The Fellowship Hall is a place of welcome, where our members and friends join to share fellowship, celebrate joyful events, or sustain one another through moments of pain and suffering. A well-organized church kitchen, implemented by a well-trained team of volunteers, is an outstanding achievement and the best assurance of a harmonious congregation.

In the first week of May 2019, when the “Great Flood visited” U.U. Manchester. When we entered the building one early morning, we discovered our kitchen water heater had burst and flooded the Kitchen and Fellowship Hall. Our harmony was upset. After a week of water and mold remediation, our members recognized that this was an opportunity to refurbish the entire Fellowship Hall/Kitchen complex. (A message from the heavens, so to speak.) Jim Alcauskas was appointed as the Project Manager. We received proceeds from a Church Mutual insurance settlement, generous contributions from our congregant members and Friends, and Mc Ininch Foundation grant funding. The Board signed a contract with Dennis Mires of The Architects, andthe city approved the architectural drawings in November 2019. As fate would have it, we completed construction in March 2020, as we began closing the church in response to the Covid 19 pandemic. We have only now, tentatively, started returning to our spiritual home.

Thanks to Luc Roberge for coordinating, summer services with the technical team, Jefferson Chickering’s leadership and enthusiasm, to reestablish the after-service hospitality effort and Wednesday night potlucks.

This June, the Board appointed, and the Health Department licensed, Lila Cate as the Kitchen Manager for FYE23. Lila follows Jim Alcauskas, licensed by the Health Department as Kitchen Manager in FYE21 and FYE22. During Jim’s terms, he obtained instruction as a certified food handler, studied the operations of the last Kitchen Safety and Sanitation Committee, other church operations, policies and procedures, industry standards, and Department of Health requirements to maintain a safe and healthy kitchen. Lila is now pursuing her certification as a Food Handler and working with Jim to finish the Operations Manual, which will guide future members of the re-formed Kitchen Safety and Sanitation Committee (the KiSS Committee). Unfortunately, most, if not all, of our “corporate” knowledge, represented in the past KiSS Committee, has moved on (Michelle Weinstein was the last chair).

Lila and Jim are finishing an Operations Manual to guide a new team of volunteers to support our new Kitchen and protect our significant investment there.

Please consider becoming a member of the KiSS Committee to support our new effort. Come to our Open House after service on August 21 to see our new Kitchen, explore possibilities, and enjoy the fellowship of your fellow members by joining the new kitchen crew.