Peterborough Town Library Will Host an Examination of the Experience of Race in our Community

On Monday, June 25th at 7 pm, the community is invited to the Peterborough Town Library to participate in a workshop entitled, “Talking about Race: Staying Curious, Moving Forward and Being Part of the Solution.” 

The evening is designed to encourage an open and thoughtful conversation on race and how as a community we can learn to appreciate and understand experiences and perspectives different from our own.  At the center of the conversation will be the experiences of two local African-American residents, Grace Aldrich and Jim Guy.  They have generously offered to share their personal experiences of what it means to be African American in the US today. These experiences will be the starting point for our group conversation as the participants examine what they learned, and how they can move forward individually and as a community to be even more inclusive and compassionate with the resources at hand.

Grace Aldrich is a massage therapist, singer, and storyteller. She became interested in the healing practice of storytelling after performing in the local Black Fly Story Hour Series in Peterborough.  Jim. moved to New England in 1973 to work as a sales professional.  Jim and his wife, Rosemary, have been living in NH since 1985 and moved to Dublin in 1998.  Jim is semi-retired, is a member of the Monadnock Rotary club, and performs volunteer work for local and international organizations.

The program is free and open to the public.  Please register for the workshop by calling the Library at (603) 924-8040 or emailing Mary Hubbard at mhubbard@peterboroughnh.gov.

Peterborough Town Library is located at 2 Concord Street in Peterborough and is open Monday-Saturday. For more information on this program or any of our services, please visit PeterboroughTownLibrary.org or call (603) 924-8040.

 

2017-18 ANNUAL REPORT

ANNUAL MEETING OF THE KEENE UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CHURCH

June 10, 2018  –  11:30 a.m.

KUUC  Mission  Statement

The Keene Unitarian Universalist Church is a nurturing, accepting community where people of diverse beliefs and circumstances celebrate together and support one another. This church provides a place in which we may give voice to religious feelings and experiences, be part of a spiritual tradition, and extend our caring into the world.

 

Keene Unitarian Universalist Church – Notice of Annual Meeting, Sunday, June 10, 2018

The Annual Meeting of the Keene Unitarian Universalist Church will be held at the church on Sunday, June 10, 2018. Member check-in will occur from 9:30-10:00 am. Meeting will begin after the worship service, at 11:30 am.

ARTICLE I                 Elect a Moderator.

ARTICLE II               Approve minutes from the June 11, 2017 Annual Meeting.

ARTICLE III              Nominees for Trustees and President-Elect will be presented at the Annual Meeting.

ARTICLE IV              To confirm Anne Branzell-Spiegler as member of the Nominating Committee in the role of Past President.  She will be joining Matthew Aversa and Jennifer Wyman as they finish the second of their two-year term.

ARTICLE V               Hear reports from Building/Property Committee, Minister, Treasurer and other committees, and to incorporate edits to Annual Meeting committee reports as needed.

ARTICLE VI              Adopt the new mission statement.   “The people of KUUC are committed to actively creating compassionate community and working  for a fair and peaceful world.”

ARTICLE VII           In regard to our investment categories, vote to dissolve category of special gifts to general investment fund, as per recommendation by John Bordenet of the Investment Committee.

ARTICLE VIII          Hear from team regarding investing in our 200-year-old building, and three approaches to greening it up, making it more efficient and a place that is warm and welcoming in the winter months.

ARTICLE VIIII   Consider and approve the operating budget for fiscal year  2018-2019.

 

Keene Unitarian Universalist Church – Minutes of the Annual Meeting June 11, 2017

 The Annual Meeting of the Keene Unitarian Universalist Church was held at the Church on Sunday, June 11, 2017 at 11:30 am.  During the meeting, we acted on the following Articles:

ARTICLE I.             To elect a Moderator.

Motion:  by Lucius Parshall to nominate Carol Stamatakis – Second: Jeff Spiegler -Passed: Yes, unanimously.

ARTICLE II.           To approve the minutes of the June 5, 2016 Annual Meeting.

Motion: Talu Robertson – Second: Rev Michael – Passed: Yes, unanimously.

ARTICLE III.         To elect two Trustees to three-year terms, a Treasurer, and a President-Elect. The nominees for Trustees are John Lowry and Tim Robertson; if elected, John Lowry has agreed to serve as Clerk of the Board.  The nominee for Treasurer will be -elect at the Annual Meeting.  The nominee for the President-Elect is Carol White.

Treasurer-elect: Jack Westrate (move to amend nomination by Talu, Carol Mills Second) Amendment passed.

Motion: Nancy Mellish – Second: Susan Lowry – Passed:  Yes, unanimously.

 ARTICLE IV.          To elect two members of the Nominating Committee to two-year terms.   The nominees will be presented at the Annual Meeting. Lucius Parshall, the Past President, will also serve as a member of the Nominating Committee.

Names:   Terms are 2 years.  -Lucius as past president  -Talu Robertson; Andrea Ansevin-Allen; Matt Aversa & Jennifer Wyman.

Motion: Talu; second: Lucius – Passed:  Yes, unanimously.

Motion: John Bordenet – Second: Jeff Speigler – Passed:  Yes, unanimously.

ARTICLE V.           To hear reports from the Minister and Committees and to incorporate edits to the Annual Committee Reports as needed. 

Motion: Larry Dachowski    Second: Betty Forrest

Minister’s Report: Rev Michael:

  1. Programs are strong, but much to be done. Less well-attended than desired. Youth Group, Month of Sundays & inter-gen neighboring faiths; Book Study on White Supremacy, Rich, creative & high quality.

Vladimir’s return

Jill’s DRE

Rev Sue Phillips

Summer Services

Need increasing participation in Covenant Groups.

Amazing team of employees – need more volunteers.

Need to build our capacity to support programs to do the work.

Board President: Lucius Parshall

Finances – we have been blessed with John Lowry as Treasurer.

Thanks to entire Board.

Moving Stewardship campaign to the Fall & led by Carol Stamatakis

Re-dedication to moving forward.

Requested additional commitment to pledging more.

Mission-funded budget. Stewardship will go for fiscal year.

John Bordenet: suggest 18 months. Lucius said yes…good suggestion.

Barbara Bryce – to continue current level of pledging.

Incorporating edits – in Investments, headings dropped out. New headings passed out.

Susan Chamberlin – fundraising – page 17. We raised $8650.

Motion to amend edits – Carol Mills -Second: Barbara Bryce – Motion carried, 1 abstention.

Motion – Mark Meese, John Walter – Passed.

ARTICLE VI:          To hear a report of the visioning process conducted this year.

Motion: John Lowry – Second: Lucius Parshall

Report by Talu:  Hard copies will be available, sent by email.   (insert from Murray)

ARTICLE VII.        To hear a report regarding security enhancements.

Motion:  Murray McClellan – Second:  Judy Saunders

Rev Michael reporting:   Capacity for surveillance has increased to keep an eye on doors & main hallway. Evidence of smoking and heroin use in bathrooms. People at night. Increased monitoring for breakfast program. Extra hours for maintenance man. Feeling that several have expressed. Church too often closed. Safety & Welcome.

ARTICLE VIII.      To consider and approve the operating budget for fiscal year 2017- 2018.

Motion:  Tom Julius – Second:  John Walter

Total Property $60,945

$145,669 for pledges.

Budget income –

Another change – Expectations for community breakfast. Income based on donations, income from partners. Current surplus of donations.

Questions – John Bordenet – plan still forthcoming for Sabbatical. Gets one month for each year.  Joint support from other congregations. Will be a committee. Sabbatical minister (on call)

Mark Meess – comments on Property –

Solar panels working to power this building and contributing to the grid. Working as predicted. Net producer to grid. (we’ll be able to check monitoring site).  However, electricity costs are not lower.  Church does not own system. In return, we get slightly reduced rate. Due to demand profile – business-rate from Eversource.

Things we can do: more efficient hot water heater. Turn off 2 small hot water heaters. Need contribution to non-food costs.  Use stove more. Electric appliances less. Work to change electrical billing so receive different rates.

Community Breakfast Program – working with some other organizations in hopes that it would not move anywhere this coming year. But will need a place of higher capacity in the following year. Has had conversations regarding security & facility with partners – probably not a difficult ask for additional costs. Supposed to reconsider all contracts with all renters – need to decide who is renter, who is partner, what is missional and what is money-raising.

Motion to adopt changes – 1 revision to property:  $60,945 – Income & expenses:   $235,450 – Pledges to $145,669.

Motion:  Talu, to accept Budget with changes. – Second:  Lucius – Further discussion: No – Passed:  Yes, unanimously.

Jeff Spiegler – requested budget ahead of time

Talu – thanks to everyone who helps, members of the board

Motion to adjourn:  Lucius Parshall – Second:  Carole Mills

Respectfully submitted, Andi Johnson

2017-2018 ANNUAL REPORT OF THE SABBATICAL MINISTER TO THE  KEENE UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CHURCH

Submitted by Reverend Olivia Holmes

What a blessing your Board of Trustees and Rev. Michael have given to me in these months with you.  There probably are not enough words in the English language to express my gratitude.  We’ve all opportunity after opportunity to hear first-rate preaching from ministers and lay speakers as well.  Especial thanks to Rachael Walter and the Worship Committee for making all these Sundays happen so smoothly.

And I’ve had the joy of watching Anne Branzell-Spiegler and your Board organize around your new sense of mission, highlighting your shared commitment to being compassionate community.   Not just the Board, but you, too, have expressed this commitment through opening the church and marching with our students at the rally honoring the victims of the Parkland shootings.  And then you did it all again with the wonderful May Day celebrations.  Especial thanks to Susan Chamberlain and Hazel Erdoben for the energy and vision they brought to this wonderful weekend of activities.

Worship, for any minister, and certainly for me, happens when the choir sings, and when Vladimir and the many talented musicians of this congregation play, or when Carin Torp dances.  These are blessings all of you who offer your musical gifts in worship give to us.  Matt Aversa and Betty Forrest, thank you both for your dedication to the music programs of this church.

A great joy for me was working with your excellent staff.  Jill, Susan, and Vladimir are all utterly dedicated, incredibly knowledgeable, and delightful human beings to work with.  I have thoroughly enjoyed working with each one of these amazing professionals.  And I owe a big debt of gratitude to Deborah Dunnell for creating the block curriculum.  This is a gift I pray we can figure out how to share with UU congregations all over this country.  Never have I seen students of different ages come together to create a story in blocks, building on their UU principles in the process (helping one another, sharing, asking great questions).

Maybe the greatest blessing for me was just being with you again, after 10 years, hugging you hello after missing you all that time.  The hardest part of being a minister is having to leave people you love behind when it’s time for you to go.  But there’s another hard part, too, and that is discovering that there are those who are not coming to church any more.  Some have died, of course, and some have moved away.  But some have moved away in spirit, losing this sacred connection to their faith community and to their faith.  My dear friend, the late Jerry Davidoff once opined:

I can’t count the number of times I’ve said to myself, “I’m never going to that damned church again.”  It might happen when I disagree strongly with something the minister has said, or with a decision made by the Board or some committee.  BUT, when asked why I pledge to this church, here’s my answer:  I pledge because it is my church.  I pledge if the sermon is bad.  I pledge if the Board is wrong.  I pledge if the choir is flat, and I pledge if the coffee is cold.  It’s my church.  I need it, and it needs me.”

Each of you brings a special blessing to this church.  Don’t stay away.  Come back, again, and again, even if the coffee’s cold, or you disagree with the minister or the Board or another faithful spirit.  This congregation needs you, and you need this faith and its people.  Thank you, thank you with all my heart, for the many blessings you are, and have given me and KUUC.

Board of Trustees  – Submitted by Carol Stamatakis and Anne Branzell-Spiegler

Stewardship and Finances – Our year began with a stewardship campaign. The Board had decided the previous year to try having the campaign in the fall instead of the spring as has been the practice in the past. This meant that the stewardship campaign was happening after the beginning of the fiscal year for which funds were being raised.  Carol Stamatakis stepped in to oversee the stewardship effort as there was no stewardship chair or committee in place. She undertook a mailing campaign with a brochure that included very clear graphics by Joan Roelofs with numbers provided by John Lowry.  “Stewardship moments” took place during worship services. The recently formed Membership Committee, under the leadership of Melinda Hildreth-Honkala, organized a Stewardship Dinner as their first major project.

Our pledge campaign came up short of the budget, due to many factors.  The budget depended on pledges at a level that was ambitious and exceeded what was actually received the previous year.  Several members who pledged generously in the past experienced transitions (many age-related) while newer members typically pledge at a level that is significantly lower than older members.  Pledging amounts have stayed steady over the years, though, and it is the loss of rental income, both in the investment property and in the church building proper that have constituted our short fall in income.  We are still hoping to work from faith-based and mission-driven budgeting, and are planning to offer a workshop on holding one-on-one personal conversations with community members, with help from the local UUA support staff.

In wholehearted helpfulness and enthusiasm several members, Susan Chamberlin, Melinda Hildreth- Honkala and Hazel Erdoben set out to reinvigorate standing fundraising efforts as well as reinvigorate lapsed events. In the late fall, the green sale artists created many more berry bowls than typically made, and nearly all were sold.  As well, in Spring, Susan set about reviving our May Day event.  Hazel  put together troops that labeled and sorted for hours and made a welcoming rummage sale, Melinda and Carole Mills solicited and organized the first plant sale of the area – all as part of a  festive and lovely May Day celebration that also included three meals, a May Queen recognition, and two Morris dance teams after church on Sunday.  One of the biggest challenges for these organizers was the possibility that they would not be able to find enough hands to help.

A major project and decision of the board was to pursue past due rent owed from tenants of the apartment building next door owned by the church.  Efforts by Susan MacNeil and the board led to one tenant entering on a plan of repaying past due rent, and a second tenant eventually vacating after incurring a very significant arrearage. This unit, after some updating, spit and polishing in efforts organized by Bob and Carol Hill and being shown to several people by Deb McLay, was finally rented out to a family of four. The challenges with collecting rent over the past couple of years, and resistance to initiating eviction proceedings out of sympathy for the tenants (who continually begged for more chances), lead to many soul-searching and at times heated discussions by the Board about whether it is proper for the church to be acting as a landlord.

Currently we are negotiating rental of parts of the downstairs to a preschool and hope that with this or another tenant that we will regain firmer financial footing lost since we lost our long-term tenants.

Building and Grounds – The heating of the sanctuary, the heating of the church as a whole, the location of services in winter, and the project of insulating a vast room that has no insulation continues to be a project for this congregation.    Options range from holding winter services in the Parish Hall, to actually insulating each cell of the ceiling, or laying bead board over the bones of the ceiling after laying insulation, along with dropping the ceiling down to just above the highest windows. The property committee is very slim, with Bob Hill at forefront and members who will come to help when a project or clean-up is announced.

Trustees are talking about rousing the community for a Capital Campaign.  In order for a Capital Campaign to be successful, the congregation should understand the issue and be supportive and enthusiastic.

In regard to cleaning and snow removal, we decided to use professional businesses that are carrying insurance and have their own equipment.  We are still adjusting to the costs involved and studying how these contracts affect our budget and the cleanliness of the church.

Social Outreach – Again this year, our hosting of the 6-day per week community breakfast is our major form of social outreach, an effort that is not small in terms of building use, costs for utilities, clean up needed afterward on a daily basis, paper goods consumption and wear and tear. The opioid crisis and extreme service and support needs of many served has resulted in challenges with the program that the church was not prepared for.  Rev. Michael took on much of the burden of these challenges.

Other Social action efforts include an ongoing young adult group, that while small, studied and met regularly.  These young adults are helping us understand how we can appeal to other young professionals and families in the area.

Our May Day event included activist tables and KUUC outreach on the lawn, with the enjoyment had by all including neighbors who came from across the road to watch the Morris teams.  This was indeed a social action.

Our Mission Statement, as it stands amended and before the community, compels us to work creatively and compassionately for a just world.

UUA General Assembly 2017 and 2018 – KUUC sent two delegates as well as Michael to the General Assembly last year and will send at least one delegate this year.

Sabbatical Related Events – BOT is benefiting greatly from having Olivia and her experience from several church communities, attending executive and full board meetings.  She does not know our culture in and out, but her experience and enthusiasm and love of the church, its community and Michael have been invaluable.

Green Sanctuary and Social Action – Submitted by Ann Shedd & Susan Chamberlin

These Committees, combined into one for the past several years, were inactive in the 2017-2018 church year. A meeting was called in January in an attempt to revive the Committee, either as one combined or as two separate committees. About 12 people attended, and brainstorming occurred. A second meeting was scheduled, but no new leadership emerged and the meeting did not occur.

The congregation has remained involved in hosting and staffing the Community Breakfast program, and in the Monadnock Interfaith Project.

An “Activist Fair” was held in conjunction with the May Weekend Rummage and Plant Sale, to support Activism in the area. Seven outside groups and five KUUC groups participated. In this context not many of “the public” stopped or signed up, but the activist organizations were very pleased to participate.

The Congregational visioning process from 2017-18 resulted in a clear message that KUUC members want to be considered activists and to support social change.  The May Days Festival/ Friend-Raising was intended to expand our presence in the larger community with some component of activism.  New leadership is needed for these two committees. Please contact the Board if you are interested in filling this much-needed role.

Investment Committee – Submitted by John Bordenet, Chair

Below is a summary of our funds for the year.  Note that the redistribution of gains were not shared with two Ewing funds. Most of the gains for Ewing assets are transferred to the operating funds on a quarterly basis. Also note that we had a healthy 14.2% gain for the year.  This gain was applied equally to our trusts to get an adjusted value.

Adjusted 03/31/2017 deductions 2017 after deductions 3/31/18 Statement
non-Ewing account Total 238,468.48
Main endowment  $176,936.91 $13,000.00 $163,936.91 187,213.74
Hamlett Music $5,441.50 300 $5,141.50 5,871.52
Alliance Memorial $8,323.76 $8,323.76 9,505.62
Swanson GA $11,561.78 $11,561.78 13,203.40
Special Gifts $19,855.05 $19,855.05 22,674.20
SubTotal $222,119.00 $208,819.00 238,468.48
114.20%
Max. transfer to OB 17,753.79
Ewing 1 $74,583.00 62,371.71
Ewing 2 $72,805.00 74,404.48
Total Assets $369,507.00 375,244.67
Total Schwab 300,840.19

We were able to sell all our GE shares before GE declined significantly. We did so to raise cash needed to support the operating fund. The balance for 3/31/18 does not reflect the additional $3k transferred to the operating fund. That transfer depletes the cash in our portfolio.  Even with this mass transfer of $16k, our investments grew. We are recommending a max transfer next year of $17k.  We lost two valued members of our committee this year – Kathleen Murphy and Darcy Doyle.

John Bordenet, Larry Dachowski, John Lowry, Andrea Ansevin-Allen

Music Committee – Submitted by Matt Aversa, Chair 

This year Music Committee member, Betty Forrest, represented the committee as a member of the Public Worship and Faith Formation Cluster.  This involved collaboration with Rev. Michael, Vladimir and the Worship Committee and Religious Exploration chairs to provide a conduit of information to enhance the total worship experience.

Members also invited new members to join the choir and invited musicians to play for special occasions, such as Music Sunday and the Wassail party before the Christmas Eve service.  In order to continue the ability to offer the congregation this opportunity to experience a variety of music, the Committee has included a line item for guest musicians which will allow invitations to be extended to talented vocal and instrumental students.

Finally, the Music Committee and choir planned and implemented the annual Music Sunday service, which included talented instrumentalists from our church community.

          Committee:  Betty Forrest, Jim Butterfield, David Robinson, Jenn Wyman, Vladimir Odinokikh

Personnel Committee – Submitted by Carolyn Antrim, Chair

On Sept 18, 2017, Ruth Shepard and Carolyn Antrim presented the Board of Trustees with a Resolution of Employee Concerns.  At that meeting, the Board voted and adopted that resolution.

RESOLUTION OF EMPLOYEE CONCERNS

Effective communication is essential for productive working relationships.  To that end, employees are encouraged to discuss any concerns about work or suggestions for improving operations in the following manner:

  • The employee should present any concern to his/her supervisor and together discuss the problem, applicable rules or policies, and possible resolution.
  • If discussion with the supervisor does not resolve the matter to the employee’s satisfaction, or if the employee is unable or unwilling to discuss the problem with his/her supervisor, the employee should submit the concern in writing to the Personnel Committee and/or the President of the Board of Trustees. The Personnel Committee and/or the President of the Board of Trustees shall then conduct an investigation of the matter. This process shall include interviewing the employee and may include appointment of an ad hoc committee to assist in evaluating the matter and arriving at a resolution. The Personnel Committee and/or the President of Board of Trustees shall then recommend a resolution of the problem to the supervisor and employee.

If the recommendation does not resolve the matter to the employee’s satisfaction, the employee may than seek a review by the full Board of Trustees.

During the year, the Personnel Committee met several times with Rev. Olivia Holmes.  We discussed personnel issues, how the committee works, and how to have better communication with the Board about personnel issues.

Carolyn Antrim has served on the committee for seven years and has resigned effective June, 2018.  Talu Robertson has been appointed to replace her.

Committee:  Ruth Shepard, Anne Shedd, Carolyn Antrim, Chair

Property Committee  – Submitted by Bob Hill, Chair

Our newly formed committee (Carl Jacobs, Mark Meess, Bob Hill) have had time to meet twice before coming up with our solution to the major problem of sanctuary heat, or lack thereof.  This would be a preliminary and simple review of our very complex problem.  Please offer your feelings on these options or add your idea.

#1:  New furnace and piping (fittings) plus removal of existing furnace.

Rough Cost:  $75,000

-Consider alternative fuels – gas, wood chips

#2:  Enhance existing system.  Rough Cost:  $15,000

-Upgrade fuel line/filter

-Replace one of the circulating pumps

-Re-pipe from furnace to air handler

-Add proper venting

-Repair malfunctioning burner

#3:  Install drop ceiling in sanctuary. 

Rough Cost:  not available at this time; best guess $15-20,000

-Tall ladder work and pews removed for installation to be done

-Greatly reduce the cubic air space to be heated

-Drawing being done by Dan Bartlett to give us a visual effect

#4:  Sanctuary Weatherization.  Rough Cost:  $30,000

-New windows

Other considerations:

-Insulate old windows

-Insulate sanctuary floor from underneath

-Plastic over entire windows from inside (keeping old windows in place)

-Caulking all cracks and crannies

-Insulation drapes on windows

-Adding some electric space heaters

Former Montessori Space Rental

We are close to finalizing a contract to lease 1400 sqft of our religious education space to Little Learners Day Care.  This will still leave 600 sqft or 2 classrooms for our RE program.  Final details will be worked out.  This rental takes the place of the Montessori School, and will yield around $21,000 annually.  We have to undertake the preparation of the area.  Cost depends on how much we do ourselves, between $1500-$2000.  The inspections have been done and are good.   If this proceeds to culmination, it seems that at least updating our furnace would be essential.  The finance committee will be handling how we pay for these upgrades including other church enhancements.

 Renovation to Rental Area for New Tenant

-Repair and paint walls and ceiling

-Small safety fixes to prevent potential injuries to little people

-One bathroom needs remodeling

-Install small kitchen (repurposed cabinet, top and sink)

-Playground equipment:  clean, sand, de-rust, paint

-12’ x 12’ sandbox – old sand removed, new sand and cover added

-Yard trim and clean-up

Church Building Exterior

-Slate roof overdue for inspection and repairs (2 leaks)

-New gutters and downspout has been installed on driveway side of building to keep water from draining into undercroft

-Snow and ice removal – good but expensive ($1500 for one month)

-Lawns – cut weekly by Galen Butcher (good job)

-Need to clean and paint soffits and window openings

-Garden – work in progress by several dedicated volunteers

-Sinkhole repair by ramp entryway

-Minor roof leak above same area

Church Building Interior

-Maintaining a dry undercroft (good for now)

-Sump pump insulation

-Parish hall floor needs to be refinished

-Hired cleaning crew needs improvement

Taylor Street Rentals

-Windows need painting

-Remodeling completed at 17 Taylor wit help of several members.  Both 17 and 19 Taylor have paying renters.  Some repair and painting required on porch and exterior windows.

Solar Panel Update  – Submitted by Mark Meess

During 2017, the Solar Panels on the roof of the RE building produced 82% of the net electricity use of the church.  With further conservation efforts, it’s quite possible that we could get to 100%! However, because of the way we are billed (as a business), a large portion of our electric bill is now due to “demand charges.” Essentially, demand charges are based on the maximum use of kW in any 30- minute period during the billing cycle, and demand charges in our case are not affected by the PV panels. So, despite the impressive electricity production, our bills from Eversource only dropped by 33%.  Since we pay for the electricity produced by the PV panels, our overall Electric bill was $1000 higher in 2017 than in 2016 ($5,100 compared to $4,100).   So far, 2018 looks better, but there are several strategies available to reduce our demand charges, and in 4 years we will have the option of purchasing the PV system, potentially lowering our long-term cost considerably.

Poetry   – Submitted by Dave Wilbur

 The poetry group has met continuously for over a decade since beginning with Rev. Sue Phillips.  Many poems have been written by church members and we are compiling our own collection.  Please submit any you know of, especially those of Miles Robinson.  We meet monthly and welcome all to share, discuss and appreciate poetry.

Director of Religious Exploration (DRE)  – Submitted by Jill M. Hall

During the 2017-18 church year, the Religious Exploration Committee and the KUUC community collaborated to provide meaningful and enriching Religious Exploration programs on Sunday mornings for 24 children from 12 families plus approximately 4 cousins/guests/visitors. The average weekly attendance was 6 children. On Sunday afternoons, KUUC provided the Our Whole Lives values-based sexuality education program for 7-9th grade students. Thirteen youth completed the program, from 12 different families, only 3 of which were members/friends of the congregation. In addition, the RE Director and Committee have collaborated with the ministry team on several multi-generational worship services.

Notable successes to be celebrated include:

  • The Our Whole Lives program, which continues both to be a gift to our community, and to be much in demand as neighboring churches (Brattleboro, Peterborough) have ceased to offer it.
  • The units on the Life and Works of Mohammed (autumn 2017) and the Life and Works of Jesus (spring 2018), which presented KUUC’s children with introductions to Islam and Christianity through their founders. This approach allowed the children to access “big ideas” in an age- and developmentally-appropriate way, laying a foundation for continued exploration and increased understanding in the future.
  • The Blocks program, pioneered by Deborah Dunnell more than five years ago, is an ongoing and growing success. Deborah continues to expand the ways working with the Blocks supports understanding and practicing the 7 Principles as well as reinforces and enlarges the themes of the curriculum units.
  • Eleven adults (not including parents of children in the Sunday morning group) participated in leading or helping with various parts of the Sunday morning classes.

Opportunities for growth for the RE program and the KUUC community:

  • Developing ways to support parents, grandparents and adult caregivers as they raise children as Unitarian Universalists, including ways to support bringing faith into everyday life.
  • Continuing to foster the creation of a true multigenerational community where all ages and stages of life are honored and included.
  • Exploring the possibility of growing KUUC’s Our Whole Lives offerings to include all the age groups O.W.L. offers – Kindergarten-grade 1; grade 4-6; grade 10-12; young adults; adults. This is a valuable program for which there is strong demand in the greater community.

I wish to thank the members of the Religious Exploration Committee: Barbara Bryce, chairperson, Deborah Dunnell, Sarah Franklin, and Betsy Stacey, for their great investment of time and talent in support of the children and youth of KUUC. I also thank Carole Mills, RE Committee member emerita, for her continued valuable contributions in the area of curriculum development as well as leading/helping with Sunday morning classes.

Thanks to all those who have lead or helped with classes, stepped up when we were short one caring adult for a class or activity, who have greeted and welcomed young people to our church and community, who have offered words of support and encouragement. Our church family is rich with caring adults.

Thanks and appreciation to Bridge Noone and Matt Aversa, for carrying the torch of Our Whole Lives to a new group of challenging tweens.

I deeply appreciate being able to work with the gifted and generous Worship Team – Betty Forrest, Vladimir Odinokikh, and the Rev. Michael Hall. Your talents, ideas, and spirit of adventure are inspiring. I also deeply appreciate the opportunity to work with the Rev. Olivia Holmes, from whom I have learned a great deal in a short amount of time.

And thank you especially to the parents of the children and youth, who have chosen to bring their children to KUUC, who have chosen to make Unitarian Universalism part of the life of their family, to make time for church community, for social action, for all the hard conversations and answerless questions that are the grist and substance of our faith. I look forward to continuing to serve the needs of your families and the KUUC community.

Respectfully submitted,  Jill M Hall, Director, Religious Exploration

2018 Religious Exploration Committee – Submitted by Barbara Bryce, Chair

The KUUC Religious Exploration Committee is a small, energetic group that continues to facilitate the KUUC Religious Exploration Program with dedicated to supporting innovative and high quality programming for our children and youth. At our heart is our incredibly dedicated, resourceful and beloved Director of Religious Exploration, Jill Hall. We had some membership changes this year: Betsy Stacey joined long-term members Deborah Dunnell, Sarah Franklin and Barbara Bryce. Carole Mills (RE Program Emerita) has finally moved onto other church commitments after teaching in the fall but continues to volunteer sharing her expertise with curriculum development.

Our committee members perform double (and often triple) duty teaching in the program and creating stimulating and developmentally appropriate curriculum (this means designing lesson plans for each class for our small, multi-age group of explorers). Hats off to Jill, Deborah, Sarah and Betsy. Deborah continues to deepen and expand the extraordinary blocks program as it is tailored for each unit. This is unique, super engaging and popular with the children, as they put their learning into hands-on creative expression. We support Deborah’s efforts to document blocks curriculum with the goal of sharing it with the wider UU community. A huge boon to the program has been dedicated classroom spaces that help our explorers hold a place in our church of their own where they can share and experience their creations in comfort and community. Come downstairs and check it out!

This year’s focus on the lives and works of faith tradition leaders Mohammed and Jesus would not have been possible without the stalwart teachers and deeply appreciated assistants/helpers. We were delighted to include members of the congregation as guest teachers, including participants from Shawls of Love and Circle of Caring. The RE Committee also provided support for the Our Whole Lives Lifespan Sexuality Education (OWL) for middle school aged youth from KUUC and the community, and for multigenerational planning for services.

The RE committee meets monthly, and Rev. Michael joins us for strategizing and coordination of our activities with the wider church community. Jill is our fearless leader in working admirably to muster resources in a job that continually demands flexibility. The creativity and resourcefulness that sustains RE is exceptional.

The goals of the UU Religious Exploration Program are to create a warm and inviting space that encourages:

  • A Unitarian Universalist identity
  • A sense of belonging to our church
  • A religious experience
  • A tolerance of others’ beliefs and values
  • A belief that it is all right not to know the answers to every question
  • A religious literacy
  • A social conscience

In addition to these general goals, our wish list for next year includes future planning for OWL, maintaining the essential classroom space, expanding programming to include Young Adults, developing supports for our aging teens to help them stay connected with church and with each other, continuing to develop and document our original curriculum lessons, and continuing to provide meaningful “Times for All Ages” and multigenerational worship experiences. Central to all these goals is our need for greater congregational participation.

Despite our enthusiasm, intrepid programming, and wonderfully talented regular and guest teachers, we continue to have serious concerns about the viability of our Religious Exploration Program. As we have been trying to communicate to the congregation for a number of years, both the RE Program and the Committee have relied on the same people, mostly current teachers/leaders, year after year. Our Sunday Explorers teachers are also the RE Committee members. Spreading our RE volunteers and staff so thinly for so long threatens burn out. In order to maintain a vital and robust RE Program, we rely on the generous participation of the congregation to volunteer to this very special and rewarding area of ministry. We are so appreciative of the congregational support we receive.

We need RE committee members, teachers and volunteer assistant helpers. A robust and engaging RE Program attracts new families and sustains mutigenerational growth. Come join us and help us grow our congregation!

Shawls of Love Knitting Group – Submitted by Darcy Doyle

Shawl group knitters have not met at the church this year but many members have been contributing items that they have made at home. Several shawls and lap robes were given to church members and friends to recognize, celebrate or honor major life events. We encourage anyone interested to contact one of us about participating. Plans are being made to meet early in the fall. Our thanks to all who have left items during the year.     Committee:  Carolyn Allen, Suzanne Butcher, Darcy Doyle

Treasurer Report – Submitted by Andrea Ansevin-Allen

 Key income & expense highlights for the FY 2017-2018, through May 15, 2018, are summarized in the following points.

  • Overall income to date in FY 2017-2018 is was $167,074. o Total pledge income was $124,871.   o Outside rentals raised $8,876.  o KUUC also benefited from $15,190 in other income including fundraisers.  o Taylor St. rental income was $16,925 through May 20, with around $7,340 of rent in arrear from past tenant and current.   • Total expenses were $195,832.80, excluding external programs.  • Property expenses were $53,813, down from last year.  Snow removal and janitorial services were contracted this year, and significantly higher than budgeted.  Property repairs continue to be kept down by volunteer work from our members.

For fiscal year FY 2018-2019, estimated total expenses are around $241k.  The budget has been modified to incorporate the higher contracted property expenses, allow for purchase of an outdoor message board, allow a reasonable professional expense line to the staff so they can grow in service to the church, and increase the potential of the OWL program which has been highly successful.  We anticipate a year of full rental income from the apartments, but have budgeted for slightly less.

In the last fiscal year, FY 2017-2018, we changed our budgeting approach and our pledge campaign.  These will no longer be run concurrently.  The pledge campaign moved to the fall, and will strive to fulfill our budget needs.  The goal is as we develop a clearer KUUC vision, the subsequent budget cycle will better reflect our shared mission, and the pledge campaign will strive to fulfill it.   This continues into FY 2018-2019.

This year the Treasurer role transitioned from John Lowry to myself, and I thank John and Susan MacNeil for their support and help during this fiscal year.  I took this position on as Interim, and plan to serve next fiscal year while seeking a member that would like to take on the role in FY 2019-20.

Worship Committee – Submitted by Rachael Walter, Chair

Members of the Worship Committee served as Worship Liaisons each Sunday, filling volunteer slots for the Welcomer and Chalice Lighter, taking care of set-up, clean-up, and the logistical details of the service.  The Usher program was coordinated by Tom Haynes, who was assisted by many wonderful volunteers.  The Wayside Pulpit was managed by Vicky Keller.

The KUUC Worship Committee worked with Rev. Michael Hall to provide worship services each Sunday, until his Sabbatical which was from February 1, 2018 to June 30, 2018.  The committee provided coverage for the days in which Rev Michael Hall was not in the pulpit during the summer and fall.  Prior to his Sabbatical, Rev Michael Hall arranged for pulpit coverage for the time he would be away.  The committee worked closely with Rev Olivia Holmes, the Guest Ministers and our Lay-Leaders who provided services during the sabbatical.  We are very grateful for everyone who stepped forward and offered and supported such meaningful services for these times.

The combination of a long, cold winter and a faulty, low performing furnace brought challenges for providing a warm comfortable space in the Sanctuary this winter.  The Committee worked closely with the property committee to optimize the chance of the heat working successfully on Sunday mornings.  The Parish Hall was used on the days when the Sanctuary was too cold.  We are optimistic that changes to our heating system will be made to provide more consistent warmth in the Sanctuary next winter.

In addition to the above responsibilities, committee work has included:

* Obtaining and maintaining worship supplies, including the purchase of candles, oil, and batteries, and the addition of plastic/reusable candle holders for Christmas Eve services.

* Coordinating with KUUC office, Religious Exploration and Music committees as   needed for things pertaining to worship services.

* Coordinating with Rev Michael and the Month of Sundays Committee for the MOS held in January 2018.

* Arranging, organizing and implementing the Summer Services program, with the assistance of volunteers from our congregation.

* Establishing Guest Minister Guidelines and documents to support visiting ministers and lay-leaders in the development and implementation of their service.

* Envisioning future worship and shared ministry development at KUUC.

The Worship Committee is honored to serve KUUC in this way. We thank you for your support and attendance!

 Worship Committee Members:  Rev. Michael Hall, Charlie Wagar, Betty Forrest, Mickey Cronin, Jennifer Wyman, Mark Meess, Rachael Walter, Chair

2017-18 Building Usage Report – Submitted by Susan MacNeil, Office Administrator

This report includes events, functions, and meetings from June 2017 through June 2018.

KUUC COMMITTEES

  • Board of Trustees
  • Circle of Caring
  • Committee of Ministry
  • Covenant Group Council
  • Green Sanctuary
  • Greens Sale
  • Investment
  • Membership
  • Month of Sundays
  • Music
  • Nominating
  • Personnel
  • Program Council
  • Property
  • Religious Education
  • Senior Lunch Bunch
  • Shawls of Love
  • Slice of Fellowship
  • Social Action Council (including Middle East Study Group)
  • Stewardship
  • Ushers
  • Wayside Pulpit
  • Welcoming Congregation
  • Worship

KUUC EVENTS

  • Berry Bowls
  • Book Fair
  • Christmas Eve Wassail Service
  • Greens Sale & Quilt Raffle
  • Rummage Sale
  • May Day
  • Pie Sale
  • Parent Orientation and RE Teacher Training
  • Coffee with the Minister
  • Stewardship Dinner
  • Volunteer Recognition Dinner

KUUC ACTIVITIES – Choir, Community Breakfast Program, Covenant Groups, Ferry Beach Weekend, Poetry Group, Quilting Group, Senior Lunch Bunch, Shawls of Love, Slice of Fellowship, OWL

GROUP RENTALS

  • Keene Chorale
  • On Awakening AA, Monday through Saturday mornings
  • AA Toolbox, weekly Monday evenings
  • Back to Basics AA meeting, Tuesday and Thursday
  • Young Peoples AA, weekly Wednesday evenings
  • Women’s AA, weekly Thursday evenings
  • Narcotics Anonymous, weekly Thursday evenings
  • Alcoholics Anonymous, weekly Friday evenings
  • Tai Chi
  • Cycles of Spirit
  • Edge Ensemble
  • Raylynmor Opera
  • Roots & Wings summer camp
  • Carin Torp dance class
  • Keene Homeschoolers
  • Monadnock Family Services
  • Concerts including Animaterra and Rock Voices
  • Music Recitals
  • Weddings
  • Graduations
  • Baptisms
  • Memorial/Funeral Services/Reception

“The people of KUUC are committed to actively creating compassionate community and working for a fair and peaceful world.”

Long-Haul People          ~ by UU Rev. Rudy Nemser, Shared by Rev Olivia

You find them in churches

when you’re lucky;

other places, too, though I mostly

only know ecclesiastical varieties.

 Long-haul people,

Upon whose shoulders

(and pocketbooks and casseroles

And daylight/nighttime hours)

a church is built and maintained

after the brass is tarnished and

cushions need re-stitching

 

they pay their pledges in full and on time

even when the music’s modern;

support each [stewardship] drive

though the sermons aren’t always short;

mow lawns and come to suppers;

teach Sunday school when

there’s no one else and they’ll miss the service.

 

Asked what they think of the minister,

or plans for the kitchen renovation,

or the choral anthem, or Christmas pageant

or color of the bathroom paint,

they’ll reply:  individuals and fashions

arrive and pass.

The church – their church – will be here, steady and hale,

For a long, long time.

It will.

For long-haul people bless a church

with a very special blessing.

 

Wonderful News From The Visioning Team:  We Have a New Mission Statement!!

After a year of hard work, organizing a Multi-Generational visioning process that would include the input the congregation, that would begin by identifying our congregational values and end with a new mission for our beloved KUUC—we have done it. The following is the new mission statement that we have created together:

“The people of KUUC are committed to actively creating compassionate community and working for a fair and peaceful world.” 

We believe the above statement to be all that the congregation and Visioning Team had wished: it is succinct, action-oriented statement of how we expect to live our congregational values: Community—Compassion—Commitment. We will soon finalize language that bridges the new mission to our Unitarian Universalist principles and the congregational values upon which it is based.

At this time the Visioning Team would like to thank two members who were critical to this process and its happy resolution. Without the leadership of Lucius Parshall and Talu Robertson this important endeavor might never have gotten off the ground. We are so very grateful to them and to you.

Your Visioning Team — Rebecca Baldini, Susan Chamberlain, Mickey Cronin, Rev. Michael Hall and Melinda Hildreth HonkalA

KUUC = M(VV)

KUUC = Mission x (Compassion, Community, Commitment and Vision)

The Keene Unitarian Universalist Church is equal to its Mission times its Values and Vision