As this church year comes to a close, I would like to thank the congregation for allowing me to serve as the president of the Board of Trustees. It has been an honor and a privilege.
We are a very small congregation that accomplishes a great deal. I thank the board of trustees for bringing their best selves to the table in person and on Zoom.
We started the year with Vice President Mary Watterson, Secretary Mary Ann Kiefer, Chairwoman of Sunday Services Joan Spengler, Treasurer Jennifer Chaiken, Chairwoman of Social Action Kara DeRose and Chairwoman Religious Education Patricia Concannon.
Mary Ann Kiefer had to drop out due to health problems. Mary Watterson stepped up to take the meeting minutes, and agreed to represent us at the annual UUA General Assembly. She will have some insights to share with us about that.
We need to give a big shout out to Patricia Concannon for purchasing – at her own expense — a subscription to Zoom video conferencing. Thanks Trish.
Thanks go to Cathy Ann Vandegrift for sending out group emails and handling the church phone and for sending out cards via the Caring Committee. She is going to continue as such, even though we know she has had a challenging year.
Thanks to Warren and Joan Spengler for starting the coffee on Sundays and greeting everyone. Thanks to Ish Chawla for initiating post-service cleanup and dish washing. Thanks also to Joan for coordinating our Spirit Circle. I particularly enjoyed our solstice and our harvest gatherings this past year.
Thanks to all the folks who provided coffee hour snacks!
In September, Joan Spengler and I attended a workshop about shootings at houses of worship, a terrible thing. I appreciate Joan and Roger Long for arranging for the Bordentown police to tour building, a first step toward greater security. We will do more.
Heartfelt thanks to Warren for coordinating our Interfaith Dialog in October, which brought out meaningful engagement on the topic: how should faith communities respond to the rise of intolerance?
Also in the fall, we said goodbye to Ruth Cristy, who returned to her native Virginia to be close to family. Joan and Bea Chawla coordinated a beautiful tribute to Ruth who gave so much to this community. Ruth’s dear friend, Elly Leonard, was well enough to attend.
We also said good-bye to Tom Reilly who passed away Oct. 17. We had a nice memorial service back when we could meet in person. During the summer, I had visited Tom and Prim Reeves and they gave me a gavel for my presidency along with words of encouragement.
Thanks goes to Pete Costanza for doing a beautiful job on the pulse. The monthly newsletter of DDUUC goes out by email, but if you missed one, they are posted on our website, DDUUC.ORG. I would like to thank Gail Costanza for serving on the Sunday Service Committee and doing a lovely flower communion service, despite a year filled with challenges.
My deepest appreciation goes to Trish Concannon, Betsy Young and Kara DeRose for running our children’s religious education program. The religious education students put UU values into practice by pitching in on the motel meals program. Raquel Parker’s Girl Scouts have contributed generously as well.
I wish to thank Kelly Hansen for coordinating another edition of “Building Your Own Theology,” a religious education program for adults. I have taken it twice. Kelly does a wonderful job.
I would like to thank Kara for keeping the motel meals program alive despite Covid-19 lockdown. She very compassionately told the senior members of the crew they could stay home since they were at greatest risk from the virus. The program has continued to distribute prepackaged foods to minimize contamination.
The motel meals crew included Roger, Betsy, Mary Watterson, Sandra Lebeau and Christine Wright and the whole DeRose family.
I would also like to thank the board members who have agreed to serve in the same roles next year, pending the outcome of the annual election. New to the slate of candidates will be Jennifer Steffee as secretary and John DeMasi as treasurer. Thanks to the board and the nominating committee of Mae Carter, Mike Skelly and John DeMasi for getting the slate of candidates together.
Thanks also to our finance committee of Cathy Ann Vandegrift and Gail Costanza for working on the budget and the auction. Perhaps a new fund raiser can be created around fashion face coverings, adorable latex gloves and designer fragrance hand sanitizer.
I also wish thank Lois Long for playing the piano way back when. Thanks also to John DeMasi for his musical contributions, some of which he composed.
On a very different musical note, I must thank to Barbara Kotch for hosting our karaoke sessions. She hosted in costume as Lola the showgirl in the Barry Manilow song, Copacabana. Every church needs comic relief, and we have ours from Lola. Barbara also coordinates the cookie exchange, a favorite of mine. Also thanks to Gail Costanza and Joan Spengler for keeping the mitten tree tradition alive.
Thanks to Roger Long and Walter Kaden for their work on the buildings and grounds committee. I visited the church recently and found Walter trimming the gardens and mowing the lawn. Thanks also to roger for coordinating the book sale.
I would like to thank Andy Maskell for coordinating our chalice circle meetings, which I have continued on Zoom. I would like to thank all of the committee members, including the committee to restructure the committees and the bylaws committee.
I would also like to thank someone for a fine presentation on Fairvote.org, an organization that works for election reform, with ranked- choice voting. Someone wanted to do an evening information program on this, but the pandemic intervened. (The person asked to remain anonymous and I have complied with this request.)
The annual election will take place when the budget is complete, so please send in your pledge forms – an email to Jen Chaiken will suffice. You can a paper pledge to Jen or to the church, 39 Park St., Bordentown, NJ 08505. Contributions may be made with the PayPal button at DDUUC.ORG.
Sincerely, Christina L. Sturgis,
President Board of Trustees, DDUUC