President’s Message: Final Thoughts and Many Hopes – June 2019

“People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do” – Rob Siltanen


It’s been a blast being the Chalice Congregation President this year! My overriding personal goal has been to see the successful completion of Phase One construction. We are almost there, and I’m filled with gratitude to everyone who worked and endured to plan, design, pay for, and construct our hub for liberal religion right here in Escondido.

Chalice is an incredible community of dedicated volunteers and I have no doubt that the future will be great. Your current Board of Trustees worked well together in covenant and did (almost) everything I asked of them. Alec Bergamini will be our next President and our talented Board and staff will work with the Coordinating Team to integrate the new Multipurpose Building into Chalice’s daily routine. We are so lucky to have a Minister who not only provides excellent spiritual support and direction but also acts as Chief of Staff. One of the best parts of the Chalice Presidency is the opportunity to work closely with Rev Sharon, a truly brilliant and remarkably capable and warm person. I also want to acknowledge the members of the Coordinating Team (Deb Coon, Susan Spoto, Paula Gonzales and Rev Sharon) for their outstanding management of all the day-to-day operations of Chalice. Paula Gonzales is really the “Heart and Soul of Chalice” and has graciously assisted me despite having so many other responsibilities. Delynn Kelly, our esteemed bookkeeper, has provided invaluable financial advice and expertise to me all year. And I thank my wife Julia who supports me in so many ways and also deeply loves Chalice.

I have many hopes for Chalice and Unitarian Universalism. I truly believe in our principles, our people and our ability to make this world more just and compassionate. We will be the spiritual home for many generations of UUs in North SD County, the beacon for justice, spiritual growth, joy, music and love.

However, we must face fiscal reality going forward. We must find ways to increase revenue to fund operations, build and improve our campus and provide pay raises that our staff must have to keep up with the cost of living here.

Just imagine a Chalice with a remodeled kitchen and offices and a magnificent sanctuary. Imagine a Chalice with two ministers, and expanded pastoral services serving a diverse multi-generational community. Imagine Chalice as a center for spiritual learning and growth for everyone. How do we get there? Grow by being the best UUs we can be, supporting one another and generously giving time and lots of money to Chalice! Some final words from Winston Churchill: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

Thanks again for giving me the opportunity to serve Chalice as your President this year!