President’s Letter: October 2017

Dear Members of the UUCJ Congregation,

I’m Mark Dickens, your new President as of June 2017. This is my first monthly letter to you and I’d just like to give you a short update on a few of the things we’ve been working on.

For many months we’ve had separate Task Forces working on some far reaching issues:

  • Should we modify our Mission and Vision Statements? We’ve got four draft Mission Statements and two draft Vision Statements we’ll send you next month to ponder before the vote.
  •  Staffing Task Force has been analyzing who on our church staff does what, who SHOULD do what, who should we hire to do what isn’t being done, how much of that can we afford, how should the performance of our professional staff be evaluated, and what about pay?
  • We’ve conducted two surveys in the last few months to evaluate how you think we’re doing and what yourpriorities are for moving forward. Mike Plummer has analyzed what you said and the Board has developed plans to fix what is broken and to steer toward the goals you have given us. More on the survey results in another communication. Speaking of Communications, that’s a glaring need and we plan to hire a part time Communications Director in January as well as stand up a Communications Committee now – and yes we need to get the President to send out monthly letters…


  • The renewal of the Fleming Nature Walk begun just before Irma is nearing completion.
  • We’ve set aside $80,000 to have the roof on the South Wing REPLACED (instead of repaired yet again) the contract is almost signed and work will begin soon.
  • We want to expand opportunities for FUN and are establishing a new committee, maybe something like, “Fun Raising Cmte.”, to work on having more things we used to have like 8 person dinners; a Men’s Club; outings; etc. It will also focus on other internal social opportunities.
  • We haven’t found anyone willing to lead it but we plan to begin a 3-year Capital Campaign to grow our church facilities – we’re considering hiring professionals to help us with that.
  • Before the end of the year we want to improve the outside lighting in the parking lots and other spaces around the campus. It’ll be an interim solution but we need to do something.

Our congregation is growing almost weekly, and not just in size, our demographics are broadening and becoming even more inclusive (witness the many new children running around). To quote the Sheriff in that famous Shakespearean movie about the shark, “We’re going to need a bigger boat.”

Thanks for your support and I look forward to serving you for another two months.


Mark Dickens
Board President, UUCJ

2 Responses to “President’s Letter: October 2017

  1. What THE heck? This guy should be removed from ANY leadership position whatsoever. He has clearly established that he not only has a sense of humor but that it (be still my heart) is not even socialistic I nature!!!!

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