Greetings East Shorians,
As we approach the holidays and the solstice in this strangest or years, we cherish our loved ones, and hold the pain of the many who will not be able to join with loved ones. We also mourn for over 250,000 people who have perished from the COVID pandemic and grieve with their families. And still, we can celebrate what we have done during this time of being together apart. It has been a busy fall. Last month, six of your Board members attended a UUA training. We were encouraged to stay calm in uncertain times, to imagine past our current anxiety. We were asked: “What story we will tell about how ESUC got through the pandemic?” Surely much of that story is yet to be written, but there is a lot to speak of already. We can mention about 15,000 UU the Vote contacts, $20,000 in donations at the auction for COVID Relief, and a similar amount to support East Shore. There are new covenant circles, and Wednesday Wind Downs. All in addition to the continuation of the many programs you engage with. Thank you for showing such dedication and renewed commitment to this faith community.
Best of all, it is my great delight to announce the hiring of Rebecca Chatfield as East Shore’s Director of Finance and Operations. Rebecca served in this position from 2013-2015. Her desire to return bodes well for all of us. She brings energy and imagination, and is familiar with our mission, our history, and our organization. Most recently she has worked as an Emergency Management Specialist for the City of Bellevue. Rebecca will begin in mid-December and work with Jason Puracal through February to ensure a seamless transition. Welcome back! This would not have happened without the thoughtful and speedy work of our DFO Hiring Task Force. Please share with the Board in expressing deep gratitude to Task Force chair Deb Boehm-Davis and committee members Ryam Hill, Lori Saccardi, Tom Ball, Marcy Langrock, and Reverend Steve Furrer.
There’s even more to come! Before Thanksgiving, the staff shared their Action Plan to address Board Goals for the year. The draft can be found here. We’d like your feedback this week. Please share your thoughts with Steve, Amanda, or Jason via email, and/or come to the First Saturday Listening Session on Saturday, December 5 at 10:00 a.m. Then, staff will absorb the feedback, determine priorities, responsibilities, timelines and the like. Of course, this is not for the staff alone. At the UUA training we were challenged to think of the times at church when you experienced or witnessed “We Culture,” when group welfare was valued above any individual’s needs or credit? UUA President Susan Frederick Gray put it somewhat differently in a vigil a couple days after the election: “What does this faith ask of you?” Indeed, what does this unique moment call for? Let’s bring our gifts and our passions, using those strengths to respond to community needs inside and outside the church. If there was ever a time to think outside the box and embrace possibility, it is now. This is good, hard work, and will be immensely satisfying. Your Board is looking forward to it.
by Mike Radow, President, Board of Trustees