Thanks to the Fellowship's Planning Committee for providing periodic updates on the UUFP Expansion/Relocation progress.
This Pulpit Minute was delivered by Sandy Burkes-Campbell during a Sunday Service in April.
My name is Sandy Burkes-Campbell, chair of the UUFP Planning Committee. It's SO good to be here virtually and in person!
As you remember, we signed with Realtor Bob Saunders in February to find us a new church home. Our number one priority at this time is to focus on that. Based on his recent experiences selling churches in our area, he is hoping to find us a property within the next 18 months.
Bob has sent the committee information on several commercial properties this month (or what Rebecca called a “market snapshot”) of what is available on the Virginia Peninsula at this time. Most of these properties were not perfect for us, but we are learning about what commercial properties cost and where they are situated. There are no church buildings for sale at this time, but the word is out that we are looking.
Bob is also educating us about zoning and where churches can and cannot be located. There are some nice properties in City Center, Newport News, which is very centrally located on the Peninsula. However, that area is not zoned for religious facilities, and the city would not be inclined to grant a permit to a non-profit which does not contribute to the city’s tax base.
Joanne has shared with us the idea of a “community playground” to keep in mind as we look for properties. Additionally, our vision of flexible, accessible, inspirational space surrounded by greenery is foremost in our minds.
Lastly, we met with the President, Vice President, and Treasurer of Temple Sinai here in our sanctuary last month about the possibility of using their synagogue in the unlikely event that we might have the opportunity to sell our property before finding another. We had a very good visit. Their congregation has been around about as long as ours, and we agree on issues of community and social justice. If nothing else, we have made the acquaintance of like-minded people who remarked as we parted: “If you need us, we are here to help.”