January 2018 Moderator’s Letter

Greetings Fellow Congregants,

Happy New Year. Church life is busy as 2018 begins. I am pleased to report that the Annual Fund Drive (AFD) is currently at about 96% of our pledge goal. Volunteers are in the process of contacting folks who pledged last year but have not done so yet for this year. If you have not pledged yet, I urge you to do so now. Here’s a link to pledging information on our website. These last pledges are very important!

The final version of our Board Goals for 2017-18 is posted on our website. In addition to prior-set goals on updating our governing policies, improved communications, and working to eliminate the Buchan Building debt, we have added a goal to work on issues of Power, Privilege and White Supremacy Culture.

Mary Gear, who is serving as our Acting Assistant Minister, will be ordained on Saturday, February 10th in Salem. Lynn Cardiff, Board Chair of the UU Congregation of Salem, and I will deliver the Covenant of Ordination at the service  All our ministers are part of this ceremony. Details on the February 10th ordination service may be found in the e-News. We will also celebrate Mary’s ordination here at First Unitarian after each service on Sunday, February 11th. Congratulations Mary!  

Religious Education Transition Staffing – We have engaged consultants from the larger UU world to help us reimagine our program, especially how it might be more multi-generational. One of them is Jen Crow who co authored the Wellspring program which many church members have utilized. Our plan for the interim position is to hire an interim director of RE, a one- to two-year position (view the job posting here). Please see Bill’s January 11th blog for more information on the process.

The Governance Committee and your Board of Trustees have been working on revisions to our Board Policies. Congregants are invited to a forum with the Board on Policy Governance and a discussion of the proposed changes to our current policies. This forum will be held on Sunday Feb 25 after the second service. Details on the forum and an overview of the proposed changes may be found on the Board’s Governance Committee page.*   Please plan to attend this informative session and give us your feedback on the changes and learn more about our church’s governance..

Church budgeting has begun!  Our Executive Team** is putting together the budget for the 2018-19 church year. Preliminary drafts will come to the Finance Committee for discussion. The Finance Committee will hold their quarterly budget update meeting on February 11th. This is an opportunity to ask questions and provide input.

Finally, a reminder that Seminary for a Day is scheduled for Saturday, January 27th. Dr. Robin DiAngelo is delivering the keynote address, “Seeing the Racial Water”. Details and an enrollment form are available here.


Randy Russell

Moderator First Unitarian Board of Trustees

*This link to to Governance Committee page added on February 1, 2018.

**The Executive Team (or ET) includes our Senior Minister, Bill Sinkford; Associate Minister, Tom Disrud; and our Church Administrator, Kathryn Estey.