Board Member of the Month – Oct. 2021 (Barbara)

Meet Your Leaders!

Did you know that our community is led by an all-volunteer Board of Trustees that meets monthly? Anyone is welcome to attend our meetings and learn how UUCPA is governed. In an effort to make the Board more accessible to the entire community, we will feature one Board member each month in our weekly update and on our website.

This month, Barbara Smith-Thomas , our VP Facilities, is featured.

  1. What are three interesting facts about you?
  • When I graduated from college I took a gap year to travel. During that year I worked on the archaeological dig at Masada in Israel.
  • Not counting dorm rooms and summer jobs, I have lived in 25 different homes and am about to move into home number 26. The longest I ever lived in one place was 12 years.
  • I work in the AARP Foundation free tax assistance program. Every year I help 50+ low to moderate income people file federal and state income tax returns.

2. Why did you join UUCPA?

I have been a UU for 35 years. I knew when I moved here that I would join a UU congregation, it was just a question of which one. UUCPA was closest to where I lived when I first moved here and you welcomed me with open arms. I am a UU because I want to be a member of a community that challenges me to live out my values in the world.

3. What made you join the Board?

Keeping a UU congregation vibrant and healthy takes lots of people doing lots of jobs. This is a job I can do, and someone asked me, so I said yes. I have been on the boards of 4 different UU churches over the years.

4. What is your portfolio area?

My portfolio area is Facilities. I am responsible for monitoring the status of our physical plant: what needs fixing, what improvements we should plan for, and how is the ongoing upkeep and maintenance going. Luckily, I have the able assistance of the Buildings and Grounds Committee, the Aesthetics Committee, the Gardening Committee, and our Church Administrator, Jeff Cashdollar.

5. What is something you would say to the congregation?

There are so many places to connect with the life of this congregation: worship, forum, music, religious education, men’s and women’s groups, committees, internal and external service, and more. UUCPA is about so much more than Sunday morning. Find something that interests you and check it out. Warning, we will ask you to help. I encourage you to say yes to some job, large or small. Your life will be enriched and you will get to spend time with interesting and thoughtful people.

6. What’s one way you hope to see UUCPA fulfilling its mission in the coming years?

To transform ourselves, each other, and the world… So many transformations! I want us to welcome each other back with open arms, to listen to each other’s pandemic stories, to love and heal in community. And then, I want us to work together to make our campus, our community, and ourselves less wanton in our consumption of natural resources. As a congregation and individually we need to emit less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, use less plastic, waste less, and recycle more. We need to hold our communities and our elected officials accountable to preserving our world for future generations.

7.   When is the next Board meeting, and how can I attend?

Answer: Our next meeting is Wednesday, Oct. 27, at 7:00 pm. You can attend by emailing and asking for the Zoom link.

Unofficial Mission statement: To transform ourselves, each other, and the world…

Mission Statement: With a legacy of openness and in accordance with the Unitarian Universalist Principles, we come together to support one another in our continuing commitment to a free and loving search for spiritual meaning and to the expression of that meaning in our community and in our lives.–