UCN Annual Report 2016-2017
UCN Annual Report 2016-2017
Leadership Board Presidents’ Report
Submitted by Chuck Winter and Paul Gasser, Co-Presidents
2016-17 Leadership Board Members: Paul Gasser and Chuck Winter, Co-Presidents; Ed Ahrenhoerster, President-Elect; Jennifer Barton and Janet Jensen, Past-Presidents; Bob Prestby, Treasurer; Peter Blain, Art Campbell, Katie Egan-Bruhy, Amber Elsner-Miller, Stephanie Loehr, Mark Ludwig, Brian Monroe, Karen Ringlien, and Joy Schroeder, Trustees.
2016-17 Board Secretary: Janet Jensen
2016-17 Financial Secretary: John Hoff
This has been a year of looking forward as we continue to define and focus on our core strengths and
mission. Our goals for this year have been to improve our visibility in the community, to offer stimulating and challenging services, to welcome guests and new members, to develop a plan to streamline and focus our leadership structure in line with our small congregation, to understand both the spiritual needs of our
members, and their hopes for the future of the church, and to begin the process of planning for UCN’s future.
The UCN Worship Committee put together another excellent lineup of speakers and ministers. The diversity and quality of speakers has been commented upon by many members and visitors. Efforts are underway to advertise, on a sign in front of the church, the titles of each sermon. Our Sunday services are the core of our mission to provide the light of religious freedom. Letting passersby know what’s being discussed each week is an important way to attract potential new members.
We continued to place a strong priority on RE. After interviewing qualified and enthusiastic candidates, we were fortunate to hire Jackee Orozco as DRE to replace Deborah Fugenschuh. Hired very shortly before the start of the new RE year, Jackee jumped right in with an ambitious RE program, and has worked to streamline and improve the RE program in many ways.
We have continued to prioritize outreach and communication. In addition to approving the placement of the new sign advertising sermon titles, UCN hosted a barn dance, a concert by Peter Mayer, and a Black Lives Matter workshop. These events brought a number of new visitors into the church to participate in activities consistent with our mission and values. Also, in the aftermath of the contentious election of 2016, we reached out to the community, visiting a local mosque in a show of support, and hosting listening sessions for church and community members concerned about the future of the country.
Leadership board meetings have been substantive, respectful, lively, and enjoyable. We have worked on rental agreements, lay pastoral care functions, support staff roles, the financial health of the church, and planning for the future of the church. We have welcomed input and expertise from congregants not on the board, both through an “Open Forum” segment at each meeting, and within agenda as appropriate.
The leadership board had a day-long retreat with Kathy Burek, an Adjunct Consultant of the Mid-America
Region of the UUA. We discussed fears, concerns, and hopes for the future of the church. We also brainstormed priorities within our church, both with regard to finances and volunteer hours. Ms. Burek provided an overview of the process by which congregations come to a consensus regarding hiring a minister, what
classifications of ministers exist, how the UUA can assist UCN in both the stewardship (fundraising) and
The leadership board also embarked on an ambitious effort to modify the church bylaws to effectively reduce the size of the board, and to integrate the leadership of critical church committees directly into the board. This modification, if approved at the upcoming annual meeting, will reduce the leadership board from 15 members (9 of which are trustees) to 11 (6 of which are trustees). This is a step in the direction of streamlining operations, making the most of the limited number of volunteers, and reducing the risk of member burnout.
Thanks in part to the building committee and to Mr. Brian Bunzel, the number of renters and lessees of space at UCN has increased significantly. Spaces at UCN that have been mostly unused over the last year are now significant sources of income for the church. The leadership board has been instrumental in developing
contract language, deciding which spaces are available for rental, and setting parameters regarding how
tenants interact with each other and with church leadership. A policy has been set that mandates that tenants conduct themselves, and conduct business, in a manner that is consistent with UU values.
We are excited about the future of UCN, both in the coming year and beyond. Thanks to the diligent work of many church members and leaders, we are on stable financial ground. We are looking inward, defining ourselves, and becoming more confident in our role in the community. This is a unique and important place in this part of Wisconsin. After a period of great uncertainty, we are cautiously and carefully looking ahead, deciding how and in what manner we wish to grow. Congregation-wide discussions regarding the need for a minister, what ministry at UCN should look like, and funding mechanisms to support a minister, are goals for next year. In addition, we will continue working to provide a community where all opinions are heard, respected, and considered. We look forward to being part of these conversations.
In thanks for this vital community,
Paul Gasser and Chuck Winter, Co-Presidents
Religious Education (RE) Committee Report
Submitted by Jaclyn Orozco, DRE
Director of Religious Education: Jaclyn Orozco
Nursery staff: Constance Fiske
Committee members: In the absence of formal committee, several listening sessions were held and informal online discussion questions were posted in a closed Facebook Group.
Youth served in program: 26
Teachers for weekly Sunday classes PK- 8th: 2 regular teachers, 1 youth assistant, 3 additional as needed teachers, DRE worked primarily in the classroom.
The mission of the Unitarian Church North (UCN) RE Committee is to collaborate with the DRE to present a high-quality religious education program in a welcoming spiritual community that nurtures each individual’s search for truth and meaning.
The vision of the UCN RE Committee is to engage the minds, the hearts, and the whole selves of our young people. This program will support our young people in their life-long spiritual journey.
This year we held 2 classes:
- One Multi-Age Class (One-room schoolhouse run with a K4-8th grade model). The curriculum for grade school classes was a thematic curriculum compiled by the DRE using resources provided by the UUA to help children, youth and families develop their spirituality and gain knowledge of the Unitarian Universalist religious tradition.
- COA class run with high school youth, and will conclude with a Coming of Age Service in June.
- We held a church campout
- We held an open house and movie night
- We held two additional family nights including sponsored activities for children and youth as well as workshops for parents
- We conducted several intergenerational services including our annual pageant.
- We decorated cookies
- We held our annual holiday gift sale
- We will do an Easter egg hunt
- We will have an Earth Day Celebration
- We will also conclude the year with recognition of our staff, volunteers, and teachers who have given so generously to make this program happen.
- We are planning for a summer camp in August
Some innovations this year:
- We succeeded in lowering the number of volunteer hours to run the program.
- We built up considerable excitement regarding the activities related to the program by offering stations with choice whenever possible.
- We have integrated Yoga & Meditation into our regular practice.
- We have offered adult workshops to complement the themes.
- We coordinated the RE themes with that of the worship committee.
- We have adopted the Soul Matters Curriculum for next year.
- We have begun planning to revitalize the opportunities for middle school age youth.
- We are bringing back the pet blessing service.
Our Goals for the End of the Year
- Start the registration and teacher recruitment process for next school year.
- Start planning process for the Bridges and OWL classes for 2016-2018 including a review of curriculum, a plan for promotion of the classes to outside youth and families, and the development of a tentative calendar. (Interest has already been assessed and teachers and other volunteers have been recruited).
- Build a plan for Social events, youth cons and other youth-focused events.
- Look into planning a Youth Trip at the End of the Bridges program right before COA.
- Survey the families served and invite them to join us in our summer offerings.
The Annual Financial Report will be published at the end of the fiscal year.
Building Committee and Facilities Use Committee
Submitted by Brian Bunzel, Chair
Brian Bunzel [Chair], Dean Johnson [Emergency issues], Pat Kotecki [Minutes and Workdays], Chuck Rychner [Minutes], Mark Ludwig [Board liason], Ron Pawlak [Chair repair man], Poul Sanderson, Mike Martin, George Barton, Terry Heckenback, Rosa Gomez, Rick, Ben, and Ruby Kastenmeier, Mary Terranova, Paul Gasser, Seth Duhnke, Jon Olson,
Purpose of Committee
Oversee maintenance of the church building and all non-living church property. Performs some maintenance and improvements. Facilities Use is part of the committee. It oversees the church calendar and use of the building, including leases and rentals.
Goals for this Year
- Fulfill purpose of the committee.
- Increase lease and rental income.
- Make improvements that save the church money.
- Make improvements that increase church attendance.
Projects Finished this Year
- Designed, obtained approval for a new sign advertising church services, built and installed it.
- Removed Jan Pro as our cleaner and replaced with Constance Meekey.
- Repaired 60 chairs.
- Created storage space under the sound booth.
- Reorganized and improved sound booth.
- Bought some new sound equipment, moved the speakers, and made other sound and light improvements.
- Moved RE stuff from storage room to the Olympia Brown room.
- Renovated and leased out James Reeb room, Old RE storage room, Quiet room, and Whitney Young room.
- Negotiated lease payment increase for old ministers office and Whitney Young room.
- Obtained new contractor to maintain our furnaces and air conditioner.
- Repaired men’s bathroom light.
- Committee members worked with electrician to replaced all 130 fluorescent lights with LED lights.
- Replaced 30 incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs.
- Hired electrical contractor to replace all outdoor light post lights with LED’s.
- Obtained a full service contract for the elevator.
- Bought and had a new “motherboard” installed in the elevator.
- Repaired doors in the Jane Adams room.
- Moved historical records to the Jane Adams closet.
- Finished shelving in the closet off the RE office.
- Finished playground net.
- Finished church sign improved lighting.
- Finished wall painting repairs.
- Replaced front and back door closers.
- Finished all doors weather sealing.
- Designed and obtained partial funding for major Sanctuary sound improvements.
- Bought a hot water carpet cleaner for the church, and cleaned all the carpets, saving at least $2000.
- Finished holding tank alarm, so it now also automatically calls building committee members.
- Installed white boards and large paper pads in Dr. Seuss room, Senior Youth room, Jane Adams room, Fellowship hall, Clara Barton, and Emerson rooms.
- Bought new oven and refrigerator, and obtained a gently used microwave for free for the kitchen.
- Moved coat hooks from unused area by the lower elevator to the lower stair area.
- Re-pitched the gutter over the front door for water to run away from the building.
- Installed rubber roofing over the concrete slab outside the back door behind the pulpit, which stopped the leaking in the storage room below.
- Moved the UCN library shelves to the upper elevator area for increased visibility.
- Made and installed two bulletin boards in the upper and lower vestibules advertising the church services.
- Made and installed a bulletin board by the upper elevator promoting our leasers and renters.
- Made and installed a big bulletin board in the fellowship hall for UCN committee communications.
- Made and installed a bulletin board for Family Promise in the Fellowship hall.
- Repaired hand rail outside.
- Obtained Mequon permission, and installed flag cord on light post outside.
- Obtained free permits and bought big auxiliary outdoor banners to advertise the Barn Dance, Christmas service, Bluegrass Festival, Auction, and Earth Day Family Festival.
- Preformed the duties as host for all 12 Wisconsin Singer Songwriter Concerts, 3 weddings, and 1 funeral.
- Organized 4 workdays to do all this work, and to do ongoing maintenance work including light bulb replacements, door adjustments, turn on and off outdoor faucets, deep cleaning projects, minor plumbing and electrical repairs, salt and sand bins.
- Convened monthly building committee meetings.
- Preformed monthly maintenance procedures on the generator.
- Responded to emergency building issues promptly.
- Mowed the grass weekly in the summer with the volunteer bushwacker crew.
- Repaired and maintained the big and little mowers.
- Shoveled light snow and applied salt and sand promptly with the volunteer Ice Patrol.
- Negotiated with our snow plowing company to stop pushing the snow onto the north side of the prairie circle, which causes ice on the parking lot.
- Removed Cintas as our emergency systems maintenance contractor and replaced with Fire and Safety LLC.
- Removed vegetation and rocks that were blocking the view of our big UCN sign and hampering the ability to mow around it.
- Moved back to Bonded as our security monitoring contractor after extensive research.
Projects in Progress
- Started subdividing elevator storage room.
- Bought fans to install in upper restrooms.
- Bought materials to install LED lights in high sanctuary wall sconces.
- Developing a rental brochure.
- Waiting on contractor to do the board-approved cupola lighting upgrade.
- Playground fence gates.
- Play area hill reshaping.
Submitted by Peggy Creer, Chair
Peggy Creer, Chair; Dean Johnson.
Purpose of the Committee
- To serve as a coordinating and oversight group for internal and external communication, publicity and marketing for the church.
- To seek and implement the best means of achieving effective internal and external communication for the church.
Goals of the Committee
- To maintain dynamic tools for distributing information about church and denominational activities and events, decisions and plans to members and friends.
- To oversee graphic guidelines of church documents and make them readily available to members.
- To raise awareness of Unitarian Universalism and UCN; to inform local communities of our presence, principles, and activities.
- To attract new people to the church; “advertise” the church as a home for religious seekers.
- Explore new means of marketing the church and its programs.
Activities Carried out this Year toward Fulfilling the Committee Goals
- Publicized UCN Sunday services, events and activities.
- Participated in the Mequon/Thiensville “Family Fun Before the Fourth” parade.
- Re-evaluated the congregation newsletters and decided to combine the monthly Northliner with the weekly Friday Flyers for improved ease of production, timeliness of news, and more effective communication.
- Worked with Dean Johnson and members of the Social Justice committee to create display on east wall of north lobby.
- Added upcoming Sunday service descriptions to new bulletin boards inside the upper- and lower-level entrances.
- Sermon audio added to the new website.
- Explored options for advertising UCN.
Goals for the Next Year
- Recruit help with security updates and other technical aspects of website maintenance.
- Continue to add and refine content for the website.
- Continue publicity efforts to increase community awareness of UCN.
- Research Vertical Response or other (free) email programs to improve ease of communications with
congregation and media.
- Improve the UCN Facebook page and recruit administrator.
- Get chalice image/rotating chalice lighting readings on north wall of north lobby.
Submitted by Nancy Neumann and Katie Egan-Bruhy, Co-Chairs
Voting Members: Katie Egan-Bruhy (co-chair), Nancy Neumann (co-chair)., Lucy Friederichs, John Hoff,
Amber Miller, Peter Blain, Mark Muellenbach and Linda Sandersen
Non-voting Members: Bob Prestby (Treasurer)
- Ensure the financial well-being of the church
- Secure and manage church funds, vendors and property
- Provide accurate and timely financial reporting to leadership
- Create and maintain a “Giving” consciousness in the church
Activities Carried out and Programs/Projects Implemented this Year
- Monitored current budget throughout the year, including current income and expenses
- Discussed and responded to Committee unplanned financial requests that arose from time to time
- Planned and assisted in development of fundraisers to replace lost auction revenue
- Renewed mortgage note at a lower interest rate of 4.25% and made an additional lump sum principal payment
- Collaborated on and participated in the 2017/2018 pledge drive
- Solicited and assembled committee budget requests for 2017/2018 budget
- Created a balanced budget for the next fiscal year that provides for planned upgrades to the building, as well as establishing a ministry reserve fund.
- Identified the following fundraisers and chairs for 2017/2018:
* Cash Calendar – Fall 2017 – Leigh Hofteizer
* Equal Exchange – Nov. 2017 – John Hoff
* Auction – Spring 2018 – Dana Lusk
Goals and New Activities
- Collaborate with Program Council and board to enhance continued sound financial practices
- Work with new board to implement a long-range financial plan
- Assist in identifying a new treasurer
- Discuss a capital campaign for debt reduction.
|4000 Annual Pledge Payments||$150,882||$143,000||$152,974|
|4010 Other Contributions||6350||5000||0|
|5001 User Fees||1500||1000||1100|
|6001 Rental Income||10000||12000||20000|
|6501 Interest Income||500||500||750|
|6520 Investment Income||0||0||0|
|6901 Miscellaneous Income||0||0||0|
|6910 In Kind Contributions||300||300||300|
|Property Sale Money||0||0||0|
|Staff Wages and Benefits|
|Director of Religious Ed||26400||25700||25200|
|Child Care Worker||1720||1720||5800|
|Ministry Reserve Fund||0||0||10000|
|Total Staff Wages and Benefits||$86,740||$65,763||$79,845|
|Total Administrative Expense/Programs & Outreach||35941||$41,947||$41,027|
|Total Building Expenses||31570||34870||36338|
|Total Debt Service||45528||46721||42964|
First Sunday Lunch Planning Group
Submitted by Pat Mumm-Lovely
Members: Jan Crosby, Mike Martin, Pat Mumm-Lovely, Linda Sandersen, Callie Thurow
The FSL Planning Group met in August to plan Lunches for 2016-2017, with seven Lunches in all, one per month (except for January, which is the Soul Cafe). Group members took turns coordinating them, sending notices for the Northlander and Friday Flyers, contacting participants to help provide the meals, and overseeing each Lunch.
October: Macaroni & Cheese plus Salads
November: Chili w/Salads, Cornbread & Tortilla Chips
December: Italian plus Salads & Italian Bread
February: Soup & Sandwiches
April: Baked Potatoes w/Toppings and Salads
May: Veggie Dishes
June: All-Church Picnic
The UCN Membership Directory was divided equally into alphabetical sections. We asked people in each section to provide suggested food to be served. Members were so generous! The Lunches are a great
community-builder, as people get to know one another better over food!
Our Planning Group meets only ONCE each year. If anyone would care to join us, please contact Pat Mumm-Lovely at 262-643-4630. Or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submitted by John Hoff, Chair
John Hoff, Chair, Jenny Elsner, Dean Johnson, Lucy Friedrichs, Brian Monroe
The Green Committee seeks for UCN to heal and preserve the natural environment for current and future generations of all living things by increasing sustainability and minimizing the negative ecological impact of UCN, our members, and our communities.
Our primary goal was to continue what has become annual work of past years. As a result of existing
committee members now filling other UCN leadership roles, the committee has gone “dormant,” i.e., does not regularly meet at present. We still try to influence and promote green behaviors at UCN as is possible without meeting. We welcome interested members to help us revive what used to be a thriving committee.
2015-2016 in Review
We continued publishing the short blurbs titled “Green Committee Thought for the Week: Toward a Sustainable Future” in the Friday Flyer. Each week small fun-facts are shared often followed by a thought-provoking question to ponder. We’re reminded that we are not helpless to become the change we need in the world.
The committee once again coordinated an Equal Exchange Sale during November to promote fair trade
products and just wages for growers/producers. Proceeds of about $600 were raised for the church. We think the reduction in proceeds versus previous years was due to reduced catalog variety and offerings. Thank you to all you who participated!
During the summer and fall months, more than a dozen UCN volunteers helped keep our surrounding Port Washington Rd and I-43 corridors clean through four clean-up events. Always limited to two-hour clean-ups, volunteers return to UCN’s parking lot with more than visible road gear, trash bags, and grabbers. If the
electronics recycling event is “church in the parking lot,” then these road clean-ups are “church in the
ditches.” Good conversations, getting to know fellow members, a sense of tangible accomplishment, and no follow-up “homework” are some of the things “picked up” along the way.
In August, the committee hosted the annual screening of nature’s Perseid Meteor Shower in UCN’s back parking lot. The event, aimed at directly experiencing the beauty and mystery of the universe, brought out some cosmic-oriented members at 3:00 AM to share nature’s fireworks.
Lastly, UCN’s Building Committee Chair Brian Bunzel started a conversation about the feasibility of UCN
installing photovoltaic panels to reduce its dependence on electricity powered by the burning of fossil fuels and its energy bills. Now that’s exciting stuff to be talking about going forward!
Submitted by Janet Crosby, Historian
Purpose of the Committee
To collect news articles, photographs and other memorabilia of importance to the preservation of the church history. To maintain the church scrapbook in an up-to-date and orderly condition and display it for the congregation at least once a year.
Submitted by Mary Terranova, Chair
Elizabeth Warner, Rosa Gomez, Seth Dunke, Helen Michels, Paul Gasser, Judith O’Connell
Purpose of the Committee
To oversee and manage the external landscape (aprox. 8 acres) of the church. The objective is to maintain a functional and aesthetic natural landscape and to promote awareness and appreciation of the natural setting of the Church. The committee is responsible for the design, development and maintenance of all exterior church property, excluding the infrastructure of building operations, i.e. walkways, driveways, parking areas and exterior lighting. Activities include control of non-native species, management of planting and maintenance of landscape plants (both purchased and donated) according to the landscape plan, mowing of lawn grass and construction and maintenance of structures on the church property separate from the church building. The committee may solicit gifts and bequests to UCN for projects within the committee’s purview and will keep records of such gifts and their donors.
Continuing goals of the committee consistent with UCN Vision
- To maintain the health of the natural environment surrounding the church, consistent with the UUA seventh principle: “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.” The landscape reflects this value both to our members and to the broader community.
- To educate UCN members and the broader community about the landscape, and to encourage engagement with the landscape.
- To facilitate the use of the landscape as an educational resource for the UCN RE program, fostering a respect for and connection with the land and the life which it supports.
Activities in 2016
- Conducted regular workdays on Sundays prior to service to clear and maintain the landscape around the building, with particular emphasis on the entry to the church grounds from Port Washington Road, and the entrances to the building.
- Front fence removed and surrounding invasive plants to prepare for project slated for 2017.
- Hired assistance for invasive plant management.
Goals for 2017
- Work to maintain the landscape, invasive plant management.
- Conduct a controlled burn of the Prairie Circle.
- Maintain the Prairie Circle vegetation at a lower level to allow for continued visibility of the church building
- Work with Building Committee to grade front to allow for grass planting and mowing. This will lessen the need for hand removal of invasive plants.
- Develop a long-term plan for the Prairie Circle to allow visibility of the building, engagement with the prairie plants, and create educational materials.
- UCN member generously donated 20+ trees and will plant on east side of property.
- Work with the RE committee to provide educational opportunities for children in the landscape.
- Identify, recruit, and educate new members of the committee.
- Continue to work with the Playground Committee to plant native plants in and around the playground.
Lay Pastoral Care Team
Submitted by Karen Ringlien
Bob Bledsoe, Ruth Duenk, Pat Flanagan, Dean Johnson, Stephanie Loehr, Carol Pawlak and Karen Ringlien.
Purpose of the Committee
- To provide pastoral care to members of the congregation
- To assist grieving families by offering support with ushering, set-up and on-site fellowship activities before, during and after a memorial service.
- To coordinate and offer practical help like meals and rides in time of need.
- To support and strengthen all ways that UCN seeks to be a caring religious community.
- To improve LPCT ability to provide services to the congregation in the absence of a minister.
- To maintain a list of UU ministers available to our members and friends.
- To provide continued training and spiritual development for the lay pastoral care team.
- To establish a network of volunteers who provide practical help to individuals in need.
- To recruit new LPCT members
- To reach out to members unable to attend services regularly
- To maintain and supervise the Minister’s Discretionary Fund (MFD) in the absence of a
Activities Carried out this Year toward Fulfilling the Goals of the Committee
- Coordinated lay pastoral care team services in the absence of a minister.
- Provided support to grieving families and friends.
- Sent cards, often in response to Joys and Sorrows.
- Continued the Connections column in the Friday Flyer/Northliner.
- Coordinated memorial services when requested.
- Coordinated practical assistance for several members when requested.
- Reached out to members seldom seen at church, i.e., graduates, homebound, by phone and via mail
including holiday cards.
- Maintained a list of UU ministers available to members and friends upon request.
- Collaborated with the Leadership Board to offer “Open Sanctuary” discussions following the presidential election.
- Collaborated with the Stewardship Chair and Worship Committee at the “Kickoff” Service.
Submitted by Brian Monroe, Committee Co-Chair
Membership Committee Purpose
This is a very important ministry to welcome visitors and seekers, to provide information on UU’s and UCN and to help integrate new members into the life of our congregation.
Membership Team & Volunteers
Rosa Gomez & Brian Monroe (Co-Chairs),
Brenda Berg (Fellowship-Hearthside Suppers Coordinator)
Peter & Kas Blain, Mark & Katie Bruhy, Dan Lusk (Visitor’s Table)
Gerry Schmitz, Karen Ringlien, Jan Crosby, Rick Kastenmeier, John Hoff, Mark Ludwig (Ushers)
Jaclyn Orozco, Todd Witt, Dee Serron, Ruth Duenk (Greeters)
Joan Gonring, Pat Brown (Coffee Coordinators)
Summary of Completed Items 2016-2017
We have not had any formal meetings. Rosa and I will meet prior or post service as needed. We continue to use “SignUp Genius” to coordinate filling roles of Sunday volunteers for “Visitor’s Table”, “Ushers” and “Greeters.” We’ve decided to let any vacancies be filled organically the day of by asking for volunteers. We have changed the listing in the OOS to reflect this.
We gather visitor information from either the sign in sheet or off of “Donor Snap.” We follow up with visitors within 2-10 days. Visitors requesting a formal name-tag have identifier on them to recognize them as a “guest” or “friend.” If a visitor does not want to fill our information sheet or use a name-tag, that is ok; our goal is to make them feel welcome and anonymous if so desired.
We’ve rebranded the “Path to Membership” class to “New to UU & UCN” to make it more inviting, especially for those not yet ready to become members. It now has been outlined on 2 PowerPoints that can also be downloaded from our website and shared with seekers on a one-to-one basis. This has removed the scheduling barrier of only offering two formal sessions per year.
After the Fall “New to UU & UCN” we welcomed 5 new members and 1 pledging friend. After the Spring “New to UU & UCN” we will welcome 10 new members, 2 of which were in the Fall class (these 10 are not included in the current membership account because they will not be able to vote).
We have reviewed and followed up with non-pledgers and as of 12 April 2017, UCN Membership was calculated by the current number of active pledgers & spouses to be 132 UCN. This will be the number that we’ll use to determine the number of current voting members for our annual meeting. It represents a net loss of 8 members based on the number of 140 that was listed as of 31 December 2016, but adding in the 10 new members will put us at 142. Moving forward we feel that we have turned the corner and should begin to see our membership continue to grow. Our goal is to have an ongoing net gain in membership including “pledging friends,” of which we are on track to do this year.
Our average attendance so far this year is 68, slightly down from 71. Average attendance in 2014-15 was 80.
I recently joined UUAMP (Unitarian Universalist Association of Membership Professionals).
They believe that UU membership professionals are in a unique position to help our congregations grow in many ways. Not only do we help people join our congregations, but we also help those members grow on their spiritual paths and in community, keeping them engaged and as contributing members. The UUAMP organization is an effort to make sure congregations have a place to go for membership questions and concerns.
The UUAMP will have workshops and webinars to share best practices. The Mid-America UUA recently had a workshop at First Unitarian Society in March 2017. Some congregations have renamed “Membership Chair” to “Connections Coordinator”, or “Engagement Coordinator”.
We always need additional volunteers for “Visitor’s Table”, “Ushers” and “Greeters”.
We’d like to improve the process to determine membership count.
Yes we are still exploring ideas of an electronic UCN Photo Membership Directory that could be made available on the private side of UCN’s website. Photos could be supplied by members and uploaded instead of the quickly outdated printed and bound version (last one done in 2009).
Yes we are waiting for Leadership direction and survey results in order to work with Communications (and other committees) to produce 2-3 taglines for UCN to encourage visitors and seekers to explore our church. The taglines would be presented at the Annual Meeting for vote to find a winning tagline. New tagline would eventually be added to our printed material, website and future signage. Example from First Church: “Nurture the Spirit. Engage the mind. Inspire action”.
Time and Work Involved: (per month)
Visitors Table (1-2) 8 hrs.
Guest follow up 1.5 hrs.
Greeters (1-2) 3 hrs.
Ushers (1-2) 2 hrs
Fellowship 2 hrs.
Coffee 4 hrs
New member packets/reordering 1 hr.
“New to UU & UCN” 2 hrs (includes class prep and sessions)
Leadership meeting and reports 4 hrs.
Informational material 2 hrs
Total 29.5+ hours/month
Nominating and Leadership Development Committee
Submitted by Janet Jensen, Chair
Elizabeth Muellenbach (year 3/3)
Jan Crosby (year 2/3)
Jeanne Gurda (year 1/3)
Ruth Duenk (1 year, appointed)
Membership: The Nominating and Leadership Development Committee shall be composed of five (5) voting members of the Church: three (3) shall be elected at the Annual Meeting by a majority of the voting members present and voting, one (1) shall be the Immediate Past President who shall chair the committee, and one (1) shall be appointed by the President with approval of the Board.
Responsibilities: The Nominating and Leadership Development Committee shall meet in closed session to prepare a slate of qualified candidates for each Voting Officer except the President, for each upcoming
Trustee vacancy and for the next Nominating and Leadership Development Committee. Suggestions for nominations may be sent to this committee by any voting member. The completed slate of candidates shall be submitted to the President at least 40 days prior to the Annual Meeting of the Church. In addition, the Nominating and Leadership Development Committee shall recommend candidates for all standing committee Chair positions, subject to the approval of the Board, and with respect to the Finance, Membership, Social Justice and Worship committees, elected by the members. The consent of each nominee shall be obtained prior to the submission of that nominee’s name to the President. The duties shall be further defined in the Structure and Responsibilities document of the Committee.
Term Limits: No member of the Nominating and Leadership Development Committee shall serve for more than four consecutive complete or partial terms (i.e., 4 years). After having completed 4 years of service, a member shall again be eligible to serve on the Nominating and Leadership Development Committee after one (1) year has elapsed since the most recent date of service on the Committee.
2016-17 Committee Report
The committee has met twice in closed session, and will likely meet up to 2 additional times prior to the
Annual Meeting. Because the proposed by-law revisions will need to be voted on prior to the election of
officers, the committee this year has the challenge of proposing two slates of candidates, one corresponding to the existing by-laws, and one corresponding to the proposed revised by-laws.
We have kept leadership development in mind in our deliberations, with the goal of bringing new members and new faces into committee positions in preparation for future leadership roles. The task of identifying more experienced members for trustee and officer positions remains challenging for the very reasons that the by-law revisions are proposed: our numbers are small, and energy and time are limited. As of this writing (4/20/17) our task is ongoing.
Social Justice Committee
Submitted by Lucy Friedrichs, Member
Mark Bruhy, Art Campbell, Peggy Creer (Communications consulting member), Jenny Elsner-Miller, Lucy Friedrichs, Vicki Fuerstenau, Leigh Hoftiezer, Dean Johnson, Cindy Kotecki, Pat Kotecki, Jon Olsen, Carol Pawlak, Darcy Phillips, Stephanie Richardson, Mike Thurow, Jennifer Wilke
Black Lives Matter – Lucy Friedrichs
Community Outreach – Leigh Hoftiezer
Family Promise – Pat & Cindy Kotecki and Dean Johnson
Food Barrel – Vicki Fuerstenau
MICAH – Jon Olsen
NAACP – Stephanie Richardson
Portrait Gallery – Stephanie Richardson
Saukville Community Meal – Cindy & Pat Kotecki
Share the Plate – Mark Bruhy
UCN Fund for Social Justice – Lucy Friedrichs
Welcoming Congregation – Leigh Hoftiezer
To help integrate social justice programming and activity into the life of the congregation through the inspiration of UCN’s vision, mission and long-range planning.
Goal for Next Year (2017-2018)
Continue developing and further activating our eleven (11) action projects (see below)
Black Lives Matter
Hosted day-long workshop on 9/17/16 for Black Lives Matter to Wisconsin UUs (BLM2WUU). Assisted with all-day workshop at Alverno College on 4/1/17 for a wider audience. Over 300 people attended. Created bulletin board on BLM in west lobby.
In March of 2017, 3 members of the Social Justice Committee (SJC) visited the Islamic Society of Sheboygan County in Oostburg, WI and met with 8 of their members. The SJC’s intention is to nurture friendship with the mosque in coming months, building understanding and support through participating in various activities.
The SJC is also considering outreach to the All People’s Church in Milwaukee for similar purposes.
Hosted families without shelter, in Ozaukee Co., 4 or 5 times a year, one week each time. UCN members volunteer their time, food, and supplies in order to make this happen. St. Joseph’s Church also provides volunteers and food, at UCN, 2x/wk.
Collected non-perishable foods at UCN for Bethesda Outreach Program on Highland Ave. in Milwaukee. This project has been in effect since 1990.
Milwaukee Inner-city Congregations Allied for Hope – UCN a member of this community-organizing initiative since 2004. Many areas of justice involved. Volunteers needed.
UCN is a Silver Life Member of the Ozaukee Co. Branch of the NAACP. Active in annual Freedom Fund
Dinner. Committee member was the chair of the FF Dinner in November 2016. UCN hosted monthly meetings for past couple of years, though currently, meetings are held at MATC-Mequon.
Located in UCN main lobby. Created in 2016 to highlight prominent UUs of Color and others who share UU value of social justice. Portraits will be rotated.
Saukville Community Meal
UCN serves a meal 2x/year at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Saukville. Meals served on the 4th Saturday of each month at no cost to Ozaukee Co. residents. UCN served the meal and provided hospitality on 4/22/17 and is planning to serve a meal in September.
Share the Plate Program, Fiscal Year 2016-17 (Submitted by Mark Bruhy)
In the spirt of our generosity as a congregation, and in accord with the seven principles of our faith tradition, UCN initiated the Share the Plate program in September of 2008. Since that time our congregants have donated over $45,000 to a variety of worthy organizations. During the past nine years, our congregants and friends have nominated approximately 80 worthy organizations that serve the betterment of people in our community, our country and the world. During fiscal year 2016-17, recipients of Share the Plate offerings include the following organizations: COA, Casa Hagar ALFA, COPE, League of Women Voters, WATERisLIFE, Mukuru Promotion Center, Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office, 4Paws4Ability, Romero Institute, Southern Poverty Law Center, Great Lakes Search and Rescue Canine, and the Urban Ecology Center. Though at the time of this report two months remain in our fiscal year, Share the Plate offerings have already provided over $4,500 to these most worthy organizations.
UCN acts directly to live our principle of “justice, equity, and compassion in human relationships.” Through the Share the Plate program UCN supports, with monthly donations from offerings, humanitarian and social justice programs in the greater Milwaukee community, other Wisconsin communities, nationally and internationally. Each month, fifty percent of the cash and fifty percent of checks written to UCN with the caption “Sharing the Plate” are donated to a non-profit program that is advocating for humanitarian and social justice issues. Candidates are nominated by a member or friend of the congregation who then provide their nominations to Share the Plate coordinator Mark Bruhy. The nominations are then reviewed and approved by our Social Justice Committee. Our new UCN website will include a link to the Share the Plate nomination form.
UCN Fund for Social Justice
The Fund was started in 2000 with the congregation donating tax-rebate checks to create a fund at the Greater Milwaukee Foundation that would help non-profit, social-justice organizations in the greater Milwaukee area. Most recent recipient was Running Rebels Community Organization in 2016. A new recipient will be voted upon at the May Annual Meeting.
In June 2017 a transgender pastor will be our guest pulpit speaker, discussing issues he has faced and how we may support the LGBT community. There will also be a workshop offered regarding transgender understanding and support, organized and hosted by the SJC, in September 2017.
Submitted by Chuck Winter, Chair
Chuck Winter, Chair (and Worship Assistant); Callie Thurow, Cantor; Janet Jensen, Music Coordinator (and Worship Assistant); Mark Ludwig, Sound Technician Leader; Mike Martin, Pulpit Scheduling Leader (and Worship Assistant); Worship Assistants: George Barton, Rick Kastenmeier, Theresa Witt, Dana Lusk, Joy Schroeder. Lucy Friedrichs, Katie Egan-Bruhy, Dean Johnson scheduling and all-around important
This committee works to schedule and coordinate all of the elements of Sunday worship services. This
includes scheduling pulpit guests, coordinating music selection and scheduling accompanists, facilitating all aspects of Sunday services and Christmas eve service, coordinating with other committees for publicity and integration with the overall mission of the church. The purpose of the committee is to provide and support meaningful worship services at UCN.
Programs/Projects Implemented this Year
A total of 52 services were (or are scheduled to be) conducted July 1, 2016 through July 1, 2017, with the
inclusion of Christmas eve. A total of 29 guests (non-UCN members) were invited to the pulpit. They included:
UU Reverends (24 services)
Drew Kennedy (four sermons)
Bobbie Groth (two sermons)
Jennifer Thomson (two sermons)
Linda Hansen (three sermons)
Sara Oelberg (four sermons)
Emmy Lou Belcher
David Hunter and Kerry Mueller (joint service)
Ordained from other religions (4 services)
UCN members (4 services)
Jackee Orozco (pet dedication)
UCN collaboration teams (10 services)
George Barton + Jennifer Barton (Day of the Dead and Fire Communion)
Joy Schroeder + Dana Lusk (Imbolc)
UCN Worship Committee (Water Communion and Flower Communion)
UCN RE Committee (Christmas pageant, Coming of Age)
UCN Finance Committee (Pledge Drive Kickoff)
UCN Leadership Team
UCN All Souls Cafe
Other invited pulpit guests (10 services)
Shai Wise (tentatively scheduled)
Stephanie and Hayden (service relating to substance abuse recovery, hence no last names)
Every pulpit guest was selected based on their known speaking abilities, recommended by a member of UCN and scheduled to create a diverse topic range. The topics were intended to provide the following areas: theological content, liturgical relevance, committee involvement, social justice, and spiritual enrichment. Our goal was/is to feature a diverse pulpit experience and to continue to develop parameters so each experience is meaningful and well-executed.
This year was particularly challenging as UCN continued to move forward without a minister (permanent,
interim or any other flavor). This presented logistical challenges in how the committee functions and how
issues get handled.
Aside from the week-to-week scheduling of music and pulpit guests, the following challenges were
- We trained one new worship assistant.
- Janet Jensen secured the ownership of the two pianos which have been on long-term loan. The pianos were formally donated and recognized as donated by the church.
- We decorated (and undecorated) the sanctuary for the Christmas season.
- We continually updated a list of previous and potential speakers for use by the scheduling subcommittee.
- We created a standard letter template for use by the scheduling subcommittee with which to forward to scheduled speakers.
- We improved the sound system, through acquisition of wireless microphones and related equipment.
- We improved communication with the communications committee in promotion of upcoming services via social media, advertising, and other methods.
- We maintained good communication with the finance committee regarding processing of honorariums for pulpit guests.
- We improved communication with the Religious Education director and RE Committee, and as a result,
improved the contribution of children to the services.
- We started a weekly meditation and sound healing session (evenings).
Goals for 2017-18
- Recruit additional people to participate on the committee, including new worship assistants.
- Continue to schedule effective pulpit guests that provide the diversity of thought and topic that is desired by the congregation.
- Continue to work with UCN Membership Committee on planning services which can attract new people to UCN.
- Work with UCN Communication Committee with promoting services via website and other methods.
- Work with UCN Building Committee with sound system issues.
- Work on creating a Child Dedication / Child Blessing service(s) that can be executed by lay-UCN members.
- Continue to integrate new hymns into the worship services.
- Examine the technology (Dropbox) currently used for scheduling pulpit guests and coordinating other
aspects of the services.
- Develop training documentation which definitively outlines the responsibilities of the worship assistants to streamline the planning process.