Reflections from the President
As I write this I am very aware that my second term as President is winding down. On May 19 we will elect new congregational leaders with lots of activity scheduled during the coming months:
- The Nominating Committee will be talking to potential nominees. Consider stepping up if asked.
- The Stewardship Committee is about to embark on a robust campaign to be held beginning late February through March. We plan to hold gatherings with as many members as possible as we explore possibilities to expand our ministry, deepen our internal communications and strengthen our community outreach. Please join one of these conversations and share your thoughts while you consider your Stewardship commitment for the coming year.
- The Finance Committee will develop a budget for FY25 based on the Stewardship Campaign and reasonable projections of other income and expense. A budget review meeting will be held in early May.
- Committees, teams and groups are asked to prepare reports for our Annual Report. The deadline to send these to Beverly Miller in the office is April 19, 2024. So time to reflect on the year’s accomplishments.
Annual Reports reflect one year but I have been reflecting on the many successes of the past four years:
- Surviving and thriving during COVID, adding the Zoom option for worship and many meetings, adding new tech equipment, creating a tech position and holding many special events outdoors.
- Successful ministry! Rev. Telos arrived during COVID, before vaccinations were available, yet was able to connect fully with the congregation even during the time when our building was closed. She is now in her 4th year with us, supported by an active Committee on Ministry, present at so many events and working closely with the Worship Team, Caring Circle, Membership and other church committees.
- We successfully raised the majority of funds needed to pave the driveway — what a smooth drive up the hill!
- We have a landscape design which presents many possibilities for tweaking and implementation.
- We have continued to make important building improvements — the Capital Needs Committee has guided the creation of our accessible bathroom, shingling, roof and chimney repairs, chapel steps, and much more.
- We’ve celebrated special anniversaries of the local UU merger (100 years) and our building (50 years) and have displayed and begun to archive historical documents.
- This year we’ve been experimenting with pre-service programming including RE classes with consistent leaders, aided by a new RE assistant, as well as meditation, choir and the return of our monthly breakfasts.
- We share our offering plate generously with community organizations and offer support in many other ways.
- The Parish Council meets monthly for sharing and planning for church life, providing guidance to the Board.
- Our building, the West Village Meeting House, is in constant use with a growing number of one-time rentals and ongoing rental agreements with Theatre Adventure, Miss Martha’s Early Education Program, Brattleboro Women’s Chorus and the Spring of Hope Church of God in Christ.
- This list is not exhaustive. The richness of church life is in the details which are manifest in inspiring worship services, active Board, teams and committees, joyous art and music, creative fundraisers, personal connections that provide care and support, and ever so many gatherings to plan, work and just be together!
Of course there are projects yet to be done and visions of possibilities. More about this in future newsletters!