Annual Meeting May 5th
Make plans to attend the Annual Meeting of the Congregation to be held on Sunday, May 5, starting at 12:30pm in Gore Hall. The entire 2013 Annual Meeting Notice, which includes the agenda, information about the Proposed Budget, nominees for elected positions, and details on nominations by petition, has been uploaded to the Members-only section of the 1U website, www.OrlandoUU.org, and is also included in the April issue of the Oracle.
NEW Pledge Payment Option
If you have visited the church website recently, you may have noticed a large blue "Donate Now" button immediately under the member log-in box.
We have had a Donate Now button in the past, but that was only for one-time donations. We have expanded the function of that button so that 1U members and Friends/Supporters can now make pledge payments online. One-time as well as automatically recurring pledge payments and donations can be made with credit cards or through checking/savings accounts. It's secure and easy to set-up and manage. We invite you to consider this option as one more way to easily make pledge payments.
- We will still need to know that you have pledged, so please complete and return a pledge card to us, indicating on it that you will make your payments online.
- If you have already pledged and have been paying your pledge with checks/cash and want to use the online method, just go ahead.
- If the pledge card you recently turned in for the upcoming fiscal year (7/1/2013 - 6/30/2014) indicated that you will be paying via your credit card or checking /savings account, you will need to let us know if you plan to use the online Donate Now recurring payment method.
- If we are currently automatically debiting your credit card or checking/savings account monthly for your pledge payments, and you want to manage it yourself through the Donate Now button, please let us know beforehand (contact Amy in the church office at
If you have any questions or concerns about the Donate Now payment method or your pledge, please feel free to contact Amy in the church office.
An Update on Congregational Planning from the Board of Trustees
April 22, 2013
Dear Members of First Unitarian,
This letter is intended as a brief update on the on-going planning process that your Board of Trustees has been overseeing. With our annual congregational meeting coming up on May 5, the Board has allotted time in the agenda for conversation about this topic; but in the mean time, we want to let you know where things stand.
Last fall, the Board shared a rather ambitious schedule for a planning process. This process was in some ways a continuation of the conversations that took place in the congregation during the interim period and ministerial transition. More directly, it grew out of a visit a year ago (May 2012) from a Stewardship Consultant from the Unitarian Universalist Association. You can read the report from the consultant here.
As planned, the Board commissioned an assessment of our facilities. We are grateful to the Infrastructure Network and Building & Grounds Committee for overseeing this important work. The congregation’s mission and mission priorities were also reviewed. You can read a summary of the facilities assessment here. The summary of the October 2012 Mission Workshop is here. Summaries of three Fall 2011 Town Hall Meetings are here.
A Strategic Planning Task Force was appointed. Through the process of Strategic Planning, the Board learned that the next step needed to be more of a living, working document than a strategic plan. Much of what is needed moving forward involves adaptive learning rather than technical fixes. We are grateful to those who served on the Strategic Planning Task Force for helping us realize that, under our current governance structure, this process is one that the Board needs to take on and lead. While this realization means that we have had to extend our timeline for decision making, we believe that it will ultimately lead to a more transparent process and more robust result.
As part of the process, last November the Board, Program Coordinating Team, and the minister created a document titled, Developmental Plan for 1U. The document was an attempt to capture information about all the projects currently under way in the congregation as well as assumptions, dreams, and open questions. It was intended as input to the Strategic Planning Task Force.
At this point, the Board believes that the Development Plan for 1U provides the starting place for our planning process. We have begun moving the information it contains from a prose format to a grid that can be tracked. This will allow us to attach dates and “owners” to particular initiatives. We believe this will lead to accountability and also make clear the areas where congregational conversation is still necessary. While the grid is not yet available, the original Developmental Plan for 1U can be read here. Please keep in mind that it was not originally intended for general distribution and so is not as reader-friendly as it could be. The intention is to make the new document very accessible.
All documents related to the planning process can be accessed on the 1U website, orlandouu.org. When logged in as a member, select the “File Downloads” menu item under the “Members Tab.” The documents are collected under the heading “Planning Documents: Discernment and Strategy.”
At our congregational meeting on Sunday, May 5, we will give a further update to the process and look forward to addressing any questions. We also look forward to being in conversation with you, the beloved community that we serve.
In Love & Joy,
Michelle Bergandi, President
Rev. Kathy Schmitz, Minister
2013 Annual Meeting Notice
The Annual Meeting of the First Unitarian Church of Orlando will be held on Sunday, May 5, 2013, beginning at 12:30pm in Gore Hall. All Members of Record are strongly encouraged to attend.
To vote in the Annual Meeting of the Congregation requires that one's membership status be in good standing. This includes making a responsible financial contribution to the Church and committing to do so annually. Members who are not in good standing have been moved to "inactive" and will not be able to vote at the meeting.
Annual Meeting of the First Unitarian Church of Orlando Endowment Fund, Inc.
· Call meeting to order
· Brief review purpose of Endowment Fund Board and annual report
· Treasurer's Report and update
· Vote on new members
Annual Meeting of the First Unitarian Church of Orlando Congregation
· Opening words and chalice lighting
· Approval of minutes from last year's Annual Meeting
· Year in Review
· Planning Process
· Stewardship Report
· Proposed Budget
· Vote for Board officers and Trustees, Nominating Committee members
· Announcement of delegates to represent our congregation at GA
· Recognition of outgoing elected leaders
· Installation of incoming elected leaders
· Closing, extinguishing the chalice
The Proposed Budget for church year 2013-2014 is under preparation and will be endorsed by the Board by April 1, 2013. The Proposed Budget will be posted to the Members section of the 1U website on April 2. A link to this posting will be included in each eblast from that date until the Annual Meeting.
All are welcome to attend these two meetings scheduled to discuss the Proposed Budget. Please attend either or both to learn more and share your thoughts:
- Sunday, April 21 at 11:00am in the Community Room (Room 18 of the Enrichment Center)
- Sunday, April 28 at 12:15pm in the Hiett Library.
Nominees for Elected Positions
The Nominating Committee recommends the following slate of nominees for the Board and Nominating Committee for church year 2013-2014. The election will take place at the Annual Meeting on Sunday, May 5, 2013.
President: Jean Siegfried (1-year term) - I've been part of this congregation since I moved to Orlando in 1960, and "official" since 1961. Over the years I've served on the Board too many times to count, and back when my adult children were small I taught church school and was very involved in the RE Committee and the weekday cooperative preschool. More recently I served some on the District Board, as a volunteer at yearly General Assembly, and was honored recently to be a part of SUULE, the Southeastern UU Leadership Experience. Although many community activities are important to me, participation in this church and relationships with its "family" are at the top of the list.
President-Elect: no nominee at this time
Treasurer: John Hartgering (2-year term) - I became a member of 1U in February 2008, and began service on the Board as Treasurer in July 2009. During my time on the Board, I have participated on the Stewardship, Budget, Governance, and Documentation Task Forces. I have been active in various Social Justice programs. My wife Martha and I have attended District and General Assembly in each of the last three years, and I also attended the Southeast Unitarian Universalist Leadership Experience in 2011. Since I retired in 1993, I have been active in volunteer management. I am currently chair of the Emergency Services Committee for the Mid-Florida Region of the American Red Cross. Martha and I live in Clermont.
Secretary of the Board: Kim Bowles (completing 1 year) - Kimberly Bowles became a member of 1U in February of 2010. Kim brings with her 25 years of Non-Profit Board experience. She has served the LBGTQ community in several leadership roles as President of the Orlando Gay Chorus and President of the Rainbow Democratic Club. Currently Kim sits as the Vice-Chair of the Central FL AFL-CIO and Chair of the Orange County Municipal Facilities Board. In her spare time she serves as the District Leader of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees for the State of Florida, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands representing "behind the scenes" employees in the theater and movie business. Kim and her partner Ridge will celebrate 19 years together this July.
Trustee at Large: Julie Salvo (2-year term) - Julie Salvo joined 1U in 2009 with her husband Scott. Since joining, they've added two new UUs to the church, Jake and Veda. Julie is currently involved with wrangling toddlers for the preschool co-op, and she recently served on the Strategic Planning Committee. Julie is excited about the opportunity to serve on the Board of Trustees.
Trustee at Large: Meredith Varner (2-year term) - Meredith has been a member of 1U since 2007. She has been involved in various capacities as a greeter, in a covenant group, with circle dinners, the web team, and most recently in helping teach the preschool RE class. Meredith and her husband, Jay, are originally from the Carolinas and have lived in Orlando for over 10 years. They have two children, Eli (3 years), and Killian (3 months). Meredith is excited to serve the church on the Board as we move forward in these exciting times.
Continuing Board Positions
The following Board members are midway through their two-year terms on the Board:
Trustee Chris Baranyi - I have been a member of 1U for nearly nine years. Outside of church I am heavily involved in music production and mixing bands at events and festivals. I enjoy local arts and culture and especially anywhere that has jazz or vegan food. When I am not involved in audio or our A/V team, I have had the opportunity to serve on the Adult Religious Education and Membership committees. I am honored to be a part of the Board of Trustees and to serve the 1U community.
Trustee Rachel Gardiner - Rachel Gardiner has been an active member of 1U since 2004. She has served the beloved community as a lay leader in worship, leading adult religious education classes, acting as middle school & youth advisor, and on the Board of Trustees. Rachel is a certified tree-hugger and animal lover, and she is passionate about promoting social justice and conscious eating.
Nominating Committee Nominees
The following members are recommended for two-year terms:
• Michelle Bergandi
• Tim Wiley
• Alisha Kearns
Continuing Nominating Committee Members
These members are halfway through their two-year term and will be continuing as Nominating Committee members:
• Arlene Delleur
• Saidge Schmidt
• Allan Stevenson
Nominations by Petition
Our Nominating Committee has proposed a slate of candidates for open, elected positions on the Board of Trustees and on the Nominating Committee. Our Bylaws detail a procedure that must be followed in order to nominate someone other than those the Nominating Committee has chosen.
From our Bylaws :
"Nominations for any elective position may be made by petition, after the slate is presented in writing to the congregation. Nominations by petition must be made in writing to the Board Secretary, accompanied by the signatures of at least 10% of the voting members of the Church at least ten (10) days prior to the Annual Meeting. The Secretary will present nominations by petition during the elections at the Annual Meeting."
Based on our membership as of 2/28/2013, petitioners would need 25 signatures of voting members. The cutoff for Nominations by Petition is April 25, 2013. Contact
Strategic Planning Process Update
The Strategic Planning process is progressing. The Board hopes to have more information to share after the March 11 Board Meeting.
Carolina Lofgren, 1U Board Secretary,
Building Assessment Info Session January 13
Jan. 13 at 11:00am in the Community Room
Your Board of Trustees, in partnership with our Buildings and Grounds chair, is hosting an information session for our members and friends regarding the recently conducted building assessment. The first opportunity for questions, discussion, and further information took place on Dec. 2, and the second session will take place on Jan. 13 at 11:00am in the Community Room. Please join us, whether you are familiar with the building assessment or not, so that we can all learn together more about the current state and future of our facilities and our mission.
Don't know what this is all about? Read this summary to catch up (you will need your member login): http://www.orlandouu.org/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_download&gid=377&Itemid=168