Board Update April 27, 2018

Updates from Your Board of Directors

We want to start by acknowledging the myriad of thoughts, opinions and feelings going on in our community right now.  We are all taking so much in, from the official sale of our building, to the unknowns about where we will go next, to our sense of grief and loss that Rev. Brandon is no longer our Senior Minister.  We thank you for your thoughts and opinions expressed at the most recent Listening Circle, and for your e-mails, letters and personal conversations.  We urge you to continue to keep up the communication, knowing that as we speak our truth, we also progress in our collective grief, working through the various stages of grief, at our own pace in our own time.

We want to keep you informed about progress towards our move from this building.  The first update is that our building sale will be completely final on Mon. April 30th.  After repair/cure negotiations, the closing price is $3.2 million, and we will have approximately $1.6 million in liquid assets after closing costs, commission payments, etc.  During our Special Membership Meeting on 4/16/18, 76% of the members in attendance voted in favor, as required by our bylaws, of allowing our Board to utilize  more than $100,000 towards the purchase of a building for UCOP. 

We also heard feedback from members that there is a desire to look very closely at leasing a temporary space, as opposed to quickly purchasing a building, so that we can take inventory of where we are in terms of numbers, finances, and to embrace our transition. 

At this time, there is not a realistic building to purchase, and most of our effort is going into potential lease or rent options.  We will  not discontinue our search for a building, but our stronger effort will be towards a rent/lease option which serves our needs.  Something we would like the congregation to consider along with us is that we are looking for a space which will allow our staff to function, which serves our YFM needs, and which allows us to continue with our amazing music and band.  The trade off for a retail type space is financial costs are very high.  The trade off for a rental on Sunday mornings is the lack of YFM space and significant burden on the Band.  So, we continue to hold our affirmation in our mind, focusing on what we want, and trusting that the right and perfect church home will be manifest for this community. 

Many people have voiced concern that the properties which have been looked at closely so far are too far away.  We want to provide some realistic anticipatory guidance for our community on this topic.  Though we think of UCOP as being in this central part of Overland Park, and in our imagination we think, perhaps, we will end up very close in proximity to where we are now, this is not the reality we are coping with.  The properties within a few miles of this existing building are, so far, very much outside of our price-range.  We have no intention of saddling ourselves with another huge mortgage, or of taking on a building which needs a tremendous amount of money for utilities, upkeep, etc.  We are looking within Overland Park, first, and within all of Johnson County as needed.  We urge our community to begin envisioning the right and perfect church home within those larger boundaries, and not solely near where we are now. 

Lastly, we want to, again, acknowledge the grief in our community right now.  We know that many of you miss Rev. Brandon, and we know that you are trying to come to terms with his departure.  We have heard from some of you as you cope with the apparent suddenness of this decision.  We apologize for adding any pain to your church experience.  As we clarified in the Listening Circle, Rev. Brandon was provided with a severance package, and he and his family have been provided for.  We are actively working with Unity Worldwide Ministries to obtain a Transitional Support minister.  As recently as April 25th, the Board and Staff together met with Rev. David Mosher as a potential candidate for Transitional Support Minister.  The Board and Staff thoroughly enjoyed our time with Rev. David, and the UCOP Community will be able to hear him talk on Sun. May 6th, with a formal Meet and Greet at 12:30 that afternoon.  Please mark your calendars!

And, a HUGE thanks is due to our Staff:  Rev. Keri King, Deb Filby, Dr. Julie Connor, Fred Albers and Jane Sauve for the incredible work they are doing for this community.  Please take time to thank them and hold them in Love and Light.

Sincerely,

Your Board of Directors