We haven’t reported much since the congregation voted to approve the sale simply because there hasn’t been much to report. Shortly after the Sept. 26 meeting at which we approved the sale of our property to Kensington School, Rev. Kurt hosted a meeting to introduce the buyer, Chuck Marlas, to our Hillside neighbors. The buyer made a good point that he’ll be around and invested in the community long after this sale, unlike the Starbucks across the street, which is leased. He assured the neighbors they would have his phone number and would be welcome to call him directly with any concerns they had.
The primary concerns raised by neighbors were regarding traffic patterns. Listening to those concerns, the buyer has proposed changing the parking lot entrance and exit. This new plan requires additional approvals before it can be submitted for Evanston City Council approval. Not surprisingly, this will delay the closing date of our sale. Our attorney LaVon Johns is finalizing an amendment to our sales agreement with revised deadlines for the due diligence process. (It also stipulates that, in the event the new parking plan is not adopted, the sale must proceed based on the original plan.) Our projected closing date is now September 2022.
In the meantime, on our end of things we’ve been seeing through our process with Rev. Greg Coles to collect input from our congregants about our desires as we move forward, both literally and figuratively. (If you weren’t able to participate in a one-on-one interview, please take a few moments to respond to the prompts and the end of this message.)
Rev. Greg is compiling all responses with feedback from his two workshops to be incorporated into our strategy for finding a new home. The two areas of focus at our January 8 workshop with him were: revamping our Sunday morning service to create a more dynamic and immersive experience; and looking for a beautiful new sanctuary space that is appropriately sized for our current congregation.
Most recently, Rev. Kurt and board members met with our consultants on January 11 to update projected space needs, and clarify how potential properties will be identified so the church search committee can begin looking at new spiritual homes that are within our financial reach.
There are abundant opportunities to become involved in all these discussions! If you’d like to work with Rev. Kurt on our Sunday Creative Team, or if you’d like to help our “church search” committee, please contact June Lash at email@example.com
We have heard your desire for more communication on these issues, and we will strive to put more frequent updates going forward.
If you weren’t able to participate in a one-on-one interview, please take a few minutes to answer the following four questions and email your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday, January 16.
Question 1: Reflecting on your time at UNS, describe a peak experience of feeling engaged and alive.
Question 2: If you had three wishes for UNS, what would they be and why?
Question 3: What is the boldest step we could take over the next two to three years?
Question 4: What is the most do-able first step we could take?