September began for the Board with time set aside at our monthly meeting to learn more about and strategize for a new way of helping our congregation understand and participate in yearlong stewardship. We are very excited about integrating conversations about sustainability, responsibility, and spirituality into all facets of our life together as a congregation with a beautiful meetinghouse, a dedicated and talented staff, and a mission to make a difference not only in the lives of our congregants but also in the lives of people throughout the region.
We are also excited about continuing to lift the work of the board from task to mission. To that end we set aside a Saturday for a retreat with Rev. Rachael. Our goals were:
- Deepening relationships between members of the Board and our newly settled minister, so that we understand one another’s gifts and expectations.
- Sharing an understanding of the elements of Spiritual Leadership.
- Sharing an understanding of the purpose and role of the Board during our time of transition with our newly settled minister, which includes:
- Being mission oriented vs. task oriented
- Being faithful risk takers
- Standing steady with our congregation as we experience change.
I want to take a moment in this letter to focus on change. There will be a lot of change as we settle into a new ministry. Change is inevitable and it is filled with possibility. It is also not always easy.
The change that we are experiencing and will experience at the UUSA is not random or whimsical or meant to disrupt or upset. In fact it is meant to help us stretch. Freshness and surprise and wonder can open us up to see- ing and feeling in different ways that help us grow.
Honoring tradition also helps ground us even as we make new discoveries. Honestly, the changes of a congregational system make me think most of a favorite Girl Scout song from my youth: “Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.” The old and the new together are the key to the future.
There are lots of old friends here at the UUSA (and lots of traditions we love), and—wonderfully—there are lots of potential new friends (and new ways of doing things), as people arrive searching for a place that meets their spiritual needs. We grow and change together as we blend a variety of practices to embodying our Unitarian Universalism, and together we continue to expand the embrace of life-changing acceptance and love and most important HOPE.
Yours in faith, Karen