What We Do!
The Safety & Security Committee:
- provides free semi-annual training open to all Church members in safety procedures including basic first aid, cpr and fire extinguisher and aed use
- staffs each service with several members and a coordinator, who are well-versed in the Church’s emergency protocols (e.g, AED, basic first aid, fire extinguisher use) and are prepared to put them into effect if needed
- conducts a review each year of various aspects of the Church’s safety readiness, from availability of equipment to identifying potential hazards
researches, advocates, installs and monitors various safety and security installations on the Church’s grounds, such as video cameras and motion detectors
- reminds attendees at intervals about emergency procedures and conducts evacuation drills
- We raise money to support the church by holding rummage sales and an annual bazaar.
- The funds have purchased many upgrades to the kitchen in Gage Hall.
- We support 4 local non-profits: People Against Rape, Pet Helper, Planned Parenthood and My Sister’s House.
- We donated funds to support the slave memorial,.
- We host the Cantata in December to honor our choir.
- The most important thing we do is have fun and enjoy each other’s fellowship!
- “The Music Committee organizes Candlelight Concerts to raise funds for music programs for underserved children in our community. The proceeds have benefited Title 1 schools and currently, we support the Charleston Music Battery, an after school tutoring and drumline program in N. Charleston’s James Simon School.
- We also award the Martha Welsh music scholarship to a student in the Religious Education Class. The value of the scholarship is $500.”
- chair of Planned Giving Committee which has the mission of building an awareness among the church membership of the value of legacy gifting to the Unitarian Church in Charleston. Our mission includes assisting benefactors to ensure their wishes are carried out and recognizing their generosity. Our Endowment Investment Board ensures that these gifts are used to ensure the vitality and financial health of the church community far into the future.
The Fine Arts Committee
- makes a contribution to the church when it does the following:
- -gives opportunities for church members to display and sell their original art.
- -provides guest artists from the community the opportunity to display and sell their original art.
- -offers church members, who own art, a chance to display their work in the Annual Private Collection Show
- -joins forces with the Music Committee for the Candlelight Concerts to give an Art Opening and Reception
- -gives church members the chance to serve on a committee devoted to promotion of the arts.
- Aging and Saging Group,
- the Innes Print Party for the UU Church members and others where I offered guests a free Jim Innes Print. I hired Susan Conant’s Brazilian Group to provide music and my family and I offered refreshments. Gage Hall is a wonderful place to entertain large groups, so I was pleased to be able to take advantage of it.
- My recorder groups (Sr. Center on James Island) and Susan Conan’ts Recorder Group have played multiple times in the church, always a satisfying experience for me.
- I must say that the Unitarian Church in Charleston provides a wealth of opportunities for me to make connections with others. My life is so much richer because of my association with the UU Church. I can’t imagine not being a part of it.
RE Program Special Events
religious education and a home for our children to question and grow
-School Supply Drive for kids in need
-Book Angels Book Drive
-Empty Bowl Project: 180 Place Fundraiser
-Valentine Making Party
Martha Welch Scholarship
Christmas Pageant Band
Singing Telegrams (new this year)
Special Music throughout the year from some of our informal ensembles: Dulcimers, Recorders, Piano Duets, Chamber Music Groups
also – guest musicians local and traveling appear at our services
Our Choir sings at various special services such as Memorial Services and the Transgender Memorial
our keyboard musicians cover Weddings and Memorial Services
A large group of volunteer musicians cover summer services (10 Sundays)
Music activities for RE as a whole
this year: commissioned Bicentennial Anthem
Buildings and Grounds holds all of it together. If there were no place to congregate there would be no Congregation, no sacred space in which to gather, be inspired and refueled for the Social Justice marathon we run every week!!
Planned Giving Committee which has the mission of building an awareness among the church membership of the value of legacy gifting to the Unitarian Church in Charleston. Our mission includes assisting benefactors to ensure their wishes are carried out and recognizing their generosity. Our Endowment Investment Board ensures that these gifts are used to ensure the vitality and financial health of the church community far into the future.
The Membership Committee’s tasks
- Assist with all classes for new members (Pathways Classes) that take place several times each year
- Help with room set-up, tear down
- Provide luncheon food/drinks
- Any miscellaneous tasks required
- Sponsor New Member Sunday several times each year
- Organize food contributions from Committee members
- Set up food at Gage Hall
- Ensure that all roses are distributed to New Members during service
- Organize ushers and greeters for each church service
- Circulate bi-weekly sign-up sheets
- Ensure all slots are filled for 4 positions (2 Ushers, 2 Greeters)
- Assist with Offertory and collaborate with Steward on accounting for services
- Staff the Welcome Table in Gage Hall at each Coffee Hour
- Welcome anyone taking a Red Mug
- Providing information to potential new members
- Manage any sign-up sheets at the Welcome Table
- Monitor any new Blue Cards and hand to Membership Coordinator
- Finally, provide ongoing support to the Membership Coordinator in any way needed throughout the year
Social Justice Committee activity
- 91,000 children’s books — that’s how many recreational reading children’s books Book Angels has collected in book drives and delivered as classroom lending libraries in Title I schools since 2011. (Book Angels is an activity under the Social Justice umbrella in which a handful of other members participate also)
That’s a lot of “What’s”!
- Here are some other obvious “what’s”
- Coffee House concerts
- Candlelight concerts
- Dinners for Fun
- Pathways classes
- Pathfinders classes
- Working on the annual pledge drive
- The planning by the Worship Services Committee
- Christmas caroling at Danny and Anita’s
- The Oyster Roast
- The Red Mug table in Gage Hall
- Hearing Joe sing!
- Pitching in with other members to renovate Danny’s and Susan’s offices
- Here are some of my “Why’s'”:
- Charleston needs our Unitarian Church!
- Our Church is my primary community.
- The Church reminds me of the way I need to live my life.
- Just walking into the sanctuary on Sunday morning gives me a sense of joy and belonging.
- All the activities and committees I am active in give me a sense of doing something interesting and meaningful in my life.
- I feel a strong sense of connection to all my fellow congregants.
- Everything the Church stands for makes me proud and aspire to be a better person.
- When I am in the sanctuary and look at the stained glass windows and the ceiling, I am awe-struck at what I think is the most beautiful and inspiring building in Charleston
- I know that we make a difference in our community.
- I can’t imagine another thing at 4 Archdale.
- I need some place to “plug in my soul”
- Our Church has untapped potential
The Green Sanctuary Committee
- Is a subcommittee of the Social Justice Committee
- Meets monthly with a vegetarian potluck
- Serves as a resource to the congregation for taking action on environmental issues
- Promotes environmental education with forum speakers on green topics
- Publishes Gateway articles on topics of environmental interest
- Presents the UU Earth Day Service in April with a guest speaker
- Spearheaded and implements our vestry policy of reusable eating utensils, recycling, and composting in Gage Hall for all events, including rentals
- Installed bike racks at Gage Hall; insulated Gage Hall attic; replaced incandescent bulbs with energy-saving LED bulbs
- Recycling pick-up service offered for all members of the congregation of printer cartridges, batteries and light bulbs in Gage Hall
- Participation in City of Charleston Green Business Challenge to promote health, sustainability and energy efficiency through tangible actions and documentation of results
- Hosts an adult education discussion class in spring with readings from Northwest Earth Institute (NWEI)
- Collaborates with local organizations, such as Circular Congregational and Charleston Vegetarians and Vegans, to present green films or speakers
- Encourages participation in volunteer events such as Beach Sweep – River Sweep
- Achieved accreditation from UUA as a Green Sanctuary Congregation in March 2009, with this continuing mission:
- To build awareness of societal environmental issues among UUs
- To generate commitment for personal lifestyle changes
- To motivate UUs to community action on environmental issues
- To build a connection between spiritual practice and environmental consciousness
- To build awareness of and rectify environmental injustices
Community Outreach efforts of church members:
Volunteer at Low Country Food Bank Backpack Buddies Program.
Attend community gatherings and marches in support of Racial Justice, Educational Justice, gun safety, and Homelessness.
Participate in annual Pride Parade.
Participate in annual Emancipation Day Parade.
In 2018, for the first time, participated in annual MLK parade.
Assisted in Charleston program for National Moral Movement of Rev. Dr. William J Barber
Host event called Take Back the Night for People against Rape
Social Justice Community Outreach Giving Project
This charitable giving project is held every other year. On the ‘other’ year, we support a charitable giving project through interest from our $100,000 Social Justice Endowment (See John Narkunas’ description). The result is that every year a worthy local non-profit receives $4,000 in support of their project.
- We begin in the spring soliciting non-profit organizations that our congregation can nominate for support of up to $4,000.
- Our sub committee reviews nominations and the church sends out RFP mini grant guidance for these organizations. (In 2017, we had 11 nominations).
- The committee reviews the proposals in August with review sheets tied to the guidance. They rank each proposal based mostly on adherence to objectives.
- Collection of donations with red envelopes begins Social Justice Sunday, (3rd Sunday in September) thru first Sunday in December. Award is made second Sunday in December.
Example: YWCA – 2017
The YWCA’s ‘Girl’s Who Code’ program’s goal is to train teen aged minority women in technical skills to help them find jobs with good pay. The program runs the entire school year. Our donation goal of $4,000 will enable the YWCA to establish a third site at Morris Street AME Church in Charleston. The award will be made December 16, 2017.