UCM Board Letter to the Congregation
September 22, 2023
I write this second letter to the congregation as a representative of the UCM Board to provide a brief update on the progress in restoring our beloved church building, following the flood of July, 2023. I am also happy to tell you that Jen Matthews has joined the Board, taking the place vacated by Joel Dennison. The Board meets at least once monthly and twice if needed; its next two meetings are scheduled for Oct. 4 and Oct. 18.
We are glad to report that significant progress has been made in remediating the extensive damage wrought by the flood. For those interested in the process and progress details of this extensive and challenging work, they can be found in the minutes of the weekly Flood Recovery Unitarian Universalist Team (FRuuT) meetings which can be accessed through the UCM website. The Board wants to acknowledge and express deep appreciation and gratitude to Rev. Joan, the staff, and the many congregation members and other individuals and organizations who have given huge amounts of time and tremendous energy serving on FRuuT, doing the hard work of this restoration effort, and providing resources, both financial and expert, to enable this endeavor.
Special recognition goes to Kris Hammer, who has been working virtually non stop as both a key leader and skilled worker since the flood. Kris will soon take a well deserved break from this effort in order to have the time and energy to address his own work, which he has very generously put on the back burner for the last two months. The Board recognizes that this undertaking, which no one sought, has been and continues to be very demanding. It is complicated and multi-faceted, requiring extensive coordination and the involvement of many individuals and organizations, both paid and volunteer, and is taking place when virtually every other Montpelier business, organization and many families are struggling with similar challenges.
FRuuT’s goal has been to reopen the building as quickly as possible while ensuring that it is safe for all to use. As noted above, a huge effort has been made to accomplish this. The achievement of this goal has been made more difficult by the challenge of getting contractors and volunteers lined up and on site for the necessary work. Great progress has been made, and the Board recognizes that it has been exhausting and frustrating at times and that all who are guiding the process have been focused on making it go as fast as possible. Again, the Board is so thankful for the efforts of all involved; the progress has been tremendous. It is also still very much the case that volunteer help is needed; please contact the staff if you have time and willingness to pitch in. As soon as we have a clearer sense of when we will be able to use the building again, we will let you know; we can say it will not be until sometime in October at the earliest.
The Board also wants to especially acknowledge the staff for their continuing dedication to getting their work for the church, both routine and extraordinary due to the flood, done while deprived of their offices and equipment. UCM would be in terrible straits without you. Thank you!
Finally, we thank the congregation for its strong support in providing its approval for the funding needed to pay for the costs of remediation of damage from the flood to our building.
Onward, with love and hope,
Steve Gold, for the UCM Governing Board:
Ansel Ploog (Vice President)
Brenda Bean (Secretary)
Claudia Clark (President)
Fran Dodd (Financial Officer)