Dear FUUSN community,
Each year in September your Board of Trustees meets for an annual planning meeting to update our strategic vision for FUUSN’s future and to lay out our key strategic priorities for the upcoming year. This vision is based on our discernment of the priorities and needs of the congregation. We would like to share with you our updated vision and the strategic priorities that arose from our annual retreat this year.
1. Continue the work towards dismantling racism and transforming FUUSN into a truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive Beloved Community, using the UUA’s Widening the Circle of Concern as one important guide. Creating such a community will ensure FUUSN’s future vitality and viability as a faith community. Success in this effort calls for each of us to find our way to being meaningfully involved. We are committed to partnering in this effort with the Racial Justice Ministry, the Operations Council, other relevant groups and committees, and all of you in the broader FUUSN community going forward.
Relevant links: https://www.8thprincipleuu.org/what-is-beloved-community
2. Center our faith and actions around the seven UU principles (as well as the proposed eighth UU principle) as guidelines for how we should be with each other and how we should act in the wider world. Our existing covenant to affirm and promote these principles as a UU member congregation are the backbone of our faith and a reflection of our community values. We recognize that individual members of the congregation have varying levels of familiarity and identification with the principles. Centering our day-to-day faith and actions around the principles has the potential to deepen our faith, strengthen our engagement with other members of the community, and move us towards Beloved Community.
The Board is committed this year to initiating a process and a program for integrating the existing seven principles and the proposed eighth principle more closely into the day-to-day life and activities of our community. As part of this effort, we have committed ourselves to supporting the adoption by the congregation of the proposed 8th principle at the FUUSN annual meeting in June, 2022.
Relevant links: https://www.uua.org/beliefs/what-we-believe/principles
3. Strengthen our stewardship, expand our donor base and increase our financial capacity to address congregational needs related to staffing and long-term building maintenance and renovation. FUUSN is likely to face significant challenges in terms of membership growth, sustaining our financial capability, and membership engagement during this current fiscal year and beyond as we continue to experience the ongoing effects of the pandemic. These challenges are not new. Leadership in our community and past Boards have all worked to strengthen congregational growth and stewardship to permit us to afford staffing levels commensurate with the size of our congregational membership.
What is new is the present Board’s explicit commitment to the task of dismantling racism and developing a strong congregational culture of diversity, equity, inclusion, and principle-centered engagement. Our goal this year is not to resolve FUUSN’s fiduciary issues once and for all. Rather, we want to ensure our short- to medium-term financial stability, and put us on a path towards longer-term growth. We will be drawing on the knowledge and expertise of the various committees which touch on our membership, stewardship and finances to clarify the issues, identify best practices among other UU congregations, and develop novel approaches to address our long-term needs.
Your Board is pleased to be engaged in this important ministry and stewardship in partnership with you all. We invite your heartfelt involvement and contributions to helping FUUSN realize its full potential as a faith community. Feel free to reach out to any of us with your questions and ideas.
Demie Stathoplos, Chair
Barbara Schmitt, Vice Chair
Hattie Kerwin Derrick
Naomi Wolfe – Youth Rep
Tom Kisiel – Youth Rep