Category Archives: What’s New

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

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 write a contribution check to either or both stations, then we send the checks to the radio stations.
  • 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.

NEW! Social Activities Team

Do you enjoy throwing parties? Do you like organizing events? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then you may be interested in the new team for social events here at UUFoM.

We are looking for people who are enthusiastic about bringing people together for community and fun. Perhaps you can plan a game night or a barbecue or a fancy tea party. The possibilities are endless. If this sounds like a group you would like to be a part of, please reach out to Reverend Connie, Shannon Sonoras, or another member of the Engagement Team!

Upcoming Board Meeting

Next Board Meeting will be held Tuesday, July 24 at the Fellowship.  The primary agenda items will be review of the 2019 budget proposal and 12 month assessment of our interim ministry.

All board meetings are open to any member of the congregation.  If there is something you think the board should consider, please contact Sara Clavez, President, 989-687-7003 or saraonblakely@gmail.com no later than the Sunday before the meeting.  If you plan to attend in July or August please contact Sara ahead of time in case the meeting location is moved to beat the heat.

Ministerial Search Update

Your Search Committee is continuing to meet regularly in preparation for hiring a new minister. We are looking forward to reviewing your Survey responses. This will help us to understand who we are as a congregation and what qualities our new minister should have. We are also continuing to prepare our congregational packet to present ourselves to prospective candidates. Please complete your survey as this is your opportunity to express your opinions and your concerns in this important step in the evolution of our congregation.

UUA is providing us with a workshop and Sunday service called Beyond Categorical Thinking. It is designed to broaden our thinking about what types of candidates we may call to be our minister. The date for this program will be announced soon. Plan to attend. We are sure to learn a lot about ourselves and the exciting future we can create.

Considering Membership?

“UUFoM & You”
Saturday, August 25
9:00 am to 12:00 pm

How do people of diverse beliefs become part of one congregation?  “UUFOM and You,” led by Rev. Connie Grant and representatives of the Welcome and Engagement Teams will be held on Saturday, August 25, 9AM – 12PM.

If you think you may have found a spiritual home at UUFOM and are ready to consider becoming a member, or if you are already a member and want to know more, please come!

Register here.

Next Board Meeting

The Board will meet Tuesday, July 24 at the Fellowship.  The agenda will include:

  • Adoption of a proposed budget to serve as the basis for the Annual Stewardship Campaign;
  • Interim Ministry Assessment;
  • Changes to the Governance and Management sections of the Policy Handbook to assure consistency with By-laws changes.

The Board Meeting is open to all Members.  If you have an agenda item, please inform Sara Clavez before July 17, 2018.

News from the Board – Monitoring for Accountability

Much of the Board’s work this year focuses on preparation for a new minister. For years we have struggled with how to clearly articulate the expectations of the congregation and how to hold ourselves and our minister accountable to them. In May the Board passed an update to the Board Policy Handbook Discernment section which deals with the Vision, Mission and current ministry goals. The update incorporated into the current ministry goals the Strategic Directions that emerged from our strategic planning process, see below. At our June meeting the Board adopted a timetable for monitoring progress on the ministry goals.

UUFOM ends for accountability process
UUFOM Mission [Ends] with Strategic Directions [Criteria for monitoring]
1. We empower members, friends, and the surrounding community to think freely, live ethically, and grow spiritually through lifelong learning, as we explore our values, live the principles of Unitarian Universalism, and search for truth and meaning.

2. We assemble in supportive and beloved community, sharing life’s joys and sorrows, and embracing all of our wondrous diversity.

3. We gather for stimulating worship experiences and rites of passage that inspire and provide opportunities to examine, clarify, and strengthen our personal value systems.

Personal Connection and Development (from Strategic Directions adopted 10-30-2016)
(Applicable to Ends 1, 2, 3):
As Unitarian Universalists we believe each person has inherent worth and dignity. We are called to honor each person’s unique gifts and talents. Each person comes to our Fellowship looking for something. We provide a loving environment in order to effectively respond to their search. The Fellowship will provide a staff supported
intentional framework for a systematic and individualized process of connection
and engagement. This includes connecting around common interests, pastoral care for our members, social networking and deepening relationships, opportunities for personal growth, and opportunities for deepening spirituality.
Pathways for addressing Personal Connection and Development:
Welcoming Practices
Faith Formation
Connecting and Valuing People and Their Gifts

4. We create a more just, peaceful and sustainable world through our words of influence, constructive deeds, and engaging love.

Living Our Values (Service and Advocacy) from Strategic Directions adopted 10-30-2016
(Applicable to End 4): As a Fellowship, and as individuals, when we are filled with
love, that love overflows in service to building a better world today and for the future.
We offer our members opportunities to enrich their lives through service and advocacy in targeted issue areas important to our Fellowship because they respond to the needs of our community and fulfill our commitment to the Unitarian Universalist Principles.
Pathways for addressing Living our Values:
Homelessness
Protecting our Environment
LGBT rights
Racial Justice