June UCF News and Info


Most days, a couple of times a day I scroll through my Facebook feed – finding funny posts and memes to share, watching a couple of awwww-inducing animal videos, and catching up with friends near and far. As of July 1, my Facebook feed will be much different. Professional ethics and my commitment to the ministry of this congregation demand that I “unfriend” every member and friend of UCF when our ministry together ends on June 30.  I will withdraw from all UCF email lists and groups and conversations.  My sermons will come down off the UCF website. This will create the clear break for each of us to really “get it” – that I will no longer be your minister. 
That the future of UCF’s ministry will unfold in new directions, in new ways – without me.  
This will make time for grieving what is ending. And, this will make space for wholeheartedly preparing to greet what is beginning: new ministry partnerships with the Interim minister who will join you in September and, down the road, with a new called and settled minister. 
An expanding ministry in your new building. 
A strategic plan that will give shape to your hopes and dreams for growth. This will not be easy.  But it is necessary.  For closure.  For healing.  For health.  For the wholeness and the integrity in which growth is rooted.  For me.  For you, and for your ministry. Blessings, always, Sally


Happy June, My Friends!

As we have looked ahead to a new church home and all the opportunities for organic growth it
presents, a strategic planning effort has taken shape to help us achieve our goal of a vibrant and diverse congregation that will last for generations. It began with an acknowledgement that the voices of every member of the congregation had to be solicited before plans were made; and that leadership and staff would be dedicated to formulating plans for the future that reflected the values presented by those voices. Many of you recently participated in the Constructive Conversations with the Congregation focus groups where your voices actually became the basis for future strategic planning efforts. Many, many thanks for being part of that process! Facilitators of these focus groups reflected on their excitement in witnessing the commitment participants have to UCF’s future and the treasure trove of ideas our
congregants have to strengthen our church and our contribution to the larger community. Every one of our standing committees are populated with dedicated and hard-working members with ideas, but the addition of the focus groups’ contributions added many layers to current thoughts generated in the course of regular committee work.

What comes next after listening to the congregation? Each of the facilitators will create a Sourcebook to document the strategic planning journey. Questions will be addressed, such as: What values do the
congregation hold dear? What does the congregation want our community to achieve? What can be planned to help the congregation be successful in reaching their dreams? What plans are possible? How did those plans work? Do we need to do something completely different or just tweak what we’ve been doing? Etc….etc. The Sourcebook will be a place to review congregational values, to suggest solutions, and to evaluate success. In early July, leadership and staff will meet to review all of the Sourcebooks and begin the work of achieving the successes that are important to you as a congregant of our wonderful UCF.

Will this strategic planning effort ever end? In a vibrant congregation, strategic planning never ends. The combined voices of every congregant and a commitment to listen to those voices is what maintains
vibrancy; continuous and courageous evaluation and discussion is what keeps a congregation reaching for its potential.

All the best to you!



The Board of Trustees sends huge thanks to the members of the Interim Minister Search Committee—
Barb Thomas; Jo Ellen Essex; and Tom Cullison. Being part of the Committee required a large time commitment jammed into a short period of time, as well as the copious skill it took to present a profile of UCF that would excite applicants when they read it. The Committee achieved what they set out to do. UCF was one of 44 UU
congregations seeking a minister and the applicant pool offered 42 sets of eyes to view our profile.
Of those 42 applicants, 5 sought interviews with our Committee. Those interviews were arranged and the
Committee ranked the 5 applicants as to their potential fit for UCF’s interim minister. It turned out that the
Committee’s 1st choice also chose UCF as her 1st choice. Please join the Board in thanking the
Interim Minister Search Committee for their service to the congregation.


* Budget work

* Preparation for the Annual Business Meeting on June 13th.

* Helping to manage the various elements to prepare for groundbreaking on the new building.

* Overseeing the strategic planning effort and preparing the standing committees and staff to facilitate focus groups.

* Working on bringing together the Staff Relations policy

* Working with the Interim Minister Search Committee

* Conducting contract negotiations and various other protocols in the hiring of the Interim Minister