About the Capital Campaign

Our beautiful, iconic building, a landmark in Fairfield County, was designed by visionary architect Victor Lundy in the late 1950s. While construction was completed in 1965, it was 20 years later before we replaced the original tar paper covering on the roof with asphalt shingles. In 1999 "Campaign 50" not only transformed the former parsonage into our current Meeting House, but also renovated the kitchen and bathrooms in the main building. Over the years, however, other repairs and improvements to our nearly 70-year-old spiritual home were postponed.

In 2015 the Board commissioned a study to assess the current condition of the buildings and the grounds. Member John Turmelle, an architect and professional construction estimator, provided a detailed 50-page report revealing major issues requiring urgent attention.

During the summer of 2018, a visioning exercise encouraged members to imagine the possibilities for our congregation's future, and a new strategic plan was developed.  The Capital Campaign team was organized in January, 2019, to facilitate the process. Small group and Town Hall meetings offered numerous opportunities for the congregation to talk about the work to be done, to ask questions, and to express concerns. In May the congregation voted to explore the possibility of a major Capital Campaign.

A feasibility study gauged the congregation's expected financial support, and the Endowment Committee offered to match $500,000 of pledges. The Capital Campaign Committee, the Facilities Team, and the Board, after careful review, engaged Goody Clancy, an architectural firm in Boston, to share their vision of the work needed to preserve our beloved building.

As summer turned to fall, congregants joined together to celebrate our connections with each other. We ate together at a Lobster Bake dinner; we laughed together during a comedy night fundraiser; and we sang along with performers at a Fall Follies musical event in the sanctuary. Members were asked to pledge funds to the campaign, and the ambitious goal of the 3-year campaign--$2 million—was surpassed. Finally, on Nov. 14, 2019, the congregation voted unanimously to approve spending the pledged Capital Campaign funds for building and grounds improvements. With great expectations and enthusiasm, we moved forward with the 2019-2022 Capital Campaign—"Honor Our Past, Renew Our Home, and Imagine Our Future."

Little did we suspect the impending rise of the Covid-19 virus nor its effect on our renovation plans.  Over the next several months, we solved flooding issues on the east lawn by installing a new drainage system; we improved and upgraded the parking lot, and we installed a new concrete sidewalk in front of the church. The major indoor renovation plans in the sanctuary, i.e. replacing the leaking skylight and the glass walls surrounding the chancel, finally began in late October, 2021.

We wholeheartedly thank John Turmelle for his dedication and commitment to overseeing this vital project. Since October he has been on site every day; he also provides regular updates and photos as the work progresses.

Please explore this site for continued information regarding remaining renovations and upgrades.

To those of you who may not have contributed to the original Campaign or who may be new members or friends of TUCW, we welcome your donations in any amount.  Gifts have ranged from $25 to many thousands. Please call the church office at 203-227-7205 and speak with Sue O'Meara, our accountant.

If you prefer, donations may be made via US mail by sending a check made out to the church with 2019 Capital Campaign in the memo line. Please send to the attention of Sue O'Meara.

 

Feel free to reach out to anyone on the Capital Campaign Committee with questions or concerns: cc@uuwestport.org

Kristen Leddy and Carol Seiple, Co-Chairs
Catherine Onyemelukwe
Mary Jane Cross
Anita Pfluger
Rev. Dr. John Morehouse, Senior Minister
John Turmelle, Facilities Manager