The Nominating Committee met on November 15th. We have been working on creating a list of candidates for the various elected positions in the Church. We also helped the Standing Committee, and were able to find a new Canvass Chair: Joan and Dennis Keane have agreed to step up and take over Canvass for this year. A GINORMOUS Thank You to both of them!
The Worship Committee met on November 22nd. Readers have been scheduled for Christmas services, and chalice lighting slots are filled for December and all but one week in January.
The Worship Committee is beginning to replace the worn plastic signs with aluminum signage. It’s a bit more expensive but looks great and will last much longer. Plans for both temporary and more permanent improvements to the sound systems in the chapel, sanctuary, and vestry are in the works.
Membership Committee Report:
We are having another Newcomer Session this Sunday, 12/11. We have a new UU World related magazine specially published for those new to UU. Ask Theresa if you know anyone who might benefit from one.
The New UU class will be co-taught by Peggy Stephens-North and Justine Sullivan. They are planning to begin near the end of January and run for 6 weeks. They will be speaking with prospective students individually as this has worked best in the past. We are considering child care for this class to make it easier for parents to attend.
The ongoing transportation issue was discussed with several ideas floated for further consideration.
The Welcoming Congregation Committee put out safety pins for people to take, as part of the movement to show that we are willing to stand up for those who feel threatened by the post-election surge of hate after. Our first batch of safety pins was completely gone that day, so we put out more.
The Committee held its seventh annual vigil in observance of Transgender Day of Remembrance. One of our members was involved in helping Lowell observe Transgender Day of Remembrance, including locating a speaker for them. That speaker, Kelly Jenkins, also spoke at our vigil.
We had several attendees from outside our church community. One came because she saw the sign. One had come last year and looked us up to see what we were doing this year. We had our best attendance ever and even had to set out more chairs.
This year’s vigil included a procession on the Common. We checked with the police department and kept them informed. The Town sent a policeman to escort people across the crosswalk and he actually stopped traffic for us.
As a result of the vigil, and our speaker, who charmed the editor, there was a great front page article in the Independent. And we were mentioned the following week in an editorial in the Independent about standing up against hate.
Our next planned event will be a book discussion (Saturday, February 11). Book still to be determined.
Correction: the Independent editorial was in the same issue as the article on our vigil. Sorry.
The Music Committee met Sunday morning, December 4th. The instruments are all tuned and working great. The organ repair man will be coming in the next few weeks to do a general maintenance and tuning. We discussed music coverage for the 3 weeks in January that Steve will be on paternity leave. All 3 Sundays are covered. Steve has left the option for rehearsals up to the individual choirs. The bell choir will continue to rehearse without Steve, it is unsure as to what the other choirs have decided. Our next meeting will be at the end of January after Steve returns.
CFAM – We finally met on Nov 13th.
WE have some new initialtives:
Rebecca Gore and Linda Horn are heading up a new Multicultural
Ministries group which will have it’s first meeting on Dec 11.
Aggie Brennan will be working with a New England UU group on concerned
with overturning Citizen’s United. This group was formed by a member of
the Concord UU Church
We are only doing one common read this year, and it will be the current
UUA Common Read: The Third Reconstruction: How a Moral Movement is
Overcoming the Politics of Division and Hate by The Rev. Dr. William
Barber II and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove
We sent another shipment to the Cheyenne River Reservation
We have several other items in the works but not confirmed yet.
NOLA – We have decided that we will work in Baton Rouge this year
instead of New Orleans. Baton Rouge was hit very hard by flooding in
August. Over 50,000 homes were damaged. In New ORleans that week, they
have a lot of volunteers because it is Easter week, so they are running
2 shifts. SBP asked for groups to volunteer to go to Baton Rouge
instead. SO far we have about 12 people confirmed.
The Young Adults meet last week at Brunswick Lanes in Lowell. We bowled and then we shared a meal. We had a great conversation about our generation and what we could do differently to change the attendance of the group.
The Women’s Alliance has not meet this month. We plan on meeting in late January.
The RE Council meet in November. We had a great discussion with Rose Lerer on how the new building plans will change the layout of the RE classrooms and the chapel. We decided that we need to have a table at coffee hour again. We are planning on setting up near the elevator in the same place as last year. Please direct any RE questions to this table and RE council members as needed. We will not meet in December as a holiday gifts to ourselves.
Ushers: Dave is organizing the usher piece of the Christmas Eve service. Ron Deschenes is going to cover the 2nd service for me and we are looking for youth ushers.
Parish Affairs: we were covered through 12/13 and I didn’t check today. If we need coverage, I’ll ask Peter and Chris from the membership committee to look for volunteers at social hour.
Auction: Jeanette will be chairing (with Theresa?) and I will be helping where needed. Jeanette says 3/18 is a good date.
Internship: we will be meeting 12/11 for lunch and check in. As is apparent, everything is going well with Justine.
The Human Resources sub-committee of the SC (HRSC) met last Thursday. We don’t always have a rep at the CC meetings so we will try to send a brief report about the work we are doing. Here you go.HRSC work We are beginning to explore how we can offer health insurance for our staff. The budgeting process impacts staff. We are recommending that the SC finance team have staff compensation as their top priority and work from there. Our form of governing impacts staff on a daily basis. Turnover of leadership each year affects what the staff must “pick up” based on new leadership skills. We will work with SC to find ways to manage this.We reviewed the effectiveness of the performance evaluation process and polled staff for their input. Staff are satisfied and HRSC will maintain the current process with some small changes. Tom White, (HRSC and RE Council member) is on the interview team for a new RE Coordinator and has 2 interviews with candidates the week of Dec 5th.While the UUA has not changed the salary ranges for staff this year we are encouraged to continue offering raises to move staff further into their bands as they gain experience. Please call or email if you have questions. Thanks Deb
With a flourish Deb Grad, Elisabeth Valentine, and I finished bulb planting, planting grass sod down by Rte. 11, put down loam, and seeded patches. We ask that parishoners use sidewalks when they can until snow falls. I pruned trees today. We are basically at rest for the season. We are very busy planning spring prospects and next season’s priorities. Martha Sherborn