A Summer of Accomplishment at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Worcester

by Cris Heffernan, Co-Chair, Buildings & Grounds Working Group

Last year John Odell and I, Cris Heffernan, took over as co-chairs of the Building and Grounds Working Group. We are here to help organize and support the many efforts to care for our Building and our Grounds. 

This summer the building and grounds of the UUCW were nurtured by congregants coming together to complete a variety of projects.

  • Nancy Hancock, along with Dianne Mann and Kim McCoy, refinished the kitchen cabinets and the butcher block, giving them a fresh new look. 
  • Chris and Maryan Ryan took down bushes in front of the classroom and Chris mowed the lawn, keeping the church grounds looking tidy. 
  • Michele Hernandez and Brian Keyo facilitated the installation of the new sign, which now proudly welcomes visitors to the church. The whole Keyo family dug the trench for electricity to the sign, ensuring that it would be properly powered. Michele’s partner Scott jumped in to provide sand and additional labor. 
  • Garden On held a tour for Green Worcester, giving visitors a chance to learn about the church’s sustainable gardening practices. They also continued to care for and do upkeep on the amazing gardens. 
  • The day before the grand opening of church 20? people showed up for the All Church Cleanup. Here is who helped: Vickie Cox-Lanyon, Janet Cutman, Jenny DelGizzi, Maya Desai, Sean & Vernon Divoll, David Fields, Nancy Hancock, Cris Heffernan, Michelle Hernandez, Carole Howe, Dee Hudson & Sam, Gail Johnston, Sheri Linn, Paul Marr, Kim McCoy, Gladys Moldonado, Sue Neaz, Moira Rouse, Dave Schowalter

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Worcester is a vibrant and active community, and the summer was no exception. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the congregants, the church is looking its best and the community is stronger than ever.

All of this work supports the VALUES of the UUCW Building and Grounds Working Group. These are our stated working values:

Our building represents a variety of values that begin with the feeling of “a second home” where, when something goes wrong, it can feel as though a piece of us is also hurting or broken.  How we “look” is an expression of hospitality where we demonstrate welcome to newcomers and long-standing participants in our community alike.  We value space that is usable in more ways than one.  Being clutter free, though it is often a challenge, is representative of our respect for all who use our facility and for the value of the facility itself.

Our building and grounds are also an expression of the value we place in sustainable and cost-effective living.  Respect for and compliance with zoning ordinances is an expression of our commitment to live in covenant with our neighbors and the larger community.  Being and becoming more efficient in the use of all our vital resources is an expression of the value we place in a healthy, just, and sustainable environment.  In this way we seek to honor our interconnectedness to all beings and continue to work to be an example of sustainable community.

Understanding that while not legally bound to ADA requirements, our goal is to make our building and grounds as accessible as possible. We will do this by trying to make sure that there are no barriers that make it impossible or difficult for anyone to use our space.  

Above all our facilities and grounds represent the value we place in people.  We desire to honor that which is valued most highly by those who use our facilities and grounds and consider the color schemes, lighting, and visual appearance of our facility to be important considerations in this effort.