Board of Directors Message

From the President of the Board

July 23, 2021

Dear Beloved Community,

What a terrific reopening we had! It was a truly joyful event, filled with reunions, in person introductions to folks who had joined us online during the closure, and several new and returning visitors. Some hugged and some waved, but everyone was smiling. Attendance on the 11th and 18th was 253 and 251, respectively – numbers we usually see in September rather than the middle of the summer!

Sincerest thanks to all the volunteers who, among other things, helped clean and repair the building, learned a whole new greeting and welcoming process, shuttled people to and from the Asia Society parking lot, and gave generously to the Reopening Readiness Campaign. Every contribution of time, talent and treasure was needed and appreciated.

Board News
We happily welcomed new Board member Eva Thibaudeau at our July meeting. Because one of the original candidates slated by the Nominating Committee in June withdrew from nomination just before the annual meeting, the Board appointed Eva to fill that position, in accordance with the FUUCH Constitution. Eva is a long-time member of FUUCH. Her children have been involved in RE from the nursery through YRUU, and she has been one of several devoted instructors for the Coming of Age RE group for years. She has also served on several teams and committees throughout the church. We are delighted to have her.

Opportunities for Members’ Engagement and Involvement
As we move towards our Developmental Ministry goal of increasing diversity in our church and working to dismantle white supremacy, the Board has established a Transformation Committee that will be working with the congregation to guide our discernment of the proposed 8th Principle which affirms our commitment to “accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.” The committee will be holding a variety of meetings and conversations with members and will provide multiple opportunities for involvement and engagement. Watch the newsletter for their announcements.

In addition, we will soon be seeking nominations for an Ad Hoc Committee to pursue the Developmental Ministry goal of crafting a Mission, Vision, and Covenant that are common knowledge and inform decision-making. The committee charter was proposed at the July Board meeting to be reviewed, finalized, and approved in August, and then distributed to the congregation. Interested members will be able to nominate themselves or others. Watch the newsletter for more on this opportunity.

Developments in the Thoreau/Richmond Separation
At this time, the negotiations regarding disposition of assets have been put on hold, pending further direction from the UUA.

While we continue to hope that those interested in forming a new congregation will be successful in their efforts, recent events have led the UUA to recommend that they reexamine some of their formative plans before moving forward. Neither the staff nor the Board, nor any other members of First UU Church were involved in the UUA’s review or decision, and it has been made clear that there is no role for First UU Church to play in the current conversation. We continue to be in communication with the UUA and will continue to update the congregation as we become aware of any further developments.

Improving Communication with the Congregation
Finally, although many of us were reluctant to consider using video conferencing for meetings before the pandemic shutdown (I was downright resistant), we have learned how valuable that technology is for helping us connect with one another from almost anywhere. Therefore, we will be continuing to host monthly Board Chats by Zoom at 7:00 pm on the fourth Wednesday of the month. Anyone who is interested can drop in to ask questions, share concerns, or just say hello. The Zoom link can be requested by contacting the church office (info@firstuu.org) or the Board (board@firstuu.org).

Each Sunday, after each service, we will have a Board member present and available for conversation in Channing Hall. In addition to wearing their Board member name tag, they will be known to the Healthy Communications Team member on duty that morning, who will happily assist anyone who is trying to find them.  And as always, members are always welcome to email the Board at board@firstuu.org.

We are excited to move forward into this new chapter of First UU Church’s story together with all of you. Thank you for joining us on the journey.

In Community,

Ruth Hoffman-Lach
Board President