Category Archives: Fellowship Office Information

2018 Unsung Hero

This year’s unsung hero has gone above and beyond many times in the last few years.  This person jumped into committee work very soon after becoming a member. And soon after that accepted the chair responsibility for a committee that includes several hard workers but seldom, maybe never, meets. This person herded those cats very graciously and together they have spent many hours improve things around the Fellowship.  Meanwhile, our Unsung Hero equally graciously, fielded complaints about what was still undone or maybe was not done exactly the way someone wished.   When this person took that position, they probably couldn’t imagine they would be chair for 6 years and that their term would culminate in a  HUGE project.  This project started in 2016 when it was approved by the congregation.  The project involved research and design, organizing and conducting a capitol campaign to raise money for the project, navigating city bureaucracy, and persevering through seemingly insurmountable road blocks. This year our unsung hero is no longer committee chair. He has been serving on the search committee while continuing to lead the parking lot project including tearing out trees and other landscaping tasks to be ready for the drainage excavators.

Tim Wagner is our 2018 Unsung Hero.  We would like to thank Tim for his energy and perseverance through the many difficulties along the way to a parking lot that will not send our members to the hospital in the winter and for his unfailing grace under pressure.

Social Committee

Interested in fun, entertainment and providing cool experience for the congregation?  Contact Linda Rector or Amy Rogers.  We welcome your input.

Our goal is to provide interesting and entertaining get togethers and activities without UUFoM business in the forefront, AND to introduce newer members into the mix.

Be willing to hang out and provide ideas and your time and gifts. We plan on having fun while providing…fun. We have a tentative event planned for November.  Join us in planning!

Ministerial Musings

Trusting, verifying, risking

Questions of trust are on my mind these days.  Whose word do we trust, and by what authority?  How do we trust ourselves and each other?  Do we listen to our own instincts?  Are our own instincts trustworthy?  How do we protect ourselves and each other?  What do we risk by trusting?  What do we risk by not trusting?

On general principles, I tend to be a skeptic.  Paradoxically, my skepticism sometimes makes me vulnerable.  Or even gullible, when I tell myself “You’re too skeptical,” and then go too far the other way.  Yet I’d rather be gullible than cynical.

Trust, verify, risk.  These are imperatives for building relationships and for living in this world.
We build trust in each other by being reliable and trustworthy, building relationships of trust over time.  Boundaries and accountability help give us reason to trust within the context of those relationships.

Our trust is verified through the truth of the relationship that is established.  And even when a relationship of trust is established, if our experience and instinct give us reason to question, then we need to ask questions.

Some level of risk is inherent in our lives, and without some level of risk we wouldn’t be able to walk outside our own doors.  Or even stay inside them, for that matter.

Of course, there are some risks we do not take.  We protect our children’s safety through policies and practices that minimize risks.  Yet, taken to extremes, over-protecting our children would mean stunting their development as human beings having their own experiences of the world.  We “manage” risks, but we can never eliminate them.

We risk ourselves every time we put ourselves out in the world, trusting the promise that the world offers us.   We make a sort of cost/benefit analysis.   Is it worth the risk to trust?

Even as I ask questions, I want to be open to life, even if that makes me vulnerable.                   

As a passage in our hymnal (#658, from an anonymous author) reminds us,

To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out for another is to risk exposing our true self.
To place our ideas—our dreams—before the crowd is to risk loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To hope is to risk despair.
To try is to risk failure.
To live is to risk dying.

Let’s trust, verify, and risk.  Let’s laugh, weep, reach out, put forth ideas, love, hope, try, and live.

In faith and hope,

2019 Pledge Campaign

Thank you to each and every member and friend of UUFoM for making Pledge Sunday, September 30, 2018, such a success. Great service, wonderful food, incredible music and money, what more could you ask for.

52% of UUFoM members and friends returned the completed 2019 pledge form on Pledge Sunday. The total amount pledged last Sunday for 2019 was $124,671. Wow! We are on our way to reaching the $170,000 needed to fund our daily Fellowship operations.

Those who were unable to return a completed 2019 pledge form Sunday will be contacted by email with a pledge form attached. Tempus fugit. Get those completed pledge forms back right away. Fill out the form here.

Public Radio Bundling

Do you enjoy listening to Public Radio, specifically Delta Public Radio and CMU Public Radio?  This is your opportunity to support our Fellowship as well as Public Radio by making a contribution through our annual “Bundling” program.  You can write a check to either Delta Public Radio or CMU Public Radio or both!  In return Delta and CMU Public Radio stations advertise the Fellowship on air.  It’s a win/win opportunity as you’re supporting both the Fellowship and our community radio programs!  Please give checks to Linda Rector by August 20.

Parking Lot Renovations

At long last, excavation work for the parking lot project has begun! The project will extend through early October, after which we should have a smooth paved surface with fresh yellow lining, plus a total of six handicap spaces.

While the project is underway, we ask that everyone obey all signs and safety barricades, and beware of trucks and heavy equipment. Make sure to especially monitor any children who may visit the area.

The project work will occur only on weekdays. We may end up parking on a gravel lot for several Sundays, but the work activity shouldn’t require cancellation of any church business.

Here’s what to expect:

  • In mid-August two new rainwater catch basins will be installed in front of the Fellowship, with a 6-foot deep ditch dug to install a pipe connecting them.  This phase will require blocking off much of the area in front of the Fellowship building.
  • Additional activity will occur sometime in August or September, when a paver crew becomes available to grind the old asphalt layer on the entire parking lot.
  • Final paving will be done over three days in late September or early October. During these weekdays the entire parking lot will be closed, but the driveway will not be affected so we’ll ask patrons to park on the grass adjacent to it.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Tim Wagner or Roy Wedge.

From the Board President

Board Acts & Parking Lot in the Works!

At the July Board meeting we approved an additional $20-30 thousand dollars in expenditures to cover the cost of parking lot reconstruction.  Many thanks to Tim Wagner for the exhaustive, and, I’m sure sometimes exhausting, work he has done over the last sixteen months to research the pros and cons of every possible option for a long term fix for our crumbling parking lot.  In the interest of providing a safe parking lot for people coming into our building this winter and locking in the price quotes that would surely increase next year, the board approved moving forward on this project.

The first week of August saw the beginning excavation needed to clear the storm water ditch adjacent to the route 10 right of way.  Swales, shallow grassy channels, will guide water from our parking lot toward the ditch and into the city storm water system.  This drainage solution is approximately $100,000 cheaper than the other option of running a drainage pipe to Jefferson.
There will be periods between now and completion in October when we will have a gravel parking lot, but we have been assured parking will be available to us on Sunday mornings throughout the construction process.  Please avoid contact with the heavy equipment and observe signs directing you to safe parking areas.

Reconstruction of the parking lot is the first step in the strategic plan adopted by the congregation at the October 2016 annual meeting.  In the process of discussing final approval of the parking lot proposal, board members made very clear that they are committed to proceeding with the second stage of the plan.  The second stage calls for an in depth analysis of the congregation’s building needs followed be a determination of whether the current building can meet our needs.

In addition, the Board approved a draft budget which incorporates the anticipated expenses of the ministerial search and relocation process, plus additional hours for our office professional which will enable her to provide more support to our ministry teams.  Additional staff support was requested by our ministry teams during our strategic planning process.  A 2019 budget incorporating the results of our stewardship campaign will be presented to the congregation for approval at the October annual meeting.

The next Fellowship Board meeting will be on August 28 from 7-8:30 pm.  All board meetings are open to any member of the Fellowship.

Faithfully yours, Sara Clavez, President