Newsletter - First Unitarian Universalist Church of Essex County

MAKING THE
CONNECTIONS
F i r s t
U n i t a r i a n
U n i v e r s a l i s t
o f
E s s e x
C h u r c h
C o u n t y
IN THIS ISSUE:
February 2015
Inside this
issue:
Where every mind is free and every soul is welcome!
Spiritually Speaking: Celebrate, Remember, Resolve
February
Sundays
Services
2
Board
Secretary’s
2015 Report
3
Spring 2015
Share-ThePlate Recipient
3
February
Calendar of
Events
4
Happenings @
Montclair
5
February
Interfaith
Calendar
MARK IT DOWN
 Board of Trustees,
Thursday, 12 Feb,
7:30 PM, Sonen
Room
5
By Rev. Gordon Clay Bailey
The involvement of Unitarian
Universalist ministers and laypeople in
the civil rights struggle and, in
particular the march between Selma
and Montgomery, AL in 1965, is often
regarded as a highpoint in Unitarian
Universalist
social
justice
efforts.
During
this time, three
people
were
killed by white
supremacists.
Jimmy
Lee
Jackson, a young
A f r i c a n
American,
was
shot
defending
his family from
the
Al abama
State Police. The
two others, Rev.
James Reeb and
Viola
Liuzzo,
both white Unitarian Universalists, were
in the south for the marches responding
to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s call for
support. Reeb's assassination is
credited by many with drawing national
attention to the struggle for voting
rights and prompting passage of the
1965 Voting Rights Act. President
Lyndon Johnson sent yellow roses to
Reeb's hospital room and Dr. King
preached Reeb's eulogy.
The eulogy by King summed up the
vision of the integrationist arm of the
civil rights movement, "He was a
witness to the truth that men of
different races and classes might live,
eat, and work together as brothers." It
is in this same spirit that I believe all
Americans should celebrate Black History
Month. Throughout this month, I think
that all Americans should pause to reflect,
learn and celebrate our rich and
wonderful tapestry. We should examine
the highlights and the history of the
African
peoples
in America. And
we UU’s ought to
learn about the
personalities,
trials
and
forward progress
we have made in
social and racial
justice within our
own association.
I believe it is
time to celebrate
our
collective
strength as a
nation and as a
r e l i g i o u s
community that values its entire people
and
celebrates
the
enormous
contributions to society all Americans
have made. This month I hope each of us
will look deep into our spirits, hearts and
minds, and find out where we really stand
on the social justice issues that continue
to confront our nation.
It is my hope that out of the services and
discussions, movies and social action
committee meetings that we as a
congregation will have the resolve to step
up stand out and make a difference in the
lives of our brothers and sisters in Essex
County and beyond that need us.
In faith and love,
--Gordon
First
First Unitarian
Unitarian Universalist
Universalist Church
Churchof
ofEssex
EssexCounty
County
February Sunday Services
Page 2
Page 2
Services start at 11 AM
01 Feb
Return to Selma 2015
Rev. Gordon Clay Bailey
Musician - Bill Workinger,
Usher - Gregory Giacobe, Social Hour Host - Mindy Thompson Fullilove
Fifty years after the historic march Selma is back in the national spot light. Join us at
FUUCE as we remember what was; consider what is and dream about what may still come to be.
08 Feb
BELOVED COMMUNITY SUNDAY: FAMILYConnections
Discussion Leader: Mindy
Thompson Fullilove Social Hour Host: Georgiana Hart
Guest speaker Ruth Antoine from FAMILYConnections will speak on her organizations
programs, specifically those aimed at the Haitian community.
FAMILYConnections is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) community-based counseling and family
service agency specialized programs for all ages from infants to seniors. They deliver researchbased therapeutic services in their offices and on-site in preschools, schools, and directly in the
home that reduce child abuse, drug abuse, gang involvement, and crime; increase social and
coping skills, school success, and employability; and heal emotional pain, helping individuals and
families grow strong and independent. FAMILYConnections is a growing family of more than 30
programs delivering professional counseling, skills building, and prevention services to over 4,000
children, adults, and families each year in Essex and surrounding counties. They are licensed by
both the NJ Division of Mental Health Services and the Division of Addiction Services.
15 Feb
A People Without a Vision Perish
Rev. Gordon Clay Bailey
Musician - Bill
Stafford, Usher - Georgiana Hart, Social Hour Host - Gregory Giacobe
Proverbs 29:18 may be one of the most misapplied verses in all the church's rhetoric of
today. Many a congregational leader has used it to imbue their strategies with a "do it this way or
we will fail" consequence. Today, I am going to lay out for you a dream of mine and maybe
yours. We have been down the road of Entrepreneurialism, Vision statements, Mission statements
and more. Now it's time to decide where we as a congregation are going. Will we make it? Or
shall we over time perish, limp along? Or shall we do great things and be the change agents I
think we are called to be? Join us for a serious look at what's possible.
22 Feb
EAST/WEST SUNDAY: Chinese New Year
Discussion Leaders: Wayne Eastman
& Darcy Hall
Social Hour Host - Darcy Hall
Friends, members and families of all ages are invited to join in celebrating Chinese New
Year. We will learn about the life of Confucious, sample delicious Chinese food and participate in
an active and fun creative project.
First
First Unitarian
Unitarian Universalist
Universalist Church
Churchof
ofEssex
EssexCounty
County
Page 3
Board Secretary’s 2015 Report This report is intended to update members and friends on the state of our liberal religious
faith community here in Orange, NJ. As a matter of certification, all UU congregations must
submit statistics on their membership, pledging income and total expenditures to the
Unitarian Universalist Association. Deadline for submitting these figures this year was
Monday, 2 February 2015. They are used to calculate the Annual Giving level for each
congregation to the UUA as well as the UU District of Metropolitan New York in which the
congregation resides. It also certifies that our church can send the allotted number of
delegates to the UUA General Assembly in June. For the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Essex County, the
following figures were reported to the UUA on 29 January 2015:
Current Membership: 31
RE Enrollment: 0
Pledging Units: 24
Pledging Income: $27,400
Average Weekly Attendance: 18
Non-member Friends (if known): 12
Total Expenditures: $90,250
Fiscal Year Starts: 7/1
Compared with the last year’s figures, membership has decreased by 6%. Pledging units have remained unchanged.
Financially, our expenses have decreased substantially, by almost 18% over last year. This was mostly due to a
budgeted expense for a new ramp being delayed to the current year. Pledging income decreased by a little over 3%,
continuing a long-term decline, but slowing from last year. In brighter news, average weekly attendance rose by nearly
40% over last year. Whether this is attributable to our new minister only time will tell.
Over a longer term, membership has decreased by over 40% in the last five years (as well as twenty years), and over
50% in the last decade. The number of pledging units has decreased by a third in the last five years, over 40% in the last
decade, and nearly that over the last twenty years. Our expenditures decreased noticeably (12%) from five years ago,
and by nearly 30% over the decade. In twenty years, they have increased by nearly 60%. Conversely, pledging income
has dropped by over a quarter in five years, and by 55% from a decade ago. We are roughly where we were in pledging
income 20 years ago. Attendance has decreased by 36% in the five years.
Continued on Page 6
Share-The-Plate Winter/Spring 2015 Recipient Chosen
At its 11 January 2015 meeting, First UU’s Social Action Committee chose the next recipient for our "Share-The-Plate"
program. There was one submission for First Friends. First Friends is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that upholds
the inherent humanity and dignity of all immigrants. They provide visitors and non-legal assistance for immigrants held
in detention and work for improved conditions. They also advocate for the end of arbitrary, mass detention believing
detention is morally wrong, legally suspect and wasteful of taxpayer funds. First Friends regularly coordinate volunteer
visitations at immigration detention centers in Kearny, Newark & Elizabeth NJ, providing postage stamps & phone
cards to help detainees remain in contact with family, friends & legal support. The committee endorsed this proposal
and it was confirmed by the Board of Trustees at its 15 January 2015 meeting.
The collection period will run from 1 February through 14 June 2015. Share-The-Plate requires that at least half of the
cumulative unrestricted donations made during the Offertory of any formal Sunday service will be set aside for a
designated charity. Checks made to the church as part of members' pledge fulfillment, or for any other previously
announced appeal (such as Chalice Lighters), will not be included.
The goals of Share-The-Plate is to promote the congregation's stated vision "to be a life affirming liberal religious
community where people of diverse beliefs, ideas and backgrounds come together to provide spiritual and intellectual
growth to one another and to work together in Orange, New Jersey for a greater good in the world", and to fulfill the
congregation's mission "to study and practice religion in freedom and fellowship", and "[t]o provide support and care for
Continued on Page 6
EAST/WEST SUNDAY:
Chinese New Year
11 AM
22
SERVICE: A People
Without a Vision
Perish 11AM
15
BELOVED
COMMUNITY 11 AM
8
SERVICE: Return to
Selma 2015 11AM
1
Sun
23
16
24
17
10
3
2
9
Tue
Mon
25
18
11
4
Wed
26
19
Board of Trustees
Sonen Room
7:30 PM
12
5
Thu
February 2015
27
20
13
6
Fri
28
21
14
7
Sat
First Unitarian Universalist Church of Essex County
Page 4
First
First Unitarian
Unitarian Universalist
Universalist Church
Churchof
ofEssex
EssexCounty
County
Page 5
Happenings @ Montclair





6th Annual Concert for Haiti — 7 February, 7:30 PM (Sanctuary). Come together for an
evening of music, community building, and support for the Haitian people. A diverse line-up of
musicians will perform for the Edeyo Foundation, the Haitian Education and Leadership Program
(HELP) and Lamp for Haiti. Montclair students will be part of the event, learning about how their
efforts can help improve the lives of students in Haiti. This year the celebrated singer, Grammynominated Steve Forbert will be joined by Haitian roots band Zing Experience, Melissa Walker
with Jazz House Kids, the Passing Notes and other local favorites. Tickets are $22. Contact Jerry
Fried at 862-596-3492 or [email protected]
Senior Lunch Bunch — Wednesdays, 11 & 25 February, 12 Noon (Peierls Room). We
generally choose a topic at each meeting for the next meeting, but the conversation usually
wanders over several topics of interest to the group assembled that come up spontaneously (and with plenty of
laughter thrown in). Everyone is welcome! For info, email Gary Sanderson at [email protected]
Solo UU’s — Friday, 13 February, 7 PM (Rotunda). Solo UU's are adults living the single life from our unique
perspective within the UU community. We find many opportunities to connect socially, while we build a support
network with adults currently living solo. Activities include joining together for discussions and dinner, and going to a
movie, concert or play. To find out more, join us on the second Friday each month at UUCM where we meet at 7:00
PM for drinks and appetizers, and then socialize at a restaurant in Montclair. Newcomers are welcome! For info, call
Ed Harris at 973-783-7645.
Men’s Group — Saturday, 14 February, 8:30 AM (Peierls Room). Are you a man? Are you a UU man? Would
you enjoy getting together with other UU men? All UU men are welcome to join a thoughtful, mutually supportive
group. Friendly, fraternal conversations provoke reflection, insight and more than a little uplifting humor. Visit
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/uucammen/ to learn more about our group.
Undoing Racism Committee — Tuesday, 17 February, 7:30 PM (Alliance Room). We are a long-standing
committee of UUCM whose goal is to work with our congregation and the wider community to develop, strengthen
and act upon anti-racist, multicultural perspectives through worship services, educational programs, lectures, book &
film discussions, other cultural events, and community involvement. For more information, contact Betty Doggett at
[email protected] or 973-651-6396.
February 2015 INTERFAITH CALENDAR
1
Triodion begins (Orthodox Christian)
Four Chaplains Sunday (Interfaith)
Candlemas (Christian)
Presentation of Christ in the Temple (Anglican)
2 St Brighid of Kildare (Celtic Christian)
Imbolc /Lughnassad [northern hemisphere/southern hemisphere] (Wicca/Pagan )
(begins at sundown on 1 )
3 Setsubun-sai (Shinto)
4 Tu BiShvat (Jewish)
(begins sundown on 3 )
14 Saint Valentine's Day (Christian)
Nirvana Day (Buddhist/Jain)
15 Transfiguration Sunday (Christian)
Meatfare Sunday (Orthodox Christian)
17 Shrove Tuesday (Christian)
18 Ash Wednesday (Christian)
19
World Religion Day (Baha'i)
Chinese New Year (Confucian/Taoist/Buddhist)
22 Cheesefare Sunday (Orthodox Christian)
23 Clean Monday - Great Lent begins (Orthodox Christian)
26
Intercalary Days (Baha'i)
(begins sundown on 25 thru 1 March)
First
First Unitarian
Unitarian Universalist
Universalist Church
Churchof
ofEssex
EssexCounty
County
Page 6
Board Secretary’s 2015 Report Comparison with selected past years is tabulated below.
FY
Cert
Mbrs
%∆
Pldg
Units
%∆
Total
Expenses
%∆
Pledge
Income
%∆
Avg
Wk
Attd
%∆
2016
31
--
24
--
$90,250
--
27,400
--
18
--
2015
33
-6.06
24
0
$110,000
-17.96
$28,350
-3.35
13
38.46
2011
52
-40.39
36
-33.33
-26.34
-55.08 10.93 28
-35.71
--
$127,300
$56,500
$35,000
$14,000
-29.11 59.74 157.86 544.64 $37,200
66
52
120
189
-41.46 -38.46 -63.08 $102,850
2006
1996
1981
1961
-53.03 -40.39 -74.17 -83.6 ---
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
-----
41
39
65
N/A
-12.25
$61,000
$24,700
N/A
N/A
The updating of our membership roster also insures you will receive your copy of The UU World, the denominational
magazine. You may also subscribe to the magazine’s weekly e-mail update at http://www.uuworld.org/subscriptions/
emailnewsletter.shtml. If you are having a problem receiving your copy of the UU World, please contact me at
[email protected]
2015 Congregational Poll
In addition to the above statistics, the congregational certification process also lets UU congregations give input on the
UUA’s Social Witness process. This year, congregations were asked whether to place the draft Statement of Conscience
(SOC) on Reproductive Justice on the final agenda at this year’s General Assembly. However, because the church’s
attention has been devoted to the issue of changing the focus of our ministry, Social Action at its 11 January 2015
meeting decided to leave the decision to the Board of Trustees. In addition, with declining membership, Social Action also
decided to suspend any future polling of the congregation on proposed Congregational Study/Action Issues (CSAIs). The
decision on whether or not (or abstain) to place these items on the agenda of future General Assemblies will revert back
to the Board and lay leadership. At its January meeting, the Board decided to vote in favor of putting the draft SOC on the
General Assembly’s final agenda.
Share-The-Plate Winter/Spring 2015 Recipient Chosen, Cont.
our [religious] community and the community at large". It will also be seen as a way to enhance the meaning of the
church’s relationships with and among partners in the larger local community, build awareness, learn more about
ourselves and the projects the church gives to, and to develop a philosophy of giving within the church community.
However, the program is not intended to not displace other regular and special funding appeals.
Members can submit potential candidate organizations and programs to the Social Action Committee, either directly, by
mail or through the church web site (http://essexuu.org/share_the_plate.html). The committee will review submissions to
see if they fit with the church’s mission, vision and the program’s goals, before sending their choice to the Board of
Trustees. All charities must be submitted by a church member, be either a 501(c) 3 or 501(c) 4 non-profit organization,
do work that is consistent with Unitarian Universalist principles, supply a name and description of the charitable
organization or project, and supply contact information.
Separate checks for the charity, either given during the Offertory or sent to the church for this purpose, should either be
made out to the charity or to "The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Essex County" with "Share the Plate" in the
"memo" line. To the extent allowed by law, checks written to the church will be acknowledged as a tax deductible
donation. A church check for at least 50% of all unrestricted donations given during Sunday collections, as well as any
received checks to be forwarded, with be sent with an acknowledgement letter no later than ten days after the last
collection for that charity.
For more information, contact Georgiana Hart, Social Action Chair, at 973-902-1701 or [email protected]
Small Wonder:
A Day of Learning and Sharing for
Small Congregations
Saturday February 7, 2015
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Unitarian Universalist Congregation
Stamford, CT
Facilitated by
Rev. Karen Brammer, Former Small Congregation Consultant (UUA)
Mark Bernstein, Congregational Life Staff (CERG)
Pat Infante, Congregational Life Staff (CERG)
Ø Network with leaders from other congregations in your area
Ø Discuss ideas for more effective ways of strengthening and growing your
congregation
Ø Learn about new initiatives at the district and regional level of the UUA
Ø Plan strategies for greater collaboration among congregations
Morning coffee and lunch provided.
Registration is $25 each for the first and second person to register from
the same congregation and free for all others from the same
congregation to register.
Register at https://www.formdesk.com/uuforms/smallwonder.
Questions? Contact Mark at 610-639-3389 or [email protected]
WE VALUE: Community…
Exploration… Fellowship…
Spirituality… Liberal Religious
Education… Diversity… Freedom…
and Action.
We are on the web: essexuu.org
MAKING THE CONNECTIONS
Mailing Address:
PO Box 998.
Orange NJ 07051-0998
Meeting Address:
35 & 47 Cleveland St
Orange NJ 07050-2907
Church Phone: 973-674-0010
Office Email: [email protected]
Minister's Email: [email protected]
Minister: Rev. Gordon Clay
Bailey
President: Georgiana Hart
Vice President: Mindy
Thompson Fullilove
Treasurer: Bill Slezak
Administrator: Greg Giacobe
Sexton: Tony A Jones
First Unitarian Universalist
Church of Essex County
Orange NJ 07051-0998
Making the connections
SPIRITUALITY
ART
JUSTICE
YOUR FAMILY
CULTURE
YOU
OUR MISSION: To study and
practice religion in freedom and
fellowship. To provide support
and care for our community and
the community at large.
Secretary: Greg Giacobe
Web: essexuu.org
PO Box 998.
OUR VISION: To be a lifeaffirming liberal religious
community where people of
diverse beliefs, ideas and
background come together to
provide spiritual and intellectual
growth to one another and to work
together in Orange, New Jersey
for a greater good in the world.
Founded in Orange in 1890 as
the First Unitarian Church of
Essex County, the congregation
has worshipped in the present
Sanctuary since its construction
in 1892-3. The Church continues
the ministry of the Union
Universalist Society (also known
as the Church of the Redeemer),
founded as the First Universalist