee

UUCWC Works and Enjoys General Assembly 2023, by Holly Bussey, Denominational Affairs Liaison

UUCWC Generosity Tops $30,000, by Holly Bussey, Faith Expression Funding Team Facilitator

How Does Our Garden Grow?, by Al Johnson, Co-chair, Earth and Climate Ministry

Four Is My Number One

Julie Rigano, Director of Family Ministry

It’s hard to pick, but I think the fourth Unitarian Universalist principle is my favorite. I believe that a free and responsible search for truth and meaning is the core of our faith development at all ages. We are blessed with the freedom to explore and find what works for us individually but, more importantly, we are charged to search. As children, that responsibility comes in the form of learning our UU principles, sources, and theology, and how we live our faith every day.

I was lucky enough to experience that firsthand in my own religious education classes growing up UU in Westchester, New York. I grew up in a small congregation—150 members on a good day. Compared to my large public school, the intimacy of my small church community was vibrant. Even before I knew the names of all the adults surrounding me at coffee hour, I knew I could trust the community. I grew up learning from volunteer leaders who were dedicated to our congregation and modeled living our faith. By the time I was a senior in high school, I was driving myself to church alone to volunteer at our monthly coffeehouse. The same congregation helped me grow after college when I returned as their Religious Education Intern. I am forever grateful to my home congregation in New York for creating that space for me to grow into my authentic self. Read more here…

Reflections and Questions For the Year Ahead 

Maria Baratta, Trustee, UUCWC Board of Trustees

During the Board’s July meeting, new members were asked to share any questions or apprehensions they might have about joining the Board. Retiring and returning Board members were asked to share a piece of advice. In the course of our discussion, it became clear that the apprehensions and advice shared would apply to anyone taking on a new role with a governing committee, ministry, task force or team at UUCWC. What follows is a summary of our conversation.

New members and officers want to know what the expectations are for them in these new roles. They want to know what, if any, established practices they should follow. What are they supposed to actually do to prepare themselves to help manage the affairs of the church?

Having served on a variety of committees, ministries and task forces at UUCWC, I know that I’ve had all these same questions or thoughts when beginning in a role. There is a voice in my head that says “I don’t know if I’m qualified to do this.” With every new experience I’ve learned that I actually know more than I first realized. And, like everyone else who serves in some capacity, we all want to do what is best for the church.

So, what advice did our returning and retiring Board members have to offer? Read more here…

Our Financial Year In Review

Steve Saddlemire, Past Chair, Finance Committee

The past twelve months have been active and productive for the Finance Committee. We established a number of important initiatives and I am pleased to provide an update on their status. Important tasks included:

  • developing job descriptions for all the finance related positions within the church with approval by the Board;
  • researching the tax status of the church and determining that the current position is the optimal for Pennsylvania and New Jersey;
  • writing and placing into practice a Finance Committee covenant;
  • initiating a monthly review of key financial metrics and associated follow up action;
  • proposing and obtaining approval for a balanced budget for FY2023/24;
  • addressing all Finance related issues in the 2021 Finance Audit;
  • moving operations and capital campaign funds into an account with a much higher return rate;
  • developing procedures for the Endowment Fund, Raise Right program, Facility Reserve Fund, Budget Overruns, and Surplus Operations Cash;
  • collecting all outstanding finance related procedures with the intent of developing an overall Finance Committee Procedure.

All the members of the Finance Committee should be proud of these accomplishments that will provide a solid basis for next year’s committee members. Special thanks to Joe Schenk, Mary Baltycki, Ron Iannacone, Holly Bussey and Steve Saddlemire who have completed their term on the committee.

UUCWC Works and Enjoys General Assembly 2023

Holly Bussey, Denominational Affairs Liaison

More than 4,100 Unitarian Universalists participated in the multiplatform General Assembly (GA) June 21–25, with 1,768 online registrants and 2,380 in-person registrants in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. From the David L. Lawrence Convention Center onsite participants absorbed stunning views of the Allegheny River and picturesque downtown architecture. Online participants enjoyed their ability to participate from the comfort of their homes or hotel rooms.

In this safe environment, your UUCWC folks attended both virtually and in person. Representing our congregation in person were: Maria Baratta, Alison Streit-Baron*, Holly Bussey*, Jennifer Ciccolini*, Jane Root, Jim Sanders* and Dan Tuft*. Heather Edwards* and Klaus Zechner attended virtually. (*=delegates). Robin Pugh and Julie Rigano also attended as professional staff. We all wore UUCWC T-shirts (to help us find each other) and received several compliments on them and our new banner! Thank you, Lori O’Neil and Jim Sanders.

Read more here…

How Does Our Garden Grow?

Al Johnson, Co-chair, Earth and Climate Ministry

Allie’s Garden has been fully planted, thanks in part to help from our Children’s Faith Engagement participants.  Our crops of carrots, sweet potatoes and butternut squash are off to a good start. Volunteers to water the garden are lined up for the entire summer when needed. We are hoping to improve on compromised 2022 harvests caused by the hot dry weather. All crops will be harvested in the fall and likely distributed to the Trenton Soup Kitchen, Rolling Harvest (which distributes to food banks and other programs in the area) and HomeFront. Donation destinations will depend on the size of the harvests and needs of these organizations.

Photo:  Al Johnson, Wendy Stasolla and Geri Koblis preparing and planting Allie’s Garden this past Memorial Day weekend.

UUCWC Generosity Tops $30,000

Holly Bussey, Faith Expression Funding Team Facilitator

“Generosity and gratitude are inexplicably linked” –Judith Martin

Most of us are familiar with the Sunday Service Financial Affirmation that says, in part, “50% of the plate goes to causes, outside our walls, that are helping to change the world.” The ministry responsible for evaluating causes and distributing funds is the Faith Expression and Funding Team (FEFT), which is part of our Council for Faith in Action.

In the past two years, despite Covid-19, our congregation has been extremely generous, donating over $30,000. At the close of our 2022-2023 budget year, FEFT continued to support many organizations whose goals align with our mission. In addition to half of the plate, 50% of the proceeds exceeding the budget goal for the auction will go to a designated group.

We had a very successful year and are very grateful to each of you. As of June 30, 2023, FEFT had donated over $16,000 to organizations, mostly local groups, doing good work. Read more here…

UUCWC’s new banner, designed by Lori O’Neil, made its debut at GA 2023.

UUCWC in-person GA attendees gather for breakfast.

The 2023 GA team model their popular t-shirts.

Please participate in the RaiseRight fundraising program. Easily purchase gift cards for use at many of your usual shopping venues and receive the full card value, while UUCWC receives a donation of anywhere from 4% to 12% of the card’s value.  Look here to review the details.

Read UU World, the magazine of the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Read about UU Faith Action, New Jersey’s issues and social justice advocacy voice, connecting New Jersey UU congregations.  Pennsylvania’s counterpart is UUJusticePA.

Unitarian Universalist Church at Washington Crossing

268 Washington Crossing Pennington Road, Titusville NJ  08560

609-737-0515  |  |