The flexibility and faith our congregation has practiced during this time of virtual gatherings is inspiring. As Rev. Rachael leads us in worship, she is seeking the essence of faith that binds us and the elements of practice that express our reverence and joy, no matter where we are or how we are able to connect. That is powerful.
In April, the Board conducted one of three yearly evaluations of our minister. Moving forward, the Board will facilitate evaluations in the fall, mid-winter and early spring to help Rev. Rachael set goals and to discuss together how her ministry is embodying those goals and others as they emerge. The evaluative process, like all ministries, is organic, cooperative, responsive, compassionate, and embracing of past, present, and future.
Because Rev. Rachael is in preliminary fellowship, in the process of becoming a minister in full fellowship, the Board—along with the Committee of Shared Ministries and Rev. Rachael—is responsible for reporting annually on how Rev. Rachael is meeting the competencies required of a UU Minister. This is a process that will take at least three years.
To begin our church year, the Safer Congregation Committee joined the Board to hear Rev. Rachael read aloud the ethics statement for UU Ministers. This was a powerful reminder of how our boundaries help define expectations. And Rev. Rachael pointed the Board to Fulfilling the Call, a UUA handbook to help us further understand the core competencies of UU ministry. The Board is currently putting together our initial comments on Rev. Rachael’s realizations of these core competencies for her November evaluation by the UUA.
As the Board moves forward, our task is always to think about the past, present, and future of our congregation and our faith. Having Rev. Rachael with us, guiding us, thinking about how to best help all of us realize our deepest and most meaningful exploration of our faith and community, feels very positive. In a time of disruption, uncertainty, and fear, she has provided routine, space for contemplation, and solace. The future looks bright.
Yours in faith, Karen
PS: Please note that this year our Annual Meeting will take place virtually. More information to come on this important yearly gathering to review the budget and elect members of the Board and the Leadership Development Committee.