President’s Blog

November – From Your President

Andrew W. UUCS President 2016-2017

November 1, 2017

Your Committee on Ministry, your Minister, and your Board of Trustees held a New Minister’s Start-Up Retreat on September 29 and 30 at our location. Our facilitator from the UUA was Ann Marie Alderman, a UU minister from New Jersey, who worked briefly with our Search Committee the year before. Rev. Alderman’s services were provided at no cost to us. The goal of the retreat was to help Scott and the Board get off to a good start in his new ministry and I believe that was achieved.

The Board came away with three goals that it will be working on this year: (1) communicate better to the Spartanburg community about who we are and what our religious society can offer people looking for a faith community; (2) strengthen our Social Justice Program; (3) further develop our Adult Religious Education program. Your Board has begun work on all three goals. I am very pleased to announce that we received an anonymous donation of $3000 to help fund our Building and Grounds expenses. Our Henry Place building was built in 1985 and we added our large sanctuary in 2006. In 2000 we purchased the Hatcher House, which was built in 1924. As our religious society grows in size, so does the need to expand our facilities and maintain our property. We have freon leaks on our HVAC unit that heats and cools our sanctuary. Many of our large trees need to be trimmed, and two are dead or dying and should be removed. Our main parking lot needs resurfacing and our parking lines have faded and need repainting. We are working on all these problems. We can always use any special donations you can make to fund our building-and-grounds needs. Karen Mitchell and our Building and Grounds Committee are working hard to get those needed repairs done as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, Pam Stoll is chairing the Wilde Hall Committee to finally begin to design our lower level. Their committee is just in the planning stages but has $7500 to work with from part of Susan Griswold’s generous donation last year. We also now have about $9000 toward our long-term project to build an elevator to Wilde Hall. We will need many more donations to complete this project. Donations to any of these accounts would be most appreciated.

I would like also to thank Sybil and all our volunteers who I know worked very hard to make Boo in the UU a really fun event again for both our youth as well as our adults. Much volunteer time and planning goes into making this a special yearly event. Thanks again for making this a great event.

Finally, any help that you can give our Hospitality Committee on Sunday mornings would certainly be appreciated. Let Pam Stoll and her crew know you can help out at least once a month. Many volunteers are needed on this committee.

Peace and Love,
Rick Hahnenberg

October – From Your President

Andrew W. UUCS President 2016-2017

October 1, 2017

Our annual water service held this year on Sunday, September 17, was the start of our official church year. Before and after the service we held our Volunteer Fair, which in my opinion was a huge success. We had many folks signing up to help out on various committees as well as joining our covenant groups. Becoming part of a committee or a covenant group is the best way I know to get to know folks here at UUCS. It’s never too late to join either of these groups.

Big thanks must go to Merike Tamm for setting up her Usborne Books display for the last time at UUCS. She has spent over twenty years that I am aware of selling her high-quality Usborne Books to our congregation and donating the profits from those sales back to our UUCS treasury. Thank you, Merike, for all you have done at UUCS. Enjoy your retirement.

Our Building and Grounds Committee held a clean-up day on Saturday, September 9, which was a great success. We owe thanks to Rick Christian, Ruth Stanton, Judy Allen, Abby and Steve Fowler, Marie Day, Lee Bright, Jan Jerome, John Moyher and his children (Charity, Annalee, Bethany, Ethan, Mikaela, and Becky), Warren Bareiss and his son Ben, and our minister Scott Neely and his son Ben and daughter Ann. If I forgot anyone I am sorry. I did not make a list of who attended, but I am going now on my memory, which isn’t always the best.

Another thank you goes to Dan McBride and John Tarrant, who replaced the front foyer window that fell into disrepair. Thanks, Dan and John. John and Bob Mitchell were also busy in August and repaired ceiling damage in our Hatcher House hallway. Thanks again, John and Bob.

Pate Randall, our Board treasurer, and Patrice Fentiman, a Board trustee, just finished an application for UUCS to obtain 501c(3) status. Why did we apply for this? If you have tried to use Amazon Smiles so that your purchase on Amazon would give a little rebate back to UUCS, you will not find us on their site unless you are an old-time user. We got bumped off Amazon Smiles for new accounts a few years ago. It will take up to nine months for us to get a new nonprofit ID number so that we can qualify for Smiles rebates again. Stay tuned and we will let you know (for folks who can’t donate to us) when you can log on to UUCS Smiles.

When you come in to UUCS on the First Sunday of the month, stop by our Fair Trade Coffee and Chocolate booth run by Tracy Stapleton. Any profits from our Fair Trade booth is put back to pay for our Sunday morning coffee.

Our Total Ministries Food Donation Corner is handled by Jule Klotter. The second Sunday is our reminder to bring your canned goods into our Total Ministry donation corner. The third Sunday is Animal Allies newspaper drop- off. Your used papers are given to the Animal Shelter for pet care. Kathy Dowling is in charge of this program. Not here on the second or third Sunday? You can drop off your food and newspaper donations any Sunday.

The biggest mystery that I have found at UUCS—and I never know whom to thank—is how snack donations always appear every Sunday. Whoever you folks are, thank you, and keep those tasty snacks coming.

Hope to see you often this October at UUCS.


Rick Hahnenberg

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