Building Team Notes 2-10-16


Notes- Building Team Meeting

February 10, 2016

Attending: Suzette Reiss, Kimberly Debus, Laurie Ullman, Peter Young, Bill Funke, Sherry Smith, Aiyoung Choi, Irene Stewart, Mark Sisson, Donya VanBuren, Dan Durett (During the course of the meeting, Dan excused himself.)


Kimberly read a passage from Blessing the Imperfect, Meditations for Congregational Leaders by Kathleen Montgomery. She also offered Tired Dragons: Adapting Church Architecture to Changing Needs by Edwin Charles Lynn to the Team to read and share. Dan distributed flowers to the Team.

We adopted the term “Building Team” as our official title, to avoid confusion.

Xavier Amador was unable to attend the meeting as planned. The Team has decided to meet Tuesday, February 16, at 7 p.m., once more at Peter and Susi’s house. Aiyoung was designated to contact Xavier to see if he can attend.

Communication was the topic for the first part of our meeting:

  • The Team will assign, after each meeting, a member to compose a report of the Building Team’s progress, with help from the Team, and address the congregation with it at the service immediately following that meeting. Irene was assigned to the February 14 service. (Thanks, Irene!)
  • It was discussed where and how to update the congregation: Constant Contact (an email blast program), the Church Facebook page (, the Church website (, general emails, the Free Spirit, the bulletin and/or through mailings with the post office. We will try to improve the flow from our direction, but it was noted that if folks don’t read the entire message, there’s not much we can do. (Thanks, Kimberly for the website.)
  • For Building Team communications from the congregation, the email address, should be used. That way, it will separate general Church communications from those of the Building Team.
  • For inter-Team communications, Bill will set up a “Dropbox” account, where members will be able to share pictures, drawings and other items. Email communication will remain with the addresses we’ve been using for conversations. (Thanks, Bill for the Dropbox.)
  • A sub-committee was formed to deal with communications: Kimberly, Bill, Aiyoung and Mark. Their first meeting will be held soon. They will compose a short response to be sent to emails from the congregation, acknowledging receipt and thanking the sender for their input.

There was some confusion about how the Board of Trustees will communicate with the Building Team. We agreed to ask the Board to designate a liaison to contact the Team and not rely on ex officio members of the Team or Team members who have dual responsibilities. Peter was chosen as the Team member who will be contacted by the Board liaison. (Thanks, Peter.)

The Team addressed the general idea of a competition, specifically whether the Board had mandated one or merely suggested the Team investigate the concept. Again, this was tabled until Xavier could attend. Kimberly reported that other congregations she contacted had not had design competitions per se, but had entered their completed designs into architectural competitions.

There was general discussion about the need to extend the deadline for the “dream church” for the congregation. The general consensus was that we extend the term at least three weeks. This will be regardless of whether we adopt a design competition. It was briefly mentioned that the community at large might be invited to give input into the design, as the original building was considered an icon of the town.


We had a brief, informal exchange about some of the Team members’ ideas for their own “dream”: a pipe organ vs. an electric instrument, seating, layout of the sanctuary, etc.

The idea of a permanent chairperson was floated. Some felt it would be too much, others suggested perhaps a half-year term. However, it was left as a two-week rotating chair for now. It was emphasized that the chair will need to exert firm control over the meeting (since we are UUers and sometimes need extra guidance…)


Again, though it isn’t our responsibility, we talked about the trailer. The Town Board will be meeting on February 16 and hopefully will grant the permits to start working on the trailer site. We also discussed the insurance disbursement to purchase and refurbish a piano from Doug Gregg.


Donya will be the chair for our meeting on the 16th. Mark will continue as recording secretary.



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