Why Beth would say YES to moving
I will miss the congregational meeting this Sunday — the important one when you’ll decide to sell our building or not. I’m not able to vote anyway (I’m not a Member, just Staff), but I usually like to be there for these big events.
So since I won’t be there, I wanted to share my feelings about moving with you. This is such a big and important decision, so I thought it would be important to hear from all perspectives. I know the music program is important to you, so I wanted to make sure my opinion was available to you all.
Here is why I hope you will say YES to selling and moving:
- This is my 10th year at OCUUC, and we’re the same size as when we came – maybe even smaller. Our building is choking us and preventing us from growing.
- I have a HUGE vision for what OCUUC can do and be in Orange County – and I know you do too – but we can’t execute the necessary steps to reach our vision unless we move to a bigger space and grow in numbers.
- We need more people to create the kind of music program I envision – more musicians, more volunteers, and more money from more pledge units.
- With a bigger space and more people, I can imagine someday OCUUC would have…
- a chamber orchestra
- a children’s choir
- a youth band
- a regular rhythm section or instrumental ensemble every Sunday
- an adult choir big enough to tackle major classical works and more difficult anthems
- an auditioned vocal ensemble – could be a classical chamber group, an a cappella jazz group, a barbership quartet, etc.
- amazing concerts, plays, speakers, and films that would draw in hundreds of audience members (our own church members + community folks) to our well-appointed performance space
- a hospice singing group
- a musical outreach group focusing on social justice activities and events
- the funds to refurbish the Steinway piano
- a sign language “choir”
- and I’m sure there are more ideas out there!
- In the recent congregational survey, it is clear to me that the overwhelming majority of you also feel the need to move and grow.
- This congregation supported me to become a UUA Credentialed Music Leader. It was an intense 3-year program, akin to getting a master’s degree in UU music. I am trained, capable, and ready to raise our music ministries to the next level. Let’s GO!
I know there are elements of this decision that are scary and uncertain. But what big decision in life is truly a sure-thing? Sometimes to make a big change and to break out of a rut, a big shift is necessary. I am not afraid or averse to creating worship in a temporary space if necessary, if our ideal building plan doesn’t work. To me, the consequences of staying in this building far outweigh the anxiety about the unknowns involved in moving. Staying here would suck all the remaining energy out of our congregation — and out of me. I’ve been waiting to move and grow for several years now, ever since our first talk about merger. Let’s get this show on the road!
With courage and hope in our vision for OCUUC,
Beth Syverson, Director of Music Ministries, MusicDirectorocuucorg (MusicDirectorocuucorg)
Orange Coast UU Church Relocation Task Force
Site Committee (inc. suitability, renovations, City Approvals)
Finance Committee-Reviewing Contracts
OCUUC Finance Council
Document Committee-Reviewing Leases and Expenses
Mary Lundholm, Board President
Rev. Ed Brock, Interim Minister
Update as of April 1, 2012
- Since these are negotiations, it is a bit of back and forth. (Think dancing and we have two partners!
- Will meet with Representative of the Developer who is interested in purchasing our site on Wednesday evening.
- Interviewing architects. Decision will be made by Wednesday.
- Building Inspection will be done this week.
- Working on list of City of Costa Mesa Requirements
- Reviewing Title and Parking Easement.
- Clearing up Title issues for our property.
- Timing of both sales is an issue right now.
- Reviewing the Purchase Agreement for the new site
- Has reviewed leases of current tenants
Move Committee: N/A
Currently, we have a meager 6000 sq ft. The proposed property has 20,000 sq ft. In addition, we would not be only dependent upon our own funds: the new property comes with rental income! Our agent, Guy Torelli, will be presenting an evaluation of the rental income this Sunday March 11th between the services.
When Karen Stoyanoff was called to be our minister, the settled search packet stated, “On-site parking is insufficient, but off-site parking is available nearby.” We still have this same issue.
The last change to the physical structure of the church grounds was done in 1990. The building was completed via a loan from the Endowment. Since that time, we have not been able to reach over 250 members. Right at the time we completed the Gillan building we reached approximately 275 members. The people saw the space and then filled it. Build it and they will come.
Since 1990, we have made no changes to the size of our facility. We have been stagnating in our membership, and this feeling has permeated the church from work parties to committees to volunteerism. Just the conversation about tripling our space has infused a sense excitement and hope.
Looking at our history, each time we built something our membership grew. In 1960, the sanctuary and social hall were built. In 1964, the Boag classrooms were added. In 1975, simply paving the Chalice Patio increased membership by 25 members into 1977. In 1986, we expanded the sanctuary and membership rose by 50 members. In 1989, the kitchen and Gillan classrooms were added and we reached 275 members which was our highest since 1977. Since 1994, our membership has hovered around 200 members.
We have outgrown our facility. Every 10 years or so, we have made big changes. It’s time. It’s past time. Are you with me? - Mary Lundholm (presidentocuucorg)