Deepening Faith. Living Well. Enacting Justice.

President’s Column

Jenny FPThis year has been a time of growth and change. Our church is stronger and more vibrant because all of us have practiced our simple church focus: deepening faith, living well, and enacting justice.

The year began with Mindful Meetings in our various church committees, councils and task forces. Your Board of Trustees made a commitment to Mindful Meetings at the beginning of every Board Meeting. Because of this commitment, by your Board and others throughout our church community, our church is a better place because we listen deeply to each other and care for one another.

A second commitment made by your Board of Trustees was to spend almost half of each Board meeting on Visioning. To accomplish this we committed to do administrative business via email whenever possible. We visioned on worship, lifespan faith development, goals and objectives, ministry, and communication. We often invited members of key committees or councils to join our visioning. Thanks to all who helped your Board vision our future.

This visioning helped us shape our church year. We have shared many major accomplishments. Let’s highlight a few…

The Church Playground we all dreamed about for many years became a reality last spring under Mary Clough’s leadership. This is a story of commitment and community building. Watch for announcements of phase two in the upcoming months.

This has been a year of change and growth. From our hymn “Enter, Rejoice and Come In” the words “Don’t be afraid of some change…” often play in my mind as I recall this past year. An important Task Force looking toward our future was GROW, chaired by Janet Kern. Their observations and recommendations are posted on our UUCB website.

In February you voted to extend Rev. Howell Lind’s Developmental Ministry Contract for up to an additional five years. Prior to our Congregational vote we held informational forums and all members had the opportunity to participate in visioning our future. We also designed a ministerial succession plan. The UUCB goals are an important part of our contract with Howell and other key staff members. We will all participate in accomplishing these goals in our Shared Ministry. The complete set of goals are posted on our church website.

We had a Bylaw Task Force last Fall. All members were invited to forums to explain recommended changes and gather input. Our Congregational Meeting in January adopted updated Bylaws. Thank you to the members of this important Task Force chaired by Hilton Fitt-Peaster.

Our Communications Committee chaired by David Hughes is working to improve communication in this digital age with members, friends and those seeking what our faith has to offer. This year we added the Midweek Messenger edited by Karen Morgan Highlighting events in our upcoming week. Our website and Facebook pages are constantly updated by Michael Dryburgh to inform our members and help new visitors find us. And, just this month a new electronic Clearlight Messenger newsletter was introduced. Our heartfelt thanks to the Communications Committee, who often hear criticism of changes, but seldom praise.

We are a growing congregation. The Young Adults are a vibrant community within our church. We welcomed abundant new members into our church and are open to the changes they bring. They came to us with fresh ideas and enthusiasm for UUCB and our faith.

These are a few of the major accomplishments of the past year. Each chair of a council or committee has prepared a written report highlighting their accomplishments.  These reports are available in the member section of our UUCB website. I encourage you to read about all we have done together this past church year. And, I personally want to thank each of you for everything you do for our church.

Finally, I want to express gratitude for the work and support of my fellow Board Members: George Brandon, Past President; Whitney Wheeless, president elect; Karen Morgan; Jennifer Skiendzielewski; Jason English; and Ralph Hanson. Special thanks to Will Kropp, Treasurer and  Caitlin Moore who has served as Board Secretary since forever.

And a special “Thank You” to Howell, not only for your service as our minister, but also for embracing our shared leadership. Working together with you and Whitney made it easier to be President.

Thanks to all of you for giving me the opportunity to serve as your President during the 2012-13 church year. I invite you to “Enter, Rejoice and Come In”  and “Don’t be afraid of some change” as we continue our commitment to our simple church focus: deepening faith, living well, and enacting justice.


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