Board Announcement (February 2022)
Dear Members and Friends,
After discussion our goals for the July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023 ministry contract year, the Board has decided to open a new search for a contract minister. We know that many in our community desire a minister who might live in our area or be on site more often. As a Board, we want to explore that possibility. By beginning a ministry search now, we are better able to attract a local minister as opposed to waiting until later in the year when many ministry contracts are locked in. A ministry search will also allow us to renew our understanding of how contract ministry can support our strategic plan goals and our congregation’s needs at this time.
As a small congregation, we have a contract rather than a settled ministry. A contract ministry is an agreement between the Board and a minister and runs from year to year. Each annual contract focuses on particular goals that the Board holds for the ministry in the year to come. In a contract ministry, the Board chooses the minister. In contrast, in a settled ministry, the full congregation is an active participant in calling the minister and there is an understanding that the relationship will be a long-term shared ministry rather than a year-to-year agreement. Small congregations like ours are rarely able to attract or support a full-time settled minister. For us, a contract ministry gives us professional expertise to support our goals while providing some pastoral care and connection to our UU faith.
The board has selected board members Donna Bauer (Vice President), Julie Keitel (Treasurer), and Alysa Remsburg to form a search team along with the addition of Cindy Ericksen (who served on our last Ministry Search Team) and Jacob Sciammas. While the team is engaging in this search for new candidates for the next contract, they will continue to consider Rev. Leslie for this ministry contract as well, unless she indicates that she no longer wishes to be considered. When we hired Rev. Leslie in early summer 2020, we spoke of the UU La Crosse desire to have a local minister. At the time, we expected her ministry with us to last only one year! I’m grateful to Rev. Leslie for her graciousness in centering on our mutual commitment to what is best for the future of this congregation as we step into these next months of not-knowing how things will turn out.
This news may be a surprise to you – we tend to get attached to our ministers here at UU La Crosse and we appreciate the gifts they bring to us. In her two years with us, Rev. Leslie has built strong relationships through the shared experiences and work we’ve had together. We honor the work she has done in nurturing our community from a distance and under the ever-changing elements of the pandemic.
While a contract ministry search and decision is part of the role of the board, we do welcome your feedback and questions. You can reach the Board and the Ministry Search Team at email@example.com.
UU La Crosse Board President
Board Announcement (January 2022)
Dear UU La Crosse Members and Friends,
The Board has been reviewing the feedback from your conversations with Stewards during our recent pledge drive. A clear theme has been a desire to return to the building on Sundays and to gather in person more frequently. In light of this, we have made some changes to our safety policies.
We will be opening the building for Sunday Service attendance starting on Sunday, January 30th. We are fully committed to keeping the Zoom service as a participatory option for those who choose it. In fact, when you attend service in the building, you can expect that you may still see the Facilitator or Speaker online and there will still be pre-recorded music. Here’s what you need to know about what things will look like for the in-building attendees on January 30th:
- You must wear a mask fully over your nose and mouth. If you forget your mask, one will be given to you.
- We request that anyone (except for those under 5 who are not yet eligible) be fully vaccinated and boostered in keeping with our Unitarian Universalist values and our desire to protect the staff and volunteers who are helping with the service.
- Expect to see children in the service until we can reliably staff our nursery and RE program. Our RE staff and team are working to re-start our RE and nursery program with an appropriate balance of safety and human face-to-face interaction. In the meantime, children and youth are welcome to join their adults for the entirety of the service. Please feel free to bring along quiet activities to help the young ones (your own or someone else’s) with busy hands, and know that wiggles and sounds are part of the human experience and can be an occasion of joy for all present!
- We ask that you do not have food or beverages in the building.
- If the Facilitator or Speaker choose to do their work from the building rather than remote, they are the exception to the mask/beverage rule in order to be able to do their job with ease.
- Our music staff and volunteers are free to make decisions about how to offer music. As members and friends, you can expect that on any given day, the music may be pre-recorded and shown on the screen, or may be only instrumental, or may come from one or more musicians in the building.
- We ask that our members and visitors not sing at this time. Humming, swaying, finger snapping, clapping, dancing, or using instrumental shakers (sanitized after use) is encouraged.
- After service socializing (no food or coffee at this time) is encouraged. Please observe your own and others’ comfort zones. For now, expect that zoom attendees will have a separate social hour from in-building attendees (screens, audio, camera will be turned off).
Among our pandemic losses are the structures we had for serving one another through hospitality in greeting one another, setting out hymnals, caring for families by volunteering in the nursery or RE program, cleaning up after service and supporting other aspects of our Sunday Service. Over the next weeks, please give thought to how you might wish to formally volunteer to rebuild our gatherings. Until we have rebuilt our formal volunteer work pool, let’s come together to build what we need: stick around to straighten out chairs and pull down the shades, find a mop to clean up the snow puddles by the chairs, lend a hand to the family with the small child or simply smile and welcome them, and be an informal greeter to all you encounter.
While this is not the moment we have all been waiting for – a joyful re-entry to the fullness of the routines and interactions that bind us in our Sunday Services – it is a step toward the wholeness that we long to experience. Please be gentle with yourself and your covenanted community as you grieve one more not-yet, as you honor each individual’s choices between virtual and in-person, and as you thrill to the possibility of gathering once more.
While I have your eyes, let me take this moment to remind you to look for your weekly e-news – so many good opportunities for gathering outdoors, indoors, online, in small groups, for projects, and for socializing. Among the many, many events and programs: look for info about the Spring Communication Chain forming this month which will help us deepen our connections with one another. We also hope you’ll join our youth for the January 15th Myrick Park sledding or the February 19th Poage Park ice skating. And, a New Year is a fine time to consider the benefits of joining one of our teams – there’s nothing like getting to know other UUs by working side to side on important projects.
UU La Crosse Board President
The Nominating Committee, of UU La Crosse Fellowship, is accepting nominations from the congregation for the 2022-2023 Board of Trustees and the Nominating Committee. The slate of candidates is presented at the May 22, 2022 Annual Meeting.
All who wish to serve on the Board of Trustees or the Nominating Committee are encouraged to submit a Nomination Form. The working board is composed of creative, committed, and diverse fellowship members working to support its mission and vision into the future. You are welcome to nominate yourself or someone else.
Board Openings for 2022-2023 include:
- One at large Board member, and Secretary both two-year terms Vice-President-completion of vacated position-1 year
- Nominating Committee Openings: Two positions one-year term
For more details, and to complete the nomination form, click here. Forms must be completed by April 4, 2022.
You may also nominate a person by voice at the Annual Meeting on May 22, 2022. It is advised that you discuss such intentions with the nominee to assure their willingness to serve. We would encourage you to utilize the nomination form as indicated above.
Youth RE News
Submitting News and Room Reservation Requests
To submit news, announcements, events, and calls for volunteers please fill out the form at www.uulacrosse.org/submitnews
To request a room reservation or to add something to the Fellowship calendar, please use the form at www.uulacrosse.org/reserve