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The President's Perspective -- September 2013

August and early September have included many signs of health for our congregation: increased Sunday attendance, both adult and children’s choirs are rehearsing, religious education classes starting, and congregation-wide community social justice action, like yesterday’s International Day of Peace celebration.  

We have a new momentum and excitement towards renewal and regrowth; we are a place with fertile ground. With this anticipation, we sometimes find ourselves wanting to desperately charge ahead, to achieve that so far unreachable goal in the distance. It is a challenge to sit in the midst of change – to be present in the discomfort, to reflect on why we react as we do, and to not rush or slow down the process.

Although our moving forward must be done in a deliberate manner, there are things to do that cannot wait – the care and maintenance of our facilities is one of those things. So far this fiscal year, a large tree has fallen; a classroom sprinkler has a leak; squirrels are in our attic; the Sanctuary air conditioner has an occasional glitch; and our Labyrinth needs repairing and monitoring after being vandalized.

For several years, the bulk of the work in the upkeep of our buildings and grounds have fallen on the hands of a few, most notably Marilyn Roberts and Becky Moulton, who are now stepping away. We now need others to step in. We must keep our facilities friendly, welcoming, and rentable, so please share how you can help out. Please contact our Board Facilities liaison, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , to get involved and stay informed.

Another area that just cannot wait to be addressed is financial stewardship. What we want to do together and in the community depends on us having the base of support that facilities and staff can provide. We have been very glad to see our income steadily increase, but we still have a long way to go to be where we want to be. This year’s congregational budget is a deficit budget, which means that even if we bring in the amount we expected back in April and May, we will be pulling money out of our reserves to cover costs.

The Board is planning an October/November stewardship drive to bring our income amounts up – we need to hear from each of you about what this Fellowship means and what your hopes are for our religious community. Each of us are called to be stewards of our faith – please volunteer your time to assist the team, and please welcome conversation with each other about how we use our money here and what we need to move forward and support the principles of Unitarian Universalism in our congregation and the community.

Part of the change that many of us have been struggling with is the change from a settled minister to an interim.  Rev. Benjamin’s work requires hands-on research into what we are doing here, how we are doing it, and what is holding us back from getting where we want to be. This reflective, relational work is a process and it takes time.  Keep asking questions and be curious about where we are going, but also stay open to being an active participant to move us forward. Please come on October 12 for Rev. Benjamin’s workshop.  And please step into a role you haven’t filled before – there are lots of opportunities to try something new here!

Respectfully submitted,
Kristin Stevens, President

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