As I write this, the ice is receding from the lake and the sunshine on the water is casting ripples of light on my ceiling. Spring is undeniably on its way, and your Board has just had its third meeting of the year…and the last meeting without Rev. Joe in attendance. “Rev” Laurie Singer has been keeping us “centered” with thoughtful readings in the interim, and all the members of the Board have stepped up in various ways to take on extra responsibilities. It continues to be a blessing to work with such committed and thoughtful individuals.
The highlights of our March meeting include the following…
Sue Bender updated the Board on the work she and Harry Moran are doing on revising the fiscal projections for our efforts to find a new home. There is still some work to be done, and when it is complete, Sue, Harry, and the Board will be updating the congregation. In the meantime, it is our hope that we will get a robust attendance at the ‘Creating the Future’ Weekend. This experience will be critical in clarifying the congregation’s vision for a new home, gathering the data needed for a clear and energizing case statement, and generating the energy to propel us forward toward our dream.
Stewardship and Fundraising have now been officially returned to their original organization as two separate teams. Bev Lawson has agreed to continue on as chair of Fundraising, but we now need to find someone to chair Stewardship — a significant opportunity to serve the congregation in a foundational way. We’re confident that there’s someone in the congregation who will be eager to spearhead the vision and energy to run a productive Pledge campaign.
Since our new governance structure has eliminated team liaisons on the Board, we are now considering ways to make sure there is good communication between teams. One of our solutions is to share the Consent Agenda (monthly reports from each team that are sent to the Board) with the team chairs, after they have been reviewed by the Board. That way, both the Board and the individual teams will have consistent information on what’s going on with all the other teams. It may be that both the right and left hands will know what each is doing! Good communication is a top priority of the Board and it seems that we are moving in a good direction in an organic way — as needs become apparent.
I’ve spoken with the president of the Albany congregation and others as they are also in the midst of working with a change in governance structure similar to what we are going through. Such changes aren’t able to be made with all the possibilities and consequences known upfront, so there is a need to be flexible and patient as various kinks are worked out. According to Adrienne Maree Brown, change should be made “at the speed of trust.” A nice way to look at things and an excellent mantra for leadership to keep in mind.
As the weather warms and we anticipate the return of our minister, we are looking forward to some exciting and useful events which you will hear about from the various organizers. Suffice to say, UUCSS is moving forward with eyes wide open into a future that will call on us to be our best selves. Despite some of the challenges we are all facing (and in some ways because of them), it is a good time to be alive. I’m just so persistently thankful that I’m facing the future within the love and values of the community of UUCSS.