Board Letter Spring 2024

Happy Spring from the Board of Trustees!
The late winter and spring have been very busy at UUCSW! First and foremost, I’m sure most of
you have heard the news that on April 10, Rev Laurel gave us notice of her resignation, effective
at the end of her contract with us on July 31, 2024. While saddened to hear of her upcoming
departure, the board knew we needed to organize ourselves quickly, hoping to hire someone
who can start in August, giving UUCSW the smoothest transition possible. We assembled a
Search Committee, to enable us to move forward in the process. The Search Committee is
comprised of Jane Walsh, Chair; Janet Purney-Balbanis, Stephanie Doyle, and Noah Nourse, with
Colleen Munson acting in an advisory position. There is a liaison from the Board of Trustees,
currently filled by Nancy Siegal. We are grateful to all of the Search Committee members for
agreeing to serve. UUCSW will again be looking to hire a contracted, full-time minister. There is
much work to be done to participate in the search process through the UUA, which is where
ministers obtain their information on available positions across the nation. If you have any
questions or comments, please contact someone on the Search Committee, or Board of
Meanwhile, the Board has also been involved in the budget process, the Pledge Campaign, and
are continuing to explore ways to help UUCSW thrive and grow both now and into the future.
To this end, the Board has been meeting with congregational leaders and committee chairs
throughout the year, to learn about and brainstorm ways to address the challenges that face
congregations of all faiths, globally. One of the actions we have taken is to create a Flourishing
Futures Task Force. We’ve asked the task force to take a deep dive into looking at how we use
and maintain our buildings, how we approach staffing needs, and how we can potentially grow
to meet the needs of our congregation while also being fiscally responsible. We offer our deep
thanks to the members of this Task Force for offering their time and expertise to examine the
problems and offer possible solutions. Members of the Task Force are: David Lambert, Jane
Walsh, Adam Thrasher and Rev. Laurel Gray. Thank you all, for agreeing to serve on this team.
Our group of board members, congregational leaders and committee chairs has also been
brainstorming ways to grow our outreach programs, to attract new members while also meeting
the needs of our current members. You may have noticed and responded to a few
questionnaires as we try to ensure we are in fact, meeting your needs as members of this
shared congregation. Thank you for completing these questionnaires. One statement we
heard loud and clear was: WE MISS COFFEE HOUR! In response, COFFEE HOUR IS BACK!! Thank
you to all of you who have signed up to manage the set up and clean up of coffee hour!
Providing snacks is optional, and ANYONE can voluntarily bring in baked goods or other light
snacks, for any Sunday that coffee hour is happening. Coffee hour is important for all of us, new
members who are just learning about the wonderful people at UUCSW and what we do, and
current members, who love saying hello and catching up with church friends. Our sense of
community and connection is foundational, and coffee hour, as simple as it is, provides us with
the chance to do just that: connect. So once again, THANK YOU to everyone who has signed up
to help with coffee hour! Please check the sign-up sheet in the chapel, as there are a few

Sundays remaining which need someone to set up and clean up for coffee hour. No one signed
up means no coffee hour that day.
Our committees have also been busy! The Garden Committee is planning a Dedication
Ceremony for the new meditation garden on Saturday, June 8th from 2:00-4:00 at the church
that you won’t want to miss! There will be music from Kala, a dedication ceremony with a
blessing by Rev. Laurel, commemoration of the groups in town that have donated trees, and the
volunteers who have helped make this garden a reality, and a lemonade and cookie stand run by
our RE kids! Bring your friends and neighbors as we celebrate the awesome work that the
Garden Committee has engaged in all year. Thank you to Phyllis Barrett for leading this.
The Membership Engagement Committee has put out a request for greeters for the final quarter
of the church year. May and early June still need greeters. Greeters are the first contact a new
visitor may have with us; we believe this is an important part of feeling welcomed into our
community. Greeters also get to say hello to everyone who comes through the door! It is a fun
way to start your Sunday!
The Pledge Campaign is going well, thanks to all of you, and the Pledge Committee! If you have
not made your pledge yet for the 2024-2025 church year, please consider doing so. The Finance
Committee will use the pledge numbers to help develop the budget for next year, which the
congregation will vote on at our Annual Meeting on June 9th. Please contact Bruce Hall if you
have any questions about your pledge donation.
Spring is a time of renewal and new life, of colorful blossoms opening and soft greens budding
in the fields, lawns and woods. May we be filled with new energy as we breathe the warm air,
and share the beauty of the world with each other and our larger community.
Nancy Siegal, Co-chair and David Lambert, member of Board of Trustees