UUFC President’s Letter November 29, 2023

UUFC President’s Letter November 29, 2023

I’m loving the fact that membership ceremonies have been a more frequent occurrence in our Fellowship.  We welcome these new members and their families and pledge to support them as a community devoted to reason, tolerance, and freedom, as well as justice, compassion, and love.

We have also had an increase in the number of visitors who often come back for other events like Meditation and Buddhist Studies, Earth-Centered Spirituality celebrations and/or Sunday services.  Those of us who attended Trunk or Treat and the Samhain/Science and Mother Gaia events know that many people from the community joined in, and everyone had a lot of fun.  Thanks to Amos and Amanda Jones and family, Orm Burnham, Hal Midgette for bringing this event back from Covid cancellation.  A special thank you goes to all the people who donated funds and candy and decorated their trunks and themselves to make it all happen in a big way. 

While I’m thanking folks, thank you, all volunteers who donate your time and talents to our fellowship every week.  We could not have a single Sunday service without you, as we have learned while trying to fill in for some of our regular volunteers when they cannot be at a service or an event.  These volunteers also keep our presence in the community at large grounded in justice, compassion, and stewardship.

After our December 3 First Sunday Luncheon, stick around to enjoy “It’s a Wonderful Life” in the main hall.  It’s based on “A Christmas Carol,” the novella written by Unitarian Charles Dickens in 1843, and in so many ways the world hasn’t changed much since then. Movie Night is still being reviewed, but the renovated Meeting House is open for business, as those attending December 3 First Sunday Meditation at 10:00 AM will learn.

“We Will, We Will Rock Yule” is being planned for Winter Solstice, December 21.  Let Amanda Jones know if you want to pitch in on that potluck event.  Food at 5:30 and a program, as well as singing and music, will follow at 7:00.

We are planning a December 24 Holiday Party, offering catered finger foods and desserts with some entertainment still in the making.  Let Connie know if you would like to help.  This will follow a short Sunday Christmas Eve service.  Especially needed the week before this event are a few volunteers to set up tables and chairs right after the service on December 17.

At our November 21 Board of Trustees meeting, we discussed the process for preparing and distributing confidential yearly pledge letters and donation records for friends and members to review their giving.  All of these will be distributed by email, but you can request a snail mail letterhead version as well.

At the December 10 Business Meeting we will vote on our 2024 Board of Trustees.  Since all are running unopposed, our votes will be to confirm new Trustees, Pat Hart, and Bill Turman.  Returning Board members are Trustees Ellen Harlan and Orm Burnham; Secretary, Judy Barnett; Treasurer, Ron Ussery; and President, Connie Ussery.

At the November 21 meeting, we also approved the changes in the By-Laws regarding the required length of time someone must be a member to be eligible to be nominated for Board positions.  This change in election procedures will go into effect January 1, 2024.

The Board approved our frequent substitute pianist Maria Parrini’s request that she be allowed to offer a fund-raiser concert at UUFC on December 10 from 4:00-5:00 PM.  This event will be open to the public and will likely bring in many guests to Grace Hall.  Light refreshments will be offered.

Our Social Action Committee has been working hard to make a difference in the community.  Coats collected for Safe House during October were taken in three different loads, so the number was significant and greatly appreciated.  Our November donation to Habitat for Humanity totaled over $450.  Don’t forget to bring shoes for the “Shoe us Some Love” initiative.  Congregational Care is working to help our members and friends.  The confidential contact cards are in the library.

I hope to see you all soon.  This December there is so much to celebrate, and we need to make the most of it together.

In Love and Fellowship,

Connie Ussery, President