• From Our Board President: Welcome, Soundtrack, Unsung UU

    November 2022

    When there is a “Prez and Trez” column, I keep this one short.

    Welcome

    I was happy to attend the “Path to Membership” session on November 20. This very well-organized class is led by Tom McTavish. It’s inspiring to meet with new members and think of all of the gifts and talents they will contribute to CCUU. Welcome, all.

    Soundtrack

    The deadline for this column is the day before Thanksgiving. The song that is playing in my head ...

    read more…
  • From the Prez and the Trez: Winter 2022 Edition

    November 28, 2022

    Here’s the winter edition of our quarterly letter designed to keep you informed and involved in our finances. Often, these columns deal with financial transparency and hone in on the costs of salaries, building and utilities. This month, we want to also consider the mission of the church. Countryside is a community center of spiritual growth as well as a focal point for people wanting to know about and join work that is being done in our community to promote the goals we name in our Covenant. At our recent Board ...

    read more…
  • In Appreciation and Gratitude

    Nov 2022

    Saying “goodbye” to Kathi Hillyer this past week was difficult. Kathi has been a member here for eleven years. During that time, she was active in many functions, a harmonious voice in the choir, the music librarian, and a valuable church leader. She was an important presence during her six years on the Board, first as a member, then as Secretary and finally as Vice President. She chaired the Worship Council and the Program Committee. When COVID struck, Kathi was one of the first Zoom worship assistants and quickly became skilled at ...

    read more…
  • From Your Board President

    October 2022

    Thanks go out to all of the members who conducted summer services.  The depth and breadth of the topics was impressive with attendance to match.  We’ve rolled that enthusiasm into the new church year with our first month of services with Rev. Denise.   It’s also been great to have some celebratory events that allow us to reconnect after 2 ½ years of various degrees of separation.  Both the potluck on September 11th and the memorial for Martha Atherton were strong reminders that we are a close-knit community with a shared history that ...

    read more…
  • From Your Board President

    Aug 31, 2022

    Having spent most of my life on a “school calendar,” it feels natural to regard September as the start of a new year with new routines, traditions and people. That’s especially true this year as we welcome Rev. Denise Cawley to Countryside, continue to emerge from the 2 ½ year period of COVID disruptions, and try to get back to a semblance of normalcy.

    It’s been great to see such high attendance at the summer services. There has been an impressive display of topics and formats. The services ...

    read more…
  • From Your Board President

    August 1, 2022

    Please read this month’s “Prez and Trez” column. It’s another in our quarterly efforts to make church finances more transparent and to have all members feel informed and involved in financial matters. For this column, I’ll just update a few items that might otherwise fall through the cracks.

    Our hybrid services will resume on September 4, which is the last Sunday of the summer schedule. Our Tech Coordinator, Jessica Maricich, has a full-time job which requires some weekend work in the summer. She will be ...

    read more…
  • From the Prez and the Trez

    August 1, 2022

    The 2021-22 church fiscal year ended on June 30, so we thought it’d be a good time to let you know where we are now and how the year went financially. It has been an up-and-down year for us in so many respects; our finances are no exception.

    If we look back to the end of the stewardship drive in March, our picture looked bleak. We were facing a deficit for the 2022-23 fiscal year of over $100,000 and less pledge income than expected for the 2021-22 year. ...

    read more…
  • From Your Board President

    July 2022

    July 1 marks the start of a new fiscal year and church year for us. This year, it marked the end of a 14-year ministry and the beginning of a two-year phase of interim ministry. It’s also the time that we say “thank you” to a group of previous Board members and “hello” to a new crew. This year, we have very little turnover on the Board. Chris Hitchcock completed a 4-year term and Kathi Hillyer completed a maximum 6-year stint that included terms as Board Secretary and Vice President. We’ll let ...

    read more…
  • Interim Minister to begin Sept 1

    June 15, 2022

    I’m pleased to announce that we have finalized arrangements with the Rev. Denise Cawley to be our Interim Minister. She will start with us on September 1. As you may have heard, this year’s match process through the UUA had several ups and downs. Our committee (Crystina Smith, Tim Reuter-Bowers, Joy Simon, and me) learned a lot in this process and enthusiastically selected Rev. Denise to be with us on this next exciting chapter. We expect to start the search for a settled minister in late winter. More about that all ...

    read more…
  • From Your Board President: Take Up the Song

    June 2022

    Last weekend, like many of us, I attended the memorial service for Krista MacTavish. While it was extremely sad to say “goodbye” to such a dynamic person, there was so much beauty and poetry in the readings and music. Tom MacTavish had given an eloquent eulogy and also stated that Krista wanted to have the song “Both Sides Now” played. When it came time to run the Joni Mitchell recording, there was a technical glitch and a few seconds of awkward silence. But one person started singing the song a cappella and ...

    read more…
  • From Your Board President: Hats Off to the Hardworking People

    May 2022

    As I’ve mentioned before, I always have a song in my head. Like dreams, at times it takes a little time and effort to recognize, remember and then interpret why it’s there. Today, it’s Salt of the Earth by The Rolling Stones. I found this surprising as I’m not a big Stones fan. That might be why I initially misremembered the lyrics as “Hat’s off to the hardworking people ” when it’s actually “Let’s drink to the hardworking people ”. “Hat’s off” is probably more appropriate for a church newsletter anyway. As ...

    read more…
  • Return to Building Revised Policy

    April 20, 2022

    The Board reviewed and approved a revised policy from the Return to Building team at their April board meeting. There was extensive discussion of whether or not to make masks optional. The Board decided that masks will still be required during worship services. However, masks will be optional during coffee hour and for small groups. Renters will be allowed to make their own decisions about masks. Singing by the congregation will be allowed, if they are masked, and coffee hour will start on May 8. The approved policy can be viewed ...

    read more…
  • From the Prez and the Trez

    March 30, 2022

    Each quarter, we have put out a column hoping to make the finances of CCUU more transparent and understandable. The goal has been to demystify money issues so that we all know what it takes to run our Church and to support our mission.

    The winter omicron surge meant that we couldn’t do our stewardship efforts in person. We offered a series of video messages and small groups after services with the goal of being done by March 6. While there are a few more pledges that will ...

    read more…
  • From Your Board President: Interim and Settled Minister Searches

    March 30, 2022

    Rev Hilary’s resignation puts us on the path to search for both an interim minister as well as a new settled minister.  The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) has well-developed protocols for each.  We are working with both our regional representative as well as the national UUA transition program.  Both offices have been very helpful and informative.  Here is the roadmap as well as the first steps we have already taken on this journey.

    We will have an interim minister for two years.  While this seems like a long ...

    read more…
  • From Your Board President

    March 2022

    We are well on our way through the annual stewardship campaign coordinated by duRee Bryant. I hope that you’ve taken the opportunity to attend one of the small groups to share your hopes and dreams for Countryside. And I hope that you have dug deep and made a pledge that you feel good about. We are a generous congregation but we are also facing especially challenging times.

    I wrote a song for the campaign which played at the February 13th service. Because it was used as the Offertory music, ...

    read more…
  • From Your Board President

    February 2022

    On Sunday, February 6, we’ll return to offering hybrid services. This comes after 6 weeks of online-only worship due to the predicted holiday surge of COVID coupled with the explosion of Omicron cases in December. If you’re thinking, “Oh, yet another article about COVID, I’ll pass,” you could be forgiven. After nearly two years, we’re all fatigued. But I’d like your indulgence to talk about how the staff and the Board have been dealing with these decisions. For me, it’s been a challenging, revealing and ultimately rewarding process.

    January 2022

    This month’s “Prez and Trez” article (written entirely by the “Trez” part of this team) is a great review of where our funding comes from and how it’s spent. When we have a “Prez and Trez” article, I keep my other comments short.

    I hope that everyone has had a chance to read the article on Chalice House in the current edition of the UU World.  It was great to see the national recognition for all of the hard work done by CCUU to establish ...

    read more…
  • From the Prez and the Trez

    January 2022

    Well, just when we thought it was looking like some sense of normalcy was coming at us. . .

    The church year has certainly been different. For those of us that have returned to in-person services, welcome back. Overall, the response from those back in worship has been very positive. We will continue to offer Zoom services which have also been well received. Given the current state of affairs (that seem to change daily), we’ll keep doing both and hopefully, that’ll work for everyone.