The Unitarian Universalist Congregation
of Petoskey, Michigan

December 2016 Newsletter

Upcoming Services:

Dec 18 — The Possibility of Angels   
A special collection will be taken for the Hospice of the Straits in memory of Jeanne Pritchard, a charter member of UUCOP.
Jan 1 — New Year’s Day — no service
Jan 8 — the Soup and Discussion winter format begins with a discussion about the first of the UU principles.  You are encouraged to bring your own bowl,use it, clean it and keep it at the chapel.

Jan 15 — UU Principle #2

We are a team when it comes to set-up and clean-up for our services. Please offer your help.  Thanks!

Church Closing Procedure:

All members and friends will be notified by email by 9 am should the church service be cancelled due to weather.  All those without email are asked to call any board member directly.

Board and Program Committees: 

Board Update:  The Board decided at its meeting last Sunday to continue our month-to-month rental at the Chapel of the Guardian Angels and to discontinue rental payments to Red Sky Stage.


Next Board meeting is Jan 8, 2017 after the service.
Next Program Committee meeting is Jan 16, 2017 after the service.

Social Action Connections:

Interested in receiving email notice of especially relevant social action opportunities pre-screened by the Board?  If so, please let Allison White know so she can add you to a secure email list.

from our friends…

The Church of Our Guardian Angels Second Annual Solstice Celebration
featuring MSU’s  A State of Fifths
an a cappella group-
December 20, 7 pm
good will donations accepted

November 2016 Newsletter

Upcoming Worship Services 

Nov 20, 2016
Lincoln’s Thanksgiving

The holiday that Lincoln envisioned is not quite the holiday we celebrate today. Societies have a reason for what they forget and remember. However, the changes add to the depth and emotional richness of Thanksgiving

Dec 4, 2016
The Mega Holiday Is Upon Us

The possibilities of the “mega holiday” are explored — the energy, choices and challenges of this special time of year.

Dec 11, 2016 more information coming soon

Dec 18, 2016
The Possibility of Angels

“There must be always remaining in every life some place for the singing of angels, some place for that which in itself is breathlessly beautiful. . . .” (Rev. Dr. Howard Thurman, UUA Worship Web) In our new worship home, our last December service will explore the possibility of angels.

Upcoming Events
Program Committee meeting this Sunday, Nov. 20, after the service.

The book discussion group will be discussing How God Changes Your Brain, by Andrew Newborn, on Sunday, Dec. 11 at 1:30 in the 2nd floor conference room at the Carnegie Library.  Everyone is welcome.

Decision Coming Soon

The Board is feeling positive about our presence in the Chapel of Our Guardian Angels and wants to hear your thoughts, including any concerns, in order to end the trial period as soon as is reasonable.  Please send them to the Board at before the next board meeting on Dec. 11.

Special Occasion Cards

If on your birthday or other special occasion you would like to receive a greeting card from UUCOP, please contact Judy Cunningham with your dates at 231-582-6246.

Green Committee Targets Soup and Discussion 

Please bring your own coffee mug and soup bowl to the Soup and Discussion Sundays in January and February to help reduce waste.  There will be a place to store them upstairs in the chapel.

Watch Your Email on Stormy Sundays!

Congregants will receive an email from the Board by 9 am on Sunday should there be a cancellation of the service due to weather. No email service?  Please call any board member after 9 am. The Board will follow State Police guidelines and err on the side of safety.

Minister Update
 The Board has decided not to pursue the possibility of hiring a part-time minister at this time due to a number of factors, the most important of which is the belief that we are healthier as a self-led congregation.

While there will still be guest speakers as in the past, everyone is highly encouraged to be involved in providing part or all of a Sunday service.  The Program Committee is there to help and will be creating a number of complete services which can be used by anyone.   Please let Pat Hartlep or any board member know if you are willing to help.

Why are We Wearing Safety Pins?

As a response to the recent election, safety pins were passed out during the 11-12 service to those who wish to wear one as a sign of solidarity with and safety for those who are suffering discrimination in this country.    A fuller explanation is available on the home page of our website:


Congregants were asked to write down their thoughts on what actions we could take, individually or collectively, to help stand on the side of love, especially in light of the election.  Here are some of those great thoughts:  

  •  “I can refuse to hate.” 
  •  “…more UUCOP programs or events that will draw in community members…”
  •  “I will try to understand.  I will guide my thoughts, feelings and words toward compassionate action.  I will look for goodness in each person, each day.”
  •  “Accept the things we cannot change.”
  • “(Send out) the message and the promise that our religious home is a refuge for any who feel abandoned, threatened, betrayed or otherwise disenfranchised…”
  • “I’m going to have “the conversation” with friends; sign the Charter for Compassion; work for new leadership in the Democratic Party; and, call out prejudice on all fronts.”
  • “Talk about and work on these actions at Soup and Discussions…”
  •  “…place church notices in local papers.”
  •  “Put (compassion) into work for the country, for the people; be active, be empowered.”       

October 2016 Newsletter

John and Diane Lake’s House 1400 North Division, Petoskey
(Drive NORTH on 31 through Bay View and turn LEFT onto North Division. You will turn just before the Golf Course. The house is blue, and is the last one before the lake. COSTUMES ARE ENCOURAGED but not required. Bring a DISH TO PASS and a folding chair, and, also, firewood if you have extra.

NOV 6:  AN ATTITUDE OF GRACE – As we kick off this month of Thanksgiving we explore how gratitude is an essential part of being spiritual. Our sermon and readings were originally delivered at the West Seattle UU Fellowship.

NOV 13:   ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN – “All I really need to know about how to live, and what to do, and how to be, I learned in Kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of Graduate School Mountain, but there in the Sand Pile at School”. At this service we will share readings from a script.

NOV 20:   LINCOLN’S THANKSGIVING – More information to come.

BRRRRR: SNOW’S A-COMIN’ On these snowy/cold Sundays when there may be a question of whether or not there will be a service, please check the UUCOP Website. The Board will review the situation and make a decision by 9:30 at which time it will go out on the website if there will be no service.

September 2016 Newsletter

UUCOP is on the move!  At least, up the street and around the block.  Starting in October, we will be meeting at the Chapel of Our Guardian Angels at 812 Petoskey Street for a trial period.    Please join us there and let us know what you think.  We have planned a moving day on September 25th.  If you’re able, meet us at 10:30 am at Red Sky Stage to help move the file cabinets and cart.  We will have lunch together following the move.

Our program committee is gearing up for some interesting programs this fall.  The committee met following last Sunday’s service.  We would love to hear your ideas for services and get your input on the planning process.

Appreciative of input from the Outreach Committee, your board has picked a new charity for its quarterly giving program.   This quarter, we have selected Habitat for Humanity as a local charity.  We will be giving directly to the local chapters in our members’ communities.  You will hear more about this at an upcoming service.

If you are looking for some fall exercise, how about a walk along the beautiful M119 near Cross Village followed by a delicious lunch on the patio of the Legs Inn?  As you walk, you will be picking up trash for the Adopt-a-Highway program and helping to beautify our Michigan highways and byways.  Meet us at 10am October 1st in the Legs Inn parking lot, and we will travel by car to our two-mile section of roadway near there.  Lunch to follow!

Feeling musical?  Our UUCOP music committee would like to know which UU hymns are your favorites.  The board is contemplating making a recording of piano accompaniment for those services when our musicians are unavailable.  Please tell John Lake  what your favorites are and we will start a list.

Please check your contact information on the membership roster on the web site   to see if it is correct.  We have had some inclement weather this past year that has caused us to think about a phone/text tree of sorts in case of cancelations.  The cancelation would also be posted to the UUCOP web site, so please check there for the latest information.

Don’t forget to watch “Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War” on September 20th at 9pm on your PBS TV station.  We will be discussing this at our October 2nd service.

Enjoy your fall, and see you at the Chapel!

July-August 2016 Newsletter

Summer is always an invigorating and eventful time in northern Michigan, and this has been the case for our congregation as well.  Following the Annual Meeting in June, the Board was comprised of three elected members – secretary, treasurer, and program chair.  At its first meeting, the Board voted to pursue the option made available in our bylaws of inviting two members of the congregation to serve as directors for the year.  Kim Nowack and Betty Palm graciously accepted that invitation.  Although we have neither a president nor vice-president elected by the congregation, we do have a full, five-member Board which will be sharing those leadership responsibilities.

For the past year, the Facilities Committee has been exploring various possibilities.  It has considered ways of making our current space at Red Sky Stage more conducive to worship, has held a service in the dance studio adjacent to Red Sky in hopes of satisfying some of the criteria the committee had identified as important, and has investigated alternative locations for our services.  A round-table discussion session with the congregation indicated that the majority want to have a location in Petoskey.  This eliminated the Oden Community Center from consideration, although the committee had diligently researched the feasibility of that as a permanent location.

A second alternative under consideration has been the Chapel of the Guardian Angel located at 812 Petoskey Street.  When former Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, Marilyn Kelly, agreed to lead a service for UUCOP this past spring, the Facilities Committee anticipated a large audience and took the opportunity to not only provide a larger space for the service but also to introduce members of our congregation to the Chapel.  The favorable impression created was voiced at the round-table discussion session with most of those in attendance leaning toward further exploration of the Chapel as our meeting site.  Subsequently, the Facilities Committee met and voted to recommend that the Board move in that direction.  At its August meeting, the Board agreed, and negotiations are currently underway to begin holding our Sunday services at the Chapel beginning in October.  The plan is to meet at the Chapel for a trial period (which is being negotiated) and to maintain our relationship with Red Sky Stage while dedetermine whether the Chapel meets the needs of our congregation.  Be assured that more information will be forthcoming about this venture.

Summer services have stimulated a broad array of thoughts.  We have hosted presenters on the topics of water justice, spiritual and physical well-being, and the importance of using our fears as a source of courage.  On September 11th, we will reflect upon the impact – 15 years later – that the events of 9/11 have had upon our lives. On September 20th, PBS will broadcast the new Ken Burns documentary, “Defying the Nazis: the Sharps’ War.” According to the film’s website,

Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War is an account of a daring rescue mission that occurred on the precipice of World War II. It tells the story of Waitstill and Martha Sharp, a Unitarian minister and his wife from Wellesley, Massachusetts, who left their children behind in the care of their parish and boldly committed to multiple life-threatening missions in Europe. Over two dangerous years they helped to save hundreds of imperiled political dissidents and Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazi occupation across Europe.

At our first service following the airing of this program, October 2nd, we will celebrate the impact made by the Sharps and consider the opportunities available to us in today’s world.

Finally, we share the grief and sorrow of Ginny Ewing, whose husband, Jack, passed away in July.  And we mourn the loss of Ginger Nash, our friend and summer congregant, who died in a car accident a week ago.  We will miss her smile, her joy, and the sunshine she shared with all of us.

June 2016 Newsletter

This past Sunday, UUCOP held our annual meeting. I want to thank all those that came and joined in the discussion, especially those that helped consider the budget for 2016/2017. This is our plan for the future.

We voted to elect Diane Lake to continue as secretary but there were no candidates for president or vice-president. The board has the ability to appoint up to two people to the board for up to one year. Allison White, our treasurer; Pat Hartlep, our program chair and Diane Lake, our secretary now make up our board and will decide where to go from here. If by any chance you would like to volunteer to help them out just respond to this email newsletter and let them know.

The following are the upcoming services:

Jun 19, 2016 February Sky (Susan Urban & Phil Cooper)
Summertime and the Livin’ Is Easy, The most lighthearted of the solar festivals, this musical Summer Solstice service celebrates the time when daylight hours are longest. We give thanks for Nature’s abundance while indulging in childlike play, welcoming the Sun’s warming rays and consider how we might use their heat to transform our lives in positive ways.

Jul 3, 2016 Our Annual Freedom Picnic, Diane and John Lake are hosting at their home on Little Traverse Bay. They are on the water side of M-31 on Division Street, (which is just north of Bay View). They are the last house (Blue) on right just before the road curves left along the bay. This is a potluck some bring a wonderful dish to pass.

Jul 10, 2016 Peggy Case – Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation, Clean Water is a Human Right – “Water justice is the civil rights movement of the century.” — UUSC. Peggy shares her group’s work to oversee Michigan’s legal bottled water loophole and the threat of large-scale water diversions (given the precedent set by Nestle/Ice Mountain’s operations) as well as continued research and education on hydrofracking.

Jul 17, 2016 Tiffany Lenau-Yoga Roots, Laughter Yoga Service – Hahahahahahah! We’ll laugh our way to health and fellowship. Laughter yoga increases happiness, strengthens the immune system, reduces pain and lowers stress. More contagious than a cough or sneeze, it relaxes the whole body, triggers the release of endorphins, and promotes an overall sense of well-being.

The following are an edited set of my remarks as the out going president of our congrgation.

I would like to thank both this congregation and those that have stepped up to serve our congregation on our governing board. Also all of those that have supported this board from hosting a service to keeping the “who is bringing snacks” list, and every thing in-between.

Three years ago I agreed to serve as president because we were in a similar situation to the one today: we are few in number which means all of us have to take responsibility for the health of our congregation. In other words, being willing to occasionally step up and lead, serve on our board.

Looking back at these three years the board has accomplished much, not the least of these is a financially solvent organization that hosts three worship service a month for twelve months of the year.

We have changed our election process to ensure that we always have continuation on our board.

We support with our money at least four community organization per year. This has included Unitarian Universalist Service Committee projects, the opportunity locally for families to have access to fresh food in the summer, support to the food banks in the area during the Christmas holiday season, support of women in leadership around the world, water access and gardens in Haiti as well as support for the children in Flint. I am proud of our support to our greater community.

I want to thank Pat Hartlep for her success in transitioning our program to a most successful place after April Myers made a much deserved move west. April was a hard act to follow. But Pat you have brought us through in your own style. You have been willing to take suggestions and support from others in this area and we have enjoyed a diverse offering of spirituality. Thanks Pat.

I will always be disappointed, as we all are that we have been unable to provide children’s religious education.

I want to thank Allison White for taking on the treasurer’s position and completing the digitization of our finances that Gary Nitz had started. You have also been wiling to master the technology while also storing much more then our financial records. Your understanding of our finances and technology has placed us on real solid ground. Thanks, Allison

Later in this meeting we have the opportunity to elect Diane Lake our secretary. Diane stepped up a year ago and volunteered for this position when we were in need. While taking notes, that we get the next day, Diane has brought to the board experience and a willingness to join our solution team. Thanks, Diane

I have saved Kim Nowack until last as she has been my lean on person, that strength you know is there when you need it. Kim and I often share rides on board meeting days. Our conversation always helps me get thoughts in order. She has also been the keeper of “what have we done in the past?” This along with keeping us grounded in board meetings when we start flying off to never-never land has been invaluable for me. Thanks, Kim

All of these board members plus Joe and Betty Palm stepped up this year and updated our website. Mark Kinney created our website several years ago and as we know most folks find us because of our website. This board has wanted to update it for a few years. Joe Palm volunteered and everybody on the board plus Betty pitched in. Oh, yes, Mark helped out too. If you have not checked our new website yet you are missing one of our best communication tools. Thank you to all that were involved.

I have been writing a monthly newsletter to our congregation sent out after each board meeting. We are basically a virtual congregation. The board gets mixed up in chain emails and sometimes forgets where we are. Our board meetings bring us together and the newsletter includes the congregation in these conversations. Because we only see each other maybe three times a month as a congregation, communication is important. I hope that a newsletter can continue.

Again I want to thank every member and friend of this congregation for the support I have had as president these past three years. Also the support you have shown this board. While there are things that we wanted to do that we are leaving for future boards (a permanent home comes to mine) we have done much. We have brought this Congregation to this moment in time with a future we are all looking forward to. Thank you!


Materials for 2016 Annual meeting June 12, 2016

Suggested changes in the Bylaws.  Green lettering means a change.  Red lettering means elimination.

Bylaws Adopted June 10, 2001
revised June 22, 2003
revised June 15, 2008
revised May 22, 2011
revised June 15, 2014
revised June 12, 2016
Click here to download the Bylaws and Operations Manual
Article I. NAME
The name of this religious organization shall be the: Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Petoskey (hereinafter Congregation).
The purposes of this religious organization shall be to:
A. Provide opportunities for mutual growth and experience in the search for spiritual meaning by use of The Unitarian Universalist Association Principles and Purposes.
B. Assist our children to grow in the understanding of Unitarian Universalist Purposes and Principles, as well as to understand ways in which those principles and purposes can be implemented in everyday life.
C. To reach out to the community at large, implementing Unitarian Universalist Principles and Purposes through service and dialogue.
D. Promote and practice courtesy, integrity, openness and fairness as the hallmarks of the Congregation in actions within itself, the community, and our larger religious and denominational families. Therefore an Ethics Charter Pledge of Conduct is hereby made a part of these bylaws in Article XII.
The members of this Congregation (hereinafter membership) may decide in legal manner as provided in these bylaws to become a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association (hereinafter UUA) and/or a regional organization or affiliation, when this congregation is able to make annual financial contributions equal to its full fair share as determined by the association, the regional organization, and the membership when voting is involved.
All persons are encouraged to take part in the Sunday service, serve on committees, and participate in activities of this congregation without regard to membership. However, membership carries the privilege and responsibility of voting on matters affecting the congregation, together with providing both physical and financial support, as well as possibly serving as an officer or director on the Board of Directors (Board).
Membership is open to all, regardless of ethnicity, skin color, national origin, age (except as noted in Article IV-C), gender or sexual orientation, education, or an individual’s gender expression. It is expected that members have or are developing an understanding of the principles, purposes, and history of Unitarian Universalism. It is understood that members will actively support the operations of the congregation through attendance, service, and financial commitment, as they are able.
Members are those individuals 14 years of age or older who find value in the purpose of this congregation and have signified their commitment by signing the membership register in the presence of a Board officer after receiving and reading a copy of the Seven Principles of the Unitarian Universalist Church and the Code of Conduct pledge in Article XII of these bylaws.
Members shall be entitled to all of the rights and privileges of membership immediately, including the right to vote. Visitors and friends are invited to participate fully in the deliberations and discussions at any meeting, but may not vote.
Membership update shall be determined by the Board no later than January and June first of each year. The purpose of the January first count shall be to inform UUA about the current membership count, as required by UUA. The purpose of the June first count shall be to determine a quorum for the annual meeting, as provided in Article V-A of these bylaws. In the event of a special meeting, as provided in Article V-B of these bylaws, the latest membership count shall be used to determine a quorum.
Members who are not currently active may be contacted and asked if they wish their membership to be continued and/or inviting them to become active in the congregation. If a positive response is received, the person will be retained as a member. If a positive response is not received, the person may be dropped from membership. If a person wishes to renew his/her membership in the congregation, he/she may do so by signing the membership register in the presence of an officer of the Congregation on any Sunday service.
The time and place of the regular Sunday services of the congregation shall be determined by the membership or by a congregation committee designated by the membership.
One Sunday per year may be designated Pledge Sunday.
In the event of inclement weather or other impediment to travel, the President of the Congregation may, after consultation with others, postpone or cancel a service, duly called meeting, or other planned activity.
A. Annual Meetings
The annual meeting shall be held each year by June 30 at a time and place fixed by the Board of Directors. The membership shall be informed of the meeting by email, notice in a newsletter and/or website, a mailing, and verbal reminders during services preceding the described meeting at least seven days in advance of the meeting. At least 2 weeks prior to this notice the members shall be informed that they may submit agenda items to the board up to ten days before the scheduled meeting.
The notice of the meeting shall contain a slate of officers and directors, a proposed budget, any proposed bylaw amendments and such other agenda items as the board decides, including submissions by members as provided in the preceding paragraph. The board may choose to endorse or refuse to endorse any agenda item, but it must ensure that any submission made by members is made part of the agenda unless it determines that the submission is contrary to the purposes of UUCOP in accordance with the purposes as stated in Article II of these bylaws.
The Annual Meeting shall adopt a budget for the coming year, elect officers and directors, and discuss and if necessary vote on other agenda items. Thirty percent of the membership shall constitute a quorum. A simple majority will be equivalent to one-half of those present plus one.
B. Special Meetings
Special meetings may be called by the Board or by petition to the Board of thirty percent of the membership. Notice for any special meeting shall be by all means specified in Article V-A, and shall include an agenda of the meeting and any documents necessary to enable the membership to make an informed decision. At special meetings no business shall be conducted except those items on the Agenda sent out to the members. A simple majority shall be required to transact business. Thirty percent of the membership shall constitute a quorum for a special meeting except in instances regarding the calling or dismissing of a minister and incurring indebtedness, which shall require a quorum of forty percent. Any necessary vote regarding a Minister, purchase of property, or incurring debt beyond the assets of the UUCOP shall require two thirds of those members present at a duly called meeting expressly for such purpose.
C. Absentee Voting
Members may vote by absentee ballot issued by the board. The ballot must be delivered to the meeting. The secretary shall open and count the absentee votes, which will be included in the official count to establish a quorum for the election. Except as noted elsewhere in these bylaws, absentee votes shall otherwise not be allowed; and proxy votes shall not be allowed in any case.
D. Robert’s Simplified Rules of Order
Points of order raised in any meeting shall be resolved in accordance with the latest available edition of Robert’s Simplified Rules of Order unless contrary to present law and/or these bylaws. The Board shall ensure that a copy of this reference and of these bylaws will be available at every Meeting of the board and at every annual and special meeting.
E. Positions on Societal Issues
Congregation members can express opinions or positions on societal issues in the name of the UUCOP provided that the congregation achieves consensus on the issue, or at least 75% of people in attendance at a congregational meeting or Sunday service (with two week notice) approve a motion in favor of expressing the opinion or position.
A. Composition
The members of the Board shall consist of five (5) elected positions: President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Program Committee Chair (worship, program, religious education), and ex officio any employed or contracted minister. The Board at its discretion may appoint up to two additional members, hereinafter called Directors. The term of any appointed director shall end no later than the end of the fiscal year, as provided in Article 7-G of these bylaws, in which the director was appointed. Any member of the congregation attending a board meeting shall have the right to participate but not to vote.
B. Officers
The officers shall be President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Program Committee Chair and shall perform the duties as outlined in the Operations and Procedures Manual appended to these bylaws (pp. 7-9).
The Officers staggered two-year terms. The terms of President, Vice-President, and Secretary shall begin on July 1 of each even-numbered year and end on June 30 of the next even-numbered year. Those of Treasurer and Program Committee Chair shall begin on July 1 of each odd-numbered year and end on June 30 of the next odd-numbered year.
Any officer or Director may be re-called by a majority vote of the Board and approved by a majority vote of the Congregation at a duly called Special Meeting.
The Board shall have general charge of the property of the Congregation and conduct all of its business affairs and control its administration, except as provided elsewhere in these bylaws.
The board shall meet at least once every two (2) months and may at its discretion meet more often. Dates and times are fixed by the board, and communicated to the membership as provided in Article V, or, in emergency situations, in a reasonable manner approved by the Board. Any decision made at an emergency meeting shall be conveyed to the membership as expeditiously as possible.
A quorum shall consist of a majority of the board. A general Agenda for business meetings of the Board or the Congregation shall be as found in the Operations and Procedures Manual, following and made a part of these bylaws.
Any Board meeting dealing with legal matters, facilities, financial obligations over $2,000, or bylaws shall be held in person. Other Board meetings may be conducted by telephone conference or e-mail in a manner that provides for attendance by all members and other interested parties if it is feasible.
Decisions shall be made in accordance with Robert’s Simplified Rules of Order or, at the Board’s discretion, or by consensus (defined as a decision that all Board members endorse or at least accept).
Any vacancy may be filled by the board until the next annual meeting by a majority vote of the remaining members of the board.
The Board or the membership at a duly called meeting may establish committees to conduct the affairs and business of the congregation, including special or ad hoc advisory committees.  All committees shall report directly to the Board.  Duties and responsibilities of the committees shall be outlined by the Board or the membership, as appropriate.
The Board shall present a proposed budget for the coming year for consideration by the membership at the annual meeting. The adopted budget shall be administered by the board. The budget may be amended by a majority vote of the Board. Such amendments shall be presented to the Congregation for approval at a duly called special meeting, as provided in Article V-B, p. 3, of these bylaws, if the amendment provides for additional outlays or item changes of at least one thousand dollars ($1,000).
The Board shall seek legal counsel when appropriate. The board shall promote a procedure for appropriate training for its members. The President of the board or the board’s designee will provide within 90 days of the end of each calendar year an annual report to be available for inspection by the members of the congregation and available on the Internet.
The Board may appoint assistants to the officers, including Assistant Treasurer and Assistant Secretary, as it deems necessary. The Board may initiate personal service contracts with professional advisors, subject to existing provisions of these bylaws.
The fiscal year of the congregation shall begin on July 1, and end on June 30.
The Board shall appoint an ad hoc committee to perform an internal audit in cooperation with the Treasurer, at least annually.
A. Ministerial Search Committee
The Ministerial Search Committee may recommend candidates for the position of Minister to the congregation. The Ministerial Search Committee shall consist of five members, three elected by the congregation and two appointed by the Board.
B. Search Criteria
The Ministerial Search Committee shall develop “Minister Selection Criteria” and a position description to be approved by the Board or the membership prior to the beginning of the search process.
C. Procedure for Calling a Minister
The minister shall be called upon recommendation of the Ministerial Search Committee and by two thirds of the members of the congregation voting at any ANNUAL OR SPECIAL meeting legally called for the purposes outlined in Article V. Quorum for such a meeting is forty percent (40%) of the qualified members.
D. Terms of Employment
The terms of employment shall be set by a Letter of Agreement between the minister and the Board, which shall be approved by the membership.
E. Dismissal of a Minister
The minister may be dismissed by 51% of the voting members of the Congregation, including absentee votes, at any meeting legally called for the purpose as provided in Article V. Quorum for such a meeting is 40% of the qualified members.
F. Ministerial Relations Committee
A Ministerial Relations Committee of three members may be appointed by the board, with the consent of the minister, for a term of one year. New members of the committee shall begin their terms July 1.
A. Vote for Dissolution
A. The congregation may be dissolved by a vote of the congregation at a special meeting with 60% of the membership in agreement.
B. Disposal of Assets
In the event of the dissolution of the congregation, all outstanding debts subject to a final audit shall be paid and the remaining assets, both real and personal, shall be donated to UUA.
An Operations and Procedures Manual, following these bylaws, shall be considered a part of these bylaws, and subject to the same requirements in the event of need for changes as the main sections.
These amended bylaws shall become effective on July 1, 2014. All elected positions shall begin their term of office July 1. In accordance with Article VI-C (p. 3) of these bylaws, as of that date the terms of President, Secretary, and Program Committee Chair shall be for two years; those of Vice-President and Treasurer, for one year.
At least every two (2) years the Board shall consider and may appoint an ad hoc Committee to review these bylaws. The bylaws Committee, if constituted, shall report to the board either that the bylaws are adequate for the operation of the congregation or that specific revisions are recommended. Any bylaws proposed revisions, including as provided in Article VI-C, shall not take effect until approved by the membership. Notice of current wording together with any proposed change(s) shall be contained in the notice of the Annual or Special meeting.
These bylaws, so far as allowed by law, may be repealed at a Special or Annual meeting of the congregation by 51% of those members voting at the meeting. Notice of the rationale for such a repeal amendment and proposed new bylaws, if any, shall be contained in the notice of the meeting.
CODE OF CONDUCT. Courtesy, integrity, openness and fairness will be the hallmarks of the Congregation in actions within itself, the community, and its larger religious and denominational families. Therefore we, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Petoskey, hereby resolve to adopt the following ethics pledge of conduct: We Hereby Pledge:
Truthfulness in all our communications.
Fairness in the conduct of our meetings.
Open proceedings: no secret sessions of the body.
Actively to invite our members’ input to deliberations.
Scrupulously to avoid conflict of interest. If there is a conflict of interest we will abstain from voting.
Fair and full financial reporting. Our financial reports shall include comparison to budget and to the previous year.
To adopt as a goal a biennial written self evaluation of our Congregation.
To avoid complexity and ambiguity; and to promote simplified bylaws, operations, and procedures.
These bylaws of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Petoskey were approved by the membership at a meeting dated JUNE 12, 2016, the membership having been sent written notice as provided by the existing bylaws, such meeting being recorded in the minutes.
These bylaws of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Petoskey are hereby signed and certified by the signatures of its President and Secretary, and signed copies shall be retained by the Secretary for the permanent records of the congregation and availability to the members.
Signed at Petoskey, Michigan, on June 12, 2016
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Petoskey
Operations & Procedures Manual
The terms of all officers shall be FOR TWO fiscal years, as provided in Article VI-C, with no limit as to the number of terms served
1. To provide overall leadership and direction for the congregation.
2. To oversee development and Growth of the congregation.
3. To maintain communications with other UU groups, UUA and UUA Mid-America Region, and other parties with whom the congregation has direct or indirect contact.
Duties and Responsibilities
1. Provide announcements of services. 
2. Preside at all Board of Directors meetings.
3. Appoint the nominating committee.
4. Aid the chairs in selecting his/her committee members.
5. Provide leadership for the development of the congregation.
6. Sign checks in the absence of the treasurer.
7. Provide business and administrative leadership.
8. Represent the board in legal and other relationships requiring official representation, with the board’s direction.
9. May be an ex-officio member of all committees, if requested.
10. Delegate responsibilities as necessary.
11. Maintain records and files of pertinent congregational information, relative to his/her position.
12. Offer training to the succeeding President. 13.Create, email and post newsletters to the web site at least quarterly.
Term of Office: 2 Year
1. To support and advise the President.
2. To guide the Development of the congregation.
3. To facilitate and help guide the board meetings and the congregation’s meetings and workshops.
Duties and Responsibilities
1. Preside at board meetings in the absence of the President.
2. Be a process watcher at Board meetings to keep the agenda on track.
3. Facilitate committee and congregational meetings as delegated by the president.
4. Support the congregation’s development process by organizing and facilitating congregational workshops.
5. Assist the President with the agenda as needed.
6. Maintain records and files as needed.
7. Offer training to the succeeding Vice-President.
8. Develop and maintain the congregations Operation and Procedures Manual per direction from Board.
9. Assist with UUCOP emails and web site posting as necessary.
Term of Office: 2 Years
1. Provide current and historical information of the proceedings of the congregation and Board.
2. Provide legal documentation and correspondence to support the congregation’s corporate responsibilities.
Duties and Responsibilities
1. Record and maintain the minutes of the board meetings and distribute copies to the members at or before the next meeting.
2. Record and maintain the minutes of the congregation’s annual meeting and publish to all members after review by the board.
3. Prepare and submit documents of the congregation’s status to those entities requiring these for the congregation’s continued existence.
4. Offer training to the succeeding secretary.
5. Assist with UUCOP emails and web site posting as necessary.
6. Maintain UUCOP archives.
Term of Office: 2 Year
1. Monitor and disburse the congregation’s funds to support the business activities without going into arrears.
2. Maintain financial records to guide budgeting and legal documentation.
3. To be responsible for the financial receipts and disbursements of this organization subject to the approval of the Board of Directors
Duties and Responsibilities
1. Provide for the safekeeping of the funds and securities of the congregation.
2. Maintain the financial records and provide monthly reports to the board.
3. Maintain the congregation’s members pledge records and donations.
4. Pay bills as authorized.
5. Maintain additional records and files as needed.
6. Participate in the internal audit process as specified in Article 7- I of these bylaws.
7. Prepare IRS and other forms required by law for any paid positions.
8. Secure property and liability insurance with approval and assistance of the Board.
9. Manage congregational funds.
10. Offer training assistance to the incoming Treasurer.
11. Assist with UUCOP emails and web site posting as necessary.

Term of Office: 2 Year
To Chair the Program, Worship, and Religious Education Committee
Duties and Responsibilities
1. Provide leadership & direction of the Committee in the activities determined by the Committee within guidelines established by the Board or the membership.
2. Organize and lead Committee meetings.
3. Report to the Board regarding decisions by and progress of the Committee.
4. Provide announcements of services by email and web site posting.
5. Post short descriptions of past services to the web site.
6. Assist with UUCOP emails and web site posting as necessary. 
Term of Office: 2 Year
Meetings to conduct the business of this organization shall proceed in the following order:
1. Roll call of officers and other attendees
2. Determine the presence or absence of a quorum, if necessary
3. Adopt the agenda that specifies target timelines for specific items (for example, items subsumed under Unfinished and New Business)
4. Minutes of the previous meeting
5. Reports of officers, as necessary
Program Director
Treasurer (financial report)
Secretary (correspondence)
5. Reports of committees
6. Unfinished business
7. New business
8. Confirm next Meeting date, place, and time (per yearly schedule, if needed.)
9. Adjournment

Proposed Budget 2016/2017

Acccounts Current Budget 2015-2016 Actual Expenditures 2015-2016 Proposed Budget 2016-2017
2400 UUA Dues




2410 Mid-Am Dues




2411 UU Partner Church








5980 Equipment




5990 Furniture




6110 General Products




6120 Presenter Payment




6130 Program Supplies




6170 Corp. Registration




6310 Advertising/Promo




6320 Website




6410 Rent




6412 Rental Space Improvements




6415 Rent PO Box 873




6420 Office Expenses




6421 Piano Tuning




6423 Lodging




6424 Food




6425 UUA GA




6440 Postage




6510 Insurance




6700 Charitable Donation




6710 Outreach




6940 Property Tax




6970 Discretionary Fund




Savings Deposit






12,186 est. thru June


INCOME Current Budget 2015-2016 Actual Income 2015-2016 Proposed Budget 2016-2017
4100 Charity Collections, Interest, Misc. Income


3,190 est. thru June


4110 Pledge Income


14,550 est. thru June


2010 Savings – transfer to checking for rental space improvements, etc.






17,740 est. thru June



May 2016 Newsletter

Potluck and Annual meeting
report from nominating committee
By law changes
volunteer for committees
Agenda for annual meeting.
Annual giving

I have provided the above list of included topics as this is an important newsletter that all need to read!

As a Unitarian Universalist congregation we have the responsibility of governing ourselves.

Our annual meeting on June 12 is when we elect new officers (president, vice-president and secretary), update our bylaws to reflect actuality, review and accept the budget for next year’s activities, volunteer for standing committees and anything else that is the pleasure of the congregation.

I will reference much of this material in this newsletter but complete information is available on our website under the News, Newsletter pull downs.

First to the nominating committee. Allison White has done a yeoperson’s job in searching for president, vice-president and secretary candidates. She has only been able to find a volunteer for the secretary position. So both the president and vice-president positions will be open on the ballot recommendations. If you were thinking this might be something you would like to try please reply to this newsletter and we will all be grateful.

If you have not decided to step up and volunteer for pres or v.p. here is your second chance. We will be asking for volunteers for our standing committees as well. These include: Program, Membership, Facilities, Hospitality, Music, Outreach, Nominating, Green, Caring and Audit. Think about it!

After a short service we will open our annual meeting over food. Yes, this is a potluck, so bring something great to eat.

The agenda includes a discussion and vote of recommended bylaw changes, the proposed budget, a look back at the wonderful programs this year, election of officers, your opportunity to volunteer for committees and a celebration. If you would like to add something to this agenda please reply to this newsletter with your suggestion.

As mentioned above the material for the annual meeting will be posted in the newsletter section of our website, This is a result of us not being able to include them in this newsletter due to the mailing system we use.

Most of the changes in the bylaws have to do with board position responsibilities that are a result of our new website and board access to that site. In the past the responsibility of communication and website updates fell on just one or two folks. We have upgraded to a system that spreads this responsibility around.

Finally, if you were not in service on June 8th for our membership and stewardship service and have not as yet passed on to Allison your planned giving/pledge for the 2016/2017. Please stop right now! Let her know your plans. If you are having a hard time deciding how much to give ( might help. Now reply to this newsletter and let the board know what kind of support they have for the coming year. Thank you!

Services for June:

June 5 – 11:00 am Flower Ceremony This service will take place at The Chapel of Our Guardian Angels 812 Petoskey Street, in Petoskey instead of our usual meeting place at Red Sky Stage.

We each bring a flower to share and take home a different flower, symbolizing our assurance that warmth and kindness can pierce through frost of cruelty and indifference, mercy and decency will blossom, and goodness has deep roots.

June 12, 2016 Annual Meeting–Back at Red Sky Stage.
Officers will present their reports reviewing the past year. Congregation members will elect three new officers — President, Vice President and Secretary — and will review the proposed annual budget and proposed changes to our bylaws. All over a potluck. Please bring a dish to share.

June 19, 2016 We welcome the February Sky (Susan Urban & Phil Cooper). Summertime and the Livin’ Is Easy. The most lighthearted of the solar festivals, this musical Summer Solstice service celebrates the time when daylight hours are longest. We give thanks for Nature’s abundance while indulging in childlike play, welcoming the Sun’s warming rays and consider how we might use their heat to transform our lives in positive ways.


April 2016 Newsletter  

“The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large,” one of our guiding seven principals. It is time for us all to consider our congregational leadership. At our June annual meeting we will elect a new president and vice-president. Our nominating committee under the able leadership of our treasurer is seeking candidates.

As your president I have found the past three years one of learning, growing and enjoying the opportunity to know our congregation. I have initiated activities while enjoying the continuation of traditions that are UUCOP. It has been a joy leading our most capable board, a group of volunteers willing to take responsibility and time to collaborate for the congregation. I have discovered that many in our congregation, while not on the board, willing to step up and pitch in. I am stepping down as I believe we all share in this responsibility of leadership and it is time for another leader.

As spiritual seekers who come together at UUCOP, we have a responsibility to provide for the sustainability of this congregation and the opportunities it has provided us individually, as a community and those that will be our future.

Please consider volunteering for either the presidency or vice-presidency responsibilities for our congregation. We are also electing our secretary for a two year term.  Contact Allison White and let her know you are willing to lead.

At our annual meeting, June 12th, we will also be updating our bylaws to reflect responsibilities that come with our new website. There will be an update of this year’s activities, we will ask you to volunteer for the membership, program, retreat and/or future home committees.

For the past several years we have collected a second basket to support our broader community. In the past the money collected has been matched from general congressional funds. We will be discussing this and asking for suggestions for the four quarters of giving for 2016-2017.

We have been contacted by Carolyn Shorkey and Milt Warden, Unitarians in Asheville, North Carolina, who are interested in exchanging houses with someone up here in the north for the month of August. If you are interested please contact them at (828)299-9456.

Upcoming events and services:

April 30th, Members of the Green Committee will again pick trash from 119, Tunnel of Tree. Met at the Legs Inn parking lot at 10am. This is your second chance if you missed last Saturday.

May 1     Place of Worship Discussion  –  What do you want to see for our worship space in the future?  The discussions, small and large, will be designed to refine and consolidate opinions in order to give substantial direction to the Facilities Committee and Board.

May 8     Membership/Stewardship, what does it mean to be a member of UUCOP and how can you financially support the future of UUCOP?

May 15   Life Lessons from the Garden
Gardens impact our emotional and spiritual lives.  A garden models both what it means to be a ‘healthy individual’ and part of a ‘healthy community’. Novelist and garden columnist Mary Agria shares a look at how gardens can open us to the sacred in life changing ways.


March 2016 Newsletter

A standing ovation, please! Our new and improved website has gone live.

That is what we say after the wonderful work board members under the leadership of Joe and Betty Palm, and Mark Kinney to create a new website, until now hidden away in a place we could work on it but the public could not see.

So stop right now and go to www. and check it out. The board has been talking about updating our web presence as many folks find us first on the web. Thanks to Joe Palm’s persistence WE HAVE A NEW WEB PRESENCE!

We can always use more photos of our activities to post on the website. If you have some you would like to submit please forward them to

Also I would like to recognize the work of our newly formed Program Committee, under Pat Hartlep’s leadership. They will meet after the first Sunday service each month. They already have much of the programs scheduled through the end of July. I am sure they will welcome anyone that would like to join them.

We still have some open Sundays if you would like to take responsibility for a service. Just drop Pat an email.

Please, put the first Sunday in May on your calendars. Under Diane Lake’s leadership our building committee has been doing a lot of work sniffing out our options for a place to gather each week. On that first Sunday in May they will present and the board would like there to help us decided what is next for UUCOP as our home. Note: we have an opportunity to experience an alternative venue at the first service in April (see below).

The Flint Child Health & Development Fund, a fund within the community foundation of Flint will be our second basket, community collection recipient for April, May and June. In recognition of the long term damage caused to the children of Flint, Michigan as a result of the lead tainted water they were allowed to drink, this fund is working to find solutions for these more long term needs of the children.

If you missed the opportunity Allison White, chair of our nominating committee, provided to suggest yourself or someone else for our three vacant board positions, please contact her and put your name or someone else’s name in her hat. We will be electing a president, vice-president and secretary at this year’s June annual meeting.

Up coming services in April.

April 3    “Has America Fulfilled Its Promise of Equal Justice For All?”
Former Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, the Honorable Marilyn Kelly presenting.
We will be meeting at Chapel of Our Guardian Angels, 812 Petoskey St. Corner of Fulton at the top of the hill from Mitchell.

April 10     Poetry Sunday  –  Marla Houghteling. Bring a poem or two. Maybe one you have written. We will work at memorizing a poem to take home with us. Great opportunity for the kids to join in.

April 17     Earth Day  – Dr. Ronald Marshall speaking on Citizens Climate Lobby?


February 2016 Newsletter

First I would like to thank all those who were a part of our discussion this past Sunday as we had great conversation around all those pieces we know will make UUCOP an even better congregation and community.

I heard folks asking for more ways to get involved, which we all welcome. Here are some things that we need right now.

At Sunday’s gathering several volunteered to be on the Program Committee and you will hear from Pat as to a meeting of that committee. If you are also interested in joining please contact Pat Hartlep

We need volunteers for our Nominating Committee to nominate a president, vice-president and secretary, all of which will be elected for two year terms at our annual meeting in June. Diane Lake has volunteered to serve again as secretary. Contact Allison White ( to volunteer.

It is also time to do our every other year review of our bylaws. Please contact Kim Nowack ( to volunteer. This job needs to be done by the annual meeting in June to allow us to vote on any changes.

A need was expressed for more gatherings allowing us to be more of a community. There are two coming up this week end. The first is a snowshoe outing at Camp Daggett. Contact Betty Palm 231-881-9126 or Also a group is going to the Traverse City UU service on Sunday. Contact me ( if you would like to come with us.

Our fifth Sunday potlucks also came up and if you would like help arrange the three we have left this year please contact Kim (

And finally if you would like to host any other social type events, please contact any board member.

Just a few other things the board is working on include: investigating the possibilities around having a minister, how we can have a more spiritual space to gather in each week, contributing to the support of the needs of refugees, the possibility of an all congregation retreat, going to the UU General Assembly in Columbus in June, just to name a few.

These are the Sunday Services for March 2016

March 6 – New Piano Sunday     HOORAY!  The new piano has arrived and has been tuned!  We celebrate with music and song.    Nancy Kinney

March 13 – International Women’s Day    The primary focus will be on “UN Women” (United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women)    Connie Baker

March 20 – Spring Solstice    Bunnies, Chickies, and Eggs    What’s that all about?    Pat Hartlep (and others, I hope)


January 2016 Newsletter

As a congregation of Unitarians and Universalist gathering in our search for meaning there are many ways we may support each other and our congregation: attending services on a regular basis; committing to regular financial contributions; taking responsible for a service and/or refreshments; coming early and staying after to prepare our worship area; volunteering to serve on our governing board. These are all opportunities we all must take if our congregation is to continue to offer the support we all enjoy.

I would like to highlight two of these opportunities coming up later this year. Please seriously consider stepping up.

The first is committing to regular financial contributions. The board has designated May as our stewardship month. As the board struggles with growing our congregation, a stream of financial support we know is committed by you makes life a bit easier. Between now and then take a look at your finances and be honest about what UUCOP means to you. Be ready to pledge your commitment to UUCOP in May.

The second responsibility, stepping up to leadership. At our annual meeting in June we will elect our president, vice president and secretary for two year terms. I will have served for three years as your president and am stepping down. I believe everyone can and should have a chance to serve. The more folks taking the opportunity to serve in leadership increases the understanding that everyone has talents to bring to our leadership. We all need to pitch in to make UUCOP succeed.

Consider becoming our next president, vice-present or secretary. The positions of treasure, Allison White and program chair, Pat Hartlep run for another year and will be available for consideration at the June 2017 annual meeting.

work is going on to update our website. Mark Kinney created the UUCOP website while he served as president. He has maintained it ever since. We are most grateful for Mark taking this responsibility.

But like everything else websites have to be redesigned for the times. Our website is a major part of our ability to attract new folks. This along with occasional opportunities to have notices in the local papers and our presence in downtown Petoskey is how people find us. We are designing the new sight to also allow multi folks the access and responsibility for updating rather then the burden falling on one person. It is still a work in progress.

If you fancy yourself a photographer we need your talents. We are in need of photos for the new website and for a project Joe Palm is creating. These can be photos of the area and/or of UUCOP gatherings. They can be photos you already have or ones you have yet to take. Please contact Joe Palm,

The board is reviewing ways we can use our Wildwood property. Last summer we had a couple of services at Wildwood but they were not well attended. If you have any ideas of how we could better attract folks to services at Wildwood, maybe car pooling from town or some topic that no one can resist, please contact Pat Hartlep,

If anyone is interested in traveling to Traverse City the fourth Sunday in February to attend the Traverse City UU service contact one of the board members as we plan to attend.

This newsletter completed by Pan Godchaux

Nov-Dec 2015 Newsletter

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

As carols become all the music we hear and the promise of a new year lurks around the corner the UUCOP board thanks you for allowing us to serve you. We wish you all a safe and bright holiday season.

It is with sadness in our hearts that we honor Karen Donaldson. Just before Thanksgiving she had a stroke and passed away shortly after. Karen will always be out founding mother as in 1993, she placed the advertisement in the Petoskey paper seeking other like minded liberal thinkers that became the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Petoskey. For her full obituary.

This past Sunday we collected money for Meals on Wheels for Robert Donaldson as the family arranges for his care. The collection yielded a most generous $100 and the board voted to match that amount in place of flowers. Robert can be reached at 75 Wright Street, Winter Haven, FL 33884, if you would like to drop him a card.

By the way the first quarter of this year our community basket collection was for the food banks in our area in time for the holiday. We collected $180 and from congregational funds the board doubled the amount forwarding to Manna $280 and St. Ignace Hope $80.

The third quarter, starting in January, we will be in supporting the International Convocation of Unitarian Universalist Women (IWC). The IWC creates a community of Unitarian Universalists and women of other progressive faiths, who take action to build global partnerships and enrich women’s lives, focusing on access to education; health care, reproductive justice; violence prevention; empowerment in decision-making; and the elimination of poverty.

I (Pan) recently had the opportunity to participate in the IWC convocation taking place in Coroco, Bolivia. There were sixty plus women from Bolivia, the US, Australia and France that gathered for three days in this Bolivian mountain jungle. We struggled through prioritizing those actions the Bolivian women impressed upon us as most important to their wellbeing and advancement. We contributed various resources and will continue supporting each other through our strong friendships.

In the past the IWC has held similar convocations in Romania, India and Philippines among other places that have resulted in leadership seminars for women, micro loan programs plus other resources gathered to support the each convocation’s conclusions.

Pan Godchaux, president,