UUFP Planning Pulpit Minute — May 2023

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 at the May 7, 2023, Sunday Service.


As you know the policy board recently approved our new five-year rolling plan, which will be updated annually. A few of the action items have already been completed.

The Planning Committee will now be working on assigning coordinators to work on the action items in order to reach our goals.

We will also report our progress to the Policy Board at least quarterly.

The five-year plan is on the website (www.uufp.org), in the “Members” section under the heading “Organization.” There is much exciting work to be done, so feel free to reach out and get involved.

In November of 2019, Bob Saunders assessed our buildings, and we asked him to return last month to give us an update. He came and toured our property with me, Parker Stokes and Rebecca Wheeler, and we now have an updated assessment.

Bob recommended some minor repairs which will need to be done before we show our property to a prospective buyer, and those repairs are underway.

Newcomers may not know that we outgrew our current 5300 sq feet (that’s both buildings) many years ago, and we project we will need space that is in the range 14,000 – 19,000 square feet to live our vision for the future. And, once again, we are rapidly finding ourselves in need of additional space for children’s religious education and other activities

There are many smaller congregations looking for properties our size, and Bob told me last week that he gets calls nearly every week looking for a church property our size. So there will be no trouble selling our buildings when the time comes.

Last week he reviewed over 100 commercial listings for us.

Some of these properties have been on the market for a long time, and we have already considered and ruled them out for various reasons. AND some of the more interesting properties we have looked at are also in the “Members” section of our website.

If you would like to look at them, reach out to me or another member of Planning, and we will email the link to you.

Our sister congregation, Coastal Virginia Unitarian Universalists(CVUU) in Virginia Beach looked at many, many properties for years before ... they found their new home.

And that was without a pandemic to slow their progress.

Three years ago, we voted to seek a new larger home, and I know some are discouraged that we haven’t found a place, which will enable us to grow and live our mission and vision. But we are looking, and I encourage you to do the same.

Last week searching online, I discovered that the Blue Star Diner is on the market again! Now that’s thinking outside of the box, and just think about how good the coffee would be. Seriously, it is way too small for us.

Last week a member suggested perhaps we should partner with another nonprofit organization that also needs a home with even more square footage.

Some of us will be weeding and planting flowers to improve our “curb appeal” this week.

Please contact Randy Phillips if you can help him with the grounds to keep them looking nice.

Former UUFP President Rev. William Sinkford recently wrote “there is real energy in our regathering and possibilities waiting to be claimed…. People are yearning for connection in a community that still finds it possible to believe in love.” Feel free to contact me, Parker Stokes, Steve Kadar, or Rachel Bevins if you have any questions for Planning.

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