This Week @ UUSO

We are experimenting with new newsletter formats. This is the first edition and there will be a new one each week. This one makes it easy to print for those without email access. Please let us know your positive and negative feedback!

July 14 - Sunday Service at 10:30AM

Big picture

Poverty is a chronic, acute problem across our country,

including our community of Oneonta.

If we truly saw the people suffering from it,

we might also see the truth of how to address it.

(No Religious Education)

Worship Associate Julian Pecenco -

Minister's Musings

Spiritual Practices Over the Summer

For some, summer is a time of slowing down. For others, summer is a time of vacation, travel, and trips. And for others, summer is just like the rest of the year, only warmer and brighter. We have a tradition in Unitarian Universalism of taking things a bit slower during the summer months. At UUSO, our Sunday morning religious education classes take a break, some of our staff takes vacation, and our attendance at worship dips a little. (That last one might have something to do with the heat and our lack of air conditioning.) But this slowing down does not mean that summertime is not a good time for spiritual practices.

For the gardeners among us, summer is a time of communion with nature, hands in the earth, and celebrating each new flower, tasting fresh berries, and sharing abundant vegetables. For the bikers and hikers, each day beckons with roads and trails free and clear of ice and snow. Birdwatchers get out their glasses and their notebooks and listen for that surprising call of nature, something unexpected and delightful to discover. For me, the spiritual practice is swimming-- under the sun and under the moon. Swimming at night, alone, only the fireflies and the moon, and sometimes Spirit, keeping my company-- my mind quiets and wanders in and out of topics and imaginings.

Whatever your spiritual practice this season, I hope you engage in it with regularity and with joy. I hope you find yourself lost in the moment, transcending the time and place. I hope you find renewal and communion with the greater whole. Let this summer be a spiritual one for you-- whatever and however you make it so.

Spiritually ,

Rev. Craig

Sawdust From the Board

The last Board meeting of the fiscal year was held on June 26. We welcomed new board member, Elayne Mosher Campoli. On a personal note, my term as President has ended as of June 30. I am grateful to the Board and Congregation for the opportunity to have served in this role. If you are curious to know who the new Board officers are, read on…

Financial Reports up to Date

The Treasurer presented a complete May 2019 Profit and Loss statement and Balance Sheet. This now brings us finally up to date with much thanks to our new bookkeeper.

Grace Smith was a guest at the meeting and proposed that the Board research the services of an external CPA to provide a review of our finances appropriate to the size of our budget and our identified needs. The Board agreed to engage in this research beginning now but would like to review the Finance Committee’s “A-Team” internal financial review when it is completed prior to requesting outside professional services.

Treasurer Search

The Board is forming a subcommittee to engage in a search for a new Treasurer.

Minister’s Agreement

The Board tasked a subcommittee to review the notes from the congregational conversation regarding the Minister’s Agreement and provide answers to remaining questions in the newsletter, likely the later issue in July.

July BOT Retreat

The Board is planning a retreat on July 24 as well as a regular board meeting. Agenda items were proposed.

NYCON membership

The Board voted to join the New York Council of Nonprofits.

Election of Officers

Following the regular Board meeting, the newly constituted Board elected the following officers:

President—Adrienne Martini

Vice President—Amy Forster Rothbart

Clerk---Karen Palmer

Next Board Meeting:

Our Board retreat will be on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 from 3pm to 6pm. The regular board meeting time will be announced. Congregants are welcome to observe during the regular board meeting. We will hold the Sounding Board on Sunday, July 21 after the service to hear any comments, questions, or concerns to be brought to the Board.

Karen Palmer, Former Board President

UUSO Board

President - Adrienne Martini,

Vice President - Amy Forster-Rothbart,

Clerk - Karen Palmer,

Treasurer - Arlana Young,

Moderator - Karl Seeley,

Ben Friedell,

Elayne Mosher-Campoli,

Keith Willcox,

Jennifer Hyypio,

Rosemary Summers,

Big picture

Guide to UUSO Governance

The Board has been listening to congregants. One subject that we are finding needs clarification is our UUSO governance in light of the recent changes in our model. If you have been confused about Teams vs. Committees, who has the authority at UUSO, what our organizational chart looks like, or what document describes our governance structure, this article may help…

As outlined in our UUSO May 2019 Bylaws found on our website under Members—Online Documents, our governance model takes the typical organizational shape of a pyramid with a person or small group at the top and turns it upside down. Instead, our UUSO members hold the place of highest authority as we operate under the Unitarian Universalist Association’s fifth principle: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.

Click link to see the UUSO Organizational Chart

We also observe the principle of “shared ministry” and therefore do not concentrate authority in one person or body but rather share it among several groups with distinct roles and responsibilities. Our UUSO members elect five ongoing independent bodies: Committee on Ministry, Nominating Committee, Board of Trustees, Bylaws Committee, and Endowment Committee. UUSO members also elect an independent Ministerial Search Committee as needed toward “calling” a full time minister.

Our Minister oversees the ministry of our congregation and appoints teams to fulfill our Mission. The Minister and core staff members oversee teams and task forces (short term project groups). The staff are accountable to the Board of Trustees. Currently these are our teams: Worship, Small Group Ministry, Pastoral Care, Connections, Social Action, Mali Education Project, Religious Education, Fun. We also have a Green Sanctuary Task Force.

Our Board of Trustees appoints and oversees committees that sustain our health and vitality as an organization. These committees are: Personnel, Properties, Aesthetics, Stewardship, Finance, Safety, Policy, Memorial, History.

We’ve based parts of our model on the principles of Mission-Based Governance which is credited to Dan Hotchkiss, author of Governance and Ministry. UUSO members and friends serve on teams led by Team Leaders and Committees led by Committee Chairs.

While we govern our congregation ourselves with no outside authority, we share mutual inspiration and support with our Unitarian Universalist Association and work toward honoring our covenant with other UU congregations.

If you have any further questions about our UUSO governance, please refer to our UUSO May 2019 Bylaws. You may also speak with our Minister, Moderator, or any Board member.

Big picture

Thank you to all who support the mission of the UUSO through your generous annual pledge.

Did you know there is an easy way to make pledge payments weekly or monthly through our website with your credit or debit card?

What are the benefits of setting up a recurring donation?

  • Reduces check writing for frequent donors
  • Allows donations to continue uninterrupted during absences
  • Allows donations to be spread out over time
  • Reduces administrative time for the UUSO
  • Consumes fewer resources than paper check processing

Just grab your card and go to and select Online Donation

  1. Enter the amount you would like to give weekly or monthly
  2. Scroll down below Total
  3. Select your Donation Frequency
  4. Select your Donation Start Date
  5. Select Continue
  6. Enter your credit or debit card information
  7. Enter a Password—this will allow you to log in to add new transactions, edit or stop existing transactions or view a complete history of your online donations and payments.
  8. Check the Summary at the right and make any needed edit
  9. Select Process at the bottom left side
  10. Sit back and relax when the collection plate is passed.

Any questions? Contact Kari Reynolds at 917.545.2350

Thank you for your stewardship of our beloved community.

Stewardship and Fundraising Committee

Upcoming Services

July 14

Faces of Poverty

Joe Stillman

Poverty is a chronic, acute problem across our country,

including our community of Oneonta.

If we truly saw the people suffering from it,

we might also see the truth of how to address it.

July 21

Who Was Horace Kallen?

Bob Brzozowski

Learn more about this important 20th century writer

and philosopher with connections to

Oneonta and our Unitarian Universalist Society.

July 28

Looking Back

Rev. Craig Schwalenberg

Ten years ago, I began my service as the minister of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Oneonta. What have we learned and accomplished together?

Past Service Recordings

Past services are available for listening via our podcasts.

Visit the link below to catch up on services from UUSO.

Deadlines for Newsletters & Announcements:

Weekly E-News: Mondays, by 10AM to

Orders of Service: Wednesdays, by 10AM to

Our Covenant

In short, as a community we commit to

Get involved, and stay engaged

Be Honest and Kind

Be Respectful and Open Minded

Grow and Learn Together

About Us

Minister: Rev Craig Schwalenberg | Appointments Preferred

Director of Religious Education: Susan Ryder

Music Director: Tim Horne

Office Administrator: Evelyn Warren | Tues-Fri 10am-3pm