My seatmate leaned over as the bell chimed for our first service of the new year. “Where is everyone?” I looked up and the sanctuary was only about a third filled. “Maybe it is because we are in transition,” I speculated. By the time the last waves of the opening bell sounded, however, the seats were full to overflowing with familiar friends and with new folks soon to be friends. Yep, we are in transition—and that transition is exciting! Sharing the experience of finding our way, seeking a new minister, and supporting one another as life gallops apace only deepens the relevance of what it means to gather in community—especially with our UU faith uniting and guiding us.
Rev. Steve conducted a service with deep meaning—reminding us as we gathered abundant water that others do not have the luxury of clean water on tap. He also gave us a clear explanation of what his role is as interim minister— to arrive, help, and then go.
Just to re-iterate: Together with the Board, Transition Team, and Staff, Rev. Steve will lead us through an interim process that includes, but is not limited to:
- Claiming and honoring the congregation’s past, healing its griefs and conflicts
- Illuminating the congregations unique identity: its strengths, its needs, and its challenges
- Clarifying the multiple dimensions of leadership, both ordained and lay, and navigating the shifts in leadership that accompany times of transition
- Renewing connections with available resources within and beyond the UUA
- Enabling the congregation to renew its vision, strengthen its stewardship, prepare for new professional leadership, and engage its future with anticipation and zest.
(In the Interim: Strategies for Interim Ministers and Congregations, edited by Barbara Child and Keith Kron, Skinner House Books)
Board Retreat and Leadership Training
The Board met in retreat together September 15 with Jackie Shanti from the New England UUA as facilitator. The objective was to learn more about each other’s work styles so that we can achieve more together. We also had three particular goals. We hope to 1) define the work of the Board in support of the Interim Year; 2) better define the overall visionary role the Board takes on each year; 3) discern how we will help the UUSA with long -term leadership development to ensure there are always people ready and eager to take on leadership roles. I’ll report on the retreat in the next newsletter.
Members of the Board are also taking a workshop October 13 at the New England UUA called Claiming Our Spiritual Leadership. If you are interested in attending, please let me know. The fee is $25 per person. I’ll share what we learn there also in a newsletter.
Meantime, it was wonderful to witness the sanctuary fill up as the bell of welcome resonated through our beautiful, beloved congregation. I am looking forward to this remarkable year together.
Yours in faith,
Please note: Board Notes from our clerk Lynne Latham will appear regularly in our e-announcements to keep us aware of Board meeting work. Congregants can also read full minutes posted in the office.
Board members are always available to chat. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions and to simply check in and thank a Board member for the work they are doing. Board members are: myself, Lynne Latham, Peter Lacey, Bo Mack, Fran Plumer, Emily Shankle, Rob Fuderich, Casey Flueckiger, Jeanne Ballantine, Rosie Cowell, Susan Rice, and Joe Flueckiger, our leadership consultant.