As always, there are so many wonderful things to celebrate at UCC Austin. We are celebrating the end of the school year, especially for our graduates. We have new members, a full sanctuary with lots of children and VBS around the corner, a robust online worship, and new opportunities for community gatherings. There is a new playground in the works, and our recent property workday has our building looking refreshed for the spring and summer.
At the same time, your Executive Committee has been hard at work behind the scenes. We are working to update policies and best practices that are outdated or not yet created, focusing especially on financial, personnel, and safe church policies. We are also actively working to update our bylaws to better align with our new church staff and governance structure and to make some clarifications in sections that are vague. If you would like to be among the first to give feedback on the proposed changes, please contact Jon Kinder (firstname.lastname@example.org). We plan to have a full proposal ready for review before the November congregational meeting.
We are also happy to report that 19 people have joined our church in the last year, and we will have our next new/potential member gathering on June 4 and an opportunity to officially welcome new members on Pentecost Sunday, June 5.
At the end of April our finances, both giving and expenses, are tracking our approved 2022 budget very closely. We received over 80 pledges last year. Currently there are forty-three households contributing that did not pledge last year. Fourteen of these households are new to UCC. It’s exciting to see participation grow in all areas, including giving, in our church.
We joyfully celebrated Rev. Anna Kreisle being selected as our settled Sr. Minister, and great strides have been made to find outstanding new team members to support UCC. Since last October we have welcomed Ethan Roberts as Audio Visual Technician, Paula Snyder as Bookkeeper, Kelley DeCleene as Church Administrator, and Jose Hernandez as Facility/Groundskeeper. We are now actively seeking talent for our Accompanists ongoing and substitute opportunities, and we will soon begin searching for our new Director of Music to be on board in time for our fall programs.
Our recent Workday at the church was a big success. We were able to get most of the high priority items completed (or close to complete). The property committee would like to make the congregation aware of two new links on our website. The first link is a form that allows any congregant to let us know about maintenance issues. Our Maintenance Request form (uccaustin.org/ticket) allows you to identify the issue and provide a picture of the problem. The property committee also encourages congregants to sign up for a lawn mowing day. The lawn schedule can be found at uccaustin.org/lawn. We’re not looking for a long term commitment (unless that’s what you want) - we just need people to volunteer one or two times during the year. Mowing our own lawn saves our church $700 every month.
In closing, friends, United Christian Church is thriving. Your continued commitment to work with and within our church community to spread the Good News is evident in every area of our life together. Thank you!
~ UCC Church Council Executive Committee