Our first update is an article that our UTUUC Board President Dan Crimmins wrote for the June issue of CONNECTIONS. More updates will be coming soon as we begin our journey of restoration and preservation!
June has arrived, and we are just a few days away from moving out of Unity Temple. This is an exciting time for all of us — we’ve been busy cleaning, sorting, organizing and planning for this time for months.
On June 14, we’ll hold our first service at United Lutheran Church, and Unity Temple will then be closed to us until the fall of 2016.
I would encourage anyone who is in need of transportation, or willing to provide transportation to United Lutheran to those in need, to complete a sign-up sheet at the Welcome Table in the foyer, or to send an email to email@example.com.
When we move back into Unity Temple in the fall of 2016, we’ll return to a building that in ways will be the same as the one that we left, but in other ways will be different.
When we walk through Unity Temple, with historically-accurate restoration of the fixtures and finishes, it will be hard not to think of our forebears first taking possession of Unity Temple over 100 years ago. But we also look forward to improved, efficient LED lighting throughout the building, year-round climate control, and improvements in the minister’s office space.
As construction is now underway, I have been working with the engineers, architects and contractors for the preservation project to understand how some of these changes will impact the costs for operating and maintaining the building.
Despite our choice of efficient ground-source geothermal heating and cooling, the fact that we will be cooling the building for the first time will be a significant expense. We also anticipate that some of the building systems, including the geothermal system and our 16 roof surfaces, will need more maintenance than in the past.
How will we pay for these expenses, without depleting our congregation’s financial resources? Our plan is to make the building as self-sufficient as possible by attracting a higher level of event and tour revenue.
I envision a future where we have our building booked for beautiful weddings every weekend, and where busloads of tourists from all corners of the globe come to see our landmark home.
To make this a reality, we need to invest in improvements to our kitchen, our audio/visual support, and other systems needed to make our building safe and secure.
The Board of Trustees and our Investment Team will be working over the next couple of months to develop a comprehensive plan for funding these projects, retiring our debt, and putting Unity Temple on a path to self-sufficiency.
If we are successful, our congregation will be able to concentrate our own financial resources on the things that matter most to us — our programs, our social mission, our community outreach, and finding new space to support our growing congregation.
I ask for your support as we work together for the best possible outcome of this project, not just for our building, but for our congregation. Thank you!