In the Middle: This Is It

This is it. East Shore’s year to discover what is most important to you, and to embrace your future. Last year’s suspension of the search for a settled minister opened us to two more years of self-discovery. To be able to know who you want to be your minister, you must first know what it is you want, where you want to go, and how to get there. When I arrived we began that process of learning. Here is a reminder of what we have accomplished and what remains to be discovered. Keep these in your hearts and minds as we continue to move forward into your future.

Coming to Terms with History

Claiming and honoring the past, healing its griefs and conflicts is important preparation for the future. You began this task and have nearly brought it to closure with our history timelines, conversation about the departure of Reverends Peter and Joan. You have managed and integrated the emotional, spiritual and financial consequences of their departures. You have experienced a healthy appreciative goodbye to Rev. Leon Hopper upon his death, and to Bob Kechley upon his retirement. You know more about the story of East Shore and are better able to hold on to what is good and let go of what is no longer helpful.

Discovering a New Identity

East Shore has a new mission statement and a governance structure that serve you well. You are better prepared to name your unique identity, its strengths, its needs, and its challenges. This year we will continue in an appreciative process of loving yourselves just as you are. When you know, and embrace who you are, you will know exactly what kind of minister will be a good match for this congregation.

Allowing Needed Leadership to Emerge

The Board and staff are continuing to integrate policy-based governance, developing the policies and procedures, to clarify how staff, lay leadership and ministry teams share in the multiple spheres of roles and responsibility. We will continue improving communication and building trust at all levels of membership and leadership. We want everyone to know and appreciate how information is communicated, how decisions are made, and where to go for what resource. Our intention is to inspire your passions and improve the many ways to engage in what you love.

Renewing Denominational Linkages

East Shore is renewing its connections with available resources within the Pacific Region and the UUA by developing appreciation of and engaging in the many regional and national events. This is an exciting time to be Unitarian Universalists as our principles and purposes engage our nation in essential conversations around race, climate action, economic equity, democracy, and respect for the dignity and worth of all people.

Committing to New Directions in Ministry

This fall the Board will decide and announce the timing and process for selecting a new Ministerial Search Committee. That search will begin its work in the spring of 2018. Between now and then, we will work together to assure East Shore has the staff, financial resources and institutional structures that will assure your success in attracting and settling that new minister.

I am so honored to have the opportunity to continue in this work with you. I look forward to the many opportunities we will have for learning, laughing and loving during our next two years.

Much metta,
Elaine