It seems almost impossible that when looking back on this year, it’s only been one year – a year of many joys and sorrows, comings and goings, challenges and successes.
This is just a sampling of the work of this community in the past year; our annual report will be issued in late summer cataloging all the successes and challenges of 2019-2020. We as individuals, as a congregation and as a world continue to navigate this challenging new reality, shutting our church doors but not our connection, our work, or our commitment to our mission and to each other.
- We welcomed Rev. Sue Goodwin to our staff with a one-year contract in the new position of Assistant Minister of Congregational Life, and we said farewell when Rev. Sue left her position in early May.
- We said goodbye to our Office Assistant Rachel Hansen in December and welcomed Caryl Tipton into that administrative role through June 30th, an addition to Caryl’s ministry of providing excellent music, leading choir and working with member musicians at our church services.
- We welcomed child care provider Linda Hamberg as staff, while pianist Steve Ryan and Sunday Steward Roberto Santiago continued to enhance our church life.
- Robin Pugh continued to lead Children’s and Adult Religious Education, offering 17 classes to 163 participants, with the help of many volunteers.
- Susan Irgang moved to full time hours adding Bookkeeping and Human Resource responsibilities to her portfolio.
- We wished a good journey to Rev. Kim as she left on a 4-month sabbatical.
- We welcomed 16 new members to our community, following a Roots and Wings cycle last fall.
- Our hearts were saddened with the passing of Vince Stefani, Janet Howe-Smith and Bobbye Galloway, and our hearts ached with sorrow for the Wildszewski family at their loss of Malcolm Wildszewski. We continue to stand by Rev. Kim and her family in support and love during her bereavement leave.
Throughout this year of joys and sorrows and challenges, nothing slowed down.
- We welcomed Christina Rivera last August for a weekend workshop on Racial Justice.
- A Congregational Life Council was formed, reimagining Membership, Community Building and other teams’ work into a cohesive group that follows the journey from visitor to becoming a member to fuller congregational involvement.
- Our Council for Faith in Action restructured and expanded to include all groups whose work reaches out in fulfillment of our mission, and new ways of outreach are being considered.
- Phase 2 of the Capital Campaign was successfully launched with additional pledges as well as meetings with the architect and approval from the township.
- Stewardship and Finance worked to achieve a long-term goal of Rev. Kim’s to change how we represent our giving as related to our mission
- FAM offered a Cena Latina dinner, UU the Vote and ESL classes.
- Our Right Relations Committee did deep work on covenant creation
- Food Ministry developed closer relationships with those to whom they provide meals.
- Personnel reviewed contracts for our new assistant minister position as well as senior minister in line with UUA and UUMA best practices.
- Archives collaborated with another UU church to research history.
- Denominational Affairs kept us in contact with the even broader UU community, including General Assembly (virtual this June with the highest UUCWC attendance in years).
- Earth Ministry marched for Climate Action, raised funds for Farm Workers Support, and grew organic produce for HomeFront and our Food Ministry.
- The Finance Committee helped reorganize the work of the Treasurer, Finance and Congregational Administrator, tightened checks and balances, and improved reporting of financial information.
- Grounds dealt with challenges from maintenance of the new parking area while the Building team continued to care for our UUCWC home.
- Worship Associates incorporated the 8th principle into worship
- Music Ministry, now with 30 choir members and many talented musicians presented a diverse repertoire – in genre, culture, language and difficulty.
- The Sabbatical team did prep work in plans of Rev. Kim’s 4-month journey of rediscovery.
And then came the pandemic.
- Our Caring team reached out to every member, friend and participant by phone to make sure their physical mental and spiritual needs were met, while also establishing programs to help those fearing food insecurities.
- Social Action innovated a way to support our annual Loaves and Fishes program during shutdown.
- Adult RE continue to offer its year-long classes virtually.
- The Stewardship Team’s pledge drive was interrupted but still received an 80% response and hopes to reach 100% support of UUCWC.
- HomeFront reached out to their students virtually with online tutoring.
- Communications Team reorganized, helping us stay informed virtually.
- Our Auction team moved that annual major fundraiser online and reached their goal of over $37,500.
- Our Finance Team secured a $30,000 payroll protection plan forgivable loan to help secure church finances.
- A Worship Tech team was formed and trained with extremely tight deadlines.
- With the help of Worship Associates, our Staff created the first of our Virtual Worship services within 48 hours of the closure of the church.
- Our staff continues to innovate and create connection in a time of distancing, with weekly worship, connection circles, children’s chapels, and safe musical offerings. As well the continue to provide care and stewardship of our building and grounds during the building’s closure for the last three months and into the future.