by Pam Collins, Past President UUCSS
It won’t go down as our favorite Christmas, but I think many of us were surprised that it wasn’t as bad as we had feared. We found ways to connect with love ones, discovered some new joys and strengths in the imposed solitude, and enjoyed well-crafted holiday services. I was pleased to see that our numbers were strong in all of them.
December’s Board meeting was the last of 2020, and my last as President. As I’ve said elsewhere, I’m not at all reluctant to hand over the gavel to Laurie Singer. Quite to the contrary, I’m very much looking forward to what Laurie will bring to the position, and, in my role as Past President, eager to support her in any way that she finds most useful. Similarly, I’m excited about what Lucy Manning and Barbara Floeser will bring to the Board, and of course, sad to lose the thoughtful insights of Mark Frizzell and unparalleled enthusiasm of Julie Holmberg, but we all know that neither of them is finished with their contributions to UUCSS.
Our treasurer, Mike Goodwin, reported that the pledges for 2020 are, at this point, 92% satisfied.
Board approvals included: Mike Goodwin as interim Finance chair, and Diane Allegro and Sue Bender as new members to the Finance committee.
A 10 point “transition document” was completed as guidance for next year’s Board. Many of those items are expected to be reflected in the 2021 goals the Board will begin to outline in January. Among the actions considered for next year are an effort to re-invigorate committees and teams, an determination to create some meaningful “church chats” over Zoom and a reconsideration of how we want to go forward with an RE program.
Many things suffered this year from the shock of life with the COVID threat. It was hard to know how to proceed with the restrictions we faced. But now, after nine months of living in this socially distanced reality that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, we need to find ways to go forward within the current circumstances. The Board is ready to do so and to help others do the same.
Plans for the 2021 Board Retreat are underway. Obviously, this will not be the kind of retreat previous Boards have enjoyed, which, along with serious Board preparation for a new year, also included food and socialization. So…now we will experience another first — a Zoom retreat. Laurie will confer with UUA staff and others for suggestions on how best to make this a good experience.
I would say that we, as a congregation, have faced an unprecedented challenge this year and met it well. Having done so, we are now prepared to make more lemonade in the coming year. So…be ready.
I’ve very much enjoyed my job of keeping you all in the loop this past year and I know Laurie is looking forward to continuing the tradition of presidential missives. I trust that, like me, you are looking forward to being privy to her unique vision. For now…
Peace, Blessings, and Good Health in the New Year,
Past President, UUCSS