Letter from Kendra: 2014 Startup

Dear FUUSE Members –

I am savoring the cricket song and tomatoes of late summer and planning for an exciting year at FUUSE.  Much has happened over the summer, starting at the annual meeting in June.  I want you know about the changes that are coming for this church year.  First you need to know we will be having one service at 9:30am. This will be a year of trying new things and taking time to sit down together to talk about what’s working and what’s not.  It’s also a year when we will have more opportunity for conversation about the big questions about life itself.

At the end of the year the congregation acknowledged that we might return to one Sunday morning service for a time.  An informal survey conducted over a few weeks suggested that 9:30am on Sunday was the time preferred.  There were plenty of people who suggested other times, including other days, for worship.  For now, we will have one worship service at 9:30am on Sunday morning.  We will have religious education for children running at the same time.  More about Children’s RE below.  This 9:30 time also gives us the opportunity to offer a variety of programming for adults and mixed generations after the service and social hour time.  Look for all manner of things happening at FUUSE at 11 on Sundays – from visitor coffee and New to UU classes to yoga and meditation classes to art and cooking.   There will be a number of discussion groups and classes.  Sunday mornings will be full of life and connection.

At the end of the church year the congregation passed a budget that funded two new positions as well as a changed Religious Education position.  With Laura Stevens’ resignation we were hiring for three positions over the summer.  Let me introduce to you our new Staff:


DRE Kim Canfield

Kim Canfield (formerly Story) our Director of Religious Ed.

Kim has stepped into this role at a time when we are making significant changes to how religious Education for children will happen.  Formally trained as an elementary school teacher with a specialization in psychology, she spent 10 years teaching multiage classes in New Hampshire classrooms. At the end of the school day, she collaborated to produce and direct middle school drama productions. She started the Frond Street Playroom just over a year ago. Kim brings her background as a teacher and as an entrepreneur to this time of reinvention and re-evaluation in Religious Education.  There will be at least three chances throughout the year for the congregation to reflect together about what we want for RE for our Children and what is happening to meet those hopes, dreams, and needs.  Due to the return to one service, the role is now a 20 hour a week job.  This means that Kim’s energy is very focused to create the innovative programming.   Look for a separate letter from Kim describing the programming changes in more detail.

Choir Director Eve Kornhauser
Choir Director Eve Kornhauser

Eve Kornhauser our new Choir Director

Eve has recently moved to Durham from Washington DC.  Ms. Kornhauser began singing professionally in the Boston area. After singing in the Washington, DC area for 24 years, she now adds Boston and the Seacoast New Hampshire region to her performance area. She had been a member of the Washington National Opera Chorus and the Washington Concert Opera Chorus since 1989, is a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Tanglewood Festival Chorus, performing in Boston, the Berkshires, and Carnegie Hall, and, is a singer and soloist at St. Ann’s Catholic Church, Washington, DC.
Ms. Kornhauser has performed at the Kennedy Center, the White House, and in recital programs with George Washington University’s Lisner Concert Series, Trinity College, Strathmore Hall and Gunston Hall. She brings a rich background to our lively congregation.  You may remember that Eve directed our choir for a month in the spring and it was clear that everyone had a great time.  We look forward to more great collaboration and choral music.

Music Minister Mary Doane

Mary Doane continues as our Minister of Music, planning services and the music program, accompanying the choir, and branching out to lead some small groups after services on Sundays.

Yvonne Zinicola (hiking in the Smokies)
Membership Coordinator Yvonne Zinicola (hiking in the Smokies)

Yvonne Zinicola our Membership Coordinator

Yvonne brings almost 2 decades of experience working with volunteers to this position that is new for FUUSE.  She worked as a Director for Volunteer Management for the American Red Cross for 15 years through all kinds of changes and disasters like Hurricane Katrina.  She will be helping us be our most Welcoming and engaged selves.  Yvonne will coordinate the Welcoming Circles program and make sure that new (and long time) members and friends have lots of chances to learn what it means to be a UU.  She will also be an important resource to committee members who information about how things work around here.  You will see Yvonne here most Sundays, she looks forward to saying hello!

Finally, Pat Baker is still our office manager, for 20 hours instead of 32 (Yvonne will be doing some of what Pat was doing).  And she is sitting behind an upgraded accounting system and database on her desk.  You will see some changes when it comes to pledge records and general upkeep of member information.  For one thing, our new system will be emailing monthly updates about pledges, to allow to you to keep connected with the office both about payment and any changes in your circumstances.

Come at 9:30 on Sunday mornings and stay for social time and deep, enriching conversations, spiritual practice, collective action, and hope that is strong enough to carry through this troubled world.

See you in church –