Chalice Unitarian Universalist Congregation was officially formed on January 1, 2000, with a charter signed by 115 members. This “new” congregation emerged from the reunion of two previously separate UU groups: the UU Inland North County Fellowship (UUINCF) and Chalice Church.
Rev. Margo McKenna 2001-2010
The congregation called our first settled minister, Rev. Margo McKenna, in 2001. We bought the property on Miller Avenue in 2002 and began meeting here in October 2004.
This was a time of rapid growth for Chalice. We hired our part-time Music Director, Tim McKnight, in 2004. We hired paid staff to oversee our children’s religious education programming. In April 2006, we added a second worship service to Sunday morning. The membership grew from 115 to a high of 210 in 2010.
Rev. Margo retired from Chalice in 2010. The congregation was later saddened by her unexpected death in 2014. Her obituary is here.
Rev. Tomas Anastasi 2010-2012
The congregation was served for the next two years by an interim minister, Rev. Thomas Anastasi. Interim ministers assist congregations on the journey from one settled ministry to its next settled ministry. Although some interim ministries last only one year, two years is the norm.
Rev. Thomas assisted the congregation in moving beyond its last ministry and equipping itself for a new, different ministry. This involved helping the congregation look at practices that may or may not have been serving us well, assisting us through the emotional process of transition, setting our sights forward, and connecting us to needed resources.
This was a time of reflection and change. Sunday forums after worship brought the congregation together to discuss topics significant to the community. A new form of church governance was approved. A renovation committee formed to consider Chalice’s need for space. And a search committee did the work of finding the next settled minister.
The Construction Era (so far!)
Rev. Sharon Wylie 2012 – now
Our second settled minister, Rev. Sharon Wylie, was called in 2012. At that time, we also voted to proceed with a three-phase construction project to improve and expand our campus.
In Rev. Sharon’s first year, we learned that the two yurts we had been using for children’s religious education classes were not permissible. We immediately undertook building a 330 s.f. meeting room (now called the Cottage) to regain the lost classroom and meeting space. The Cottage was complete by October 2013.
Between 2012 and 2019 we obtained a modification to our Major Use Permit (MUP), were annexed to the City of Escondido (we had been under the jurisdiction of the County of San Diego), worked with our architect on design, hired a contractor, and finally, finally! construction was finished.
Phase 1 was completed in 2019: a five-room multipurpose building now called “The Hub.”
Next on our horizon is selecting a covering for our courtyard space, which is our primary area for socializing and fellowship. We are also looking forward to the installation of a memorial wall and a new playground.