The Board of Directors met on December 5 for a marathon 6-1/2 hour Zoom meeting with Pacific Western Regional staff leaders. The Rev. Dr. Melissa James and the Rev. Sarah Shurr led the group with technical assistance by Amanda Radak. All of the 2020–21 UUSM board members attended. Topics covered included leadership in these liminal times, self-differentiated leadership, and systems theory. Our minister, the Rev. Jeremiah Kalendae, commented that our particular board group has already done a lot of learning around many of these topics! That felt good to hear.
We talked extensively about moving from an “I” culture to a “We” culture. We’ve already made steps toward embodying this concept since we first discussed it at a Board Development Day in 2018. We were asked a very important, reflective question: “How do we want to tell our story of how we were resilient in this time of a global pandemic?”
We touched on mission and vision and RASCI (Responsible, Accountable, Supporting, Consulted, and Informed) charts. We will bring these back into focus more in our community. RASCI charts lend clarity to roles and responsibilities that help us execute important programs and realize exciting ideas, like how to feed more hungry people in our community or teach anti-racism, anti-oppression, and multiculturalism to our youth. We were asked about how we, as a congregation, are responding to the Commission on Institutional Change. Well, we created our own commission just last month!
During small breakout sessions, we wrestled with ideas on how to make changes in our Annual Meeting format and other congregational meetings so that marginalized voices can be lifted up and heard. We’re learning how to evolve beyond some of the characteristics of dominant culture to be more multicultural and inclusive.
Overall, it was a good experience and handled very well with the technology. I applaud my fellow leaders for attending and for their thoughtful presence and important contributions: Vice President Eileen McCormack, Secretary Larry Weiner, Treasurer Vilma Ortiz, Past President Jacki Weber, Member at Large Abby Arnold, Member at Large Roberta Frye, Member at Large Michael Monte, and Member at Large Norm Richey.