Board Letter September 2023

September Greetings and Welcome Back!
It was wonderful to see so many of you in person, for our opening Sunday on September 10th!
The water communion seemed particularly meaningful to me this year. My own travels this
summer brought me abroad, to my ancestral roots in Ireland. They also brought me to my
familial roots in NJ, for a week at the beautiful beach town of Avalon, to celebrate two
milestone birthdays in our extended family. In Avalon, I also got to meet several great-nieces
and nephews I hadn’t met yet, and welcome them into our family! Both trips were exhausting
but tons of fun. I was happy to be thinking of them, and how the waters of the great Atlantic
Ocean that touch the shores of both Ireland and NJ, connected my family, to our past and to
the present.
When we first arrived at church, I wondered where everyone else’s waters were from, what
special places did you visit this summer? Who did you meet, and what did you learn? Maybe
your summer was filled with more familiar, well-loved traditions, with family and friends well
known, nourishing and replenishing you. Maybe you, too, were able to travel to new places.
But now, with the start of September, the new school year, and the beginning of our church
year, our travels have brought us back home.
As we poured our water into the communal urn, symbolizing our interconnections, my thoughts
turned more toward the new year, what I am looking forward to, and where the year might lead
us. I wondered what everyone else’s hopes and wishes for this church year are. What do you
bring in your heart on Sunday? What part of your spirit needs tending, that our church
community might provide?
The Board of Trustees has been meeting throughout the summer, learning about policy,
dividing up tasks and responsibilities for the year, and planning for the future of UUCSW. The
entire board attended a regional retreat for Board and church leaders in mid-September,
hosted by the New England Region staff of the UUA. It was good be together, to take the time
to assess where we are, and to identify areas we think we need to address to ensure the
successful future of UUCSW.
We all realize, we can’t do it with out you, and we welcome your input! What do YOU see as
the future of UUCSW? What could we improve to make this year more impactful for you?
What brought you back to our Opening Sunday and water communion service? Are we
meeting your needs for a loving community that shares your desire for spiritual growth? Where
and how do you think UUCSW needs to grow? Your board members are interested to hear
from you. Find us on any given Sunday before or after services, at various committee
meetings, or email us at: Your voice is welcome, in this, our spiritual
Just like any home, our physical church and spiritual community needs constant TLC. I would
like to take a moment to thank all of the people in our community who worked hard over the
summer, (hopefully in between their travels), to keep our “home” in good working order, to
bring improvements to it, and to start to plan for the coming year. A big shout out to all who
helped get the HVAC unit back where it belonged on the side of the building, after a July storm
tore it off the wall! Thank you to all those who helped with the new shade garden, and weeded
and trimmed the other areas of our grounds during the summer! Thank you to those who
carried out the various works of justice this summer, collecting clothing, food, and letter
writing, and organizing services about reproductive, racial and social justice for us for the
coming year. Thank you to those who helped out at the Westboro for Life event, and for
greeters at our doors! Thank you to those planning and organizing for our Religious
Exploration events coming up. Thank you, to all of our “behind the scenes” volunteers and
staff, for keeping us going!

We enter into the new church year with so much already organized and happening. We are a
thriving community, and we are looking forward to all of the wonderful things about to unfold as
the year progresses. So glad we are together again! Welcome home!
In peace,
Nancy Siegal
Co-chair, UUCSW Board of Trustees