UUMC dedicated its new sign at the corner of Trinity and Washington in University City, as members gathered round the sign after Sunday worship, December 9, 2018.
The new sign witnesses to who we are and signals that we are active in our mission.
A pop-out image of our congregational logo.
Our motto of “Be You, Be Loved, Belong”
Per becoming a Reconciling Church, a pop-out image of the LGBTQ flag.
Well-lit by backlighting at night
Tie in to the building by the color of the doors
The new sign is closer to the street corner, and has larger lettering and clarity than prior signs. One sign dated from 1956, the other from the 1990’s.
The project was funded by major support from the UUMC Memorials funds, supplemented by part of a grant from the Missouri United Methodist Foundation (MUMF), gifts from individuals in the congregation over and above their estimated giving, and the operating budget.
The process started in April 2016, with Abbie Telander’s Communication Plan, which pointed out the deteriorating interiors of the two existing signs.
Tom Mitchell wrote a grant request to MUMF to fund most of the Communication Plan. MUMF granted about 2/3 of the requested amount, approved November, 2016. The grant terms required us to provide the additional 1/3 from within the church, which was done by a quiet campaign for donations above and beyond giving estimates. This was done.
In 2017, UUMC worked on reviewing specifications for signage for UUMC, evaluating the old signs and looking at other church and institutional signs in the area. Many opinions were expressed and considered, and designs vetted.
That resulted in focusing on a new sign to replace both older signs. Renovating the old signs was somewhat cheaper at best and a nightmare at worst. A renovation would have left us living with shortcomings of the signs in terms of placement, legibility and ability to give witness to who we are now.
A proposed design for a new sign was drawn up and submitted for quotes. None of the vendors responded, as our budgeted amount (from the Plan) was around 20-25% of what our design would cost!
We proceeded, on faith, and at direction of the Leadership Team, on two fronts:
Work with vendors with a larger budget, and if possible, trimming back sign costs.
Working on sources of funding.
We began to work with SOI Signs, which was experienced with church signs over a period on about 12 months.
We drew up a plan for funding the sign to the quote, involving use of Memorial Funds, the small operating budget item, and a second quiet campaign for congregational donations.
In 2018, the contract was signed, the funding finalized, permits negotiated, and construction and installation begun. The 1956 sign was sold to another church!
The landscaping for below the body of the sign was deferred until we could see the sign in place, and we cleared our proposals for it with University City.
Thanks are owed to many, but this includes:
Abbie Telander for the original vision
Our staff and trustees during the whole process
Dan Barrett and the Leadership Team for encouragement and patience
Brad Hershey for constructing a wood and cardboard mock up of the sign
Alice Mohr for shepherding the installation and landscaping
Doug Durham for helping with the heavy work of sign removal
Sherwood Sachtleben, of SOI Signs for his skill, advice, and patience