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June 6, 2019
Latest News
Join Us for Worship This Sunday!
From the President of the Board of Trustees
Practicing Radical Welcome: Transgender Inclusion at FUUSB
It's June! Do You Know If You've Paid Your Pledge?
Christina's June Schedule
Coffeehouse Update
From the Immigration Justice Team
Is Your Team Meeting This Summer?
Interfaith Shabbat
Summer eNews Schedule

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Upcoming Service
Join us for worship on Sunday, June 16  at 
10 a.m.

Worship Leaders: 
Rev. Susan Milnor
Rev. Andrée Mol

Worship Associate:
Judy Brook



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Join Us for Worship This Sunday!
Sunday, June 9 at 10 a.m. 

Worship Leader: Rev. Susan Milnor, Interim Senior Minister

Worship Associate: Maeve McBride

Thresholds, or doorways, it is said, are the safest places to be during certain kinds of storms. What about in congregational life? On this next to last Sunday for the interim period, it's time to reflect on the particular threshold this congregation has been on during a time of change. What future might you be called to step up to? Reflections, too, on my time here. The service will include a lovely piece by the Adult Choir and some moments of gratitude, and a blessing for two Pastoral Care Associates who have joined the Team.

Reflections from the President of the Board of Trustees
I want to thank everyone who participated in our annual meeting last Sunday. It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to speak to you all from the pulpit one last time before passing the torch to our newly elected President Dan House, and our new Trustees-at-large Charity Clark and Hope Baker-Carr. I'm confident that they share the Board's commitment to seeking feedback and input from our members, to listening deeply in conversations, to continuing to improve the transparency and accessibility of our decision-making processes, and to the challenge of balancing our goals, our values and our resources.

In my time on the Board, I've come to appreciate the complexity of trying to balance a number of competing tasks and values. We try to be careful and deliberate, but also to respond quickly to evolving situations. We try to shape the direction of the work of our community, but not micromanage those doing ministry work. We try to synthesize the different voices and priorities of members, although those are sometimes in conflict.

Our values at First UU are also sometimes in conflict. Last year's budget, with the very large deficit, showed the conflict between our values of fiscal responsibility and our value of providing employment that paid a livable wage and provided benefits to as many staff as possible. We heard overwhelming feedback from you that we could not continue to propose budgets with deficits, and that we were going to have to find ways to live within our means. In November, when the Board began the process of setting the budget priorities for the upcoming year, we asked to see broad outlines of several potential budgets that prioritized different values. One prioritized a sustainable workload for staff. One prioritized fiscal responsibility. Over the next months, we debated the merits of each, asked questions about what effects various changes might have, and waited for the results of the stewardship campaign.

I'd like to thank each of you who contributed to the success of that campaign. We still had to make deep cuts to our current budget compared to last year's budget. We will have only one service on Sunday morning. We will have only one minister and no membership coordinator. We will need to have difficult conversations about which of our values we plan to prioritize, and how each of us can help to realize our developmental goals.

The Board unanimously voted to propose this budget to the congregation as the one that most clearly reflected our values and priorities with the resources we have at this time. It's a complex document, and even the line item budget doesn't always capture the circumstances around changes in the same line from one year to the next. For example, last year's budget included only eleven months of salary and benefits for our senior minister because we did not have a senior minister during July 2018. Next year's budget includes a full twelve months of salary and benefits for the senior minister. The custodial and caretaker positions will be returning to the staffing configuration that we had prior to the last fiscal year because we learned that our consolidated position didn't allow us the flexibility to open the building for as many hours as we wished to accommodate the number of groups wishing to reserve space.  

I leave this position with gratitude for the opportunity to serve all of you, my beloved community, and with humility for the challenge of holding our diverse viewpoints, and our diverse and sometimes competing values. I have confidence that the next chapter of our journey together will deepen our communication and our commitment to each other.

In faith,
Tracy Titchner, President of your Board of Trustees

Practicing Radical Welcome: Transgender Inclusion at FUUSB
Rev. Andrée Mol, Developmental Assistant Minister for Pastoral Care and Membership 

Practicing Radical Welcome: Transgender Inclusion at FUUSB
Sunday, June 9, 12-3 p.m.

Over the last few months, many members of FUUSB have engaged in the course "Transgender Inclusion in Congregations" taught by Rev. Mykal Slack and Zr. Alex Kapitan of the Transforming Hearts Collective. On June 9, Zr. Alex Kapitan will lead a workshop at FUUSB on how to build on our learnings and level up FUUSB's practice of radical welcome. This engaging and interactive workshop is open to all, regardless of whether or not you've taken the course. Bring an open heart and mind and get ready to create an action plan for transforming FUUSB's congregational culture into one that is radically welcoming and fully trans-affirming.

Zr. Alex Kapitan is a lay community minister, educator, editor, consultant, anti-oppression activist, and transgender and queer lifelong Unitarian Universalist. Ze is the co-founder of the Transforming Hearts Collective, which does workshops, trainings, and consultancies with faith communities on radical welcome and other topics, and also the founder of Radical Copyeditor, a project that helps people use language in anti-oppressive ways. Alex worked for many years at the national office of the Unitarian Universalist Association and is a past steering committee member of TRUUsT, an organization of trans UU religious professionals. Ze lives in western MA with partner Teddy and a menagerie of furry and feathered friends.  
It's June! Do You Know If You've Paid Your Pledge?
Christina Fulton, Director of Operations and Finance

Hard to believe that June is already here. And right now we still have nearly $65,000 in unpaid pledges for the 2018/2019 fiscal year. As you may recall, we have a budget with a very large deficit this year and so we need each and every dollar of pledge income to keep us on track. Giving Statements were recently sent to all members with a balance due on their pledge. Did you get your statement? Did you read it? Please take a look and make sure that you are up to date on your pledge. Many people realize that while they thought they had set up automatic payments, something went wrong and no payments were actually being made. If your credit card expires during the fiscal year and you don't go into the system to update it, then perhaps your payments stopped. So please be proactive and make sure that your pledge is paid.
Also, if you haven't done so already, please set up your automatic pledge payments for the 2019/2020 fiscal year. Automatic payments can be charged to a credit card or be taken directly from your bank account. You can set that up by going to our website: and clicking on "Set Up Automatic Payments." 
If you have any trouble setting up payments or have questions about your current pledge status, please contact Christina at or Mary at
Christina's Gone Fishing...Sort Of
Opportunities - add to your calendar or click for the monthly web calendar Christina Fulton, Director of Operations & Finance

I will be away from the office from Sunday, June 9 through Sunday, June 30. I'll be on vacation for two of these weeks, but will be attending the Association of UU Administrators Pro-Days and UU General Assembly in Spokane, WA during the middle week. So from Monday, June 17 - Sunday, June 23, I will be working remotely, checking and answering time-sensitive emails and learning lots of new stuff. If you need to speak with someone directly while I'm away, you can reach David McFeeters, Facilities Manager at extension 23 or Mary Williams, Society Administrator at extension 21. They will both know how to reach me if there is an urgent need. I will be back in my office on Monday, July 1st, well rested and ready to begin the new congregational year!

Coffeehouse Update
Linda Patterson

The Sanctuary City Coffeehouse will be held this month on  Saturday, June 15, instead of on the traditional second Saturday. This is to avoid competition with the Jazz Festival. 

Everyone is welcome! There will be a sign-up sheet for those who would like to sing, play an instrument, read a poem or tell a story. Or you can simply listen and enjoy the wonderful atmosphere of the evening!  Bring a dish to pass for the potluck supper. 

6:00 - 7:00 p.m.: Supper
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.: Open Mic
From the FUUSB Immigration Justice Team
Carolyn SmilesImportant Date

Our Immigration Justice Team, the Interfaith Sanctuary Team, the Montpelier UU and other human rights groups have organized an important "Humanitarian Migrant Crisis Conference." It will be held on Sunday, June 16 at the Montpelier UU from 1-5 p.m.

Topics covered will be:
+ Legal issues of immigration & migration
+ Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants
+ Sanctuary
+ What you can do to assist in this Humanitarian Crisis

You can learn more and hopefully attend this important conference. Please see the bright orange poster outside the Parlors. Thank you.

Is Your Team Meeting This Summer?
Mary Williams, Society Administrator

Summer is fast approaching! Some of our FUUSB teams are on our facility schedule during the summer months and some are not. Please click here to visit our online calendar  if you want to double-check your meeting dates. 

If you still need to schedule your summer meetings, please submit an online space request at: 

If you need to cancel any meetings that are already on the calendar, please let me know soon by emailing mary@uusociety.orgThank you!

From VIA: Interfaith Shabbat 
Join Ohavi Zedek Synagogue and Vermont Interfaith Action (VIA) for an Interfaith Shabbat on Friday, June 21 at 6:00 p.m. at Ohavi Zedek, 188 N. Prospect St. in Burlington. This event will celebrate our shared goal of freedom from oppression for all peoples and features a universalized celebration of the Sabbath, commemorating liberation. Please join us as we share stories, songs, prayer, and a special vegetarian meal (gluten-free options available). Everyone is welcome. New Americans will be our guests. Adults: $25; Teens: Free. RSVP by June 14 to 864-0218 or Proceeds benefit VIA.
Summer eNews Schedule
Please note the following summer publication schedule for the eNews !
June 13, 20, and 27
July 11 and 25
August 8 and 22

Beginning in September we will be back to our weekly schedule.