UUFP Planning Pulpit Minute — 2/25/24


Thanks to the UUFP Planning Committee and support teams for providing updates during our search for and selection of the Fellowship's new home! This Pulpit Minute was delivered by Sandy Burkes-Campbell at the February 25, 2024, Sunday Service.

We have been busy with the due diligence on the Tabbs Lane church since going under contract in late November. Our period of discernment ends about a month from now.

This week, we began to define what MUST be done to the building, including identifying our priorities.There are over 70 items we’ve been working on. As Jay Joseph said, we must “prioritize our priorities.”

The date for our congregational meeting to VOTE on the purchase of 326 Tabbs Lane has been set as Sunday, April 14, 2024. 

Over the next two weeks, we will be finalizing our financial information and quotes from vendors so that we can negotiate the purchase price for things we see as problematic, such as the HVAC units that do not work and water intrusion. The kitchen was a concern for us, and it is looking good after recent inspections were done by the seller.

As we have said before, nothing we have seen — either individually or collectively — is a “deal breaker.”

What will it take to accomplish all of the wonderful things we want to do in a new building such as this?

Alan Sheeler has taken on the Herculean task of creating a budget, which includes the move and the cost of maintaining this building and Tabbs Lane later this year. His preliminary data shows that we will need to:

  • Grow by at least 10 new pledging members a year;
  • Increase our current pledges by at least 7%.

Already, a new outreach team has formed and is planning engagement activities and events, which will increase our membership. There is also potential to rent the building during the week.

Roger Guernsey (the architect who designed our present UUFP sanctuary building) is a fellow UU in Williamsburg. We invited Roger to look at Tabbs Lane to give us suggestions. Upon arrival, he remarked on the complete lack of a gathering area like the one he created for us outside our present sanctuary doors.

What you see on the slide is a potential architectural design for a modified lobby/gathering area where we can greet newcomers. (Prospective architectural drafts shared during this presentation are available upon request: planning@uufp.org.)

I also have another drawing to share with more detail (which we could not display as a slide) that shows a relocated nursery and preschool room. Further down the hall are more rooms for Religious Education for our teens/youth and five rooms in total for children.

The Guernsey architectural plans respond to the three key goals that our UUFP Membership Committee identified in 2019, and I quote:

  • a dedicated quiet space to welcome  folks attending for the first time,
  • a space large enough for comfortable interaction with coffee after service, and
  • a more functional social space with the kitchen separate from where we eat.

Six years ago we began our discernment process of articulating our values, mission and vision.

Early in that process Andrew gave a sermon and said that “hope is a plan.” It is not enough to wish for something to happen; it takes all of us working towards a common goal.

We are living out our mission.

Stay tuned. We’re almost there.

Sandy Burkes-Campbell
UUFP Planning Committee Cochair

Grow in Wonder ~ Connect in Love ~ Engage in Service ~ Inspire Generosity


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