In this continuing time of Covid, the church is open as we continue to seek to Create Community, Celebrate Life, Change the World. We are presently in High Risk Status. UUCWC’s church building is open in accordance with our latest Regathering Guidelines. Our multi-platform Sunday services may be attended in person or online.
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In this issue:
Saying Farewell – I Hope You’ll Keep Singing, by Caryl Tipton, Director of Music Ministry
UUCWC Board of Trustees State of the Church Report – 2022, by Maria Baratta,
President, UUCWC Board of Trustees
Finance Committee Grows and Becomes More Dynamic, by Steve Saddlemire,
Chair, Finance Committee
Auction 2022: Sing Into Spring and We’re Still Singing!, by Barbara Drew, Co-chair, Auction Committee
Easy $$$ for UUCWC With NEW Fundraising Program, by Wendy Stasolla, Chair, Fundraising
UUCWC Responds to Ukraine Need Abundantly, by Holly Bussey,
Faith Expression and Funding Team & Denominational Affairs Liaison
First Rollie Rahn Fund Scholarship Awarded to Trenton Central High School Student,
by the Food Ministry Team
Treasurer’s Report to the Congregation, by Joe Schenk, Treasurer, UUCWC Board of Trustees
Come Hear Dr. Ibram X. Kendi at UUCWC, by Holly Bussey, UUCWC Denominational Affairs
Capital Campaign Update, by Jayme Trott, Co-chair, Capital Campaign
UUCWC Affirms Menstrual Equity, by Susan Irgang, Congregational Administrator
UUCWC Joins Other UU Congregations in Anti-NRA Advertisement, by Holly Bussey, Council for Faith in Action & Faith Expression and Funding Team
Food Ministry Gives Thanks, by the Food Ministry Team
Saying Farewell – I Hope You’ll Keep Singing
Caryl Tipton, Director of Music Ministry
If there’s one thing I leave you all as I retire, it’s that I hope you all keep singing, literally and figuratively! In worship, congregational singing is a way to connect, feel, change the vibration in the room and celebrate community. No matter if you think you can sing well….belt out those hymns and join in the communal singing. For most people, it’s the only time they sing other than with familiar tunes in the car! It changes your heart rate, mood and a sense of belonging.
The thing that I have rejoiced in the most, being a choral conductor, is encouraging and bringing out the song in each person…whatever level of voice training (or not!), whatever capability of reading music (or not!) and whatever comfort level they have in “performing”. I reached inside of me and my experience to demonstrate how to produce a musical sound that would express the feeling and meaning of the music…both for the individual and as a choir. I hope that those listening have not only heard the voices of each member as a whole…but each of their hearts as well. That’s what I always strived to bring out in each person. Each singer contributes in their own way to the full sound and spirit of the choir. In this way, I’ve been developing and have been surrounded by a community my whole career.
In life, I’ve tried to sing out loud and strong. Live joyfully. Enjoy the music of your life moments. And…Voice your opinion. Speak boldly. Sing in the chorus of justice seeking people. Join together in the song of freedom, fairness, honesty and equality. I mean this metaphorically, as in experiencing life fully. However, it’s no coincidence that protestors and marchers sing and chant their message loud and clear. Another way of singing together, in community and solidarity, to make their voices heard.
You’ve heard the expression, “Dance like no one is watching.” I hope you will “Sing like no one is listening!”
UUCWC Board of Trustees State of the Church Report – 2022
Maria Baratta, President, UUCWC Board of Trustees
We are entering the third year of a global pandemic and our church is not just surviving, but thriving. This is not to say we haven’t had losses or hardship; we have. But overall, we find that connections remain strong. Multi-platform attendance levels remain high with people really connecting to the rituals and sermons.
The committees, teams, ministries, volunteers and staff who keep our church dynamic and nurture both our members and communities continue to re-imagine what it means to “Celebrate Life. Create Community. Change the World.”
We thank every single person who participates in church life by attending services; being engaged in a small group program or children’s RE; volunteering their time; offering their talent; following through on their annual pledge; making an end-of-year gift; participating in the annual auction; attending events, programs, and singalongs; or engaging in any of the many vibrant offerings available at UUCWC. Each of you is our church.
And we still exist in a pandemic.
At our spring retreat, one Board member provided a great analogy as to how we can think of life at UUCWC. Think of the first 2 years of the pandemic as like being on a turbulent airplane flight to a vacation spot with a landing that is continually delayed. We keep circling and circling the airport, over and over again. Finally, the plane lands. Upon landing, half the passengers jump up and are ready to run out of the gate and start their vacation, and have forgotten the miserable flight. Others are a little more tentative and take their time getting off the plane because they are somewhat wiped out from the very unpleasant experience. The last group of travelers are still sitting on the plane with their head in their hands, feeling nauseous and quivering. They will emerge slowly and will need extra time to settle themselves.
We all know which passenger group we belong to in this analogy and need to be mindful of how we view the other groups. Some of us were ready to jump back into pre-pandemic life as soon as the first wave ended in 2020; some have been slowly testing the waters to determine what feels safest for them; while others are still struggling with an overwhelming sense of disruption wrought by the pandemic and its effect on them and their families.
UUCWC’s Board has tried to meet the holistic needs of our congregation during this time. We’ve tried to provide a measured approach to our re-opening that puts safety first for all our members, friends and families. And in the process we’ve learned that many people have truly embraced our multi-platform Sunday services and faith engagement programs. Read more here…
Finance Committee Grows and Becomes More Dynamic
Steve Saddlemire, Chair, Finance Committee
This church year was another one of change for UUCWC with the need for many ministries and committees to remain flexible and able to react quickly. The Finance Committee was no exception. As we approach the end of fiscal year 2022, we are proud about what we’ve accomplished to make UUCWC a more sound, accountable and dynamic organization. We aren’t just about numbers either!
Our Committee continues to bring visibility to the financial dealings of the church. Working closely with all groups, staff and the Board, we created and monitored a 2021-22 budget that was dynamic, challenging and reflective of the congregation’s needs and desires. The up-coming 2022-23 budget represents an important new investment in the future of UUCWC and its vision to Create Community, Celebrate Life and Change the World.
With the growth of UUCWC and addition of new members, there comes a need to update the financial methods used by the church. We now serve a geographically diverse community of over 350 (275 members and additional friends and participants) and our multi-platform approach required investing in up-to-date audio/visual systems allowing communication with congregants outside our immediate area. The following are some of the specific tasks we accomplished to meet the new church environment. Read more here…
Thanks to Joe Schenk, Mary Baltycki, Holly Bussey, Klaus Zechner, Ron Iannacone, John Unger, Barbara Drew, George Faulkner and Wendy Stasolla for their dedication and hard work in making this year such a great success.
Auction 2022: Sing Into Spring and We’re Still Singing!
Barbara Drew, Co-chair, Auction Committee
While the Online Auction ended Saturday, May 7th at midnight, the benefits of the auction keep on going! Our 3rd online auction, Sing into Spring, resulted in over $37,000 in funds raised (gross proceeds), with net proceeds exceeding our targeted budget. For the 4th year, pursuant to a congregational vote in 2018, UUCWC is able to donate a significant sum to a social justice organization in our area. This year’s designated organization, selected by the Council for Faith in Action, is UrbanPromise Trenton, whose mission is to support children and youth in the Trenton area with life skills, academic achievement, and spiritual growth. This year, despite all challenges, UUCWC will be donating $2,500.00 to UrbanPromise. This will help with maintaining after school food programs and other needed support functions.
But it’s not just about the money! The auction provides the platform for members and friends of UUCWC to offer ways to get to know one another. This year, our third with the uncertainty of the pandemic, we had many new and creative opportunities. Compiled into a beautiful book as well as displayed online with a representative graphic for each contribution, we were able to showcase over 275 items including donated gift cards from area businesses! Read more here…
It’s not too early to plan ahead for next year! Our Auction Team, led by Barbara Drew, Lori O’Neil, Jayme Trott and Marcia Wittmann is available throughout the year if you have any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The auction fun- and fund-raising event happens due to the many participants – donors and buyers alike! Through the auction, we also continue to live our mission: “Change the World.” A big thank you to all!
Easy $$$ for UUCWC With NEW Fundraising Program
Wendy Stasolla, Chair, Fundraising
“RaiseRight” is a fundraising program that will allow UUCWC to earn a percentage of the purchase price of every gift card purchased. You, the purchaser, get the full gift card amount to spend, and UUCWC gets 4%-12% in profit depending on the store. Choose from over 700 brands of grocery stores, pharmacies, clothing, sporting goods, hardware, office supplies, etc. If members regularly buy cards through the program for monthly shopping, it would create a steady stream of support for the church community we love.
For example: If 100 of our members bought $200-$400 worth of Giant, Shoprite or Acme cards through the program each month, UUCWC would receive $800-$1600 a month in profit. If families also started using the program to buy necessities at other places they frequent, (Home Depot, Staples, Shutterfly, REI, Southwest Airlines etc. etc. etc.) Then IMAGINE, just HOW MUCH Community we could create, how much World we could Change, and how much Life we could Celebrate TOGETHER!
Sign up on the Raise Right website or download the RaiseRight App to your phone. Pay by check (sent to the church), credit card (right on the site/app) or by linking a checking account. Check it out! Our enrollment code is TRVNR5BH8A4A.
Also, look for a table in the lobby after services in June for more information and/or to buy cards that we pre-bought to jump start the program. If you need help getting started, your friendly coordinator, Wendy Stasolla, is just an email away at email@example.com. If you want to help get this started, I would love to hear from you too!
UUCWC Responds to Ukraine Need Abundantly
Holly Bussey, Faith Expression and Funding Team & Denominational Affairs Liaison
In March, Rev. Kim worked with the Council for Faith In Action ‘s (CFA) Faith Funding and Expression Team (FEFT) to consider creating a special appeal for Ukraine. Over two months, there was an effort to request special contributions for Ukraine Relief separate from the normal plate and CFA funding.
Not surprisingly, UUCWC members responded with an outpouring of contributions. $3,000 was collected. These monies will go to front-line organizations via the UU Service Committee (UUSC). By pooling our resources with other UU congregations, the impact is greater and the UUSC makes sure the money is actually received and utilized for needy organizations on the front line that also support our UU values. Donations will support two groups: the Helsinki Committee and Femfund.
Thank you for your immediate and kind support.
First Rollie Rahn Fund Scholarship Awarded to Trenton Central High School Student
Food Ministry Team
Rollie Rahn, UUCWC cherished member for many years and who died in 2015, was devoted to the Food Ministry, to HomeFront and to service to the church in countless ways. When Rollie passed, his wife and daughters, Lori, Renae and Natalie Rahn established, within the Food Ministry, a scholarship fund to support young adults seeking to pursue education in the culinary arts.
On June 2nd, the first scholarship from the fund was presented to Isis Monzon, a graduating senior from Trenton Central High School (TCHS) during the TCHS Annual Awards Night ceremony. Renae Rahn and Bernie Ruekgauer represented UUCWC, the Food Ministry and the Rahn family during the awards ceremony. Renae presented the award to Ms. Monzon. Renae’s comments can be read here.
The UUCWC Treasurer’s Report to the congregation as of June 2, 2022 can be found here.
Come Hear Dr. Ibram X. Kendi at UUCWC
Holly Bussey, Liaison
UUCWC Denominational Affairs
General Assembly (GA) will feature Dr. Ibram X. Kendi as the 2022 Ware Lecture presenter. To see this live, one needs to be registered for GA. However, we’re hoping to host a Ware Lecture Viewing Party in the Sanctuary on Saturday, June 25 at 7 pm EST. This is a wonderful opportunity; we hope many will attend. One of our GA virtual attendees will assist in providing a link. WATCH for MORE INFORMATION.
Meanwhile, GA takes place virtually, June 22-26.
UUCWC has seven members attending including three new members! All will be attending wonderful workshops and some (*) will be delegates and voting on issues that impact our congregation and the UU faith as a whole.
GS attendees are: Peter Boughton, Holly Bussey*, Heather Edwards*, Jamie Evanini*, Al Midgal, Jane Root and Jim Sanders.*
Capital Campaign Update
Jayme Trott, Co-chair, Capital Campaign
Contractor bids for the smaller-scale architectural plans for the UUCWC renovations came back surprisingly higher than expected, and in some cases, higher than the original, larger plans. We have negotiated with the bidders and have selected a contractor. An announcement will be made once all parties have been informed.
Hopewell Township will require full review of the new plans. We have engaged civil engineers and attorneys to assist with obtaining approvals. Latest plans and schematics can be found here.
The contract proposal and budget is expected to be shared with the Board sometime in June in a joint meeting with the Capital Campaign Team. A Congregational Meeting will be scheduled soon afterward in which we present the plans and seek approval for the budget. Upon approval, we would then engage the contractor and complete permitting within 4 – 6 weeks. Groundbreaking could then begin in fall 2022. The sanctuary will be accessible throughout construction. Read more here…
Look here for more information on the Poor People’s Campaign Moral March on Washington.
UUCWC Affirms Menstrual Equity
UU FaithAction NJ has launched an initiative to normalize the inclusion of free menstrual products in all restrooms. The Our Whole Lives (OWL) UU human sexuality program supports this initiative. Jami Thall, Reproductive Justice Task Force Co-chair, has written an article explaining their goals and asking for congregations to support this work. Read the article here.
UUCWC now offers menstrual products in all of our restrooms as our affirmation of menstrual equity.
UUCWC Joins Other UU Congregations in Anti-NRA Advertisement
In this day of instant change, responses sometimes need to be immediate. So, when Rev. Kim contacted UUCWC’s Council for Faith in Action-Faith Funding Expression Team (CFA-FEFT) one recent evening, asking about the possibility of supporting the call from a UU Congregation in Houston, response was near immediate.
The First UU Church of Houston was planning to take out a full page ad in the Houston Chronicle on Saturday, May 28 calling for the city to revoke the NRA’s convention contract and to refuse to enter into future contracts allowing the NRA to rent space on city property.
Read more here…
on behalf of CFA-FEFT
Food Ministry Gives Thanks
The Food Ministry extends heartfelt gratitude to all UUCWC members and friends who supported the spring appeal for supplies dedicated to Luther Arms Senior Housing meal deliveries. Your kindness added close to 500 individual packets/containers of oatmeal, juice boxes and fruit cups to the Food Ministry’s inventory.
Connect with 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 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.uucwc.org