Dear Members and Friends,
On Sunday, did you notice the four rectangles attached just below the speakers in the sanctuary? They mark where the monitors/screens are planned to be installed. Rob Laug and his Tech Team have done a remarkable job with updating the recording, audio and video technology in the congregation. (For those not there on Sunday, a photo is below – maybe you don’t even notice the mock up!)
Now comes the next step: addressing the installation of monitors. The Tech Team has created a mock-up of how it will look like if the monitors are installed with the current plan. I welcome hearing from you if you have specific thoughts, and Rob Laug will be available after the service in the sanctuary on October 8 to answer questions and concerns.
Many of you have been asking about the capital campaign construction work—what has been done and what still needs to be done. Last week, I met with Pamela Clemens of Goody Clancy, the architect TUUCW contracted with to address the building needs. She will visit on Sunday, October 22. At 11:30, she will present the specifics of the current plan, complete with design plans for the sanctuary.
I learned from Pam that a lot of work has already been done, including:
- Replacement of the beautiful long skylight in the sanctuary which:
• addressed a major source of leaks
• removed a safety hazard
• decreases the amount of warm or cold air escaping
- Parking lot drainage improvements
- Some interior design renovation, including the removal of hazardous materials
Last spring, the construction work was stopped due to concerns about a contract and the board’s desire to have the congregation see the planned changes for the sanctuary before it commences. There’s still about $600,000 in the capital campaign fund which will be used to:
- replace the ground level windows in the sanctuary
- change out the sliding glass doors
- build in a ramp that leads to a re-designed chancel
- install a newly designed sanctuary floor, likely tile or concrete
- pay for the speakers
Some of you have asked me about the plans to install neutral-gender bathrooms. Goody Clancy investigated this and reports it will cost about $340,000 to make the current bathrooms gender-neutral. The raising of more funds will be required to address this.
According to Goody Clancy, there are other needs that also need to be addressed:
- The repair of the exterior concrete decks—it’s not clear how long they will last. This needs to be investigated
- New electrical service
- The upgrade of the remainder of the heating system
- Repair the “curtain walls” on both floors
- Refinishing the sanctuary ceiling
Another question has been raised: Who among the congregation will be working on this? I am currently seeking individuals to move this work forward as the Capital Campaign Construction Task Force. I’m also recruiting people for a building committee that addresses the regular maintenance of the building. Please be in touch with me if you (or others you know) have project management, building design, or repair expertise—and are interested in helping address TUUCW’s facility needs.
This week I am in Montgomery, Alabama, attending a Transitional Ministry training put on by the Unitarian Universalist Association. I will have the opportunity to visit museums here in this city that is the birth of the Confederacy and the birth of the Civil Rights Movement. Rev. John Morehouse is also in attendance; it is good to connect with him. He expresses his warmest wishes to the congregation and for my transitional ministry with all of you.
I return to Westport on October 13. My upcoming schedule is as follows:
- October 13-18
- October 25-30
- November 8-12
- November 15-19
- November 29-December 4
- December 19-25
I will meet with people in person when I am in Westport, and I will meet with people online when I am in Oak Park. Don’t hesitate to be in touch with me if you would like to meet with me.
For those of you who have read all the way through, I have a poem for you below to reflect on this week.
To do for yourself the best that you have it in you to do—
to grit your teeth and clench your fists
in order to survive the world
at its harshest and worst—
is by that very act,
to be unable to let something be done
for you and in you
that is more wonderful still.
The trouble with stealing yourself
against the harshness of reality
is that the same steel that secures your life
against being destroyed
secures your life also
against being opened up
and transformed by the holy power
that life itself comes from.
You can survive on your own.
You can grow strong on your own.
You can prevail on your own.
But you cannot become human on your own.
— Frederick Buechner