The Seven Eight Principles
  1. The inherent worth and dignity of every person;

  2. Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;

  3. Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;

  4. A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;

  5. The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;

  6. The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;

  7. Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part

  8. And Restoration's Eighth Principle... We affirm and promote the following 8th Principle:

    Journeying toward spiritual wholeness by building a diverse, multicultural Beloved Community that by our actions accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.

December Board Minutes
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Restoration is Hopping!

At an informal town hall meeting after the Sunday service on October 18, attendees were informed of many activities and initiatives upcoming this church year:

Speaking for the Board, Moderator Tim S. noted the new spirit at Restoration and officially welcomed Reverend McKinley Sims to the Restoration family. Tim provided an update on recent Board activities and introduced the Board's members. He thanked Anne A. (who is leaving the Board) for her service over the past year, especially as liaison to the successful search committee.

Changes in Board processes: Minutes and Board reports are posted to the website's Board portal in advance for review. This streamlines the board meetings and enables us to focus on key concerns.

Harald G. spoke about our founding documents: The articles of incorporation have been fading despite being displayed in museum-quality framing. The original documents have been donated to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Copies were made using a high density printer and are now more legible. The copies are hung at Restoration.

Tim noted that the Building & Grounds Committee has been doing a very good job of keeping up with scheduled maintenance. Mike F. spoke about two new unanticipated maintenance issues that will have financial consequences:

  • A water drain has been leaking underground behind the church. It will need to be excavated and replaced. It was not known at the time of the meeting how extensive (or expensive) the project would be.
  • The main electrical conduit, bringing electricity underground has been compromised by water; it's possible that we'll need to re-wire our facilities from above with assistance from PECO (externally), which our electrician will have to hook up internally.
  • On a more positive note, three trees will be donated by Pennsylvania Tree Tenders on November 17. B & G has conferred on the placement. Tree Tenders would like to use Restoration as a staging area and has asked for volunteers. Linda H. has helped to bring us this opportunity

    Treasurer Len R. provided a financial update: This year's budget is $200,800. The unknown factor is addressing the water problems noted above.

We're at approximately 18% of income but 28% through the fiscal year, so members are encouraged to think about following through now making pledges.

Religious Exploration Coordinator Joanna S. provided highlights of the RE curriculum. This year, they're using a Soul Matters resource, which corresponds to what McKinley is using for services in the sanctuary. An area we can build upon is multigenerational learning. Joanna proposes that we focus more on this by:

  1. at least once a month having an intergenerational activity during the social hour. E.g., conversation cards, cooperative games, craft activities, etc. and
  2. More structured, extracurricular activities such nature walks, museum trips, etc. Sandy F. spoke about a welcoming congregation initiative. She was informed that welcoming congregation credentials need to be renewed annually (previously was every five years). Initiatives are posted on the church website.
Sandy also spoke about a ceremony scheduled for Sunday, November 18, to scatter Adrienne M.'s ashes in the garth. She encouraged spreading the word within the community.

Cathy M. spoke on behalf of the Greater Philadelphia Cluster of UU Churches to build relationships between the area congregations. It's important to broaden our activities to draw attention to the UU movement throughout the area.

Steve W. announced PIHN's upcoming visit beginning October 28th for two weeks. Assistance is needed for overnight hosting.

Minister McKinley Sims announced that the First United Methodist Church of Germantown (FUMCOG) is sponsoring a sanctuary program for immigrant families (families are present now) and workshops.

The former parsonage on Gorgas Lane is coming up for sale. Restoration has first right of refusal to purchase it. It may be an opportunity for us, although an extensive business plan will be needed to make it affordable and useful. Opportunities may include using the space for community meetings, an income-generating Airbnb, housing for PIHN families, etc.

All in all, we've kicked off an eventful year!

— Steve W., Secretary

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