by Mike Radow, Board President
Thank you for entrusting me with the honor of serving as your Board President for the upcoming church year. We all owe much gratitude to our outgoing Board Members, Geoff Soleck, Clare Sherley, Paul Buehrens, Jerry Bushnell and Dennis Fleck. They have led and served with courage and care, leaving big shoes to fill. Please go out of your way to thank them. One opening remains on the Board which will be filled by appointment as soon as we can.
There is a new Holly House task force. Let’s hope and pray for their success and give them the space they need to conduct their negotiations confidentially. Craig Nelsen, Bill Austin, Ann Fletcher, and Dave Baumgart have been appointed. Evelyn Smith will be the Board representative and Rev. Furrer the staff representative on this team. Janet Garrow has graciously offered to serve as a legal advisor to the group. Also at the Board meeting of June 16, Martin Cox was appointed to chair the Nominating Committee, and Leta Hamilton was appointed to fill an empty slot on that committee. Thanks to them for their service. Please thank all of them for agreeing to serve in these important capacities
Some thoughts about our collective, shared opportunities and responsibilities going forward.
Board members are coached to think broadly, keeping in mind current, past, and crucially, future church members. We benefit from decisions made by past congregations such as building a Religious Education building. Past congregations had us, the current congregation, in mind. Now, this Board will make decisions, in part, for those who haven’t found us yet. Thinking for the future is obviously a guessing game, even more so in these tumultuous times, when so much changes and so much more change is wanted. I try to envision what young climate activist Greta Thunberg might want a liberal church to look like in 2030 and on. Let’s ask the youth what role they would like to play in congregational life at East Shore, and listen, and follow.
Staff has adapted to virtual worship wonderfully, gradually adding more elements. We don’t know how long we must continue with remote gatherings. Can we rise to the challenge and each of us imagine ways to contribute to our ministries, to continue to practice love, explore spirituality, build community and promote justice? Attendance at the Black Lives Matter Flash Stances has been impressive. What else can we do outdoors together, with masks? Can we stay connected with Connection Teams? Reverend Furrer and our great staff made a growth plan for the church, available where in his Annual Report (see pg. 5), They created the outline…the doing is on us, since no one can practice love for us.
Action Can’t Wait
One last thing: really the same thing said differently. All spring I heard countless people say some version of “when we get the Holly House money we can_____.” Fill in the blank. And we can. Why wait to make our social justice ministries have greater impact? Unitarian Universalism is a faith of action and service, not a faith that waits. In the words of a life skills coach at FareStart, “Don’t just talk about it, be about it.” If there was ever a moment when our nation needed bold action, this is it. The full Board is ready and able to support us as we use our hearts, hands, and our loving energy to transform lives in and out of the church.