Breaking New Ground

Read our "Breaking New Ground" brochure here.
Click here for Ministry Team updates.


SNUUC’s Breaking New Ground
A Creative, Collaborative Approach to Whole-Congregation Ministry

Our shared approach to ministry for the 2017-18 congregational year combines a lay-professional Ministry Team, professional ministerial consultants, and the flexibility to engage denominational consultants for specific developmental work.

Breaking New Ground continues our tradition of high-quality professional presence in the pulpit, provides pastoral support to members and keeps us moving forward on our developmental goals. As we move through this year of largely lay congregational management, the board will continue to meet its core responsibilities to the congregation – to sustain and grow our congregation’s membership, fiscal resources and presence in the community.

The following provides more information and contact information for the Ministry Team as well as whom to consult on a range of congregational matters.

Worship and Religious Education
We are using monthly themes to promote whole-congregation programming this year, starting with ‘Welcome’ for September. Each month’s theme will be listed in the Open Line.

In the Sanctuary
Our lead Sunday minister, the Rev. Linda Anderson, will preach on the first and last Sundays each month. Regular guest preacher Hollis Huston will preach on the third Sundays; seminarians and other guest ministers will be invited on the second, and sometimes fourth, Sundays. For information, contact Laura D’Angelo, Sunday Services Committee chair.

In the Brantley Wing
Religious Education classes for children and youth in kindergarten through 12th grade meet Sundays at 10:30 a.m. Child care is provided for infants and preschool-age children. For information, contact Reli-gious Education Coordinator Harriet Arnold.

Ministry Team
These lay leaders, staff and consultant ministers will foster collaboration and communication during this year without a part-time minister. Lay leaders and staff, in particular, are congregants’ primary contacts.

Team members (consult your directory or call office for phone numbers)
- Rosemary Olander-Beach, president, Board of Trustees, rosemaryolander@optimum.net
- Harriet Arnold, Religious Education Coordinator, arnoldharriet00@gmail.com
- Lisa Bryson-Brockmann, Office Manager, 516-623-1204, snuuc@optonline.net
- Laura D’Angelo, Sunday Services Committee chair, ldangelo@optonline.net
- The Rev. Linda Anderson, Lead Sunday Minister and Consultant to the Board, revlin23@gmail.com
- The Rev. Will Feinberg, Lead Pastoral Minister and Consultant to the Caring Team, wfeinberg56@yahoo.com

Staying connected
Communication and collaboration are part of the foundation we hope to strengthen this year; such a foundation will continue to serve us when we hire a new minister. Here's a list of contacts for common congregational matters; consult the SNUUC Directory or Office for information not listed here.

Congregational communication
- Articles and items for our monthly newsletter, the Open Line, are generally due the penultimate Sunday of the month; items for the weekly email are due by 9 a.m. Wednesday. All should be emailed to snuuc@optonline.net.

- Items for the Order of Service are due by 9 a.m. Thursday. Sunday announcements should be emailed to the board member on duty (listed in the Open Line and weekly email) and snuuc@optonline.net by 9 a.m. Thursday.

- To have something listed/changed on our website, snuuc.org, contact Peter Larsen.

Ideas for programming and events
- Do you have an idea for an event, programming or a fundraiser? All such ideas should be funneled through a committee or ministry; chairs and ministry leaders are listed in the Open Line and Order of Service. Not sure where your idea fits? Contact the Ministry Team or the board.

- If you have an idea for worship programming, contact Laura D’Angelo, Sunday Services Committee chair.

Building use
- To schedule space for congregational events (once you have spoken to the appropriate com-mittee) or to calendar an event, contact Office Manager Lisa Bryson-Brockmann, 516-623-1204 or snuuc@optonline.net.

- For private events or inquiries from outside groups, contact the Office Manager.

- If you notice that something is broken, isn’t working or is unsafe, contact Ken Bellafiore, board vice president, or the Office Manager.

Pastoral care
- The Caring Team supports members in times of stress and celebrates members in times of joy. It has four captains: Cards and phone calls: JoAnn Fassman; Transportation: Doris Brass; Visiting: Paul Sherrock; Joys and Concerns: Rosemary Olander-Beach. Contact a team member or email caring@snuuc.org.

- Joys and concerns to be shared from the pulpit should be submitted by noon Saturday.

- The Rev. Will Feinberg will support the team this year by attending its monthly meetings and by leading congregational trainings

Membership, visitor information
- The Membership Committee can provide visi-tors with information about membership and programming. Committee members are Julie Buckley, Marietta Cleckley and Nancy Levy.
- Help visitors feel welcome by asking them to fill out a Visitor Card at the Welcome Table!

Rites of Passage
- For weddings and child dedications, contact the Rev. Linda Anderson, revlin23@gmail.com, 845-706-7944.

- For funerals and memorial services, contact the Rev. Will Feinberg, 516-983-2697, wfeinberg56@yahoo.com.

Questions about finances
- Questions and concerns about pledges should be directed to the Stewardship Committee. For information about committee budgets and ex-penses, contact the Finance Committee.
Resolving conflicts

- Our beloved community calls on us to resolve conflicts directly and with compassion. For help resolving a conflict, contact a member of the Ministry Team



Breaking New Ground: Ministry Team Update (February Open Line-pg 2)
By Laura D’Angelo, Sunday Services Committee chair

As the Board of Trustees began planning Breaking New Ground: A Creative, Collaborative Approach to Whole-Congregation Ministry for 2017-18, a leadership model for SNUUC in this year without a half-time minister, it created a Ministry Team to lead the congregation. The team will offer a monthly update in this space, rotating author- ship among team members, to keep the congregation informed.

On Sunday, Jan. 22, I joined marchers at Union Square Park to rally against patriarchy and oppression in faith communities that refuse to ordain women. The march was organized by a friend, Lizzie Berne DeGear, who runs a ministry called “The Women Who Stayed” at St. Francis Xavier, a Catholic Church in Chelsea.

I respect the women who stayed in the Catholic Church to fight for equality and are infusing the church with faith and feminism. Marching in solidarity with them, I reflected on my status as A Woman Who Could Not Stay. Being in a Catholic Church where women’s voices were muted made me too crabby. I had to leave.

Finding Unitarian Universalism allowed me to relax in a religious community that not only ordains women but welcomes people of all genders and sexualities. But Unitarian Universalism has its unique challenges. Our existence depends on the energy and vitality that we generate. Our congregation is self-governed, self-supported and in many ways self-created. At times, that feels tentative. But this year, the generative spirit at SNUUC is strong.

We do not have a full-time minister; we have something bigger and broader, and unique to SNUUC - a Ministry Team. Built on the principals of collaboration, Our Ministry Team is guided by our lead Sunday minister and consultant to the board, the Rev. Linda Anderson. Lead pastoral care minister and consultant to the Caring Team, the Rev. Will Feinberg, lay leaders Rosemary Olander-Beach and myself and staff members, Lisa Bryson-Brockmann and Harriet Arnold, are team members.

At our January meeting, we marveled at SNUUC’s progress this year. We have embraced our identity as a center for Spiritual Arts and Practices. A creative undercurrent at SNUUC has given life to groups that pray, meditate, study the Bible, drum, play with improvisational joy and practice non-violent communication. The spiritual arts evolved so naturally and became so tightly woven into the fabric of our congregation, that it was hard to appreciate the gem we created. When the Rev. Linda became part of SNUUC, she was impressed by the energy of spiritual arts here and has helped us to claim it as part of our core identity.

Other signs of progress abound. We have strengthened our governance, enhanced our worship services with a larger choir and a more elegant liturgy. Our Thrift Shop provides a connection to the wider community. Even with the loss of the co-managers of the Thrift Shop, the board is working with the shift captains to support its continued functioning.

A Board subcommittee is reviewing the bylaws to ensure smooth functioning of the congregation and plans to propose comprehensive revisions in January 2019. The Social Media Team sent out a survey in January to help it gauge and inform the congregation’s use of social media. Religious Education Program attendance is strong and steady. The office manager, Lisa Bryson-Brockmann, keeps the office functioning at a highly professional level.

Most importantly, people are engaged in SNUUC life. Lots of SNUUCers showed up at the Joint Council meeting in October and this month more than 20 people participated in a training for worship leaders, and another 26 people attended an all-day meditation retreat. The Ministry Team is committed to nurturing these tendrils of health so that the days ahead will be filled with creativity, possibility and growth.