First Unitarian Society of Ithaca

Sunday Services 10:30 am

Corner of Buffalo & Aurora St.

Ithaca, NY

A welcoming spiritual home for religious free thinkers

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Communications Survey is Available and we want your opinions!

Event Date: 
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 - 10:45am - Friday, 7 November 2014 - 4:00pm

Do you find all Communications within the First Unitarian Society to be perfect in every way?

We didn’t think so!

Last spring the “Opportunities Initiative” process (OI) identified Internal Communication as one area where there are opportunities for our congregation to improve. Your input on this survey will help identify priorities for communication within the Society. Thank you for taking 10 – 20 minutes to contribute to this process.

The survey consists of two sections:

A. Communication at First Unitarian: Seven questions about what information is important to you and your communication preferences.

B. About You: Seven questions about you and your involvement in the Society. You may remain anonymous, but if you are willing to give your name, we may follow up with you.


Please Note:

The survey and our Team’s work are concerned specifically with internal communications — that is, within our congregation. (The way we present our identity and message to the broader community is being considered by a different OI team.)

Also, this survey focuses on the broad needs of the community as a whole. We will consider communication within and between committees and working groups separately.

To fill out the survey online please click HERE!

From Where I Sit

If something can be easily written in ten words, invariably I’ll do it in forty. For someone who doesn’t feel comfortable speaking in public I can’t seem to limit my pen or keyboard to terse meaningful prose. Perhaps it’s just the “compromise” I have struck with my two selves, which can be irksome if one is looking for a quick sound bite from me. And so I have become resolved to the fact that I will never be able to write haiku. What a gift that would be: to distill down one’s thoughts into beautiful images, seventeen precise syllables to encapsulate an idea or experience.
Oh, to have the talent of Don Deveau who wrote:
Who would wish to know
just what the future will bring -
misses the present.
I was attempting to articulate what it is exactly, that makes us fear change so much, when I came upon Mr. Deveau’s poem which took me in another direction altogether. Those of us who balk at change, transformation or altering our present course, sometimes spend our time imagining the worst and dreading the future for what it may bring. Wasted energy, in many cases, if the result isn’t as negative as you had predicted. Moreover, it is wasted energy because no one can predict the future and worrying hasn’t been proven to positively affect anything. And, as these seventeen syllables point out, we miss the present. Some might refer to this as “the journey” and I am one life traveler who tries to enjoy the journey.
November’s theme is transition which is so appropriate as we have just celebrated David Grimm’s seven plus years with us and we consider the future. Will we have an Interim Minister in the beginning of the year or hire a consultant minister or will we “fly solo” in one way or another? The seven dedicated people who are on the Short Term Ministry Task Force are hard at work seeking out the person (or persons?) who can best help us navigate the immediate future. In the mean time the Celebrations Committee has lined up more thought-provoking speakers (ministers and laypersons) for our Sunday morning Celebrations and the Rev. Janet Shortall has agreed to serve as our “pastoral presence” until a new short term minister is hired. Especially as we head into the potentially emotion-fraught holiday season it is comforting to know that Janet is available on an emergency basis. The Care Team is also ready to help where and when they can.
A new month is upon us and we start a new chapter in the life of the First Unitarian Society of Ithaca. I’m glad we’re together for this exciting journey!
Mark Pedersen
Congregational Administrator

Best of Ithaca 2014: Ithaca Times Readers Vote For Their Favorite Places

Best-Looking House of Worship: First Unitarian Church

Designed by architect William Henry Miller, who also designed over 70 other buildings in Ithaca, the home of the First Unitarian Society of Ithaca dates back to 1893. Originally, the church was supposed to have a pyramidal roof, but a tall steeple was erected instead, ostensibly so that students could not miss seeing it. Over the years, the Unitarian empire has spread to adjoining buildings on North Aurora and East Buffalo streets, but the main church building, renovated in the 1990s is an imposing architectural gem and a downtown landmark.

The next Board of Trustees Meeting

Event Date: 
Tuesday, 11 November 2014 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

The next Board of Trustees meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 11, from 7-9 PM in the Parlor.  All are welcome to attend.



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