The big news this month is that we have hired a new minister. Rev Dr Isabel Call will be joining us in October, first remotely and then in person towards the end of the month. She was unanimously approved first by the Search Committee and the Board and then by the congregation during a meeting on September 12. Rev Isa is single but will be joined in Manhattan by her cat, Intuit.
If you were unable to join us for the September 12 service, we talked a lot about new possibilities for the Fellowship. Part of the text of the reflection follows. Of course, the best thing is our new minister, but we are also restructuring and repopulating the committees and asking for folks to participate in RE, Sunday Services, music, etc. Please fill out the poll at https://forms.gle/U8JDYGfLyfjuPkko6 to register your interest in serving/volunteering at UUFM.
Over the past year and a half, we have been experiencing what we now fondly refer to as unprecedented times. I am not going to focus on COVID or even pre-COVID times other than to say that I am proud of this fellowship and the way that everyone stepped up, made adjustments, and kept the fellowship on track for the duration.
What we are focusing on is the future–the possibilities that exist for this fellowship in both the near and not-to-distant future.
The Board got together for some visioning and goal setting about a month ago. We set down some goals that we think would be good to strive for–but we need everyone’s help to re-boot or re-create this fellowship and hopefully take it to the next level.
I will introduce a few of those goals, how we will attempt to reach those goals, and how the entire congregation can/must/will be involved. If, at any time, you have any ideas about anything regarding the Fellowship, please send me a message at email@example.com or call me at 785 304-0086.
Post-COVID rebuilding of the congregation, RE, etc.
- We want to host some events that will bring people back together. What those events are and how they are carried out will largely be up to you, the membership.
- Rebuild Sunday Service attendance to ~ 70 per Sunday. This should be doable with a new minister and the multi-platform services that we are kicking off today.
- Make sure people know we exist and what we stand for. Participate as a congregation in social action–be seen at community events–identify as members of UUFM with t-shirts, buttons, bumper stickers, etc. Any boards or committees you serve on, identify as a member of UUFM. Marisa is putting together a t-shirt design that will be available at Threads in Aggieville. You can have it printed on the shirt of your choice.
- Bring in new members (how?) Why do people come to UUFM? Why did you come to UUFM?
- Expand reach and visibility to new members of the community
- Continue to work on making the Fellowship diverse and welcoming.
How do we structure our organization considering generational shifts and technology shifts?
- Committee restructuring – Make and fill standing committees to be determined by Board and have them report to the Board regularly. Re-engage old volunteers and recruit new ones. Engage members from all age-groups and backgrounds.
- Create ministries that address the issues of our aging membership, as well as our children, youth and young families.
- Develop new leaders who are willing and excited to carry the UUFM mission forward.
How does the building serve our mission and vision? What do we do about it?
There is some building repair that we are aware of and are addressing. But there are some other things we can do to address these questions.
- Create a to-do list of things that would make the Fellowship building more inviting. Let me know if you think of something.
- Continue to investigate options for when we outgrow the building, making sure it meets our vision/mission.
- Investigate how we might expand at our current location.
- Offer presentations/recitals at the Fellowship building to draw people who might not otherwise know about us. Suggest this to others in the community.
Other worthy goals
- Bring the adoption of the 8th principle to a vote by the congregation. Organize a study group about Article II in preparation. https://www.uua.org/uuagovernance/committees/article-ii-study-commission
- Present a proposal for a Native American land acknowledgment to the congregation for approval (Diane Barker and Pat Embers are working on this).
This is your Fellowship! Let’s all work together to make it the best it can be. Judy
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Manhattan
Contact UUFM Board Chair Judy Nickelson at firstname.lastname@example.org, to learn more.