August Update From Jane

August 23, 2014

Dearest UUFEC folks,

Thank you for visiting the President’s Corner. After a little summer break, I am writing to bring you up to date on activities of your Board of Trustees, especially deliberations about ministerial leadership. Many of you attended the “ministry listening gathering” on June 29 during second hour at church. In small groups, we listened to one another’s perspectives on how to best serve our mission. Board members facilitated each group and took notes, which were shared with the Board. (The background information presented that day will be posted on the church website soon.) We received positive feedback about the gathering, along with great suggestions to make these kinds of meetings even better next time.

At the July 14 Board meeting, we reviewed these notes. We then voted to review, at the August Board meeting, the application from the minister who expressed interest in serving our fellowship as an Interim Minister. Although churches often appoint search committees, the Board agreed to adapt this process because we had a single candidate to consider. After reviewing the application at our meeting earlier this week (August 18), the Board was excited about what the candidate could bring to UUFEC. The Board voted to appoint a subcommittee to proceed with an interview. Please stay tuned! We will provide updates as this progresses.

At our August meeting, we voted to hold the fall congregational voting meeting on October 19, second hour. We also took steps to establish the Committee on Ministry, approved by the congregation at the annual meeting in late April.

The Board met for a (non-voting) mini-retreat on August 16. In addition to the ministry decisions on our plate, we brainstormed priorities for the fall months. Ideas addressed many, many areas, such as outreach, improving our committee system (our committee leaders are awesome!) and making communications more accessible. We also talked about different ideas for learning and moving forward from recent conflicts that we have experienced. Our next step, to be taken during regular meetings, is to prioritize and make plans for engaging the congregation as we move forward in these areas. Please stay tuned here as well!

Looking back at my February posting, I said we could expect some change. Some people thrive on transition, but I have to admit I am more a creature of habit. I am grateful for being part of a congregation that continually rises to the occasion, no matter what the challenge. I owe a debt of gratitude to many, but I want to say a special thank you to the Religious Services Committee, especially the diligent efforts of co-chair Chris Larson for organizing services this summer and into the fall. I also want to thank all the members who have led a Sunday morning service.

Our next board meeting will be held September 15, at 6:30pm at church.

As always, I welcome your thoughts and ideas.

In fellowship,