Dear UUCPA friends, As I finish my time as Board president this month, I find there’s a lot I want to tell you.
First, if you’ve already pledged to this year’s annual fund, thank you! If you haven’t, now is your time. Every single person and pledge makes a world of difference. Our amazing staff members need fair compensation to do their good work. Right now, we’ve pledged $518,000– so close to our goal of $580,000, we can taste it! You can make your new pledge or increase your current pledge by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Second, I am so proud of us. As I write, we have also pledged nearly 2.3 million dollars to our capital campaign. The generosity and resilience of this congregation always astounds me. We are determined to take care of each other and our building, and most especially, the people who will come here in the generations to come.
Back in 2021, when we were gingerly returning to campus, this seemed a ridiculous idea. Why would we embark on an ambitious project in the midst of so many other pressing concerns? We needed to tenderly care for and reconnect with one another, and we needed to extend ourselves warmly to newcomers seeking community in the wake of the pandemic.
Yet, during that difficult time, some unexpected miracles happened:
- UUCPA was about to turn 75, and people were approaching me saying they wanted to give celebratory gifts to remodel our kitchen.
- Our wise Stewardship team decided to meet with capital campaign consultant Rachel Maxwell, who told us we might be thinking too small. “Your campus is beautiful,” she said, “and so much more than a kitchen!”
- After 15 years of knowing we needed to remodel the kitchen, we finally had a superb project leader willing to take it on: Sally Ahnger. AND she was open to thinking bigger, too.
And so we did think bigger. So much so that we are approaching our goal of 2.8M!
And, we’ve got a new acting chair of our Membership and Growth committee (thank you, Kristi Iverson), with 9 people working on the many ways we help people feel at home at UUCPA. We welcomed a dozen new members at our Easter service. We’ve hosted newcomer welcome events in both March and April, and our Membership Engagement Coordinator, John Wright, continues to make UUCPA a warm, welcoming place for everyone crossing our real and virtual thresholds.
On the governance front, on May 1, Buzz Frahn is expected to assume the role of president on our Board of Trustees. We’ve been working together all year as president and co-president. This arrangement, pioneered by Sally when she was president, has served us well. I hope it continues, allowing UUCPA lay leaders to serve in teams and in shorter terms, reducing fatigue and increasing creativity and connection.*
Finally, I want to tell you how serving as Board president has changed me for the better. Though I’ve done a lot of things I’m proud of as president, I also made many missteps. I’ve had plenty of difficult conversations and had to make my apologies. Each time, I had to find the courage to listen, love, forgive, and ask for forgiveness. Rather than turning away from controversy or confusion, I had to stay put and figure it out with the other person. There is no faster route to enlightenment.
This is why I first came to UUCPA, and why I will stay.
Take good care,
*If you have ideas you want to share with the Board, please come visit a Board meeting. The Board meets in the Fireside room on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 7pm. And you can come on zoom if you email Jeff (email@example.com) and ask for the link.