UCM Board Letter to the Congregation
Oct. 31, 2023
We are so pleased to have moved back into our beloved church building and want to repeat our deep gratitude to the FRuuT and to all in our congregation and wider community who have worked so hard to make this happen.
The crisis of the flood and its destructive consequences have been addressed for the short term and plans continue to be developed to complete that process. The Board is turning its attention to the goals (Please read the goals through this link.) it has set for itself for the remainder of the church year.
Focused activity and collaborative work has already begun by Board members, Rev. Joan, UCM staff, and lay leaders and members of the congregation to achieve some of these goals. In the case of the first goal of supporting a community-wide kitchen, we have also joined in working with representatives of other Montpelier congregations and organizations (see the next page for additional information). For others, that effort needs to commence. The Board is committed to providing leadership and engaging with others in the UCM community in active involvement with all five of these goals, which we will only achieve with the help of all of us. To that end, you will be hearing about and seeing opportunities for participation in the coming weeks and months.
2023-2024 UCM Governing Board Working Priorities/Tasks
In addition to the above goals, the Board will work on the following three sets of priorities/tasks:
- Re-evaluate/examine feasibility of the fundraising events budgeted for this year. (Fran, Ansel, Jen)
- Review and consider staffing needs (work with the ET). (Jen, Steve)
- Consider an ongoing Stewardship Committee. (Ansel, Brenda, Hugo, Claudia, Jen)
- Lead annual pledge drive. (Ansel, Brenda, Claudia, Fran, Jen, Steve)
- Engage with flood recovery efforts at UCM (Brenda, Fran).
- Design and initiate congregational conversations about the climate resilience of the congregation and the building. (Brenda, Steve)
- Review existing Bylaws. (Steve, Hugo, Jen)
- Review policy monitoring process. (Ansel, Hugo, Jen)
These tasks are areas where the Board sees that it has a primary but not exclusive responsibility over the church year. You can see that Individual Board members have signed up for specific activities within each task area and will be focusing on those areas going forward. It is absolutely the case that Board members will be seeking the assistance of many other members of our community to achieve success in the several bulleted areas of the Stewardship and Flood Recovery tasks, and will bring recommendations from the outcomes of its work in the Governance area to the congregation when it is completed.
This month we want to share with you progress related to the following goal: “Sustain and evolve UCM community meals in partnership with Montpelier congregations and organizations with a commitment to sharing resources to meet community needs.”
As you are probably aware, the UCM kitchen sustained significant damage as a result of the flood. We were not alone in the extent of the damage to our kitchen. Other church kitchens in Montpelier also suffered significant damage.
During the pandemic, a collaborative effort on the part of the various faith-based groups began to work toward a common kitchen and dining area in Montpelier. This became a higher priority as a result of the flood. An agreement to establish a common community kitchen was reached this fall. For the next several months Christ Episcopal Church will be the host location for noon-time meals, each weekday staffed and prepared by one of five Montpelier churches. The current plan is then for the five churches to use Trinity Methodist Church as the common kitchen once its kitchen is back up and running.
The Board recognizes that the Monday Community Lunch is an important part of UCM’s mission of “serving human need.” Over the years many of us have enjoyed the camaraderie (and chaos) and the sense of helping those in need of food security. We all want the Monday Community Lunch to continue! Even with the back-to-back crises of a pandemic and a flood, we can still care for each other in this moment of adaptation. UCM will still provide volunteers and food for the Monday meals.
On Monday, October 30th, we began prepping, cooking, cleaning and serving our Community Lunch at the Christ Episcopal Church. We encourage you to support (chop, stir, wash, scrape, serve, clean) and engage in this significant component of UCM’s critical community outreach. Though the place will be new and at first it probably won’t feel the same, our engagement and caring for one another will be. You can sign up here or if you have questions email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are excited to be part of this collective community-wide effort to address food insecurity and we hope to see you there on an upcoming Monday!
With love and hope,
Steve Gold, for the Board