Saturday, January 11, UUSM’s Board of Directors retreated! We spent a day deepening relationships, exploring where we’re at in our developmental ministry process, and looking at our upcoming work for the next few years with Rev. Jeremiah.
I am so grateful for this amazing group of people: past president Ron Crane, vice president Beth Brownlie, secretary Norm Richey, treasurer Vilma Ortiz, members at large Eileen McCormack, Abby Arnold, Barbara Andres, and our newest member Larry Weiner, who came aboard as of January to finish Nina Emerson’s term. (By the way, we miss you, Nina!)
(Side note, if you ever have an opportunity to have Abby Arnold cook for you, take it. She’s fantastic!)
So what’d we do for seven hours? Here’s a quick recap of my take on our discussions in the order of our agenda for the day.
Covenant – We are a liberal religious faith, grounded in covenant rather than creed. We are concerned primarily with how we treat our fellows and how we practice our 7 Principles in daily life. As we reviewed our board covenant, we agreed to add the following language to center Anti-Racist/Anti-Oppression work: We will endeavor to work in an anti-racist and anti-oppressive framework actively challenging racism and oppression within ourselves, our congregation, and society.
Leadership Development – We talked about shared leadership: being invitational, collaborative, and thinking about how we can pass the torch to others. As a congregation (and as your board/staff leaders) we are calling forth ways to celebrate service to our community more, with an intention that everyone who contributes their efforts to build beloved community feels appreciated for their vital contributions. This past Sunday’s service, Thresholds to Spiritual Leadership, was intended to celebrate leadership throughout the congregation. (Note, Religious Education is SO important it will get its own service later in the spring!) Did Rev Jeremiah’s sermon inspire you? Are you ready to roll up your sleeves and create more love and justice in the world? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ve love to talk with you.
Governance – We have a couple years of developmental work to do before we address governance officially, but we are beginning to explore ways of being more intentional about our style of governance. Governance is really just the way we function as committees and the board. Check out the “6 styles of congregational governing boards.” We are an amalgam, which is fine, but it would be great to have a shared understanding so we can spend more energy on mission and less on understanding who’s responsible for what when questions arise.
For now, we agreed that having leaders from committees across the board convene this past fall and calendar the church year was really beneficial and we’d like to do something like that again.
We’re also exploring how we can reorganize ourselves as a board so that the president, treasurer, and secretary positions are more sustainable and members at large participate more fully in leadership within and beyond the board.
Developmental Goals – We reviewed our developmental goals, the logical timeline for accomplishing those goals, and what’s been done so far.
We are building a more vital community together. The work is slow but as we continue to come together and cherish ourselves and each other we’ll become a greater force for good in the larger community. May it be so!