At the Annual Meeting of the First Unitarian Society of Ithaca on Thursday, May 30, 2013, the following actions were taken.
*The minutes of last Annual Meeting, May 30, 2012 were approved.
*The proposed 2013-2014 Budget with a pledge total of $260,000 was approved. In addition, a contingency budget was passed which would allow the Board to rehire a position and full salary for two employees if an additional $6,000 in pledges has been received by October 1st.
* Aileen Fitzke and Veronique Domaratsky were elected to two year terms on the Nominating Committee.
* Dalva Hedlund, Jennifer Streid-Mullen, Jens Wennberg and Helen Ann Yunis were elected to three year terms on the Board of Trustees.
*Jim Skaley was thanked for his fourteen year tenure as church Treasurer.
Sixty members and several other friends of the church were in attendance at the meeting.
Summer is almost upon us and for those of us who are fortunate enough, this means we have some vacation time to look forward to.
Several years ago our Interim Minister, Dick Gilbert, introduced a “new” service tradition called “Homecoming Sunday”. Congregants are encouraged to collect a small sample of water from places where they spent some time over the summer and tell about it at this service, which usually occurs on the first Sunday after Labor Day. This is seen as a way for the community to reconnect and possibly share about the importance of the location whether it be a grand getaway or a body of water where they spread the ashes of a loved one, for example. The stories are varied, as are the locations, and for some this is a particularly important service for them. For others, it is one Sunday they avoid. Why, you might ask? Sometimes we forget that not all of us are lucky enough to have employment, which allows for time off or the funds to pay for it.
This year I will be experiencing another embarrassment of riches as my partner, our 15 year old son and I all travel to Cambodia for a once in a lifetime trip to visit our son’s country of origin. Are we appreciative of this opportunity? Absolutely! But beyond the knowledge that we are so very privileged to make this journey is also the knowledge that we do so at a price; a price to the environment. By now we are all fairly familiar with the term “carbon footprint” and the impact of our day-to-day decisions upon the planet where we live. How was the food we eat produced and how did it end up on our table? How much (bottled) water will be required to wash the fresh fruit to ensure that it does not make us sick? And possibly the most important, how do we justify the hundreds/thousands(?) of gallons of fuel oil to jet us half way around the world and back? Would our son be able to have a happy and productive life without the benefit of such a trip? Of course, but what Rod and I have struggled with since our son arrived 13 years ago is the cultural heritage we are unable to provide him since he arrived here. We trust that each of us will bring home a greater appreciation of the land and people where both our sons were born.
The UU seventh principle talks about the interconnected web of life of which we all are a part. I hope that phrase will continue to guide my choices and keep me mindful of my responsibilities as a steward of the Earth. May your travels this summer, be they near or far, be restorative to you and help you to appreciate this beautiful planet we call home.
During that interval, If you need to contact the minister in case of a pastoral emergency (death or hospitalization), the Rev. Janet Shortall is the minister-on-call during David’s sabbatical leave time. Rev. Shortall can be reached at 255-0325 (office) or 539-3084. For less pressing needs, please contact Gwyn Lymberis, Care Team co-chair at 277-2639 or Mark Pedersen at 273-7521, ext 21.
Read what a reporter from USA Today said on October 2, 2012: