Transition Steering Committee Meeting August 11, 2019 Minutes
Present: Arlin Roy and Diane Guernsey (co-chairs), Marietta Api, Deborah Friedberg, Susan Greenberg, Lenore Lupie, Craig Butler (FUSW president), Sue McAnanama (FUSW trustee). Not present: Allison Michelle McKenney (resigned).
1) QUESTION for DISCUSSION Should the Transition Steering Committee disband? Craig Butler has asked the Committee to continue through Sept., when our new minister will be in place and the transition period complete.
2) COMMITTEES AND TASK FORCES 1) We discussed how to strengthen these. ●We need to make every member, friend or guest at FUSW feel welcome and invited to get involved in an aspect of congregational life that they find engaging. “What would you love to do?” as Craig said. ●We need to publicize our Committees and Task Forces within the congregation and to newcomers. One idea: Each Sunday, have a member of a given Committee appear briefly in the pulpit to describe its work and say what s/he finds rewarding/fulfilling about being part of it. This would “put a face” on each committee and let people know whom to approach. To be continued.
Staff & Office Minister--The FUSW and Poughkeepsie congregations created a Sunday services calendar with Viola Abbitt's preaching dates. Dates for Program Groups, committees or guest speakers are mostly TBD.
Website--Weebly site ownership will be transferred from Peggy Clarke to FUSW soon, per Susan G.
Sunday Services Worship--Diane Guernsey, Richard Slade and Craig Butler are currently on this committee. 1) There was discussion about how many other people, and who, should be part of the Committee, and the mechanism and criteria for their inclusion. To be continued. 2) We also discussed the importance of restoring a full and adequate time period for congregational reflection/personal sharing at Sunday services. In recent years, this element of the service has been curtailed, supposedly due to RE constraints—but that was not necessarily so.
Program Groups--Betsy Kates is coordinating the 3 Program Groups. Each group will present 3 services in 2019-2020, dates TBD. The leaders are: Arlin and Sarita Roy; Denise Woodin and Bill Reynolds; Diane Guernsey and Paul Gross. 1) The groups' member lists and service dates will be determined on Aug. 25.
Pulpit/Guest speakers—Sue McAnanama and Lenore Lupie are on this committee. They will collaborate with the Board, Worship and Program Groups to schedule speakers through June. All of September's Sundays are filled, so we're off to a good start.
RE Children & Youth--Paul Gross, Nancy Eisenman, John Scheuneman, June Sidman, others TBD are involved. Betsy Kates will be the Board liaison to RE; she has offered to consult as needed and will donate educational materials, supplies, etc. 1) The RE leaders need to consult with Betsy before the RE year begins. 2) We discussed ways of attracting new families to RE. ●“RE” as a shorthand term can be incomprehensible/a turn-off to some. This applies to both Children's and Adult RE. Other possible phrases (“Children's Program,” a “Journey Group” for adults) were suggested. To be continued. ●To raise our public profile and attract new parents and/or others, we could host a guest speaker on a topic such as “How to Raise Your Kids in Today's World,” “Authority and Sexuality,” or some such.)
Adult RE—There's quite a lot of interest in this. 1) We need an Adult RE Committee. Lenore Lupie wishes to be involved, but can't lead it right now. ● Viola Abbitt should be consulted, as she will likely have ideas and suggestions. ● Congregation should be asked if anyone wants to give an Adult RE class. ● The Committee should start planning for an Adult OWL program, to run when feasible. Allison McKenney (and others?) would like training to teach Adult OWL, and there may be others. (OWL classes require at least 2 teachers, and training costs several hundred dollars per person.)
OTHER Caring circles—Kay Semenza and Joan Livingston are coordinating these.
Facilities--Rob Politzer is working on repair and maintenance projects.
Fundraising--Liz Loglisci and Connie Kehoe are coordinating Stop & Shop scrips.
Hospitality--Theresa DeLise and Kay Semenza are coordinating. 1) They need to set up a volunteer system for Sunday coffee hour. 2) On Sept. 8, Viola's first Sunday with us (and our opening Sunday), the Board plans a Meet & Greet coffee hour to welcome her. 3) The Board is considering resuming Stone Soup Sundays, with possible changes: A monthly potluck lunch instead of soup? TBD.
Membership--Connie Kehoe, Joan Livingston, Sara Kelsey and Brenda Caronia are greeters. 1) The Board is considering ways to attract/retain visitors to FUSW and is reviewing/restoring systems to keep track of existing members and follow up with newcomers.
Pastoral Care--Arlin is coordinating. When Viola starts, she may choose to keep the committee and Arlin's role as they are, run the committee herself, or arrange some combination--her choice.
PR—Our office administrator, Rina Schunk, is doing publicity in collaboration with Jane Lawrence and others.
Restorative practices--Susan Greenberg, Sarita and Arlin are working on arranging a restorative practices workshop at FUSW. Details TBD.
Social action--Susan Greenberg is contacting people active in our social-justice projects and making a master list of the projects.
First Unitarian Society of Westchester 25 Old Jackson Avenue, Hastings on Hudson, NY 10706 914-478-2710