President’s Message for September 2020
 John Isham 

     jpisham27@gmail.com

        The state of MUUF is good.  In this time of closed doors and pandemic, not much changes.  Our finances are always in need, our unoccupied sanctuary/office building is waiting for occupancy, and our on-line zoom Sunday services improve each week. 

Although our goals have not changed, ways to achieve them have.  Zoom and other on-line programs such as Facebook and YouTube and our website are our main tools for the foreseeable future, at least through this fiscal year possibly until next July.  We need to learn how to use them – better. We are told people, connecting via the on-line services, are also searching them in order to discover ways to maintain their sanity during their long hours of isolation.  Some UU congregations, with appealing digital expertise, have been discovered and joined by on-line wanderers because of the quality of their presentations. We need to do the same. We have purchased a license to use certain copies of copyrighted music in our services.  This will also cover us if we wish to online stream or upload snippets of our services to our website and social media sites. The following link is excellent reading on this subject:

https://reachrightstudios.com/social-media-trends/  

Some fortunate congregations have dedicated members who freely offer their digital expertise to maintain their congregation’s public face on the internet.  We are not so lucky.  We must search and hire out these tasks.  Once found, we only need a member to interface with them often to keep them updated with words and pictures of our activities.  In this fiscal year, money was moved out of publicity to fund this purpose. We have not made use of it yet.

We do have members who have knowledge in certain areas, but no one with wide experience covering all the areas we need to employ.  Dedicated members who have some knowledge in some limited areas are often overworked and burn out trying to do it all.  This must change.  We must make good use of this time, when much of the world is shut in, to introduce and display the principles and values of this UU congregation and others.  People are looking. 

In the upcoming board meeting and for the next month I need members to volunteer to research local web masters and social media experts and come up with recommendations for us to employ.  I will ask for member volunteers in the board meeting and hope others can call me (to volunteer) when they read this in the monthly Update.  The tasks are to research and understand how to upload and/or live stream to Facebook, YouTube and our website.  Also, our worship services need to be edited and the best parts saved as separate videos to be linked to the same social media sites.  If hardware needs to be purchased such as a digital camera or a dedicated server in order to accomplish these tasks, we need to know it and provide these devices.  We need a Social Media committee, a subset of the Publicity and the Social Justice committees, to learn these tasks.  We may have to hire a consultant to get us going.  A committee of three or four is needed to do the research. 

Presidents Since the 50th Anniversary
John Isham  2018 to 2020
Carol Bartz   2016  to 2018
Martha Pelletier 2015
Bill Peruzzi:(winter) and Martha Pelletier (summer)   2014
Bill Peruzzi (winter) and Joan Butcher (summer)  2013
Grace Hirsch January 2012
Lorraine Berry  2009-2011