President’s Message: July 2022

“Change is inevitable, growth is optional.”    ~ John Maxwell

During the June Congregational Meeting we spent time highlighting some of the successes that the UUFP had over the last fiscal year. I pointed out that the biggest success was that “we were still standing.” Despite the impact that COVID-19 has had on our membership, Sunday Service attendance and available income, we are still a viable faith community. There are others that were not able to over-come the challenges that the pandemic presented, and their Boards of Directors were forced to vote to shut down and dissolve their communities. So, kudos to all the members and friends of the UUFP community that helped us survive the difficulties of the past few years.

While the congregation was able to vote on a balanced budget, as long as there are no unforeseen circumstances, we should expect to survive another year – which is great news. However, surviving year to year does not ensure long-term survival. Long-term survival can only be insured by growth of our fellowship. We need more people to become part of our community. It’s as simple as that. So how do we go about doing that? At the recent board retreat, specific goals were created, and investment opportunities were identified to help us better deliver on our vision which will impact our ability to grow. The key ones are as follows:

1.   Invest in quality speakers to present thought provoking and spiritually enhancing Sunday Services. If people are using some of their valuable time to attend on Sundays, we need to ensure that they felt that coming to the UUFP was a good use of their time.

2.   Invest in Religious Education, starting with RE for the children. The children are our future and parents today are looking for avenues to help their children navigate this complex world in a caring and compassionate fashion. While Ruby Barnthouse has done an outstanding job as a volunteer leading children’s RE, it would be nice for her to be able to fulfill her own spiritual needs by attending a full Sunday Service with the adults. The board had hoped to have been able to hire a RE teacher for this fiscal year, the budget did not allow it. However, we will be able to hire a nursery attendant.

3.   Increase awareness of UUFP in the surrounding community. There are over 30,000 people who reside in Pottstown and North Coventry Township. I believe that there are many people around us who are seeking what we offer and would love to be a part of UUFP. They just don’t know about us, and we need to change that.

The board, however, cannot do this alone. We need your help. So how can you help with the growth of the UUFP? I’d ask for you to think about and act on the following:

1.   When someone asks you “how was your weekend”, if appropriate, tell them about the interesting sermon/lecture/discussion that you heard at the UUFP on Sunday.

2.   We want to have more of a presence in our local community. If you become aware of local events that are in alignment with our principles and beliefs and where the UUFP might be able to set up a table, please let a member of the board know.

3.   We’d like to hold more events at our fellowship that include the local community. If you have ideas for such events, let a board member know.

I’ll close with the following quote from Lily Tomlin: “The road to success is always under construction.” Please be part of the construction crew that helps the UUFP continue to be a viable faith community.

In gratitude, Linda

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