Congregational Information Sessions & Walk Through

Sunday, August 29th & Sunday September 5th after worship via Zoom. The same presentation will be offered at each session

Walk through the Space with Task Force Members – Monday, August 30th 4pm – 7pm. All COVID safety precautions will be taken, and availability will be limited to 10 persons in the building at a time. Please plan to wait depending on attendance

As a result of our 2018 Strategic Plan, the BUUF Board launched a task force to help us discern our priorities for the future of our indoor spaces. The first task force identified three top priorities based on congregational input sessions and survey data. These priorities included:

  1. Dedicated fellowship & hospitality space
  2. A more inviting Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall
  3. Additional Meeting Space

In 2020, the Board convened an Engaging Space Implementation Task Force (ESITF) to help us realize these priorities beginning with the fellowship & hospitality space which has been a long-held desire of the congregation. For at least 5 years there has been an expressed desire to move the coffee service out of the sanctuary and into its own dedicated space. Plans are underway to transform the Fahs Classroom into our new Coffee Room!  We have arrived at this point after hard work by our congregational community.

The ESITF solicited proposals from three interior designers and selected Dara Charlton-Tharp to design our new space. Dara (pronounced like Sara) is the owner and principal interior designer at Dara Charlton Design since 2014.  Her focus is “creating functional spaces with soul”.  Examples of her work can be viewed at Additionally, they solicited bids from contractors to complete the structural changes needed to make the space as engaging and functional as possible. However, the final bids came in beyond the budget the board originally allocated (up to 10% of our operating budget per our by-laws). The current bid, which includes some materials and volunteer labor provided by BUUF, comes to $62,000. Construction costs are rising significantly and all the bids came in much higher than the ESITF anticipated. 

The Task Force spent several weeks dissecting the bids and considering several lower-cost alternatives. In the end, they felt that the full renovation plan best meets the charge they were given by the board and creates the beautiful, functional, and engaging fellowship space that has been the long-held desire of the congregation. Last week, they presented their recommendations to the board who fully endorsed their proposal and are equally excited to move this project forward.

Our by-laws require a congregational vote to approve property improvements that exceed 10% of the annual operating budget (Article IV Section 6a – see text below). As such, the Board has voted to hold a congregational vote by absentee ballot (all electronic). Ballots will be emailed to each voting member on Sunday, September 5th and voting will close at midnight Wednesday, September 8th. 

To help prepare the congregation for the vote, the Engaging Space Implementation Task Force will host two information sessions to share their process and specific plans for the new fellowship space on Sundays, August 29th and September 5th via zoom, immediately following worship services (more details below). The same presentation will be offered at each session, so no need to attend more than one.

ESITF members will also be available in-person, on Monday, August 30th from 4-7pm in the Fahs room so that members can walk through the space and imagine what the proposed plans will look like when completed. All COVID safety precautions will be taken, and availability will be limited to 10 persons in the building at a time. Please plan to wait depending on attendance.

Below are several helpful photos and documents provided by the task force.
Design Inspiration - Color Board

Design Inspiration Color Board

Treasurer’s Report – for the Engaging Space Implementation, fall 2021
Tom von Alten, August 30, 2021

We are still doing the final accounting for FY 2021 (ending June 30, 2021), but the preliminary report is that for the second year ending during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, generous support from members has continued, while our “virtual” operation has reduced our operating expenses.

We have no long-term liabilities. Our unrestricted reserves are at about half of our annual operating budget, and we have cash on hand to fund the Engaging Space implementation recommendation as presented by the Implementation Task Force to the Board and the Congregation.  The $62,000 bid under consideration amounts to approximately 15% of our annual operating budget.