From the Board: July 2020

The UUCM fiscal year begins on July 1. With it, we welcome Fred Hulting as the new President of the UUCM Board of Trustees and offer a warm and grateful farewell to Robert Brooks, who has served in this role for the past two years. Below are Robert’s parting reflections on the state of the church and of the world.

John Lennon said, “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” 2020 has certainly given us lots of that life. In January the Board posted our congregational record, initiating our search for a new minister. We had planned more congregational listening sessions, our annual pledge drive, our congregational survey, revisions of UUCM bylaws, fulfilling our first annual focus goals in the council of ministries. It looked like a sprint to the finish line for fiscal year 2020. Then the pandemic arrived.  Continue reading →

Black Lives Matter

The following joint message was emailed to UUCM members and friends on June 16, 2020. It has been updated with contact information for board members. 

From Your Ministers:
Dear UUCM, over the past few weeks, your interim ministry team has been engaged in multiple levels of ministry with you in relationship to the awful murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of the police. Many in the congregation have been present at the many protests. Many have visited the scene of his death. Rev. Meg and Rev. Lisa Friedman held a listening circle in which we heard your pain, your anger, and your uncertainty about quite what to do. Each of your interim team has, or will lead services that speak to racism and white supremacy, and we each have, or soon will, offer thoughts in our Wednesday messages. Each of us is impacted differently by Floyd’s death and the subsequent protests. Some of you were there personally, or had family members who were tear gassed by police, while others worried if the unrest would reach the quiet streets of your suburbs. Each of us is impacted differently.

Our time as your interim ministers grows short. On July 31st, our time with you will end. With so little time and with such big events occurring in our world, we are working closely with your board of directors and program council to collectively hold and shape the congregation’s response. Below is a message from your board, and as you’ll see, they are picking up on the fact that we are each impacted differently and want to engage the congregation more deeply in understanding where you are as a body, and what that means for UUCM moving forward.

From Your Board of Trustees:
The murder of George Floyd and the resulting protests in Minnesota and around the globe have rapidly changed the world and views on the Black Lives Matter movement. Leadership at UUCM fully supports the anti-racism movement and taking a hard look at white privilege. Following a listening session held by Rev. Meg and Rev. Lisa, the congregation has also been actively discussing these topics in board and council meetings. Initial steps have been taken – the program council deliberated June’s offering recipient and reaffirmed our commitment to Avenues after verifying that they primarily serve people of color in Minneapolis. We have also taken steps toward sourcing BLM buttons and posters for distribution to membership and are planning to read and discuss the book My Grandmother’s Hands in July and August to catalyze broader anti-racism efforts.

We as a board also want to hear how these events have affected you and what actions you have taken on a personal level. Church leadership needs to understand what members individually think and feel, and how the congregation wants to move forward in these efforts both internally and externally in the short and long term. We also recognize broader conversations within the UUCM community are needed. Planning for further conversations about anti-racism efforts are underway. Please email a board member with your ideas. The efforts will be critical in framing who we want to be and where we want to go as a community.

President:  Fred Hulting (incoming); Robert Brooks (outgoing)
Vice President:  Cathy Bujold (assuming new role); Melissa Martinson (outgoing)
Directors:  Julia Antonsen, Bill ArnoldBecky Halat, Shelley Buss (incoming), Betty Hartnett (incoming), and Cindy Busch (outgoing)

From the Board: June 2020

Each month, a member of the board will share a reflection on the Soul Matters monthly theme and the state of the church. This month’s post is offered by Cindy Busch.

Our UU Soul Matters theme for June 2020 is Compassion. (Interestingly, the original theme for June was Play, but it was changed to Compassion in the context of the pandemic.)

“Compassion [is] concern to enhance the welfare of another who suffers or is in need. This is different from empathy, which is the “mirroring or understanding of another’s emotion.”  So empathy is feeling; compassion is action.”   Jeremy Smith

Along with all of you, the senseless tragedy and outrageous circumstances of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis on Memorial Day, May 25, 2020 has been painfully revealed to me through the last few days on TV news (both local and national stations), the Star Tribune, online, and on social media. Continue reading →

Annual Congregational Meeting – Thank You!

Thanks to all who participated in our very first virtual annual meeting. We had 78 voting members of our 183 total membership for a 42.6% attendance! Last year’s minutes were approved, minister and president reports delivered, budget proposal approved, and slate of board members and officers approved. I also showed slides of plaques being presented to our Troika of interim ministers, in appreciation of their service over these last two years.

Board President’s Report May 17, 2020
2020-21 High Level Proposed Budget
New Board Members and Officers
2019 Annual Meeting Minutes

Robert Brooks
President, UUCM Board of Trustees

From the Board: May 2020

Each month, a member of the board will share a reflection on the Soul Matters monthly theme and the state of the church. The Soul Matters theme for May is Thresholds. This month’s post is offered by Julia Antonsen.

The monthly Soul Matters theme for this month is “Thresholds”.  Hearing the word made me think of the threshold of the doors in our lives and each threshold means different things depending on when we cross it.  The threshold of the outside door as we hurried out of the cold into the house in winter.  It that same threshold we cross on the beautiful spring day with enthusiasm of the warming sun as we leave our homes, even if it is to just sit in the sun.

We cross our threshold of church where we enter with the busyness of the week with hope of seeing our friends and leave that threshold having made connections and feeling better.  Even when we enter our virtual church, it is when we chose to enter that unique place, we are crossing into community through a threshold of our devices. Continue reading →