Church Life Through Our Committees
The Grosse Pointe Unitarian Church Community is a warm, inviting place made so in part by the volunteer spirit of many members through our Church Committees. The overall governance and vibrancy of our church is well represented by the following committees:
The Adult Religious Education Committee provides support and guidance to the Director and to the Assistant for Adult Education. The Committee aids in determining the nature and number of Religious Education programs, assists with publicity for the programs, and supports the delivery of the actual program. The Committee provides support for the Director in the expansion of the Religious Education programs; in the creation of adult forums and workshops; in the identification of leaders and/or speakers; and in the support for the events.
The Arts Committee provides an attractive, welcoming atmosphere for all who enter the doors of our church through the display of our art, flowers, and welcome sign. The Arts Committee maintains our current art collection, and with the artistic talents of the members, enhance the beauty of our church.
The Lay Pastoral Committee provides support services to church members in need. This can include assistance with memorial services; transportation to church, doctor appointments, or grocery shopping; delivery of meals; and telephone calls to or visits with members at home or care facilities.
The Canvass Committee works in concert with the Board of Trustees to plan for and conduct the annual canvass of the church members for pledges to the financial health and well being of the church. Our spring drive includes a Fellowship Dinner where all members of the church are invited and then encouraged to make a pledge of financial support for the following year.
The Endowment Committee encourages our members to support the Endowment Fund. Created in 1968, the Endowment Fund aims to ensure the long-term financial stability of the church with continuing income and to help finance future capital expenditures. The Committee continually seeks to grow the Fund through solicitation of gifts from members and other friends of the church and to protect the Fund through sound investment practices. To meet these goals, the Committee works to call attention to the Fund through church publications and to point out the advantages of giving to the Fund.
The Flower Committee provides flower arrangements for the Sunday Service and other church events as needed.
The Grounds Committee takes responsibility for monitoring and maintaining the church grounds to ensure the beauty of the church grounds will be enhanced whenever possible. The Committee solicits bids from appropriate vendors and selects vendors to care for the lawn, trees and bushes. The Committee also monitors and maintains the parking lot, signage, and works with volunteers who care for the flower beds on the grounds. The Grounds Committee also plans for and directs a semi-annual spring and fall cleanup each year. Grounds improvements include the recent repaving of our parking lot, removal of ailing trees and efforts to beautify our Memorial Garden.
The Historical Committee collects, organizes and ensures the protection of archived church-related information of historical interest according to the UUA guidelines for saving historical records and other related historical information. Occasional articles of historical information are published in the church newsletter. Every other year, a “Memory” luncheon is conducted in the Spring where long time and interested members can share stories and/or memories about a specific topic.
The Membership Committee welcomes new people to the church and to encourages them to join. This Committee has a visitor’s table in the foyer every Sunday for recognizing, greeting, and welcoming visitors. Additionally, the Committee hosts several Newcomers’ Circle meetings throughout the year for visitors and members to find out more about the church. Each spring, the Committee hosts a Newcomer’s Tea to officially welcome all who joined over the year.
The Music Committee supports the Director of Music regarding the Adult Choir and the Children’s Choir. The Committee oversees the music program for the church, and offers assistance to the Director, as needed. The Committee will aid in the recruitment and sustainability of both the Adult and Children’s Choir.
The Leadership Development Committee seeks out and recommends candidates for each open church board position annually. The Committee meets with and secures a commitment from a member, and then nominates that person for the Board position at our annual meeting.
The Office Administration Committee provides support for the Office Administrator, evaluates new office procedures, equipment, and technology, and assists with office operations, if necessary. The Newsletter Committee, Website Committee, and the Library are sub-committees under Office Administration.
The Social Justice Committee coordinates and helps fund church social justice and community service projects. The Committee has a long history of work involving racial justice, hunger, and housing with special emphasis in the local Detroit area. Some of the subcommittee projects include a Blood Drive (GPUC is a part of the Grosse Pointe Community Blood Council), Clark/Merit School Committee (tutorial services and other support to schools in Detroit), Crop Walk (a yearly fundraiser for Church World Services to fight hunger), Crossroads East Food Sharing (food collections the first Sunday of the month), and Habitat for Humanity (partnering with the Grosse Pointe chapter to build homes for those in need).
The Building Committee ensures the maintenance and repairs necessary for the church buildings. This includes the church itself, built in 1963, and the Olympia Brown Center, commonly known as The Annex. The Annex predates the church purchase of the property and was once used as a garage by the City of Grosse Pointe. It was rebuilt and renovated as a meeting hall, and includes a full kitchen as well as space for the church Resale Shop. Recent repair and maintenance projects include the renovation of the main ladies' room, the building of an ADA-compatible unisex restroom, the replacement of our 60-year old boilers with a state-of-the-art system, and a new Annex roof. Efforts are underway to add air conditioning to our main building.
The Children's Religious Education Committee provides direct, ongoing support to the Director of Religious Education as she implements and administers the program. The RE program provides the children of our church (pre-school through senior high) a community where they will feel loved, learn about the principles of their faith and be provided the opportunity for a spiritual journey through all their stages of child development. In addition, the RE Program seeks to provide our youth with a curriculum that will explore their Judeo-Christian heritage and allow them to study world religions and their traditions. Youth are given opportunities to promote social justice in their community and explore multiculturalism in our world. Moreover, the program offers the UUA sexuality education curriculum “Our Whole Lives”, and provides other opportunities to understand our sexuality, such as the GLBT workshop held this fall for both students and their parents. The Religious Education Program offers a warm, open program for families presently enrolled.
The Resale Shop If you are looking for a volunteer opportunity where you will make lifelong friends and have first pick of bargain finds, then the GPUC RESALE SHOP may be for you! We are looking for volunteers in three areas:
Wednesdays between 9am-2 pm, we need volunteers to price merchandise, stock our retail floor and join us for lunch! (Soup & Dessert)
Thursday evenings 7pm-9pm we need volunteers to open the shop, and assist customers with their purchases.
Wednesdays and/or on your schedule, we are looking for enthusiastic people to assist in listing items on our on-line Ebay store. Basic computer skills needed, but we will guide you. Contact Amy Thelen or Margo Bishop via the Church Office: 313-881-0420 or firstname.lastname@example.org