Fellowship Matters: Grab-bag of Updates

There’s been a lot going on at UUFR over the last month or so and there’s more good stuff coming up, so this post is a grab bag of highlights. For more detail regarding any item, please contact the Board by emailing [email protected].
Town Hall Meeting April 11
Mark your calendar for the Town Hall meeting at 12:30 pm on Sunday, April 11. The meeting will be held via Zoom, with a program lasting approximately 30 minutes followed by time for questions and discussion. Topics we expect to address include:
    • Our proposed reopening plans for this summer
    • Near completion of the Peace Hall renovation, with A VIDEO (WOO HOO!)
    • Plans to renovate Founder’s Hall kitchen using the recent One Heart Fund gift

Anti-Racism Ministry: Next Steps

This Fellowship and your Board of Directors are determined to battle racism in all of its manifestations. Pledge to End RacismFor almost three years UUFR’s  Anti-Racism Ministry (ARM) has provided “Living the Pledge to End Racism” training. All current Board members, almost half of the congregation, and many other community members have participated in this very powerful and moving curriculum. The ARM team and the Board are now discussing the next iteration of UUFR’s approach to fighting racism.

The “Living the Pledge” training focuses on dealing with racism as an individual – i.e. recognizing the racism that pervades our experience and finding ways to battle it on a very personal level. That personal battle may be one that never ends, but at UUFR we are ready to also intentionally address  racism at the congregational level. The next step is to investigate ways that the Fellowship can improve as an institution – for instance to delineate how systemic racism may influence our policies, practices, and culture and to make improvements accordingly. The Board has asked the ARM team to investigate and propose next steps for UUFR. The team is expected to report and make recommendations by July.

Generosity Campaign

This year’s Generosity Campaign officially ended on March 31, though as usual the team will be spending some time on those last few pledges. We should have more complete information in at the April 11 Town Hall meeting, but it looks like we’re headed for a  successful campaign. Many pledges were increased from last year, and we’ve got some new pledges, too. About 57% of pledges were increased, and fewer than 10% decreased – a remarkable comment on the value of this UU community especially in light of the pandemic now more than a year old.

As of March 31, 89 “pledge units” from last year have not responded. Pledges account for almost the entirety of our annual budget, so our work to build a stronger community and a better world depends on the commitment of every member and friend. All gifts, no matter how large or small, make a real difference.If you have not yet pledged, please send in your pledge card or use the online form as soon as possible. By doing so, you will not only help the Fellowship plan its work this year, but also reduce the work of the members of our wonderful Stewardship Committee.

Congregational Goals

Board members have received questions about progress on the Congregational Goals first described in January 2020. These are continuing goals, not “annual” goals – they are a list of goals that we have always known would take varying time frames to complete. These goals continue to provide guidance for our ministers, staff, and lay leaders (including your Board). We expect these goals to evolve over the years as some are met and/or new priorities arise. Mary Kay Fruga included an update on progress in last year’s annual report (see page 34),  and we will provide another review of progress in the next annual report to be released by June. Just to review, these goals include:

    • Strengthening our sense of identity and purpose as a UU congregation.
    • Nurturing a climate of inclusiveness and engagement as we welcome visitors and new members.
    • Clarifying our policies and leadership structures to promote greater transparency and encourage collaboration.
    • Creating operational structures and establishing practices appropriate for a large congregation.
    • Increasing the effectiveness of our partnerships and community involvement.

A New One Heart Gift

This news is about a week old, but still so exciting I cannot help but include it here. Here’s an excerpt from the letter sent to all members last week:

“The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh has recently received a generous capital gift of nearly $440,000.

In consultation with the donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, the Board has used these funds to pay off the balance of the mortgage on Fellowship Hall.  The mortgage payoff was $336,914. The  Board will use the remaining money to supplement funds already designated to remodel the kitchen in Fellowship Hall.”

Contact Your Board: All Board members will receive email addressed to [email protected]

Feedback: Click here to submit a question, comment, or suggestion for your Board of Directors.

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