Coffee Chat Updates on Campaign and Governance

By Julie Holmberg, President of the Board

Our first Fall Coffee Chat was held after the service on Sunday, September 8th.  A large group of interested UU’s attended, in anticipation of news of activities that had taken place over the summer.

The coffee chats have been a great avenue for keeping folks in touch and up to date, as our goal of transparency and openness is intended to insure trust in leadership.  Many people have been hard at work all summer.

We are undertaking some very bold steps toward our future at UUCSS.  We are no longer the small group that started this congregation 20 years ago.  We are growing and our needs are changing. Governance change and the need for a new campus go hand in hand.  Just as our physical building no longer meets our needs, so also is our governance structure no longer effective. A new campus and building is the dream for ourselves and the larger Saratoga Community.  

Sue Bender Wilkinson, as chair of the Capital Campaign, shared the status of our progress towards meeting the $175,000 goal of the Foundation phase of the campaign. Sue inspired us with the $141,00 amount raised so far in our Foundation level goal of $175,000 (that sum has increased since the Coffee Chat!).   However, these funds have been raised with only 40 percent member participation, in addition to contributions from several friends of the congregation of members and friends.  We need everyone to join in and support this congregational initiative…no matter how large or small your commitment is. Sue emphasized the opportunity for everyone to live into our UU values and uphold our beliefs in the power of our liberal religion.  A new campus and building is the dream for ourselves and the larger Saratoga Community.  Please contact Sue or Mike Goodwin if you have questions about pledging for information.

Sue also shared this:

  • On Saturday morning, November 16th, UUA-affiliated consultant Liz Coit, will guide us through conversations aimed at clarifying our hopes and aspirations for Saratoga UU’s future and the new building we will need to help realize that future. These conversations will be conducted in small groups (of no more than 15) and facilitated by members of the congregation, in addition to representatives of the BOT.
  • This intensive planning session will result in both a case statement for the remaining phases of our Capital Campaign as well as a 3-5 year plan, a living document that we will actualize and use to guide us into the future in our new home.

Secondly, Richard Wilkinson gave a short preview of the work the Governance Task Force has been focused on for the past 18 months.  We are about to hear about the new by-law changes that will enhance the governance structure of UUCSS. A planned Coffee Chat will take place after the service on Sunday, September 29 to introduce the information, allow discussion and eventually lead to a congregation vote in the coming months. Much hard work has gone into this and we thank Richard, Pam Collins, Judy Halstead, Mike Egerman, Jeremy Sykes and Rev Joe.

Lastly, Harry Moran, chair of our Planning Committee reported on progress on the purchase of 588 Lake Avenue Our buyer’s agent is in talks with the seller. Depending on that outcome, we will submit our purchase offer, with complete contingencies, safety provisions intact.  We will keep you updated.  

Our meeting concluded at 12:30. Respectfully submitted by Julie Holmberg, President of the Board