Dear FUSIT Member / Friend,
As you may or may not already know, on March 18, 2014, our Minister David Grimm announced his impending retirement for December 31, 2014. Thus, a period of transition in the life of our First Unitarian Society is beginning. You are invited, and your help is needed, in several upcoming discussions which will define the future shape of this church.
Following the Sunday celebration on April 6, the Board hosted a Congregational Conversation in the Annex, featuring Rev. Chris Neilson, the Congregational Life Consultant for the St. Lawrence District of the UUA. Close to 100 people attended and there was time for questions and comments. Minutes of this meeting are available here.
The Board will host a second Congregational Conversation after the service on Sunday, April 27, also in the Annex, to continue our discussion and help determine our next steps. As always, childcare will be provided for these events, available by contacting email@example.com calling the church office at (607) 273-7521.
Based on these two meetings, and on all feedback it receives from the committees, our membership, and the broader FUSIT community, the Board will recommend a course of action for the congregation’s consideration.
Throughout this process and beyond, your input is welcome and needed. We encourage you to contact any member of the Board with your comments and questions (see http://www.unitarian.ithaca.ny.us/About-Us/Board-of-Trusteesfor contact information). You may also phone in your comments at 607 273-7521, ext 21, or to individual Board members using the church directory, or mail them to the First Unitarian Society, P.O. Box 6, Ithaca, NY 14851-0006.
We should all acknowledge that during this transitional period, at times there will be questions we don’t yet know how to answer. We will work together, with patience, consideration, respect, clear communication, and honest hard work, to pass through these periods as a stronger, more unified congregation. Although it can be disorienting, a period of transition can also open up new possibilities. The Mission Statement has been presented and will go up for a vote. The work of our six Opportunities Initiative Task Forces continues: looking for ways to improve our organization, the ministry of our church as a whole, communication, the public perception of FUSIT, academic relations, and community partnerships. At the same time, the Nominating Committee will be looking this spring for new candidates to fill vacancies on the Board and other key positions. You are encouraged to get involved and help make the First Unitarian Society the very best place it can be, and the home of the best in each of us.
Sue Roenke and the Board of Trustees
The next Board of Trustees meeting will be held on Friday, April 25, from 7-9 PM in the Annex. All are welcome to attend.
-Bylaws change proposed by Celebrations Committee
-Summary of 4/21/2014 Finance Council meeting (2014-15 Budget)
-Outline for 4/27/2014 Congregational Conversation
-Discussion for concluding the Minister Assessment / establishing goals
-Enhancing Communication (minutes, agenda, digital copies?)
The miracle of life. To find oneself alive and part of this intricate, interconnected universe. Even if we can’t explain everything -- why it’s here and why we’re here -- just to recognize our aliveness and to see our aliveness as the miracle and opportunity that it is, is enough to make your day.
To go through every hour of waking consciousness aware of this great gift. To look into the eyes of our neighbor, family member, and fellow worker and to recognize the miracles that they are. To interact with joy and compassion. To work wisely and well. To be kind and helpful and loving. And to keep on learning. To learn to see more clearly, to understand more fully, and to act ever more wisely on the foundation of new insights that our learning keeps opening up to us.
To have lived our life in this way -- to have faced life’s challenges and to have grown in understanding and deepened our spirit over the years -- this is to have done the most we can with the precious gift of life that we’ve been given. To have been the greatest blessing that we could be and to been blessed by it all.
May this be our growing realization as we ripen to the wisest maturity that it is in our potential to become. May peace, love and ever-greater cooperation ever-more characterize our lives, our relationships and our interconnected world.
Read what a reporter from USA Today said on October 2, 2012: