From the Board: September 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 Betty Hartnett.

The theme for September is “Renewal.” Renewal is an everyday happening in our lives. We renew our prescriptions, our subscriptions, our driver’s license and licenses of all kinds; even girl scout outfits are going through renewal. We also renew our hopes, our dreams, our spirits, our efforts, our energy, relationships, acquaintances, commitments, responsibilities, vows, and so on. The root word, “new,” is an adjective and can be defined as “of recent origin, having but lately come or been brought into being.” The word, “renew,” is a verb meaning to take up again or resume, to restore or replenish. “Renewal” is a noun meaning the art of renewing.

While the idea of renewal is familiar, the process can be elusive and is seldom easy. That is because renewal assumes change is necessary, and change implies loss and also requires imagination, will, ideas, self-searching, sharing, re-building, vision, and more. Typically, many steps must happen in successful renewal. Continue reading →

Update on COVID-19 Preparedness for UUCM

Fred Hulting, Board President

As mentioned in my earlier post, the Board of Trustees is developing plans to manage the short- and long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the activities of the UUCM community. To accelerate this work, the Board created a COVID Task Force led by Cathy Bujold. The members of that Task Force include volunteers and staff with experience in COVID workplace regulations, knowledge of church practices, and expertise with our facility: Shelley Buss, Lisa Stock, Allison Laura, Bob Dachelet, and Rev. Lisa Friedman.

Guided by state regulations, advice from the UUA, and the latest science, the Task Force has initially been focused on the risks of using our building. The recommended approach is to open the building in four phases, gradually allowing more people into the building as we are able to do safely. We are currently in Phase 1, which allows for a small group of four to five staff and volunteers to be in the building for specific needs and purposes. There is no timetable for moving to Phases 2, 3, and 4.

A detailed Phase 1 Preparedness Plan has been created by the Task Force and approved by the Board.  The plan’s emphasis is on enabling our staff to do their jobs safely and accommodating necessary volunteer activities.  It covers building access and use procedures, health and safety policies for staff and volunteers, and facilities maintenance and cleaning protocols.  The Board has also appointed our Minister, Rev. Lisa Friedman, as the Plan Administrator.  Lisa will manage the implementation of the plan and she will coordinate training for staff and volunteers who must be in the building at this time. Continue reading →

UUCM is Going Solar!

A message from Fred Hulting, Board President,

Over the past six months a team led by Jackie Smolen has developed a proposal for UUCM to work with Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light to install convert our electric power to solar. This proposal was recently approved by the Council and the Board. Moving to solar will allow us to replace our current fossil fuel energy source with clean renewable energy, reduce the impact of climate change and pollution on communicates of color, and save significantly on our energy bill. Continue reading →

Board Update: Ministerial Transition, COVID-19, Anti-Racism, Solar Project

A message from Fred Hulting, Board President,

It may be summer, but things are not slowing down at UUCM. As we are working through our ministerial transition, we must also deal with the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, choose how we respond to the call for anti-racism work, and support the Social Justice Ministry’s actions for racial and environmental justice. The Board met recently and laid out a plan for tackling all of this over the next few months. Continue reading →

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 →