Overall Goal for 2016-2017

The primary focus for 2016-2017 is to develop a plan to expand the building and parking, and to conduct a successful capital campaign to raise the funds to accomplish that.  The overall theme for 2016-2017 is “Expanding Our Vision Here and Beyond.”

A 2015 Message from Jane Mayer, then President

As I stated at our congregational meeting last May, I sincerely hope that this is the year we finally make a decision to move forward with expanding our facilities and parking lot. We have been identifying our expansion needs since at least 2007 and had several Building Expansion Committees identify and prioritize our needs in 2007 and 2009.  In 2014, the Committee on Shared Ministry (COSM) again examined the facility limitations and reported on the most pressing issues. In 2015, the Board of Trustees responded to the report from the COSM and created a Facilities Planning Committee. This committee was charged with using all of the previously gathered information to determine different options we might consider with the pros and cons of each option. The Board came to a consensus of facility priorities as well as making a strong recommendation to expand our building and parking lot at the same time. Summary reports of these surveys and studies are available here, on the Facility Research & Resources website page.

We have all identified how our facilities limit our growth, limit our work toward our mission and vision and limit the number of activities we can schedule on any given day. These opinions have been voiced by you, the congregation – and the Board of Trustees has heard your voice. It is now time to move into an EXPLORATORY PHASE of our building expansion plan. What that means is we have to decide to hire a UUA consultant to do a feasibility study and to hire an architect to work on possible building plans. Notice the word “Exploratory”. This is the time we look at the big picture; gather as much information as we can so we can make the most informed decision for this congregation. The Board has looked at a time line so if we decide to do a capital campaign it will begin during the most optimal time in our program year.

Specific goals for this program year:

Fall 2015:  Decide as a congregation to move forward into an exploratory Phase of building expansion.

In order to make this decision, the Board of Trustees and Committee on Shared Ministry will be holding a wide variety of activities to promote open, honest discussions about our building, capital campaigns and how to best cope with the possibility of people feeling anxious about this process. The first is a Town Hall meeting on Sept. 20th at 10:10-10:45 in the Fellowship Hall.  It is absolutely imperative that individuals take part in as many conversations as possible. There is no other way for us to make an informed group decision. We need to hear your voice!

Dec. 2015 – Jan. 2016: Hire an outside consultant, possibly from the UUA, to conduct a feasibility study. This study will tell us if we can be successful with a capital campaign to meet our facilities goals. This consultant will gather information, talk with members and will be able to be an extremely important resource for us.

Hire an architect – we need to have a ball park figure of what it will take financially to meet our facilities goals. At this time we might be considering more than one building plan.

Spring 2016: Complete feasibility study. Determine if we can complete a capital campaign.

The Board understands that these are lofty goals – but we are ready! Our need is great, our mortgage is almost paid off, interest rates are still low and our building is being used more now than ever before. In order to continue to be the beacon of liberal religion in NE Georgia, we have to have the space to do the work. We are a healthy, generous and forward looking congregation. Let’s continue to work together to make our dreams a reality.

Fellowship Goals for 2014-2015

The Board of Trustees and the Ministry Council used the following guidelines in selecting goals for the 2014-2015 Fiscal/Ministry Year:

Four Areas of Growth for Thriving Congregations

  1. Maturational:  ministering to the whole community, increased understanding of our faith tradition and our personal beliefs

  2. Numerical: making room for newcomers to integrate into the community

  3. Organizational: matching organizational structure and means that best meets current size and complexity, mission, and vision

  4. Incarnational:  ‘walking the talk’ in the public sphere through justice work, outreach, and publicity.

In service to our mission and vision, the Board of Trustees and Ministry Council have highlighted five broad areas to help us reach out and brighten our beacon.

They are improving facilities, increasing internal and external communication, increasing our financial base, integrating participants into the life of the Fellowship, and reaching out to the larger community.

Our specific goals for 2014-2015 are the following:

1 and 2: Plan how our facilities can better meet our current and future needs.

1 and 3: Improve internal and external communication, personal and communal.

  • Two-way
  • Personal
  • Not just traditional methods
  • Congregational

1, 2 and 3: Broaden financial base to achieve objectives.

1, 2, 3 and 4: Welcome and integrate all who come through our doors:

a. Expand the Stepping Stones program in order to better integrate all who                                  come through our doors

b. Increase programmatic coordination

1 and 4.   Continue building relationships among diverse communities.