February 26, 2021 —
Dear Unity Family,
Your board of trustees met last night and here is an update on what is happening around your community. I realize it is a little lengthy, but we want to be transparent and keep you informed on your church’s activities and business.
The first order of business was election of officers. Deborah Zeoli, President; Carol Grogg, Vice President; Kenice Grand, Secretary; Cheryl Upchurch, Treasurer; Lesa Lemonds and Cammie Newton, Members At Large, will be serving you this year. Five of us are “veterans” with this being Lesa’s first year. We are very excited about this group of committed souls serving as your trustees.
The finance report showed we ended in a deficit of $2,917.41 in January. The church incurred an annual expense as well as a few extra building expenses. We anticipate making up the deficit over the next few months.
The 2021 Annual Meeting is in the books and we are incredibly grateful for your support. While it was our very first Zoom Annual, it served as a worthy vehicle to host this year’s meeting. I thank the board and volunteers who helped with the technical aspects and all the prep work.
Our Community Outreach Team are finishing a month-long very successful food drive. Team members are Co-chairs Carole Evans and Nicole Menschel. Our volunteers for this project were Carole Evans, Robin Fitchett, Jerry Hartsock, Kurt and Nicole Menschel, Rusty Pardee, Ken Reed, Marsha Richeson and Anne Ross. This Saturday, our Youth Of Unity and Uniteens are joining the team to lend a hand. Unity of Daytona Beach is so blessed with people who answer the call and say YES. Thank you all!
Our Maintenance Team Co-chaired by Marc Gilmet and Ron Guilmette have been inspecting the building and grounds and developing a list of items that require attention. They already have done many little things that did not require a professional, and we thank them. They are working on the Media Center to upgrade equipment to provide better quality transmission of our services.
Our Succession Plan implementation is progressing nicely. Rev. Teresa is settling into a routine, working with staff, and providing pastoral care to our community. We are making plans to reschedule “Unity Loves Rev. Teresa Day” after the Easter season.
Our highest priority this year is to resume in-person services and that remains what we prayerfully spend a great deal of our time deliberating. We are not planning on in-person services until at least after Easter Season. Recognizing that we are being more restrictive than other businesses and schools around us for the following reasons.
As a community that values inclusion and collective care, we do not want to create in-person situations that inadvertently exclude those at a higher risk. Our decision-making is centered on the needs of the most vulnerable. We do not want our staff and minister to be put at risk on the job. A normally operating congregation presents many opportunities for transmission. Using science-based metrics; daily new cases; infection rate; test positivity; tracers hired; and ICU headroom, the published numbers (with a margin for error either way) do not indicate we are ready to resume in-person services in Volusia County. Other factors due to the timing of waiting until after Easter are the Easter holiday with family members, Bike Week, and Spring Break, bringing many people from all over the country. This presents the opportunity of the now-declining numbers to plateau or rise.
Friends, we invite you to engage with us in ongoing creativity as we all minister to one another. We are providing all services including Pastoral Care. The office is open, and the work of the church is ongoing. Contact the office with any needs, comments, questions, or if you just want to talk to someone. Our prayer chaplain program is in full swing as well.
We ask for your continued prayers for Unity of Daytona, its staff, and trustees.