President’s Blog

From the Board President

Andrew W. UUCS President 2016-2017

May 1, 2017

The end of April is here already and we have so much to celebrate at UUCS. I hope you will join us at our Annual Congregational Meeting next Sunday, May 7, immediately following the service. Since joining UUCS in 2014, I’m still getting used to the rhythms and schedules of the church year. I can’t believe this one is already drawing to a close, although there is still much work to achieve. Our leadership development committee has put forth an outstanding slate of Board and officer candidates for election, and we have a strong budget proposal that puts more resources into our youth education program and development of Wilde Hall. We’ll also get an update from our Ministerial Search Team on their ongoing efforts to recruit a settled minister. Trust me, I don’t like a long meeting either, so we’ll keep it brief and positive.

I’m so proud of everything you’ve achieved for UUCS this year. We’ve started to address some tough issues, such as the status (dare I say “stasis”) of our Covenant Group program; dedicated our downstairs as “Wilde Hall,” start- ing what I feel will be a new era of focus on this resource; met our goal of raising $200,000 in our Annual Fund Campaign while paying off some long-term debt; staged a truly spectacular Earth Day Festival; and much more; all while focusing on our board goal of “Building a Culture of Positivity and Gratitude.” And we did all this while undergoing a ministerial transition and searching for a settled minister. The road ahead will not be free of conflicts and challenges. It never is. But thanks to you I’ve come to know a congregation that can work together to achieve great things in an atmosphere of love and positivity. I hope you will come to the meeting next Sunday so I can thank you for all you do for UUCS.


Andrew W. UUCS President 2016-2017

March 1, 2017

There’s so much to look forward to this Spring. I’m excited about our Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 22, and encourage all UUCS members and friends to volunteer some time to help make this year’s event a success. For those of you who are new or need a refresher, our event is modeled on an Earth Day Celebration in Winston-Salem, NC, that was started by the Unitarian Universalist Congregation there and has now grown into a large community- wide event. Why not here in Spartanburg? UUCS can make it happen! To pitch in, please contact our Earth Day Queen, Joyce Harrison, at

But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves, because there’s plenty to do at UUCS in March. I’m really looking forward to two visits by the Tibetan monks of the Drepung Gomang Monastery. On Wednesday, March 8, at 6:00 p.m., the monks will join us during regular evening meditation time (6:00-6:45), where they will demonstrate the practice of Puja. Puja is a Sanskrit word that means “offering.” The monks chant prayers and perform rituals specific to the type of prayer being offered. Prayers are addressed to Buddhas, bodhisattvas, and deities. Their primary purpose is to overcome negativity that may be obstacles in obtaining release from suffering and to promote spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical well-being. Then on Sunday, March 12, at 9:30 a.m., the Monks will offer an introduction to Tibetan Buddhism before our regularly scheduled service at 11:00 a.m; during this time, there will also be a program suitable for young children offered (either traditional Tibetan butter sculpting or mandala coloring).

These events remind me of the important role UUCS plays in our community’s culture and social activism. We should all be proud of our congregation’s leadership role but also remember that these initiatives require financial resources. We can all help “Be the Change” we seek for our community; please remember to submit your pledge card and consider increasing last year’s pledge. There’s so much to look forward to at UUCS!

Andrew Waters

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