by Jamie Evanini, Vice President, UUCWC Board of Trustees
Our Spring Council Meeting, which serves as an opportunity for committee leaders, staff, and interested members to gather and share about their work, was held this past Tuesday evening, March 1st. For the first time, we conducted a multi-platform Council Meeting, with some participants attending on Zoom and others attending in-person in one of UUCWC’s classrooms. A big thank you to everyone for your patience and participation as we learn how to conduct smaller multi-platform events like this!
It has been a challenging few years, and we have had to pause, experiment and rethink so many aspects of our congregational life. The result of all this change has led to a new vision for UUCWC – a multi-platform approach to services and church life; a deeper engagement with Unitarian Universalism through small groups, service and covenanting; and a broader staff capable of meeting the needs of a growing congregation.
We are moving closer and closer to this new vision, and the updates we heard at Tuesday’s Council Meeting from a variety of UUCWC committees and ministries gave ample evidence of this. For those who were not at the meeting, here is a quick summary of what was shared:
- February was our first full month of multi-platform Sunday services. There is excitement in the air about gathering in person again (50-70 people attended each Sunday service in the Sanctuary), and gratitude for the ability to still participate via Zoom (90-120 people attended each Sunday service on Zoom). Many thanks to our amazing staff, Tech Team, Worship Associates and Hosts for making this happen every week!
- Two board members, Colleen McCourt and Joe Schenk, reflected on how their participation in a small group has positively influenced their experience as members and congregational leaders at UUCWC.
- Nathalie Edmond shared that the Congregational Engagement Team will soon begin their new approach to recruiting leaders and deepening engagement with UUCWC activities. Starting in April, they hope to have brief conversations with every member about their interests and talents. Nathalie stressed that there are a variety of ways for people to contribute to congregational life beyond serving as a committee chair: there are many opportunities for people to participate in smaller roles and behind-the-scenes work. Congregational Engagement is also looking for people who are interested in serving on the Finance, Stewardship, and Endowment Committees.
- Michelle Hunt and Pete Rafle of the Right Relations Committee (RRC) presented what they have learned about crafting successful covenants. They emphasized that a covenant is a living document that will evolve alongside the group that creates it. A key best practice is to include “by” statements in each item of the covenant to describe how that item can be fulfilled. (e.g.: “We will treat each other with respect by not interrupting.”) RRC has already begun working with several groups at UUCWC to help them create a covenant, and hopes to work with your group too!
- Regina Podhorin Zilinski of the Racial Justice Ministry (RJM) shared that RJM is in the process of putting together an 8th principle-related covenant for committees and ministries, and they hope to make that available soon.
- Reverend Kim announced that a much-needed new staff position has been filled after a lengthy search process: Lynne Quinto has been hired as our new financial Controller! Lynne is a long-time UUCWC member who recently moved away. In order to preserve a healthy working relationship, she has officially resigned her membership. We are so glad to have Lynne be a part of UUCWC in this new role!
Budget season is here!
- Finance Committee Chair Steve Saddlemire went over the 2022-2023 budgeting process timeline: the proposed budget is currently under construction; a budget proposal will go out to the congregation in late May; the official budget will be approved at the Congregational Meeting in June. Next year’s budget will reflect our new vision for UUCWC, with funding for the new Controller position as well as a new position of Family Faith Engagement Coordinator, who will focus on children’s RE (Robin will focus on adult RE).
- The committees involved with the budget are working hard to meet this goal. Ron Iannacone of the Stewardship Committee shared that our annual stewardship campaign is off to a good start with more than $150,000 from just 52 pledges so far! Stewardship brochures will be available in-person again this Sunday morning for those who did not receive one by mail.
- The Auction Team is also hard at work. Barbara Drew announced that they are currently accepting auction donations of all kinds (objects, gift cards, services, dinners, outings, etc.). The deadline for contributions is April 3rd. This year’s “Sing Into Spring” auction event will include a virtual auction and an in-person auction preview party.
Thank you to all our leaders here at UUCWC for your continued passion and hard work. Your effort and commitment have kept our congregation going, and have given us the opportunity to stretch towards new goals!