2018 Messages from the President

April 26

The UUFB Board met on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. A number of topics were discussed such as the upcoming Sunday, May 6 Dinner sponsored by “Men Who Cook.” Following service, the men will host a fundraising meal for a cost of $10/person and $25/family. The menu includes hot dogs, hamburgers, turkey burgers, veggie burgers, sides, drinks and dessert. Now, you know that’s going to be a good time. Come and join in!

The next large fundraiser will be the Fall Auction; however, we may have smaller fundraisers of the type mentioned above until then. New and revised ideas for raising funds are popping up and being explored for future use. If you have ideas, please let us hear them.

Also, due to the recent resignation of Jennifer Ojulewa, the position of Care Chair is vacant. Please speak to Rev. Lori if you are interested in this opportunity. It is important to the membership and represents a big part of who we are. Plans to better define this job are in the making.

Finally, part two of the Board’s Annual Retreat has been rescheduled for Tuesday, May 8 from 9 am to 3 pm so that all members can attend. The main topic will focus on preparing UUFB to create Long Range Plans. We will be seeking ideas and opinions from our members about our future growth and certainly want all to participate. The future before us is bright because our values are especially needed in the world today.

In community,


April 12

Well, moving right along, the new personal pass codes will be entered into our UUFB alarm system this week. If all goes well, they will be completed by the time you read this. That means that the old pass code will be obsolete. It will not work. Several of you have mentioned that you have old keys. Please, let me know and return them to me at your earliest convenience.

On another topic, we always need good leaders. If you are someone who would like to take part in leadership training please let me know. We do not have any specific plans for training at this time; I want to know how many people are interested and what kind of leadership they want to provide. Let’s have a conversation.

In service,


March 8, 2018

This week additional news from the March 20 Board meeting has been confirmed. The Board vacancy, resulting from Frances Kuzinski’s resignation upon moving to New York, has been filled. The new Board Member-At-Large is Jean Griffith.  We are happy to welcome Jean aboard; she will be a valuable asset.

Another item discussed at the meeting is Spring Fundraising ideas. If you have some, please share them with the Board members. Some suggestions so far are small community dinners following service. We set a tentative fundraising goal of $2,000 for the spring which is in line with previous years. For the full report of February’s Board Meeting Minutes, checkout the website.

Also, save the date to attend the March 17 Fun Day at UUFB sponsored by the Membership Committee. An assortment of fun activities is planned for the whole family. Don’t miss it!

February 25:

Looking back over recent years, I recognize how often UUFB has celebrated together in joy, and then, we’ve grieved our losses together, too. It is heartening that our community grew close and strong from these experiences. Rather than letting them pull us apart, we have stood together.

That is happening again as our minister, Rev. Lori Hlaban, prepares to vacate the pulpit for several weeks recovering from surgery. People are concerned for her and her husband, Tom, and want to see her mend quickly and well. But, more than that, people are stepping up to help out in her absence. They are taking on new responsibilities, looking ahead to trouble shoot problems and keeping things running smoothly.

The Worship Team has lined up some very interesting services for the interim, the music has been arranged, and the Care Steering Committee has met. People are pulling together and pitching in, filling the holes and sealing the cracks. The positive energy is flowing. “All will be well,” Rev. Lori says. And, we know she is right.

Many thanks for your heartfelt service and sincere dedication to the strength of our fellowship. Peace be with you.

February 15:

Are you one of those Unitarian Universalists (UU) who enjoys traveling and taking part in current affairs? Do you like meeting new people and making new friendships? Well, you might be just the person to become one of two UUFB General Assembly Delegates this year in Kansas City, MO. The General Assembly is in the heart of the summer from June 20-24, 2018. This is not too early to think about it since registration begins on March 1, 2018. If you don’t know what a delegate does, don’t worry. We will explain things ahead of time and on location to prepare you.

If you’ve never been or if it’s been a long time, this enriching experience offers knowledge and first-hand experiences that inform about compassionate issues and opportunities close to one’s heart. UUs from all over the country and beyond bring their thoughts and ideas together, not to mention their beautiful banners displayed after the parade. Besides taking care of business that determines the future of our movement, you can soak up the local flavor and hospitality of the venue. It is an eye-opening experience. If you are so moved to take part, please notify me or one of the other Board members. It’s worth a try.

January 18:  When we feel surrounded by turmoil and unrest and face our own personal challenges, I hope these words will hearten you. I received them today from a dear relative far away. John has been experiencing personal loss this year and was commemorating it. His gratitude and strength continue to amaze me. These words he shared from Christopher Robin (of Winnie the Pooh) encouraged me, and I hope they will do the same for you. When you feel helpless and small, remember, “You are braver than you believe; you are stronger than you seem, and you are smarter than you think.” Peace be with you. Jennifer

January 11:

Talk of planning has surrounded me lately. Perhaps it’s just a New Year’s subject, or maybe it’s because we begin with the date 01/01 – a clean slate; whatever it is, it’s making an impression. Even my daughter made a resolution for the two of us. “Mom,” she said, “my friend shared a neat idea with me. I think we should do it.” That idea involved creating a Bullet Journal (bujo, for short). The journal is not lined; instead it has grids or dots. Neither of us knew where to begin, so we consulted YouTube Videos which gave tons of quick tutorials. In a nutshell, it’s a way of organizing any or all aspects of one’s life in a short-note journal, but it draws on one’s creative urges to format it. As a result, making the planner is very therapeutic. Artistic skills are not required rather follow your own style.

So coming home from her house, I bought a grid journal on impulse. Then, this short Ice Age descended upon us which proved to be a fertile womb of creativity for developing my bujo. Calendars with events were drawn, an index was constructed, goals were listed, and habits were monitored. It became evident just how many items one could record and follow.

After some reflection on the infant journal, my mind drifted to further development of UUFB as a fellowship. There are many aspects to consider. We need to set goals, to gather information and to study to create a good foundational plan for our future. A timeline will be needed; while skills, income and expenses must be considered. Hey, I wonder how we start a bujo for an institution.

(In other news, this week our first meeting of the 2018 UUFB Board will be Tuesday, Jan. 9. A new day will be selected for our meetings as conflicts have arisen with our monthly secondThursday routine. I will notify you of the new schedule in a future article.)

In friendship,


Dec. 24, 2017

Here We Go Again

Once again, we are on the precipice of a new year; the cloud of unknowing obscures the view. So, I resort to the internet for words of inspiration, enlightenment and motivation. I look for something I’ve never known before, a fresh idea or viewpoint or a voice I’ve not heard. The New Year is a point when we can re-imagine life begins anew. I was not disappointed with my research.

As I get older, I sometimes expect less from the coming year and feel I have less to give. Yet, the year starts with a flurry, and I’m caught in the activity of it. One way to face this time of shortsightedness is to adopt the idea of Alan Kay, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” Decide for yourself what will come to pass then see that it does.

Or borrow the resolve of Helen Keller informing us:”Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.” We can address things with a positive attitude that gives us the wherewithal to face challenges.

The quote that appeals most to me is a little different though. It comes from Neil Gaiman who says, “I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.”

What do you think? Perhaps we’re inventing the future here.

In friendship,