The Building Our Future Team Recommendation

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Recommendation regarding the January 2023 Stay vs. Go vote At First Unitarian Universalist Church, Rochester, MN

Whereas, the Board of Directors of First Unitarian Universalist Church of Rochester, Minn., established a Building Our Future/Beyond Ourselves team in 2018;

Whereas, the team was charged with the task of exploring all options regarding our building and property going forward and how those options meet the needs of our church;

Whereas, the team has approached its task keeping as a priority which option or options most support the mission of the First UU church and are the most fiscally responsible in managing the current and future financial health of the church;

Whereas, the team embarked upon a course of engaging the congregation, consulting experts, touring existing churches, exploring possible new church sites, and gathering other detailed information;

Whereas, the team has made available to congregants a wealth of material that the team has gathered regarding building/property options on the First UU’s website;

Whereas, the team recently gathered more detailed financial estimates showing the comparative costs of three options – staying and remodeling, staying and building new, moving to a new site and building new; and

Whereas, the team and the congregation have heard First UU consultant Rachel Maxwell conclude that staying in our current building without making improvements means that we cannot adequately fulfill the mission of our church nor can it accommodate growth;

Whereas, the Board of Directors has set a Jan. 22, 2023, date for the commencement of a congregational vote that would support the deeper exploration of one of two options – staying at our current site or going to a new site; now, therefore,

The Building Our Future/Beyond Ourselves team:

  1. Believes that “living our faith” guides our actions as First Unitarian Universalist Church;
  2. Concludes that the mission of the church can be fulfilled only by an extensive remodel or by building new on site or by going to a new site;
  3. Concludes that of the comparative options, building on a new site would be far more affordable and be the most fiscally responsible option;
  4. Concludes that the “go” option is good stewardship and does not shift the burden of making important decisions about building issues to future First UU generations;
  5. Concludes that the “go” option best assures the flourishing of Unitarian Universalism in S.E. Minnesota;
  6. Supports exploring further the “go” option, which may include building new on a different site or moving to a suitable existing building;
  7. Supports the “go” option in the upcoming congregational vote; and
  8. Recommends that the Board of Directors also go on record as supporting the “go” option in the upcoming congregational vote.

    Respectfully submitted by the members of the Building Our Future/Beyond Ourselves team:
    Ann Hutton, Gail Bishop, George Huston, Greg Turosak, Walt Rothwell

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