Monthly Message from UUCSS President

by Laurie Singer

All around us, Mother Nature is showing off her spring wardrobe.  Brilliant yellow forsythia and daffodils, lush pink and purple magnolia trees, tulips popping up in every color.  What a feast for our winter-weary eyes!  In my own “medicine wheel” garden, there are only small green shoots above ground, but I know that by mid-summer it will be bursting with reds, purples, and golden yellows that will attract the garden workers. Tending my garden, I pray these words from Emily Dickinson:   

              “In the name of the bee, and of the butterfly, and of the breeze, Amen.”

I know that underground, the roots are doing the hard work that will result in a flowering banquet for the bees and butterflies and hummingbirds.  So much hard work gets done below the surface….

Every Sunday morning you can tune in to a beautifully planned and orchestrated worship service.  Of course we know that Zoom is a pale substitute for in-person worship, but can you imagine the even bleaker year we would have had without it?  Led by Rev. Joe, the Worship Team meets regularly to plan and assign the various tasks necessary to produce that one hour on Sunday.  The team is small, but the work is mighty. (Shameless plug here…we could use your help!)

We’re all wondering about what it will look like when we can finally worship together again.  We’ve had one “coffee chat” in this direction, but below the surface, the work is constant.  On April 18th we were shown a concise snapshot of the congregation’s financial health, thanks to the efforts of the Finance Team led by Sue Bender-Wilkinson.  On May 16th Harry Moran will acknowledge all of the pre-covid work done by planning teams and task forces.  With this foundation, we’ll begin again, perhaps with new eyes, as we envision what UUSaratoga needs to fulfil our covenant with ourselves and with our community. 

Without a healthy foundational root system in your garden, the plants will not thrive.  The Governance Task Force (GTF) in the persons of Judy Halstead, Jonathan Feinberg, Dick Wilkinson, and Rev. Joe has been working long hours (days, weeks and months!) putting together a solid foundation for this congregation’s functioning.  Developing and cataloguing the policies and practices that, along with our by-laws, establish the roots that will direct and sustain our growth.  The results of their hard work when completed will be accessible to the entire congregation in clear and organized documents.

At last Monday’s board meeting, just as we do each month, we reviewed, discussed, and approved the ongoing business of your congregation, which included:

  • A request from the Fundraising Team for access to our building during the upcoming plant fair on May 22 and 23.
  • Requests from the Finance Committee in regards to practices that provide clarity and protection of congregational funds.
  • Several new and updated policies drafted by the GTF. 

Lots of important work to be addressed in a 90 minute Zoom session indeed, but it is only possible because of the dedication and long hours invested by our teams, committees and task forces behind the scenes.  As board president, and on behalf of the entire congregation, I want to publically extend my profound thanks and appreciation to each of the members who unselfishly give of their time and talents.  

A highly overworked expression during these pandemic days has been, “We’re in this together”.  Trite it may be, but so true.  I’ll end, as I often do, by inviting you to join in the work “below the surface”.  Together we’ll help this garden flourish!