From the Minister: Update on Developmental Ministry

by Rev. Dr. Stephen H. Furrer

So here we are at the beginning of July, now effectively two-fifths of the way through the Developmental Ministry program. In certain ways we have made good progress, but not uniformly. We have a lot to do in the third year to get over the hump and to begin imagining your post-June 2023 future.

We have made progress with respect to a lessening of tension. There are still some who feel alienated from others and for a variety of reasons, most revolving around the long and convoluted series of decisions about the disposition of Holly House. The votes on March 24, 2019 and again in May 2020, both in support of a market rate sale have—for the time being—put us back on a course we hope will be a good and wholesome one. But it is far from a done deal, as our efforts following the earlier vote have made clear. We have a good group led by Craig Nelsen that has been charged with completing the sale. But these things take time. Even the best of follow through will not come to final transfer of deed and funds for another eighteen months.

At which time my Developmental Ministry will be seven-tenths complete. This coming year, of course, will be circumscribed by the limitations imposed by the coronavirus, plus potential economic repercussions. Elsewhere in this issue is a comprehensive Update on our Response to Covid-19 going forward which I commend to your attention. The SLT and Board are being careful and prudent while trying hard to keep all our staff repositioned and refocused to meet the challenges ahead. But we are also graced by competence, care, and vision.

Six months ago, Carol and I were contemplating places to go and people to see this summer, but we have significantly curtailed all our plans. I will be puttering around the yard and garage and trying to get the jump on projects too long neglected. And boning up on concrete ways our congregation can take the lessons of the hour and turn them in both insight and a new dawn of justice in our country. And of love for one another.

And remember, in your socially distant summer non-travels, to bring back a vial of water to contribute to common Water Communion at our Recommitment & Opening Worship Service on September 13.

Yours in abiding liberal faith,

Steve