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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Congregational Conversation on the 2015-2016 Budget

Event Date: 
Sunday, 26 April 2015 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Congregation Meeting to discuss the proposed 2015-2016 Budget

On Sunday, April 26, at noon, there will be an open meeting of the congregation to discuss next year's proposed budget.  The meeting will occur in the Annex.  Rather than wait till the Annual Meeting on May 27th, the Finance Committee, the Board of Trustees and the Finance Council all invite you to share your thoughts as the budget is still being formulated while keeping the current results of  the 2015-16 Stewardship Drive in mind.

Creating a new SMSC (Settled Minister Search Committee)

Creating a new SMSC (Settled Minister Search Committee):  
What kind of church to we want to be five years from now, and who will help lead us there?  The first step in the process of calling our next settled minister is the creation of a Settled Minister Search Committee, and the Board of Trustees will be contacting each registered member of our congregation next week for recommendations of people to serve on that committee.  Beginning Monday, March 16, Trustees will be emailing and calling members, asking for the names of three people whose wisdom, leadership, and practical expertise you would entrust with this vital task.  These recommendations will be tallied, and from them the Board will assemble a SMSC whose diversity reflects the congregation and its interests.  Members may nominate themselves.  A full slate of seven candidates for the SMSC will be presented several weeks in advance for ratification at the Annual Meeting on May 27th.  Please start thinking now of potential candidates. 

Also, if you are a friend of FUSIT but not yet a full member and would like to have input in this process, please consider officially joining our congregation.  In order to vote at the Annual Meeting, you have been must be a member for at least 30 days.

From Where I Sit

One of my guilty pleasures is reading. If left to my own devices I would ignore laundry, maintaining the house, etc. and I would spend my hours trapped between the pages of a novel. It didn’t start out that way, however. I distinctly recall my fourth grade teacher drawing my attention to the star-enumerated grid work that she had created that showed each student’s name with a number of stars following which indicated how many books they had read. I don’t recall when she delivered this wake up call but it was clear that I was not performing at a level that she had expected of me. Mrs. Evans was no dummy; she somehow knew of my competitiveness (at least as far as scholarly activities go) and tapped into that motivational factor. Shortly thereafter, a string of stars filled the row after my name and I recall looking forward to the end of the school year when we would be given our suggested summer reading list.
While I may not be a reader of great tomes and classics that others may laud, I do have a soft spot for anything written by John Galsworthy, Jane Austen and yes, J.K. Rowling. I guess this proves that I am a bit of an anglophile and I do enjoy studying language and how it is used by various writers. I especially appreciate those who have a nice turn of phrase and are able to convey their thoughts artfully as well as clearly.
One of my favorite idioms has been attributed to a 16th century English evangelical preacher by the name of John Bradford who reputedly coined the saying “There but for the grace of God, go I.” I find that as I get older, I use this phrase more and more. Sometimes I feel that I must somehow apologize for the “God talk” but in researching my preferred expression I learned that it is used widely, amongst the saved and the damned!
As I have shared previously, my conclusion about whether there is a Diety, or deities or none at all is still up for discussion in my internal debate forum. The search for truth will, indeed, be a long road for me. So, I don’t have any problem with occasionally salting my conversation with this phrase but I do find more occasions when it seems appropriate. I expect that a good deal of this usage can be attributed to my own sense of grace in my life or appreciation for my unearned “divine favor.” The more one learns about injustice in the world and the effects of bad luck or poor timing on one’s decision-making or birth circumstances really drives home the point of just how lucky some of us are. There are some of us who like to celebrate Christmas year round but I would vote for Thanksgiving, if it were up to me. I have a lot for which I am thankful; present company included.

Mark Pedersen
Congregational Administrator

The next Board of Trustees Meeting

Event Date: 
Tuesday, 14 April 2015 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm

The next Board of Trustees meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 14, from 6-8 PM  (NEW starting time!) in the Parlor.  All are welcome to attend.

Agenda - 


Item Type (Motion, Discussion, Action) Item Leader: Subject of Item
Scott Confirm two vote-counters for Annual Meeting
Scott Confirm scribe (minute taker) for Annual Meeting
Jennifer Follow-up regarding recent Finance Council Meeting
Jennifer / Scott / all Finalizing 2015-16 Budget
Scott / Jennifer Preparation steps needed for Apr. 27 Congregational Conversation (regarding budget)
Wendy Salomon Settled Minister Search Committee formation
Robin Cisne With invited guest, start review of structure of our RE program and how it compares with a UUA program of our size, taking into account budget constraints
Laura, others STMTF status report. Anything more?
Marie, others NomCom Plus status report. Anything more?
Scott Seeking Treasurer for 2015-16
Jens Who is allowed to vote? Inactive members?
Scott / Marie McRae Marie is seeking BoT apporval for solar energy partnership
Jim Skaley Jim will present info on LED light repalcments for FUSIT, and need for 1/3 of funding to accomplish



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