The monthly Worship Theme service we use here at UUCE has the theme of POWER for February. For comparison, the UUA reports that the monthly theme from Soul Matters, Touchstones, All Souls (Tulsa), and Faith Rocket/Church of the Larger Fellowship) are: Belovéd Community, Mercy, Love, and Risk, respectively. I am glad to be reminded of this, because sometimes I cannot fold in a Theme, and am grateful for alternatives. Not that I rely on any of them for subject matter, nor do I feel obligated to employ them in any Service, let alone try to work it in for every Service, as some ministers do, I am told. I suppose there are some Thematic Preaching enthusiasts out there.
Just for fun, though, I will now employ ‘Power’ in today’s Message, and who knows – if the Capitol is overpowered a 2nd time, I might refer to it again.
Committee meetings that attendees describe as powerful are pretty rare, but that’s how several people described last Saturday’s Council of Chairs get-together. For 90 minutes this well-attended meeting gave and received information and ideas and encouragement. At my request we led off with a long list of the jobs Mila Brinker has been doing as interim Administrator. Since there is quite a lot fewer “customer service” tasks during our COVID closure, she has been steadily problem-solving our facility issues, and tuning up our Administrative machinery, getting ready for reopening. Her list:
Here are some of the things that have been keeping me busy these last 6 months as interim admin while working with the Building Committee Joe Masonic and Mike Moutrie, the Executive Team and Rev. Leland.
- Cleaned out and organized the admin office, and 4 years of back filing has been caught up with the help of 9 volunteer hours by Beth Cooper-Zobott.
- Found an awesome Handyman.
- Thank you Steve for the recommendation
- The leaking sink in the 2nd floor bathroom has been repaired and the rotted tile has been replaced.
- The building front exterior split boards have been replaced, holes in the siding plugged, and siding has been stained.
- It looks awesome.
- The weeds in the parking lot cracks have been burned to avoid tripping hazards and make plowing easier.
- The Exterior lights have been repaired and Mike Moutrie created special screens to direct light down to avoid light pollution.
- The Streetlight was repaired; it had fallen. It is now more securely strapped to the pole.
- All furnaces have had their annual inspection; it had been 4 years since their last service. New supply of filters purchased.
- Thank you Michelle Sweeney, for changing the furnace filters regularly.
- The Sprinkler system was inspected – which failed. Mike Moutrie replaced the sprinkler pump, Mike saved the church about $750 by doing the research and replaced.
- Thank you Mike! The system has passed reinspection. Hurray!
- The childcare room and adjacent bathroom walls have been repaired and painted. The carpeting will soon be replaced with washable flooring. This will help us to maintain cleanliness.
- The Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall projector outlets are scheduled to be installed.
- I am in te process of organizing and thinning out the childcare toys and preparing for reopening the help of Kathy Hislip and Ann Kremer. We are working on updating the processes to ensure our children have the safest childcare environment possible.
- I have been working on replacing worn out signage throughout the building.
- Our cleaning person Melissa will be deep cleaning our kitchen soon which will include all interior drawers and cabinets cleaned along with the refrigerator and the exterior of the cabinets. I made new signs for the cabinets and drawers.
- Tom Lesiewicz has taken on the important job of mouse control. He is setting and emptying traps, bless his heart. Only 4 caught so far that I know of.
- I have the elevator hydraulics inspection and the fire alarm board inspection scheduled for Friday, February 26th.
- Hopefully, we will be caught up on all our inspections and going forward we will keep updated on them.
- I have been working with Erica Lavine and Beth Cooper Zobott on a re-opening plan. They are both deeply knowledgeable in safety. Our next meeting is scheduled for Saturday, February 20th. We are taking into consideration the excellent UUA Guidance on Gathering in Person when COVID-19 subsides, as well as the Kane County regulations. This includes keeping in mind our UU values, care, and concern for our most vulnerable, accessibility and inclusion for all members, friends, staff, and of course the children in our community.
Then we heard from all the Committee and Team Chairs present. The report on the meeting will be published as soon as it is completed. In terms of new Activities, one piece of good news is that Diana Heizer’s work to reconstitute a pagan group is bearing fruit. I believe 13 or more of us have expressed interest, and at least two inactive congregants are reactivating because of this.
I closed the Council meeting with sympathetic and appreciative words for our handling of our situation: we are weighed down by COVID – especially parents of school-age children – but it seems to me we are not particularly depressed by it. Tired, yes, but that is to be expected. We are bearing up, and soldiering on, and I congratulate you for that. As everyone says, we will get through this together. Stay safe, everyone, the end is coming into view.
Rev. Leland Bond-Upson