The United Parish of Auburndale will conduct a Feasibility Study to look at potential for a Capital Campaign
As many of you know, we’ve been looking at the possibility of making some major renovations and updates UPA. Some of them are already underway this summer, including pew refurbishment and new flooring in the Sanctuary. But the list does not end there.
Here are some other major improvements that are under consideration
- Sanctuary: Chancel & altar renovations, audio/visual improvements, and improved lighting.
- Parish Hall: Bathroom renovations, window replacements, carpeting, video message boards, air conditioning, elevator replacement.
- Fireside Room: Window replacements, gas fire place installation, painting, new furniture & flooring.
- Exterior: Steeple clock & chime repair, painting of entire exterior, new major signage & lighting.
On June 14th Parish Council voted to move forward with conducting a Feasibility Study to determine whether we have enough interest and financial commitment to move ahead with these capital projects; and if yes, which projects we want to pursue. We will continue to keep you informed about what’s happening with this effort, and when and how YOUR input will be needed.
What is a Feasibility Study?
A Feasibility Study gives a congregation a deeper understanding of how their church community sees themselves, what members/attendees value most about their church experience, and how they view the proposed capital building and/or renovation projects currently under consideration. Besides measuring the likely levels of financial commitment, a Feasibility Study identifies support for the church and the proposed church capital campaign. The Feasibility Study will ask and answer the relevant questions to determine the most feasible options that, within the actual financial ability of the church, best meet the needs of the ministry of the congregation and the community at this time.
Who runs it?
We have engaged Peter Heinrichs and Susan Lewis of Full Harvest Fundraising (www.fullharvestfundraising.com) to advise us on this process and conduct the study. They have worked with many UCC churches throughout the northeast, conducting feasibility studies and advising on capital campaigns, annual stewardship campaigns and other church initiatives. They will provide a summarized report to the Parish Council and the congregation based on these interviews. This report will tell us if our church is ready to support a campaign and what our financial goal should be.
We are in the process of forming a Feasibility Team to work with Peter and Susan on the planning, communication and logistics in connection with this study. Currently, team members include Rich Franz, Natascha George, Lyman Jackson, Doug Robinson-Johnson, David Stuart, and Lydia Yu. We are looking for additional members. If you are interested, please contact Lyman Jackson at LHJackson@Yahoo.com or 617-653-3303.
When is it?
Interviews with Peter and Susan will take place this fall on November 4, 5 & 6th after we have had adequate time to prepare and share more information about the proposed projects with the congregation.
Who participates in the Study?
Our consultants will be interviewing 35 UPA supporters (individuals and couples), along with up to five community leaders who have interaction with our church. The church members are chosen based on a variety of criteria that allow us to obtain good cross section representation of our congregation. These participants will be sent a letter in mid-October and then contacted to schedule a time to meet with Peter or Susan at the church. While we would love to interview everyone, it is not financially possible to do so, nor is it necessary in order to obtain the needed feedback required to assess the viability of a capital campaign.
What happens after the Study?
The results of the study will be presented to the congregation on a Sunday after worship service in November, just before Thanksgiving. If the results give us the go-ahead, there will be a congregational vote to move forward with a Capital Campaign shortly after the presentation of the results. We are tentatively looking at a Campaign in Winter/Spring 2018. At that time, all church members and friends would be contacted and have the opportunity to participate in this important step in the life of our church. The current plan is to ask for a donation or pledge that could be paid over three years.
Who do I contact if I want more information or to volunteer to help with this process?
Lyman Jackson, Board of Finance Chair – LHJackson@Yahoo.com or 617-653-3303. David Stuart, Treasurer, 4Stuarts@comcast.net or 617-875-2763. Lydia Yu, firstname.lastname@example.org or 732-668-8122.
On behalf of the Feasibility Team, I can tell you that we are all very excited about this initiative. We see many advantages to pursuing this now and look forward to your participation and input.
Board of Finance
5 Things I Learned from my First Gleaners Experience
by Kristin McGovern
When I received last week’s Gleaning Opportunities email (if you haven’t already signed up – you can do so by clicking here), I saw that it was going to be a Saturday gleaning (perfect!) for 3 hours in the morning. They only needed 6 people for this opportunity so I signed up right away (the signup filled quickly – but you can always email to see if they can take more volunteers).
On Saturday, I went to Brookwood Farm, a DCR property in Canton at the base of the Blue Hills reservation. This is an organic farm that offers a CSA to local folks. They contacted Gleaners because they had 3 crops to be gleaned – spinach, lettuce and broccoli leaves.
My time at the farm was amazing, and I wanted to share with you five things that I learned:
- Gleaning is hard but rewarding work. They tell you this when you sign up, but I do want to reiterate the hard work part. It is a lot of bending and/or kneeling. If you have back issues or knee challenges, talk to/email the coordinator and see if there are any accommodations that they recommend. But there is an incredible feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment when you are working – and when you are done!
- Be prepared to get REALLY dirty. Again, no duh, right? But really – at least for our session we didn’t wear gloves and we were kneeling in soft, wet (beautiful!) soil. So what does “be prepared” mean?
- Wear junky pants (long pants are required – no shorts) that you don’t mind getting dirty.
- Wear sneakers and socks that you don’t care about. Or waterproof closed-toed shoes that are comfortable.
- Bring a towel to put on your car seat for when you drive home (whoops – thought of that as I was getting into my car to leave…)
- It will be HOT. “Boy, Captain Obvious, you are filled with blatantly crystal clear ‘advice’, aren’t you?” I know, but it bears repeating. As we enter the summer months, you will be in the sun for 3 hours – no shade. They DO have sunblock and bug spray (yay!) but bring a hat and sunglasses. And maybe skip the long-sleeved shirt (I was following what I thought were the rules – but turns out you CAN wear short sleeved shirts…). They have water but bring your own reusable bottle as well.
- Don’t be afraid to go alone. Many of these opportunities early in the season will be only for 6-8 people. But I can attest to the fact that you will meet some really great people. In my group, we had: a man from Australia who is at MGH for his residency, lives in Beacon Hill and took the Red Line AND rode his bike to get to Canton; a recent retiree who has been gleaning for 5 years and is so enthusiastic that she joined the Gleaner’s board; a woman from Needham (whom I didn’t know!) who found out about Gleaners by Googling something like “volunteer opportunities for farm waste”; and a newlywed young man who drives a delivery truck for Peapod and is passionate about farming. The guy on the far right is from Gleaners. It was a fascinating crew and you really get to know people while whacking away at lettuce heads ?.
- You will learn a lot! Here are just a few random things I learned:
- The farms need to be gleaned for various reasons but they are generally something like this: They must over-plant due to the uncertainties of farming; once they have determined their own needs they generally don’t have the time or labor to gather up the rest; if Gleaners didn’t come in, the crop would generally be plowed under. Sad but true!
- There are TONS of delicious greens and things that I had never thought of eating. One was broccoli leaves. They gave me a few to try – they were delicious! Another was carrot tops – who knew they make a great pesto?
- The reasons people volunteer vary greatly, but the one common theme is that everyone hates to see such beautiful food go to waste given hunger and poverty issues.
- The produce that is gleaned is gorgeous – the kind of thing you’d find at the farmer’s market. For example, the petite heads of lettuce – a variety of types – were so incredibly perfect! I found it reassuring that the produce donated wasn’t questionable.
- Volunteering for Gleaners is a fun, informative and fulfilling way to spend a few hours!
Interested in checking it out? Sign up to be a Gleaner by clicking here!