UUFC President’s Letter February, 20, 2024

Connie Ussery, President

Greetings UUFC Members and Friends,

February is Black History Month, and it’s also packed with holidays. Happy Groundhog Day. Valentine’s Day, Presidents’ Day, Super Bowl (what a half-time show!), and Leap Day (because our astronomical year lasts slightly less than 365 1/4 days. Did you know that anyone born on a Leap Day is called a “Leapling”?  (It’s apparently a label I’ve missed.)  And many cultures have a “Leap Month” to reset their calendars.

It’s a packed calendar for UUFC, too.  Be sure to read the emails from Brenda and to check our https://www.uucolumbusga.org/  website for constant updates.

It’s still winter, but the Board of Trustees has been as busy as if it were spring already. Your Board has voted on many new initiatives to save money and build our fellowship, as we do our part in our community and for the planet.

First, we have approved UUFC participation in the GIPL power wise program. It offers energy savings and grants, while incorporating environmental benefits.

Also, in keeping with our 7th Principle, Hal has planted 10 3-gal Natchez crepe myrtles in the “Beebutterfly Zone (BZ).” He has replanted the three crop circles that were destroyed by the deluge we had a couple of weeks ago. Additionally, he added 20 more steppingstones to complete the path. This week Hal and Ron will install a pvc pipe system for getting water to the Pavilion.  The Board approved $500 for this water project.

Our first attempt at Adult RE didn’t work. Alas, I was called away for a family emergency, and Hal stepped in to manage the class, but communication wasn’t clear since many of us were scrambling to get out of town for different reasons. After discussion and review, the first Adult RE will be March 10.  A sign-up sheet for Adult RE Club is on the Welcome Table.

Ellen Harlan has worked hard on launching and developing the Children’s Program for a full year and we all appreciate her dedication to making this a program that children and parents look forward to every Sunday. Greeters have been given instructions on directing younger children to use the activity packs available to them on the conference table. Craig Gonzales and Orm Burnham have started work on hanging the large painting in the Children’s Room. These huge paintings were donated by Margarita DeValle.  They were painted by her stepfather, Marcial Godoy Opazo.  Climb the stairs after Sunday Service and take a look at the paintings.  Be sure to check out a website devoted to his work at http://web.archive.org/web/20180805000957/http://marcialgodoyopazo.com/   Thank you again, Margarita, for this generous donation.

Teens have begun their own Wednesday Night Youth Program, directed by Stephanie Robichaux. They have held two sessions so far.

Don’t miss the Ostara/Spring Equinox Event, being planned for March 20.  This will include an Irish potluck and a Glow Easter egg hunt. Every event sponsored by our Earth-Centered Spirituality Group has been a unique celebration of spiritual archetypes that span religions and cultures.

For our Third Sunday Give Away the Plate, we collected over $455 for House of Heroes, Inc.  Several of our members and friends have worked on these projects to restore the homes of veterans and/or their families in our community.

Joyce Hickson and Brenda Stevens extended the UUFC History Project, originally initiated by John Nix. They have finally finished bringing John’s work up to date. One copy is stored in the office, but a second copy will soon be available for use in the library. Thanks to Brenda and Joyce for this massive effort. And thank you, John Nix, for having the foresight to begin it.

 Bill Harlan has volunteered to lead our work with UU The Vote.  He will lead efforts for post card writing, and voter registration. 

Our first big Work Day will be March 23, with March 30 as rain date. Take a look at the list of jobs to do and look around for more. It’s time for a spring refresh for our building and grounds.

Several members have been exploring ways to incorporate Hearing Assistive Technology for Grace Hall. Hal Midgette has led research on this project, with Ron Ussery, Bill Harlan, and others, when possible, joining in to attend demonstrations at our Grace Hall and at St. Paul Methodist. The systems we have tested ranged from over $13,000 to $2800. The group chose the $2800 system, which basically allows a user to access our sound system through an app on their smartphone. The phone hooks to the internet, and then the phone links via Bluetooth to the hearing aid. Sweetwater, Inc. will sell the hardware and app, which can be manipulated by us to carry our header and information.  This $2800 cost will include 2 individual devices for those who do not have a smart phone. 

Yes, the Board has been very busy, but so have many others–the programs, the special events, the outreach classes, the refreshments, the sound system, the building maintenance, the grounds maintenance, the background work that keeps us going.  It’s all done by volunteers.  Don’t miss your chance to join in on March 23 or 30 when we all get to paint, scrub, rake and sweep side-by-side with our donations of time and talents (and a bit of muscle).

A UUFC team participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s last year and met up with so many people we know from other paths of our lives.  No date has been set for it this year, but get connected with the group now at  https://act.alz.org/site/SPageServer?pagename=walk_quickreg&fr_id=17545&autologin=true&s_subsrc=walk24_ret_2B_regtext1     We want to be sure to show up again for our family members, friends, our community and even perhaps ourselves.

We have gotten 2024 off to a good start.  I can’t wait to see what spring brings (flowers in the BZ for sure) and parties around the Meditation Garden and in the Pavilion.   

Looking forward to seeing every one of you, 

Connie Ussery, President,

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Columbus