Why does the Board feel that now is the time to invest in moving?
We want Unitarian Universalism to be a strong force in our nation and our state and our county in the next 50 years, to help solve the issues of our society and be a home for those seeking to connect. For UUCHV to contribute to this, we need to attract others to our faith and have a space with the capacity to house more programming. Our facilitiy discourages new people from trying us out, and/or coming back and do not allow for growth and advancement.
We value Religious Education for youth, Social Justice, the arts, elder persons. Yet our current facility does not offer classrooms for youth, an OWL classroom, a senior youth hangout space, a place to store collections for the shoeless/homeless/hungry, an art/music storage room, a wheelchair accessible sanctuary - the list goes on.
We value being welcome to all - - “Whomever you are, we welcome you!”—but our building is not handicap acceible, our front entrance is hidden, and we have no lobby and parking at the bottom of a hill, or in the shoulder of a busy street (with no passenger side egress).
Our Fellowship Hall, while wonderfully large, sunlit and wooden-floored, does not provide smaller spaces for small groups to meet. Ideally we’d have rooms with couches and comfortable chairs, low tables (coffee tables), and a pleasing look.
What is UUCHV’s vision?
Our goal is to live out our mission: Seek, Connect, Act, Love - but we often hit roadblocks in living this out due to issues with our space.
Our vision for a new facility is to create an open and inviting spiritual home with love as its foundation and growth as its purpose.
Can the Board make decisions without the Membership buy-in?
The short answer is no. Our congregation VOTED in June of 2018 to allow the board to pursue plans to move. Your Board of Trustees has educated the congregation and hired a professional Financial Consultant to analyze our financial capabilities. The results of this research and education led to a VOTE in January of 2019 to execute a Capital Campaign to raise funds to support Project Hudson Valley.
Only a VOTE by members can push forward real estate transactions.
Our Congregational By-Laws state: Voting on real estate transactions including the purchase or sale of property, leasing as lessee (excluding leasing to a tenant), dismissal of a minister, or the dissolution of the Congregation will require a quorum of at least 50%and a vote of at least 2/3 of those so gathered. Unless otherwise specified in these By-Laws, a motion shall require a majority of the members present and voting to pass. A member must be present to vote at any member meeting.
Why do we have to attract new people?
There is a constant churn in communities of any kind, including faith-based communities. People are always leaving, for a multitude of reasons. So we need to attract new people just to stay the size we are today. Surveys show that the majority of our membership wants to grow in size.
Think of the people you love to see and chat with at coffee hour. Think of the people you admire. Some of those people were not here five years ago, so they are “new people”. Who else is out there who may come in and become a person you love or admire?
A community with a mission like ours must have new ideas and new ideals constantly running through us. To seek our true nature, to connect openly and deeply, and act for justice requires new thinking, provocative ideas, and a constantly renewed level of energy.
What is the timeline?
Our first steps in the process were: to educate ourselves, to broaden our vision of the possibilities, to understand our capacity to raise money, to understand our priorities/needs in a building, and to find a permanent minister who can partner with us to move forward.
We now have a vision statement, an educated estimate of what we will need to raise in order to create a new spiritual home. and information that shows we are able to raise enough funds to reach our dreams.
Volunteer members of our congregation will be trained as Visiting Stewards to meet one on one with pledging units. Prior to these meetings, donors will be asked to review important materials. Once each meeting is complete, the goal is for the Visiting Stewards to walk away with a two completed pledge cards: one for our annual operating budget and the second for our Capital Campaign.
These meetings will begin in early February with an official kick off on February 24th where Visiting Stewards will go into covenant with our congregation. All pledges are due by March 24th!
Down the road, the Board of Trustees will create Task Forces to begin the process of making real steps forward. Ideally, we will move to a new spiritual home within 5 years.
What is a Capital Campaign?
A capital campaign is a once-a-generation opportunity for a congregation to come together and invest in its future. It invites members to dream big about what is possible for Unitarian Universalism in their community and in the world. A capital campaign requires a collective leap of faith on behalf of the members -- in one another and in a future in which Unitarian Universalism and their congregation thrive and grow in mission and impact.
How much do we think we can raise in a Capital Campaign?
The results of our Financial Feasibility Study tell us that we could raise up to $680,000!
Our goal of $600,000 will be strongly supported by the participants of this study who are excited to contribute a minimum of $420,000.
For more details, view the summary of the study here:
How much can we sell our current building for?
A local resl estate agent who we have been working with for quite some time estimates our building could sell for anywhere between $400,000 and $500,000.
How much will a new building cost?
Our Facilities Task Force did extensive research in conjunction with our Vision Task Force to determine that a new spiritual home will cost between $1.2 and $1.4 million dollars.
For more details, view the summary of our October 14th Town Hall:
If we have a mortgage, how will we cover the cost?
There is a possibility that we could raise enough funds from a Capital Campaign and additional fundraising to eliminate the need for a mortgage. However, at this stage, we do anticipate needing to take out a loan. It has been recommended by Barry Finkelstein that we go through a bank for this.
A top priority in creating a new space will be to develop a facility that people desire to rent. There will be research done for what is lacking in our area and what type of rental will bring in the most money with the least amount of effort. In the past, we have brought in $25,000 from a long term daycare renter - We are unable to rent to a new tenant such as this because our building is not up to code. We anticipate our mortgage payments to be in the $30,000/year range.
Once our mortgage is paid off, all rentals will be a source of income for our operations!