About the Author
Sarah Cahill
Communications Assistant, Stewardship and Development at UUA

Moving Forward For Our Faith

Dear Friend,

Our move off of Beacon Hill to 24 Farnsworth Street in Boston’s Innovation District has been an incredible journey. I am grateful to the extraordinary team who made this move possible, managing a complicated project in a very short time. And I offer a special thank you to you and everyone who embraced this vision of a more efficient, sustainable, accessible, and welcoming UUA. It is amazing to see this become a reality. As we settle in, we will be continuing to make improvements to our new home. One of our upcoming projects is to rework the building’s main entrance to co-locate an accessible and prominent lift with the main entrance path to offer dignified access.

I hope you will come visit us. Until then, please watch this video celebrating our new spiritual home. Thank you.

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In faith,

Rev. Peter Morales

UUA President

Accessibility and Sustainability at 24

Dear friend,

With just over a month in our new space at 24 Farnsworth, I can say confidently that it’s feeling like home, a Unitarian Universalist home. It’s welcome and inviting. It’s accessible and sustainable.

Our seven principles are proudly reflected in many ways throughout the building, including many of the systems that are at work behind the scenes. I am confident that our commitment to sustainability will earn us a strong Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification in the near future. LEED certification, which is awarded by the US Green Building Council, is recognized across the globe as the premier mark of achievement in green building.

As Unitarian Universalists, environmental justice is of primary importance to us. I’ve asked our Chief Operating Officer, Rev. Harlan Limpert, to share some of the ways that our new space is contributing to that cause.

In faith,

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Rev. Peter Morales

UUA President

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As we designed our new building at 24 Farnsworth Street, it was very important to us that we visibly incorporate our principles into the space. We particularly wanted to ensure that our new faith home was healthy, sustainable, and accessible. The building features multiple pathways throughout the work areas to make it easy to access all spaces, Braille signage, hearing amplification systems in the Chapel and Multipurpose Room, gender-neutral bathrooms on all floors, and floor-specific color schemes for easier orientation.To accomplish a green workspace, we enlisted one of the foremost experts on sustainable building, Jean Carroon of Goody Clancy. Under her guidance, we have moved into a space that is beautiful, inviting, and efficient. I would like to share with you just some of the sustainable practices that were implemented in the design and operation of 24 Farnsworth Street.

  • By reusing an existing building, we realized a tremendous reduction in the need for virgin materials, embodied energy, and environmental pollution.
  • Over 35% of the materials and furnishings installed contain recycled content.
  • Over 20% of the materials and furnishings installed were manufactured within 500 miles of Boston.
  • A sophisticated lighting control system dims electric lights in response to the presence of daylight, and turns lights on and off based on occupancy.
  • The use of energy-efficient light fixtures and a carefully designed lighting plan will reduce ongoing energy consumption for lighting by over 40%.
  • We have worked with the current owners of the building to update toilet room fixtures to water efficient models. This will reduce ongoing water consumption by 35%.
  • Over 90% of construction waste was diverted from the landfill by incorporating material recycling strategies.
  • Having spent 87 years at 25 Beacon, first the American Unitarian Association, and then our UUA has a long history in buildings built for them. Infrequent moves help to conserve resources, reduce waste, and eliminate negative environmental impacts. We have invested wisely in the build-out of 24 Farnsworth, and we plan to be here for a long time.
  • We have implemented a Green Cleaning Program to reduce the exposure of potentially hazardous products, equipment, or procedures associated with the cleaning and maintenance of the space.
  • In order to ensure the best possible indoor air quality, all adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings, flooring materials, composite wood products, and furniture used within the space meet strict volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions limits.
  • We have implemented an Energy Star Equipment Purchasing Policy that applies to the ongoing purchase of appliances, office equipment, and electronics. This policy has resulted in an over 90% Energy Star Equipment compliance rate.

I am proud of our sustainable, inviting space, and the impact that it will have for our staff, visitors, and the earth.

As we kick off General Assembly (GA) in Providence, I also want to commend our GA planning team on their extraordinary sustainability efforts. They have been nationally recognized for their work in green conference planning, and help to provide a positive and healthy experience for all who attend. You can learn more about their efforts on the Greening General Assembly page of uua.org.

In faith,

Harlan Limpert 2

Rev. Harlan Limpert

Chief Operating Officer

 

 

 

Love Reaches Out

Dear friend,

We’ve settled very quickly into our new offices at 24 Farnsworth. Now, all under one roof, we are in the thick of General Assembly (GA) preparations.

The theme of our upcoming GA is Love Reaches Out. In person and online, we will have many opportunities to reach out in love – to demonstrate that love does more than take a stand. Most visibly, this theme will be embodied by our Public Witness event at WaterFire Providence. With 4,500 UUs and approximately 10,000 attendees expected, this will be a terrific opportunity to introduce our faith to the local community and reach out in love in visible ways.

I have asked Alex Kapitan, who is overseeing our WaterFire Public Witness event, to share insights with you.

In faith,

Rev. Peter Morales

UUA President

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“When I speak of love I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response. I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life.” —The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Love is the greatest justice cause and spiritual imperative of our time. It is what makes me a person of faith. When people meet me, I want them to feel that love and sense that I am someone different, that I am a “love person.” I don’t have to see eye to eye with someone to wish the best for them and practice unconditional love toward them. It is not always easy— in fact, sometimes it can be very difficult—but that is what makes love a spiritual practice.

As we have settled into our new space at 24 Farnsworth Street, staff and visitors have had the opportunity to practice love and compassion in all of our interactions. We have adjusted to each other’s work styles, helped each other to learn about our new neighborhood, and counseled each other on the struggles of adapting to a new work environment. There is a feeling of love throughout the building that is carrying over into our work, and it is awesome.

Next week, we begin our 2014 General Assembly in Providence, RI. There, we will engage in the power of love in workshops, worship, and witness, building toward our public witness event at the riverfront WaterFire festival, where we will witness for the power of love to create a better world and get a chance to practice publicly reaching out in love.

Recently, I had the honor of working with our UUA president, the Rev. Peter Morales, to create a video about the power of reaching out in love. I am proud of this work. I hope you will enjoy it, and that it will inspire you to think about ways that you can reach out in love.

 

In loving faith,

Alex Kapitan photo 1

Alex Kapitan

Congregational Advocacy & Witness Program

Coordinator Unitarian Universalist Association

 

 

 

Welcome to 24 Farnsworth Street

Dear friend,

Last Thursday, your UUA staff moved into our new offices at 24 Farnsworth Street in Boston’s Innovation District. Unpacking was a breeze. IT staff made the rounds and we were off and running.

We hoped and planned for a collaborative space, and we have it. It’s beautiful and functional. And we’re already reaping the benefits of its design. Nicole McConvery, International Office Programs Associate, remarked, “I’ve had the opportunity to meet a number of colleagues from 25 (Beacon St.) whom I’ve never seen or spoken with face-to-face in the seven years I’ve worked for the UUA.”

Our first visitors were Unitarian Universalists from Canada. As I showed them around, my pride in your UUA staff, my gratitude for your generosity, and our shared awareness of opportunity and possibility grew.

We’re ready for you to come for a visit. This is your home. Enjoy these photos as a first step of our journey.

In faith,

Rev. Peter Morales
UUA President

 

New photos from 24 Farnsworth

Check out these new photos of 24 Farnsworth. Shortly before construction began, some staff members took a tour to help them visualize the new space and where their staff groups will be located within the building. Stay tuned for additional photos as construction progresses.

 

How Should Our New Headquarters Look?

On behalf of Goody Clancy, the UUA architects for our new headquarters offices at 24 Farnsworth Street in Boston, I’m thrilled to share with you a “blink” exercise in the form of a Survey Monkey questionnaire.

Goody Clancy designed the “blink” exercise to help gather information on how we want our new headquarters space to feel. As constituents of the UUA, we welcome your input. Note that none of the images are actual choices. They’re meant to represent and suggest ideas, concepts, colors, shapes, and moods.

The “blink” exercise will take you about 20 minutes to complete. Offer your immediate, gut reaction to each image. Do you love it or do you hate it? Or do you fall somewhere in between? There are even spaces in the survey for comments should you feel inclined. The link is live through the end of July.

Have fun! Don’t overanalyze. Imagine.

Complete the Blink Exercise Here

Concept Sketches Released for 24 Farnsworth

At General Assembly, UUA President Peter Morales unveiled some architectural concept sketches created by Goody Clancy for the new headquarters. Take a look at the images below!

New photos added to the Join the Move homepage

On April 11, UUA staff got their first look inside the new building at 24 Farnsworth Street. Everyone was very excited to see the new space and enjoy some treats from our future neighbor, Flour Bakery. Chris Walton from UU World took some great photographs, which have been added to the About the Move section on the blog homepage. Check out the new interior shots for a look at the “blank canvas” that will become the new UUA offices.