Vision 2020 and Holistic Study

Since September 2015, the Holistic Study has been underway to analyze and improve the usage of UUCW’s building and land to serve the mission and ministries of the congregation.

Click here to download the Holistic Study presentation.

Click here to read the Holistic Study FAQ.

The Holistic Study began with the work of UUCW’s Vision 2020 long-range plan. Vision 2020 starts with the assumption that there is a need for greater accessibility in the church building and land to meet the needs of all members of the UUCW community. The church worked with Workshop Architects to conduct the study and develop recommendations. The architects toured the facility and met with church staff, committees, and the Board. The congregation was surveyed and a broadly-representational group of 30 was also invited to participate in developmental workshops.

The Holistic Study’s recommendations include: improved accessibility, a welcoming environment, consolidated storage, staff collaboration, environmental sustainability, improved flow between the two floors, reconfigurable multi-use spaces, and addressing many deferred maintenance items.

Click here to see the Holistic Study/Build 2020 presentation. The Board of Trustees notes that the recommendations are not a final plan; congregational feedback is being sought and it is hoped that the plan will be finalized in Spring 2017. As Board member Joe Lange noted at the March 20th presentation, “Now we share and listen, remembering our love for UUCW and our desire to honor our differences.”

Commonly Asked Questions About the Holistic Study Recommendations

Is this the final plan that we are building with?
No. The recommendations from Workshop Architects shared at the information session on March 20, 2016 and posted on the website represent “A” plan, not “the” plan. The Board of Trustees is seeking members’ feedback on the recommendations, and will establish a team and a process to carry us from the recommendations to a final plan. We estimate that the plan will be finalized in early 2017.

Are we assuming that the pre-school will always be with us?
Right now the Elmbrook Preschool rental generates about $20,000 in income we need for our Operating Budget. It’s also in line with our Earth Ministry values that our building serve multiple purposes, and the preschool also serves to help community members become familiar with us. While the preschool has been with us for nearly two decades, we do not know how long our relationship will continue, but we do anticipate having some portion of our space available for a tenant.

How many candidates were considered before Workshop Architects was chosen?
The Holistic Study Working Group received proposals from and interviewed three well-known, reputable architecture firms before choosing Workshop Architects (WA). Other firms were asked to submit proposals, but chose not to do so. Workshop Architects was selected in part because they use a relational information-gathering process that helps build community. They toured our facilities, visited worship services, interviewed staff, committees and the Board, as well as collecting information from as many congregation members and friends as possible with an online (and paper) survey. A broadly-representative group of 30 congregation members was selected to participate in three Interactive Workshops led by WA staff.

We have not grown in Sunday attendance for years, does it make sense to remodel?
Space in the sanctuary is not the issue driving the Build 2020 process. Our desire is to make better use of our space to serve the mission and ministries of our congregation, as well as to address deferred maintenance that is reaching a critical stage. Our building is not up to current building code standards, nor do we have full accessibility for those who use mobility aids like walkers and wheelchairs. Meeting space is insufficient for our needs at times, and our building is energy-inefficient.

At what point do we grow out of the sanctuary, why was the sanctuary not considered?
We anticipate having enough space in the sanctuary for Sunday worship needs for the forseeable future. Church attendance patterns in the broader culture indicate that people are attending less often, while maintaining strong commitments to their faith communities. The sanctuary is being considered for some remodeling to improve access and drainage on the north side of the building.

The open concept offices as presented in the recommendations mean no privacy for Music and RE staff. How will this work?
The final configuration of office spaces for UUCW staff has not yet been finalized. Staff and program needs will be taken into consideration before any plan is finalized.

Storage in this proposal seems to be the same or worse with this proposal?
One of the themes that emerged from the recommendations was consolidated storage space, and more efficient use of space. The recommendations propose that some furniture be multi-fuction, for example. Final location and configuration of storage space are not final in the recommendations.

Does the Holistic Study make recommendations about the East Property?
No final recommendation about the use of the East Property was included in the report provided by Workshop Architects (WA) because felt they did not have enough data to make a recommendation. WA stated that all the ideas that were explored in the process of the Holistic Study were valid. These included developing the land for use by the broader community (a community center, housing for seniors, LGBTQ center, or community gardens/urban farm), expanding parking lots, or selling the property and using the income for other purposes.

Are we going to lose the access to our roof that is currently in Janitor’s closet?
The recommendations do not show an access to the roof in the current location, however, that does not mean that this roof access will be removed. This is a detail that the final plans will have to take into account.

When will we start a capital campaign?
The March 20, 2016 presentation indicates that a Capital Campaign may begin as soon as Spring of 2017.

Is there a way to give before the capital campaign starts?
Yes. If you would like to make a gift to help fund the Build 2020 process, you may do so at any time and the funds will be set aside. Contact Vicki Banville in the church office to begin the process. 

UUCW Stories

Split the Plate Supports CORE/El Centro

Each month, UUCW gives half of all undesignated offering monies to a non-profit organization as a way to help us live our Unitarian Universalist values and serve our community.


Racial Justice Workshop

Build 2020 Update

Imagine the Unitarian Universalist Church West of the future: a congregation with a building as open and flexible as our theology, as welcome and warm as our spirit, a building with mechanical systems that are healthy and efficient, office and meeting spaces that help our ministries hum along, and a floor plan accessible to everyone! We're describing UUCW’s Build 2020.

For the past two years, UUCW has engaged in a Holistic Study process to discern what needs to happen to transform our building into one that more fully supports our ministry and mission. We worked with Workshop Architects on that process, which resulted in a preliminary architectural plan. Click here to view the Holistic Study presentation.


March Newsletter

Click on the image to read the March 2017 edition of our monthly newsletter, the West Wind.


Join Us Sunday Morning

Worship Services
9:15 AM and 11:00 AM
This Sunday's Sermon:
  • "Holding On and Letting Go"

    Sunday, March 26, 2017 - 9:15 and 11:00 a.m.

    The Rev. Suzelle Lynch

    The challenge is always before us - when to hold on, and when to let go?  We know that all growth involves change, and yet it is our human nature to prefer the comfort of the known.  Today we explore this paradox in keeping with our Soul Matters theme, " We Are a Risk-Taking Community."

    Children's choir sings today for Worship for All Ages!  It's also "Choose the Music Sunday," purchased at last November's LEGENDARY Auction by Christopher Zamzow.  Look forward to out-of-the ordinary musical offerings today!

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Before the Flood

Earth Ministry Movie Night
Saturday, March 25, 3:30 pm

Join our congregational community for this special film showing followed by pizza and discussion.



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