Fall is my favorite season of the year. I love the clear days of sunshine and the hint we are starting to get of cooler days to come. Orange is my favorite color, so I get to see and wear a lot of it at this time of year.

For autumn fun for all ages, we will be holding our Fall Auction November 2, 2019 at 5 pm. Please mark your calendars to attend this important and always enjoyable fundraising event!

We have a full calendar of offerings this fall for all people of all ages who wish to participate in spiritual and intellectual growth in community with fellow members of OCUUC. A quick review of our church calendar on our OCUUC.org website shows that in October we will be offering the following ways for adults to participate: Big Questions Discussion Group, Meditation Group, Atheist/Humanist Group, Fiction Book Group, Non-fiction Book Group, Choir, Secrets of Cognitive Behavior, Saturday Snack and Chat, Grief and Caregivers Group, Women’s Circle and the LGBTQ Group. Additionally, we are offering six weeklong sermon discussion groups, a Tuesday night Covenant Group, and Circle Suppers. For more information about these and other offerings, please visit the programs table set up in the courtyard after Sunday services.

Reverend Sian has told me that over fifty percent of our congregation has signed up to participate in one or more of the above- mentioned groups! This is a fabulous participation rate and demonstrates that we are indeed an engaged community committed to our own and our fellow congregants’ growth.

For our children and youth, we offer our ongoing religious education programs tailored to meet the needs of the varying ages of participants. This year’s programs include:

  • Youth: Youth Engaged in Leadership and Learning;
  • 4th – 7th Grade: Riddle and Mystery and Sing to the Power;
  • PreK – 3rd Grade: Love Surrounds Us and Love Will Guide Us;
  • Nursery: Chalice Children.

In my Reach article last month, I mentioned that the Board had approved hiring Kay Crider, Consultant to work with our congregation to assess where we are in our current sanctuary campaign and possible next steps. Kay is a member of the five-person Stewardship for Us Consulting Team. Kay has been a UU for twenty-seven years, has nineteen years of professional fundraising experience, and many years of working with both for profit and nonprofit entities including numerous capital campaigns for UU congregations.

Prior to Kay’s onsite visit, Kay requested and was sent information on OCUUC’s structure, programs, history and finances and work completed to date on the new sanctuary capital campaign.

Kay was onsite at OCUUC from September 20 to 22, 2019. She met with the Board, the Property Use Workgroup, the Minister and staff, the Finance Committee, Stewards and Chair of the Pledge Drive, the Sanctuary Fundraising team, Religious Education and Adult Education, Music and Worship Teams, the LGBT Action Group and held an open session for any other interest groups and inquiring minds. Additionally, all members of the congregation were sent an online survey to complete the week before and after Kay’s visit.

As you can see every effort was made to reach and include all congregants for their input prior to and during Kay’s visit to OCUUC.

Kay presented her preliminary findings at a very well attended Town Hall meeting held immediately after the church service September 22, 2019. Kay will be sending the Board and Property Use Workgroup (PUG), a final report of her findings by October 10, 2019. Further information will be shared with congregants after the Board and PUG has time time to review and analyze the information received from Kay. Thank you to all who participated in sharing their time and thoughts to the information gathering process necessary for Kay’s analysis and recommendations for next steps in our sanctuary campaign.

Special thanks to Tom and Nancy Loughrey, co-chairs of the Property Use Workgroup who played a key role in planning for and making the weekend a success. Additionally, they cohosted an auction event for sixteen at their home on the Saturday night of the Next Steps Weekend and arranged the food and drinks for the Town Hall on Sunday afternoon. Hats off to Tom and Nancy!

With very best wishes for an outstanding October for all of you.

Debra Quam