The book group is open to everyone who wants to participate on a regular or occasional basis. The group meets in people’s homes on the third Thursday of each month yearound at 7:30 p.m. Light refreshments are served. Books are selected in June and December for the next six months, and this list is published in the FUSNnews. Notices with the dates, book selections, and contact information for the host are published before each gathering.
Groups and Committees
There are countless ways to get involved at FUSN – joining one of our groups or committees is one great way to connect with our community! Committees range from those that have day-to-day responsibility for maintaining the building and investing capital funds, to those who focus on welcoming new members and shaping our religious education program and events. To learn more about volunteer and engagement opportunities, contact us or the person listed for committees/groups below. Please see our Worship, Religious Education, Music Ministry, and Justice sections to for information on how to get involved in activities like ushering, lighting the chalice, joining RE council, teaching RE, singing in the choir, promoting sustainability, contributing to our Multicultural Ministry, or engaging in social justice activities.
FUSN’s 8 appointed Lay Ministers assist the Minister to provide leadership in the practice of being a compassionate community. They coordinate the care crew and with them provide short-term support to members and friends experiencing illness, hospitalization, bereavement, and other life-crises. They also offer a listening ministry to members and friends who wish to discuss family employment or other important life issues. To learn more about our lay ministers and how to contact them, please see our Lay Ministry section.
The Care Crew is made up of over 50 members of the congregation who support the work of our 8 Lay Ministers by serving those in the FUSN congregation who need occasional meals, rides, visits, and have other short-term needs. If you’d like to help, or need help yourself, contact the lay ministers.
Chalice Circles provide a structure within which the members can take time outside the everyday swirl of life in order to delve into each other’s stories, experiences and understanding of who and how we are in the world as individuals and members of a faith community. Chalice circles encourage people in their spiritual growth and help them develop relationships of substance and depth. The primary subject matter of Chalice Circles mirrors the monthly worship themes.
Men and Women’s Groups
A number of support groups for men and women exist within the church. Anyone wishing to join such a group should watch the newsletter for notice that a new group is forming or, better yet, notify a lay minister that you are interested. There may be a group attempting to form or the lay minister may be willing to begin the search for other members to join you.
The FUSN Bridge Group plays every third Friday, starting as close to 7:30 as possible. They skip weeks where major holidays or FUSN events interfere. There generally are from two to six or seven tables but the number is limited to what the host house can hold. Snacks and beverages are potluck. Hosts provide coffee, water, ice, and paper goods, accept phone calls from players, and try to arrange sets of four. Pairs are taken on a first-come, first-served basis and hosts try to pair up singles.
FUSN has a long history as a spiritual home for meditation practices within Buddhist traditions. There are currently two mindfulness meditation groups. Both meet weekly, 7:30-8:45pm. The Monday group meets in the Children’s Chapel; the Wednesday group meets upstairs next to the Head Start room. Both groups are self-managing and are guided by the teachings and practice of Thich Nhat Hanh. All are welcome to attend. No experience or reservations necessary. Just an open heart. We combine walking meditation, meditation practice songs, sitting meditation, readings, personal sharing.
Member Services Committee
The Member Services Committee seeks to support the congregation, assisting both newcomers and longtime attendees in finding a home at FUSN. On a practical level, we welcome visitors, friends and members at Sunday morning services and coffee hour; serve as a resource for information about the denomination and the Society; manage the publication and regular updating of the FUSN directory; sponsor various social events; and organize the induction of new members at Sunday services. Member Services also coordinates names tags, the new member bulletin board, potluck suppers for newcomers, and various other welcoming activities. The committee is always looking for new members who can devote even limited time on special events.
Once a month, before Sunday Service, Ron Margolin and his team cook a fabulous breakfast which is served between 9-10am in Parish Hall. A lovely, relaxing time to sit and talk with new and long-time friends. They can always use more help especially from youth, (age 10 and up) to work in the kitchen and to serve. Those youth who volunteer become first in line for the two paying jobs of dishwasher and coffee beadle. To volunteer at a FUSN Community Breakfast, contact Ron Margolin.
Welcoming Congregational Renewal Team
In June 2015, the Board named five FUSN members to lead the congregation through an assessment, the first part of a renewal process of the Welcoming Congregation, which is now complete. The Board is currently seeking volunteers to work together with Erin and the Board, with guidance from Annette Marquis (UUA’s LGBTQ and Multicultural Programs Director) to design a set of implementation steps, based on the 2015/2016-assessment/survey results. For more information or to volunteer to be involved in this effort, please contact Rev. Erin Splaine, firstname.lastname@example.org.
A confederation of one-person responsibilities and staff work promotes participation in the life of the congregation by providing professional-level consulting on both internal and external communications with special attention to design, consistency, and production values. In the absence of a Public Relations committee, Communications will consult on publicity needs and media relations. Volunteers currently needed to work on FUSN Website & Database.
Denominational Affairs/Resourcing UUA
Denominational Affairs acts as liaison to the New England Region and the Unitarian Universalist Association; and advises the congregation of events and issues generated by these organizations, our UU Region and a team of Congregational Life Staff. These staff provides a wide variety of congregational services such as long-range planning and organizational development, ministerial transitions, leadership training and conflict management. For information, contact Kate Mason.
The Stewardship Committee is responsible for the education and solicitation of our congregation regarding its annual responsibility for financial support, mostly as it organizes and manages the yearly pledge canvass. In this effort, it works in concert with other committees, such as the Finance Committee and the Board of Trustees. The Society budget for the following fiscal year, beginning June 1, is based almost entirely on the canvass total pledged. For more information about the 2016 Annual Stewardship Drive, contact: Tom Bean, Saul Lookner or Ellen Metzger.
Finance Committee (FC)
The Finance Committee prepares and monitors FUSN’s operating budget. The budget is developed to reflect Board of Trustees (BOT) initiatives. The Operations Council receives monthly analysis of income/expenses relative to the budget. The FC develops multi-year budget forecasts, which reflect BOT priorities. In addition to a monthly spending analysis and the long range forecast the committee prepares a year-end report for presentation to the congregation at the annual meeting. The committee posts periodic reports on the FUSN website. We welcome new volunteers. The FC meetings are one hour long and meet monthly September-April. Familiarity with spreadsheets and budgets is useful. Contact Karen Bottar or Brian Gill.
Finance Oversight Committee
Provides regular and reasonable review of FUSN’s management of financial processes and policies. Current members include: Dan Brody, Jacki Rohan and Gregg DiBasio.
A set of By-laws created by members of the Society provides rules for governance of the society’s affairs. A Bylaws Committee interprets the meaning and application of the bylaws and consults on changes. For more information about FUSN Bylaws, please contact: Gordon Moriarty.
Planned Giving Committee
The Planned Giving Committee assists members and friends to consider bequests and other forms of planned giving to assure the financial health of the Society. For more information about Planned Giving, please contact Bill Dusett or Bev Droz.
Capital Campaign Committee
The Capital Campaign Committee organizes and manages a targeted canvass focused on raising capital for specific expenses/purchases. The most recent Capital Campaign established a multi-year income stream to pay for major maintenance projects. This committee is currently inactive until such time as the Board of Trustees determines that FUSN will undertake a capital campaign. For more information about FUSN’s capital needs, please contact: Laurel Farnsworth.
Personnel Policy Committee
The Personnel Policy Committee is an appointed body that advises the Board of Trustees, and the minister as staff supervisor, on current personnel policies, remuneration, and benefits with comparative organizations, and keeps the Society aware of what it needs to do to keep up with the standards set by our denomination for fair compensation employers. The committee also maintains current job descriptions for each staff position and an up-to-date personnel manual for the Society. Finally, the committee will provide advice and support whenever the Board and the minister need to make any shifts in staffing for the Society. The Board appoints members with requisite expertise including experience with compensation, benefits, employment law, legal/litigation and Human Resource Management. For more information, please contact Karen Davis, Karen Burns and Dot Jacboson.
Annual Holiday Fair
The fair is held on the first Saturday of December every year and is a wonderful annual fellowship experience as well as one of FUSN’s largest fundraising event after the annual budget drive. Members make jams, jellies, relishes and vinegars; raffle a quilt, craft ornaments and other artifacts; collect books, jewelry, china and glassware, furniture and other objects d’art to sell; purchase trees and wreaths and participate in a silent auction. The fair is open to the public. For more information about volunteering at the Holiday Fair, contact Laurel Farnsworth.
Committee plans and oversees the sale of evergreen trees with two major goals: to provide a positive fellowship experience for volunteers (historically, for men and their children!) and to raise capital for the Society’s operating fund. The trees are sold for two weeks preceding the December 25th holiday and during the hours of the holiday fair. For more information, contact Eric Haas or Jonathan Lillienfeld.
Services Auction Committee
The Services Auction Committee organizes and conducts the annual services auction where services, which are mostly donated by FUSN folks, are put up for bid. The auction is usually on a Saturday evening in late January or early February at FUSN. Dinner is served and the evening is meant to be a fun, community-building event in addition to raising funds to support FUSN. The time commitment usually starts on a limited basis in December, increases in January, and ends after the auction itself. The committee is always looking for new members who like to have fun and enjoy working with a group.
Provides support to the FUSN staff by selecting, installing, maintaining, and updating the Society’s technical equipment. The committee consults with staff members to identify problem areas and solutions, and negotiates with the Board for capital purchases. Contact: Jud Leonard.
Buildings and Grounds
The Building and Grounds Committee provides for the ongoing maintenance and repair of the Society’s facilities; proposes an annual operating budget to the Finance committee to support maintenance and operations; works to accommodate the space needs of the Society by planning for such activities as religious education; social gatherings and committee meetings, rentals, etc.; and communicates with the Board of Trustees and Operations Council information needed to plan for long range capital maintenance and improvements to the building and grounds of the Society. For more information contact: Laurel Farnsworth (Building) or Doris Lewis (Grounds).
The primary ongoing task of the Preservation Committee is to collect and manage the Society’s archives. As well, the committee periodically undertakes special projects documenting and explaining the history of the Society, such as research projects, building and/or stained glass window tours, publishing brochures, mounting exhibits, and creating oral histories. Volunteers currently needed to assist with ongoing sorting and filing, to launch a FUSN Oral History “StoryCorps;” project and working on a brochure about the sanctuary and some of its architectural features (graphic design skills welcome!). For more information about any of these projects, please contact: Gayle Smalley.