Monthly messages and special updates from your Board of Directors.

Our Budget Meeting on Dec. 8 Will Be Much More Than That — Plan to Be There!

This week we received the disappointing news that our application for a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to make the downstairs more accessible was not awarded. Only about one in three grant applications is successful, so we are not unprepared for this news. If you attended the informational meeting on September 15 you heard a bit about ‘Plan B.’

Mark the December 8th budget meeting on your calendar. The meeting will certainly be interesting since it will include discussion of Plan B, progress on redefining our relationship with Beth Israel, progress on our Planned Giving Campaign, and how all this fits together with our Long Range Financial Planning.

If you have questions or comments on these topics you are welcome to talk to me or any of our Board members.

— Guy Hanchet, on behalf of the Board of Directors

Finding Our Way Home — Accessibility, Our Relationship With Beth Israel, and This Building

An Update from our September 15th Special Meeting

On September 15th the Board called a special meeting to report on and explore the accessibility challenges we have faced since the stairlift failed a year ago.

As background — we are waiting for word on a major Trillium grant application we submitted in June (with Beth Israel) for an elevator and other accessibility improvements. In the meantime, we expected to propose a small renovation of the study (off the foyer, at the top of the stairs), to open it up quickly into a mini-kitchen and casual meeting space, so we can host coffee hour and more small gatherings upstairs.

But the quotes for that work came in higher than we and Beth Israel were comfortable with moving on quickly — so we have put that idea on hold. The September 15th meeting became more of an update presentation, with Q&A and small group discussions.

Our work on accessibility is, of course, deeply entwined with our ongoing explorations with Beth Israel about whether this building will be our “forever home,” under a new co-management arrangement. One of the most important things we want to hear is what values and priorities this community wants to keep constantly in mind as we navigate these choices.

Here’s a video of what was said about that in our closing circle. What would you add?

Expect more updates soon! There is a new home for this work on our website, in the “Sharing Our Space” item under the News menu.

Our Sept. 15 closing circle: What do you most want the Board to remember as we continue this work?

— Ben Wolfe, on behalf of the Board

Past Notes From the Board

Update on the Stairlift

The Board, indeed the whole congregation, continues to be deeply disappointed by the fact that our downstairs hall is not accessible to all. We would like to bring you up to date on progress to correct this issue. As you know we have been trying to limp along with the unreliable stair lift for some time,…

Where is Home?

For the first thirty- odd years of our Unitarian existence in Peterborough, we were wanderers. We met weekly in places and spaces all across town, from school libraries to a former billiards hall. The first and only building we owned and was a decommissioned Salvation Army church on Chamberlain Street. We weren’t there long before…

A Note on Process

Organizationally and culturally, churches can be placed on a continuum somewhere between two extremes. Parish churches, typically less than 100 members, are relationship-based and close, personally. Everyone knows one other. Business gets done word of mouth. While they can be rewarding for the level of personal integration and strong sense of belonging, growth and outreach…

2018 Budget Summary

Over the past two years our congregation has been experimenting with and implementing new ways of engaging in important dialogue. The Community Conversations group has hosted many programs that supported us using an array of group process tools and workshop types. With this behind us, and budget time approaching, this September felt like an appropriate…