2018-2019 Team Reports
The following reports were submitted to the Board as a part of the preparation for the annual congregational meeting and the vote on the budget. If you have questions about the contents, please contact the person who submitted the report.
Social Justice in Action Team
- The SJAT submitted a resolution to the congregation on May 20, 2018 requesting a “No Vote” on IP 22 (later Measure 105). The congregational resolution passed, a banner designed and placed on UUCS grounds, yard signs were distributed, and due to much effort from many determined advocacy groups, Oregon remains a Sanctuary State.
- The SJAT participated in vigils and prayer services at the Federal Penitentiary in Sheridan to help gain the release of 124 asylum seekers. Reverend Rick participated with the Immigrant Movement for Immigrant Justice (IMIrJ) faith group and demonstrated his courage and moral convictions that led to his arrest for civil disobedience. Eventually all asylum seekers were released. The SJAT helped find homes for 2 asylum seekers as they await their hearings. The love and compassion of Reverend Rick, Margrethe and Greg, Lisa and Brenda are an inspiration to the team.
- Team members worked with Unitarian Universalist Oregon Voices for Justice (OUUVfJ) to collect signatures of registered voters who opposed Ballot Measure105. OUUVfJ placed a statement in the Voter’s Pamphlet stating their opposition to Measure 105.
- Team members participated in phone banks and canvassing to raise awareness of the injustice and harm to the immigrant communities if Measure 105 passed.
- The team sponsored Nelson Mandela Day in July 2018, the Making Music, Planting Peace concert in August 2018 and the documentary, “Making Waves: The Rebirth of the Golden Rule” in January 2019.
- Team members attended and participated in the annual OUUVfJ meeting in Willamette Falls.
- The SJAT library opened in January, thanks to Lana and Andy Driscoll and the generous funding for books from John Gear.
- The SJAT is the liaison for PFLAG monthly meetings which began in February at UUCS.
- The team supports the Health Care for All Oregon (HCAO) group and its efforts.
- The team will be advocating for the Equal Access to Roads Act ( HB 2015).
The SJAT thanks the congregation for all of their support and the Worship Team for the addition of the lantern ritual in the Sunday service. The SJAT is grateful to Lorna Youngs for her generous donation to the SJAT fund, and to John Gear, and Lana and Andy Driscoll for their funding of the “Vote No on Ballot Measure 105” yard signs.
-Submitted by Cecelia Craig and Patrice Pollard
Religious Exploration Team
Our role as a team is to support the Religious Exploration programming. (RE Team is different than the RE program) Our meetings are spent discussing the needs of the program and helping DRE make decisions about upcoming RE events, volunteer needs, program supplies/curriculum needs, summer programming, classroom support, DRE support.
This program year, the majority of our RE team’s support time was spent working through the transition and ability of the RE program to adapt to the expansion of the preschool’s room use being all RE classroom space, including the commons area (with the exception of the Green Room). RE team is discussing and finding ways to adapt to the preschool now leaving the RE areas set up for school during the week. We are still in conversation about where our things will go when fall arrives, when the additional use of our main room is used by the preschool and left continuously set-up.
Our RE Team is working towards engaging the congregation in recognizing that the programming is family ministry and when appreciated as such, it enhances the entire family’s experience within our congregation. This will be a continued goal.
The RE Team supported the following RE Program activities for the 2018-19 program year:
- Three family dinners, each attended by 60 plus multiple ages of participants.
- Meals on Wheels RE Offering
- Stipend position for a Youth Coordinator
- Changing our programming to accommodate one service instead of two.
- Canned Food drive for Easter Egg Hunt
- December Mitten Drive – which netted over 100 warm items to donate to Family Building Blocks and help our Good Samaritan project.
- Moving of most RE supplies to the outdoor shed so preschool could use the cupboard space inside.
- Youth Fall and Spring Youth conferences.
- Supporting the Women’s Retreat
- Opal Creek Trip for Middle School
- Monthly Yoga for All Ages
– Submitted by Christi Olsen
During the 2018-2019 Year the Worship Team has Accomplished:
- Working with the minister in creating and delivering 52 Worship Services, in addition to special services such as Christmas Eve and supporting Winter Solstice Service.
- Collaborating as appropriate with other teams to facilitate Worship Services.
- Maintained supplies for the Worship Services including the use of candles.
- Wrote mission statement, policies and procedures statements.
- Created and implemented an application process for team membership.
- Developed a WT manual for new members including an informational sheet for guest ministers/speakers.
- Recruited, trained and mentored 3 new team members.
- Worked with Social Justice Action Team to implement the lighting of the Social Justice Action candle in the Worship Service.
- Listened to and implemented UUCS member idea of a Friendship Minute during service to promote connections.
- Coming up with a set group of people to assist with the drumming during the Ritual of Compassion and Gratitude.
- Assisted in the ACAD through delivering the presentation that demonstrated ways the congregation is building beloved community and helping a hurting world.
- Constantly reviewing and adapting when applicable the Worship Service format to meet the needs of the congregation.
- Initiated first phase of the Sanctuary Layout improvement plan.
- Continuing to develop second phase of Sanctuary Layout plan through discussion of fund raising ideas.
– Submitted by Lennie Martin
- Create monthly newsletter “The Chalice and the Flame”
- Create weekly mailing “This Week at UUCS”
- Administer a Facebook page,
- Keep up on the UUCS website, uusalem.org, including changes to pages, fixing links, and Hot Topics articles
- Publicize UUCS services and concerts, and special events in the last year;
- In the last half of the 2017-18 (Feb-June 2018) church year we publicized The Civil Disobedients, Easter, and a WOU
- Benefit concert for Japanese Garden at Oregon State Penitentiary
- Rick’s detention by ICE at their headquarters.
- December holiday services
- Shariff Abdullah’s workshop
- WOU Early Music Ensemble- two concerts
- Roy Zimmerman concert
- More to come! Easter, and an opera.
- Maintain and monitor the UUCS list, a Yahoo email group
- Update team leader list.
- Converted our website-based online forms to the Breeze program (office data base).
- Converted the Directory to a Breeze based program, allowing each user to update their own personal information.
- Simplified sign-ups and reservations for UUCS events by creating “buttons” within articles in Newsletters, “This Week”, Facebook, and the website that link to online forms.
- Trained a new editor to produce The Chalice and The Flame monthly newsletter.
- Began publishing a short article on UUA Social Justice each month from a volunteer.
- Began publishing reflections by congregants on the Soul Matters topics for the month
- Major revisions to these pages on the website: annual meeting pages for each year, a page for listing policies,
- Kept a consistent presence on Facebook for congregation and Social Justice activities.
- Outside sign committee work for Communications is complete.
- Collected data via a survey of current members during the Annual Congregation Appreciation dinner in February, with the goals of discovering our strengths as a congregation, and discerning virtual and online locations where we could best attract like-minded people. Shared the results with the office and the membership team.
– Submitted by Vicki Cunningham
The membership team aligns with the vision and mission of UUCS by serving its members, potential members and all who visit with us. We have a great team consisting of co-chairs Brenna Norval and Anna Tally. Members of the team are Cecilia Craig, Samantha Scales, Lynn Cardiff, Michael Pollard and Juli Patton. Our board liaison who has been a great help to the team in creating procedures and policies is Benjahmin Boschee.
- Our hosts warmly greet and welcome all who attend Sunday services to ensure that everyone will have an enjoyable and spiritual experience.
- The coffee service, which we coordinate through the Fellowship Team and that takes place in the fellowship hall after each service further enhances this experience by providing the opportunity to make new friends and connections and strengthen established relationships.
- During fellowship two of the hosts are available at the Welcome Table where anyone may sit and visit. Information about our congregation and Unitarian Universalists is also available for newcomers including a newcomers packet.
- The Fellowship Team also helped with the summer dinners organized by RE and provided fellowship space by organizing the St. Patrick’s Day dinner.
- Circle Suppers continue to be offered. There will be two this year.
- The membership team continues to coordinate and develop the membership classes (Building Sacred Ground and Journey to Belonging), which provide all with the opportunity for engagement and building new connections and personal growth.
- Membership Team maintains the membership directory. The Breeze database is now being used to maintain membership and visitor lists. Members of the congregation can now view other member information by using the database.
- Membership also provides name badges for all who request them and for the hosts.
- Membership is working on the strategic plan outcomes by creating policies and procedures.
, – Submitted by Brenna Norval and Anna Tally
The Landscape Team works to plan and prepare the property, so it is easy to maintain, keep attractive, and reflect gardening practices consistent with the UU principles. Our goal is to provide a welcoming, relaxing, beautiful, and harmonious landscape for all to enjoy. We officially formed in November and our six members meet monthly at UUCS. Our first workparty happened on March 9th. We appreciated all of the volunteers who came to help maintain our acres of land. We hope to schedule more of them, so through our shared efforts, we can build a sense of community
and make it easier to keep the weeds away!
Some of the work that was completed during last year:
- Clean up of Bateman Woods
- Planting of 225 Northwest Native Plants
- Covering of trails with wood chips
- Repair of the irrigation system around the building.
- Shredder repair
- Removal of tree stumps around the building
- Removal of unwanted items behind the sheds
- Weeding, pruning, and spreading of wood chips
- Pressure washing of all the sidewalks and the patio area
- Raking of leaves
We are excited to continue our work in the coming year. Our goal is for all UUCS Congregants and visitors to enjoy our beautiful piece of property.
– Submitted by Carolyn Cory and Iris Sea
Art Works Team
The Art Works Team was first organized on May 4, 2018 and has held a business meeting on the second Friday of each month since. Operating without a budget in our first year, our first order of business was threefold:
- to develop a statement of purpose,
- to obtain recognition as an established entity within the church organizational structure and
- to gain an understanding of the policies and procedures under which our team would function within that structure.
We decided at the outset that the main functions of our group were twofold: first, an art ministry and second, a curatorial responsibility.
Starting in June, we began holding two meetings each month. A business meeting has been regularly scheduled on the second Friday of each month. To encourage participation in the visual arts, a studio art session is regularly scheduled on the fourth Friday of the month. All interested congregants are welcome to attend.
For most of the year, our business meetings have been devoted to planning our first annual art show, an event open to all congregants, designed to celebrate and encourage creativity and participation in all the arts as a vital part of our ministry. This involved developing a timeline of dozens of specific tasks to make sure everything would be completed on time. In we also developed and presented our first budget narrative and request for funding at the appropriate time.
The first annual Celebrating Creativity art exhibit opened on March 24 with 28 entries, and has already generated over $300 in sales, 40% of which will go into the Art Works fund, and 60% to the artists. After expenses of the exhibition are covered, the balance of the Art Works funds will go to costs of curating and maintaining the church’s permanent collection of artwork, and purchasing an improved hanging system for displaying the collection throughout the church.
In addition to fostering a visual arts ministry, our second objective has been to take care of the church’s permanent art collection. To this end, a number of tasks were identified:
- Photographing all the artwork in the collection;
- Ascertaining the provenance and value of the pieces;
- Working with the church’s insurance agent on assessing the value of the collection for insurance purposes;
- Developing a complete and consistent format for maintaining records of the collection;
- Arranging for some of the artwork work to be removed, cleaned and stored during the art show;
- Initiating plans for improved display and maintenance of the permanent collection;
- Establishing policies for acquisition and deacquisition of art work;
- Determining how the work should best displayed, for its own protection and for the enjoyment andedification of the congregation.
Although most of our efforts have gone into planning the show, some progress has been made on the
curatorial tasks. We hope that revenues from the art show will enable us to make further progress in
the year to come. In addition, we are revising our statement of purpose to align with the template set
by the Team Council, and expect to complete and submit that by the deadline.
– Submitted by Ann Moore
Compassionate Mind Sangha
This year we:
- Continued to offer weekly, Wednesday “On the Way Home” meditations 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. with 6-20 people attending.
- Initiated offering a “Social Time” for meditators from 6:30 to 7:00 p.m. to visit with each other and ask for/receive training in the various jobs that help run the evening program.
- Continued present our “Evening Program” from 7:00-9:00 p.m. on Wednesdays (including chanting, 2 seated meditations & 1 walking, formal tea ceremony, a Dharma talk, a group “chime in” and the opportunity to study individually with a teacher). Attendance varied from 17-31.
- Offered beginning instruction in Zen meditation to 82 new attendees on Wednesday evenings and invited them to attend UUCS programs as well.
- Supported 5 lay ministry visits to offer beginning meditation instruction to incarcerated practitioners. Visits included the Santiam Correctional Facility in Salem, the Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facility in the Dalles and Benton County Jail in Corvallis.
- Hosted a Sangha dinner to celebrate our wonderful year of practice together & our teacher’s receiving transmission (movement from Sensei, young teacher to Roshi, elder teacher).
- Provided volunteers to staff the Christmas Eve and Easter coffee/tea services. This included donating all food items, setting up the hall, making coffee/tea service, washing dishes and resetting the hall.
- Provided volunteers for set-up and refreshments at the UUCS all congregation dinner.
- Provided volunteers for the grounds clean-up work parties.
- Created a hand sewn banner for the Celebration Sunday Luncheon.
- Worked with the UUCS board to address restoring and re-affixing the Buddha head statue which vandals knocked over during the fall.
– Submitted by Lee Ann Nail
Habitat and Hope Village
Habitat and Hope Village (HHV) originally proposed a 20-unit cabin village to house 20 homeless villagers. After conferring with the Marion County Public Works and Planning Departments our design was adjusted down to a single-family dwelling for up to five unrelated persons in the Acreage Residential Zone. This would be transitional housing to move people from homelessness by providing housing while they address those barriers that may have prohibited their access to traditional housing. This will be an all women facility.
Estimated Cost of Project:
The cost analysis currently for this building project is approximately $172,000. We will have an updated cost analysis prepared for your May meeting in two weeks. This square foot price is based on bonded and licensed contractors doing the structure framing, electric, plumbing, insulation and drywall. We would use volunteer labor for finish work such as installation of cabinets, painting wall surfaces, flooring, installation of appliances and lighting fixtures. The property will be secured by a fence and will be a gated community.
Currently no outlay of cash has been required to obtain the information we have needed. But we are now at a point where in order to move forward there will be an outlay of cash required. An assessment and permit approval from the county must be done to determine if a viable sewer septic system is possible for the property. The cost for an assessment will be $625 and the permit will range from $750 to $1200 depending on system requirements. We continue to investigate the water table levels for the north parking lot to gain an idea of what to expect for well depth and associated costs.
Financing and Fund Raising:
Since this project is intended as a community service for homeless people, we plan on approaching Marion County Commissioners to ask if some of the fees can be waved in the building process, to ask Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency to help in grant writing and ARCHES for case management. We will evaluate attaching Section 8 Vouchers directly to the property. This means the Voucher stays with the property not with the person. This would help to subsidize the utilities. (Note: the property is in Marion County and so City of Salem funding is not available to us.)
Since this is a community service project for the homeless, HHV would reach out to private sources outside the church community to raise funds for the project. The UUCS church would fundraise from within its church membership to fund the project. Together we will make this happen.
Where building is a one-time major expense, ongoing facility operation and maintenance is a yearly expense. ARCHES will create a list of clients within the given VI-SPADAT range (1-6) and then HHV will screen clients for a 30-day trial period. HHV along with ARCHES will develop custom programs around the needs of the individual to reduce the barriers to moving into traditional housing. UUCS and HHV will need to develop ongoing funding and volunteer resources to make this program work.
HHV asks the UUCS Congregation and the UUCS Board of Directors for approval to proceed with the investigation into this homeless project with the UUCS’s intent of building a five person residential/transitional community on the north parking lot.
– Submitted by Patty Davenport, HHV, President — Website: Habitatandhopevillage.org
Salem Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans
Salem Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans continues to hold regular business meetings and host celebrations around the Wheel of the Year, which are rituals to celebrate the natural cycles and change of seasons. We had several craft nights including a sewing night and making Bridget’s crosses.
This year we continued to participate at Maclaren Youth Correctional facility providing volunteer chaplain services to Wiccan and Pagan youths housed at the facility. Once a month a volunteer from our group travels to the facility and provides religious education classes and leads worship services. With the addition of a new member CUUPs is also visiting several other correctional facilities.
We will be renewing our membership, with UUCS Board of Directors support, in the national Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans of which we are a local chapter. Attendance at our rituals has continued to increase. Our two largest events being the Samhain and Winter Solstice rituals. At our annual Winter Solstice ritual, we had approximately 90 people in attendance.
This year at the CUUP’s annual meeting we will be reflecting on CUUPS and engaging in a visioning process that is intended to provide us with direction for the coming year and beyond. We will continue to be a voice and presence for pagans in the greater Salem community and stewards of our Mother Earth. We will host rituals and educational opportunities for pagans and patrons in our various gatherings.
– Submitted by Benjahmin Boschee
UUCS Microfinance Project
The UUCS Microfinance Project is based on the Unitarian Universalist principles that “we covenant to affirm and promote … justice, equity and compassion in human relations” and having a “world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.”
The basic idea: Make small loans to people living on the edge, so they can increase their earning power, escape poverty, and make a better living for their families. Often, poor people are not able to borrow money to buy small equipment items or materials necessary for their businesses. Banks are few in rural areas. The UUCS microfinance project is trying to help people that banks cannot or will not help. Through UUCS donations, we establish permanent revolving loan funds administered by credible non-for-profit organizations so our funds continue to benefit poor families for many years as loans are repaid and then loaned again.
Thanks to the generosity of our UUCS congregation, we raised $7,083 in October 2018 from Share the Plate, a $400 contribution from the Religious Education children, direct contributions, and sales of Thembanathi jewelry.
In addition, we were very pleased to learn that Saoban, our Lao Partner, reported to us that the women who borrowed loans are now so successful that financial institutions are lending directly to them. Their families have prospered with higher incomes resulting in significantly improved housing, improved status for women, and more children attending school. As a result, our Lao partner organization, Saoban, recently returned $7,895 so we can use the money to lend to poor families in other countries.
Ron Hockley with the NEO Fund spoke to our congregation at the October 7, 2018 service on the Nicaraguans that received micro-loans from the funds we have raised. He highlighted the various businesses that people have started and the profound difference it has made in their lives by earning a sustainable income. Check out the NEO Fund’s website to learn more about how they have helped individuals: www.theNEOfund.org
We decided in October 2018 to send $4,000 to The NEO Fund for microlending to the poor living near the dumps in Nicaragua. We also decided to fund $1,500 for a NEO Fund women’s cooperative in India. We are considering other projects that we will fund in 2019 with our remaining balance and the amount we recently received from Laos.
We have decided temporarily to hold our plans for visiting Nicaragua due to the political turmoil. We hope that we will be able to travel to Nicaragua sometime in the future.
We welcome new members. If you’re interested in joining us, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Submitted by Ann Hanus
Women’s Alliance (WA) meets monthly from Sept through May with the exception of January.
The May meeting is the annual dinner. Attendance is usually between 15 and 20. Anyone
connected to UUCS may attend the meetings. All proceeds earned by WA go back into
projects at UUCS.
Each meeting except September, December and May begins with a program of information about a local
nonprofit or presentation by a member of the group. This year our programs included
- the redesign of our sanctuary,
- Kaleidoscope School,
- a school psychologist from Salem Keizer Public Schools,
- a United Way program ALICE that does homeless research and
- the MasterGardeners. WA gives a donation to each of the nonprofit programs.
WA took care of the receptions at several memorials and an 80th birthday party. There have
been 8 memorials since July 2018 with one more occurring on May 4th. Each memorial takes
about 4-5 hours.
Among the other activities WA conducted are the following:
- Children’s Xmas ornament in November
- WA Bazaar in December
- Decorating the sanctuary and fellowship hall for the holidays in December
- Help with set-up for the congregational dinner in February
- Artist’s reception after the art show in March
- Providing liaisons for the Peace Mosaic concert
- Fountain purchased and installed in memory of Barbara Hanneman
- Coffee service on Sunday
- As this year ends, we are planning for our annual dinner and looking into a couple needed
projects at UUCS.
– Submitted by Lynn Cardiff and Sharon Dearman