I want you know that your Planning Committee has been busy over the past few months. Just to remind you, we are: Parker Stokes, Lin Chambers, Rebecca Wheeler, Scott Kasmire and me (Sandy Burkes-Campbell).
After voting to find a new home on March 8, we began to plan an upcoming visit with Mark Ewert from "Stewardship For Us."
As you know, he was unable to spend the “Next Step” weekend with us in late March and agreed to come for a virtual Next Step fortnight which took place over a two-week period in June. Many of you were able to speak with Mark, and thanks for taking the time!
Mark met with at least 16 committees and other groups, including twice with the Policy Board. He attended Forum, Wednesday evening gatherings and other Zoom fellowship events during his two weeks with us. The focus of this initial visit with Mark was for him to get to know us as a congregation and help us as we prepare for a capital campaign and move.
In May, we learned that the UUA indicated that our congregations may remain closed to in-person gatherings for a year.
One member of the Planning Committee wondered if we should consider listing our property for sale soon if we were not going to occupy our building for almost a year.
Our committee met with Jay Joseph and the Real Estate Task Force to discuss this question and have begun to gather information that is needed before we could consider such action. Some preliminary information has been gathered to answer questions such as: 1) Where would we meet temporarily if we list our building and find another? 2) What would temperature controlled storage cost? 3) How much STUFF do we need to store? 4) How much money could we save if we sold our building now?
These are all questions that our sister congregation in Virginia Beach, Coastal Virginia Unitarian Universalists (CVUU), also considered when they decided to look for a new home. We have been in discussion with key members of their congregation regarding how they began and organized their process to find new “sacred space.” They are very excited about what they were able to do and have reached out to help us.
You may remember that CVUU looked at least about 40 properties before they found the one! Many of you know that they purchased an office building that they extensively remodeled.
Now, you are probably asking yourself What can I do to help Planning?
- As you drive around the peninsula, notice for sale signs on commercial buildings surrounded by some green space or parking areas.
- Report any interesting property you see to Jay or any member of the Real Estate Task Force or Planning Committee, and it will be checked out.
- And for those of you on Facebook please continue to share ideas on the group page “What does our new UUFP Space look like.”
- If you are not on Facebook, send us an image you find appealing! Maybe you have visited another congregation that impressed you – share it!
- If you have not seen our beautiful new web site, UUFP.org, please take a look. Visit UUFP Expansion (under NEWS) for information. All the documents we shared with you at the cottage and town hall meetings earlier this year are there for you to review!
So we continue to move forward with planning and with your help we will get the work done!
And remember. This community needs us now more than ever.
I will leave you with Mark Ewert’s words: “Dwelling in the unknown, not letting it stop us from gathering information and planning for different scenarios, yet not leaping precipitously—is the order of the day!”