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Current News

On this page:

Faith-to-Action Nominations Requested for 2014-15
Solar Panel Project Work Continues
Melissa Ensign-Bedford to Lead Summer Sunday School
UUCC's "Green Initiative" Featured in KBIA Report
New Opportunities to Serve
"Ends Statements" Adopted by Board
Strategic Planning Will Follow Adoption of Ends Statements
It's Time to Sign Up to Present Summer Lay-Led Worship Services
"Web of Life" Curriculum Begins
2014 Local Harvest Supper Planning Begins
Membership Gives Preliminary Approval to Endowment Policy Change
Generosity Campaign Starts March 1, Ends March 31


Faith-to-Action Nominations Requested for 2014-15

Once again the UUCC Social Action Team is accepting Faith-to-Action Collection recipient nominations for the next church year. Next year's recipients will begin receiving collection awards in September 2014. A total of 14 recipients will be selected for the year and will receive awards by the end of May 2015. The team is accepting nominations immediately and will begin selecting recipients after May 31, 2014. The selection process is expected to be completed by September 2014.

From now to May 31, we encourage recipient nominations from members and friends of the church. Nominations may be made in writing by completing a Faith-to-Action Recipient Nomination Form (Word format) and emailing it to Church Administrator Kathie Bergman or Social Action Team Chair Wiley Miller. The team prefers that nominations be submitted electronically; however, paper forms are available from Kathie or Wiley.

Nominees can be local, regional, national, or international programs, agencies, organizations or efforts that exemplify one or more Unitarian Universalist principles. Final selections will be made by the Social Action Team. Nominations received after May 31 may be accepted and considered, but preference will be given to nominations received before May 31.

When completing the Nomination Form, please remember that the Social Action Team believes brevity is as important as the quality and content of responses. Therefore, please respond within the space provided on the nomination form. Near the end of the nomination form, space is provided for any brief additional comments that you believe might be helpful to the understanding and selection of your nominee. Additional comments are not required, but they will be welcomed if you think they might be of use.

If you have any additional questions about completing the Nomination Form, please contact the Social Action Team Chair Wiley Miller or any other member of the team.

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Solar Panel Project Work Continues


Mounting brackets and some mounting
rails for the solar panels were installed.

A maple tree was cut down because
it would have shaded the solar panels.

After starting work the previous weekend, church volunteers continued work on our solar panel installation project on Saturday, April 12, 2014.

Preliminary work on the roof and some wiring work were done the previous weekend. On April 12 the volunteers, led by Larry Lile, finished running the wiring to the outside, installed the mounting brackets on the roof, installed some of the mounting rails to which the solar panels will be attached, and cut down a maple tree that would have shaded the solar panels and decreased their effectiveness.

In the photo to the right above, Vic Myers, left, and Larry Lile worked on removing the tree debris. Thanks to Andrew Twaddle for providing the photos.

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Melissa Ensign-Bedford to Lead Summer Sunday School

An announcement from Rev. Molly and Lisa Fritsche, Director of Religious Education:

This summer, we will be offering Summer Sunday School for the first time, and we are very excited to announce that we will be ably led in this effort by UUCC member Melissa Ensign-Bedford. Melissa will serve as Summer Sunday School Coordinator this summer from mid-June to mid-August.

Melissa brings many gifts and skills to the 7th principle (environmental) based Sunday School program we will be offering this summer, particularly her experience with nature education at Runge Nature Center, her understanding of our faith and our program, and her familiarity with the curriculum, which she has helped to create alongside other Green Sanctuary Team members.

We are very happy to have Melissa on board to make our first summer of Sunday School programming a success! If you'd like to help this program succeed, as well, please consider serving as a classroom aide one Sunday this summer. Contact Lisa by email if you can help!

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UUCC's "Green Initiative" Featured in KBIA Report

Our "green initiative," including installation of solar panels, replacing the electric kitchen stoves with natural gas stoves, and replacing water heaters was featured in report on the KBIA-FM website on Thursday, March 27.

View the story here. Be sure to click the first photo to see a slide show of all the photos and to click the "Listen" link to hear the 8-minute radio report.

Weather permitting, installation of the solar panels on the sanctuary roof will begin on Saturday, April 5. Contact Larry Lile if you're interested in helping.

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New Opportunities to Serve

Are you looking for a way to connect more deeply to the ministry of our church? There are opportunities for you! We are particularly looking for curious folks who love to learn and creative folks who love to connect, as we create an Adult R.E. Team and a Fellowship Team to better coordinate these already strong and growing parts of our life together…

  • Adult Religious Education Team – Coordinate the overall offerings for adult religious education and spiritual development. Develop further opportunities.

  • Fellowship Team – Create regular opportunities for fun and fellowship among us. Be available to other teams who might like to plan fun events.

If you are full of great ideas, these teams are for you. Help us meet our mission to learn and connect! Contact me at 442-5764 or by email to serve on one of these teams.

In faith, Rev. Molly

[From the April 2014 Searchlight]

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"Ends Statements" Adopted by Board

“Ends Statements” are a way to prescribe rigorous expectations for the organizational performance that the congregation (through the board) wants to see. They are a way to describe the reasons UUCC exists. The ends are dynamic and should be used as guides by the board to evaluate and monitor our progress as a church.

In February 2014, the Board of Trustees adopted the following Ends Statements, prefaced by the Mission and Vision Statements adopted by the congregation last May:

1. UUCC is a warm and rich community. We live our radical welcome by inviting all who hunger for deeper connection into a mutual journey of growth and transformation.

2. UUCC embodies courageous love by challenging ourselves and working with others to be the change we want to see. Together we move outside our comfort zones as we work for justice and to help heal the world.

3. The members and friends of UUCC join with other con gre gations and groups in Columbia to work passionately for social change. In particular, we lead in the struggle for LGBTQ rights, distributive justice, and environmental sustainability.

4. Our members and friends of all ages, abilities, beliefs, and life experiences are seriously engaged with a lively process of faith formation, and their lives are marked by increased wholeness, inspiration, hope, and courage.

5. UUCC nourishes a spirit of curiosity, and open, reasoned, and critical inquiry.

An excellent description of why it is important to write good Ends Statements can be found in this detailed discussion on the UUA Governance page.

– Maria Oropallo, Past President and board member

[From the April 2014 Searchlight]

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Strategic Planning Will Follow Adoption of "Ends Statements"

In February the Board of Trustees took another major step toward implementing policy governance by adopting “Ends Statements” (see article above by Maria Oropallo).

The Ends Statements follow up on the congregation’s Mission Statement, which captures our basic purpose, and the Vision Statement, which details the congregation’s priorities over the next several years.

Now the board is getting ready to embark on the next step – formulating and adopting a strategic plan.

A strategic plan indicates the major means by which the congregation will fulfill its mission over a five- to ten-year span of time. It includes plans for program and membership devel opment, staffing, and capital-development steps, like building programs and endowment funds.

Many alternative strategies could be faithful to the mission; through a process of strategic planning, the congregation, acting through the board, chooses one set of strategies it plans to stick with.

A strategic plan can take up to a year to create and may run several or many pages. Issues that should be considered for inclusion are program develop ment, member ship development, a capital plan, and a staffing plan.

When the strategic plan is in place, it will provide direction for the congregation, the board and the staff by setting out detailed program ideas, timelines, budgets, and specific staffing changes.

The board will form a task force including members of the congregation to develop the strategic plan. Meetings of the task force will be open, and we invite members and friends to attend and make their views known.

At the same time the task force and board are working on the strategic plan, the board also will be taking the last major step in implementing policy governance – formulation of a detailed over sight policy to fulfill the board’s duty to ensure that the congregation’s human and material resources are used for the benefit of its mission. The oversight policy will establish a plan for monitoring and evaluating that work so staff and lay program leaders are account able, and so that the congregation learns from its experience. Input on oversight will be welcomed.

Steve Scott, 2013-14 President

[From the April 2014 Searchlight]

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It's Time to Sign Up to Present Summer Lay-Led Worship Services

The ice is gone (we hope)! We can all be thankful for that! Now it's time to think about summer worship.

With spring upon us, many of us will start to think ahead to summer – its longer, lazier days filled with less formal activities. That is certainly true for the Worship Associates, as we begin to organize summer services.

Summer at UUCC means a veritable picnic of lay-led services! All we need are people willing to share a dish. That spiritual dish could be an appetizing inspiration, a thoughtful and hearty main dish, or a luscious, loving dessert. Perhaps our February theme of creativity has stirred something in you!

The beauty of pot luck is that you will have help setting and filling the table. Rev. Molly will once again offer a brief training on worship for those wanting to do a service now (or in the future.) That workshop is scheduled for April 19.

And, each service leader will have the help of a trusty Worship Associate. Think of us as sous chef – ready to help you organize the service, find musicians and readings and generally assist with whatever else you need.

Right now, all you need do is get in touch. Together, we’ll pick a Sunday in June, July or August. We look forward to working with you!

For more information, contact Cande Iveson at 777-6947 or by email.

[From the April 2014 Searchlight]

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Web of Life Curriculum Begins

The Green Sanctuary Team has begun its classes presenting the Web of Life curriculum prepared by the UUA Ministry for Earth.

The first class, facilitated by Jan Weaver and Melissa Ensign-Bedford, was held March 16. Many of the Green Sanctuary Team members attended. Our goal was to learn about how our own experiences and expectations affect our conversations about environmental justice. Participants reflected and discussed our geographic identities and our sense of place with regard to our society, culture, and economy.

Our next class will be held March 30. Although this class is already full, we are planning to offer them again soon, so watch for announcements about upcoming learning opportunities.

The Green Sanctuary Team will have a booth at the local Earth Day celebration on April 27 in conjunction with the Social Action Team and Honduras Group. We expect the wooden latrine model you’ve seen in the foyer will make a great conversation starter at Earth Day!

We will need volunteers to staff the booth, so watch for an announcement for volunteer signup through SignUp Genius.

[From the April 2014 Searchlight]

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2014 Local Harvest Supper Planning Begins

As gardeners and farmers are starting to make their plans to plant, the UUCC Green Sanctuary Team is thinking ahead to the harvest – the Local Harvest Supper, that is.

Chelsea Otten has generously agreed to co-chair the 2014 event. It would be a big help, and a lot more fun, for her to have one or more others committed to taking on the planning and leadership roles. Past leaders will be happy to pass on their experience and lessons learned, but aren’t able to take the lead this fall.

Please consider stepping forward if you have enjoyed this event in the past, or are looking for a fun, rewarding way to get involved with the church. Nothing builds community like planning, cooking, and feasting together! If this sounds like you, please contact Lisa Guillory by email, (lisa.a.guillory@gmail.com) or let Chelsea know of your interest.

View Photos of the 2013 Local Harvest Supper

[From the April 2014 Searchlight

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Membership Gives Preliminary Approval to Endowment Policy Change

At a special congregational meeting after worship on March 9, 2014, members gave preliminary approval to replacing the current Endowment Funds Policy appended to the church bylaws with a new shorter provision.

A final vote on the change will take place at the Annual Congregational Meeting on May 18 in conjunction with a vote on whether to adopt a revised set of bylaws.

More information.

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Generosity Campaign Starts March 1, Ends March 31

Each year our congregation votes in May to approve our budget for the following fiscal year. We consider our budget a moral and missional document – expressing our priorities and our care of the ministry of our community. But our budget would not exist without your generosity.

Our budget is funded each year by pledges from our members and friends who commit to give a specific amount over the course of that year in order to give the church a reliable source of income during the fiscal year. Your pledge is essential to help us plan for what kind of work we can fund in the coming year.

This year we have set a goal of $245,000 in pledges with the hope that we can increase our staffing in order to keep up with the wonderful growth we’ve been seeing. We hope that you will consider giving generously and turning in your pledge card promptly to the office or online, so that we can count on you.

Our pledge drive will begin with a celebration on March 2 and will end by March 31. In that time, we will be sharing our exciting goals for the coming year, and we will help you discover how you can be part of living our full mission. Let us know if you have any questions.

– 2014 Generosity Team Co-Chairs
Margaret Harder (268-1226)
Maria Oropallo (639-9696)

[From the March 2014 Searchlight]

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