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The President's Perspective -- September 2018

Please Excuse our Dust — and Mud

I’m a “facilities” nerd and I’m very excited about all the things going on at UUFG right now to improve our Fellowship’s campus. I want to share the news with you and request your understanding while things might get a bit messy for a while.

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Working with Religious Education Director Heather Arata, we have begun a reorganization and remodeling of classrooms 1 through 6. The first step, replacing the old cabinetry, has begun with removal of the old cabinets. New ones have been ordered and will soon be professionally installed.

All classrooms will be repainted and new furniture will be purchased. Rooms 1 and 2 will remain the nursery and playroom. Room 3 has been re-purposed for small meetings with furniture you will recognize from our former library. Room 4 will contain storage cabinets for Family Promise and will be used for classroom and meeting space. Heather has decided to use rooms 5 and 6 for Sunday classes. Room 7 will remain the youth room with some upgraded storage space. We are using volunteer and professional labor for the work. We fondly remember former member Lee Wiegand whose bequest has enabled us to undertake this needed renovation.

If you check out the south side of the playground, near the fire circle, you’ll find a brand new shed which replaces the small wooden shed that has been rotting quietly away for years. When we purchased our new lawnmower last year it was apparent that a larger shed would be required. As a bonus, the new shed is large enough that we can move the huge ladder out of the choir room! A team of volunteers selected and assembled the shed recently. After some finishing touches we will be able to move things in. Our UUFG Foundation provided a grant for the purchase. If you want to know more about the Foundation I encourage you to read about it on our website at uufg.org/give.

In recent weeks a lot of work has been done to optimize all aspects of our sound system. Thanks to a Foundation grant and a generous donation from a current member who does not wish to be identified we have been able to invest in new equipment. Our Sanctuary space, which was designed to have great acoustics for music, still presents challenges when it comes to the spoken word. We will be consulting with an acoustics expert to learn how to mitigate the reverberation that distorts speech.

Finally, behind the scenes, progress is happening on our courtyard landscape. Some members attended a town hall meeting to express their desires for the courtyard renovation. A professional design has been prepared for the courtyard team. A second town hall meeting will be scheduled to keep our members informed as things progress. The plan will be presented to the board for consideration at the September meeting. A Foundation grant has funded the first phase of the project. Professional installation of the new plants will be done in phases as additional funds are raised.

A few years ago I worked at a summer camp with Quaker heritage. They had a frequently repeated expression that comes to mind; “work is love made visible.” This is why I find our ongoing work so exciting. I view it as a sign of our pride in our community, our faith in a vibrant future and our desire to be welcoming to all.

In Fellowship,

Marilyn Roberts, Congregation President

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