At our congregational meeting on April 19th, I was encouraged by the strong turnout. It’s exciting to see the congregation showing up in such numbers to take on the sometimes dry work of church governance (the way we structure and organize ourselves). But the strong turnout, as well as feedback we had received in the weeks preceding the meeting, also demonstrated that the congregation didn’t feel ready to responsibly address the questions posed by the Bylaws changes we had proposed. The Board hadn’t done enough work to share where we see the church heading, and why we felt that those changes to our Bylaws were necessary, and to engage your input along the way. It has been a big learning year for all of us, and we want to do more in the coming year to ensure an ongoing dialogue and engagement between the Board and all of the stakeholders in our congregation’s future.
I was disappointed to see that many of you still had questions when we ran out of time. In the days since that meeting, the Board has been considering various ways that we could provide the congregation opportunities to get those questions answered, and hear from the Board a clear description of our vision for the church’s future.
My friends on the Board and I have decided that the best format is to offer a series of smaller meetings, rather than another single gathering of 100-plus congregants. In smaller groups of ten or twenty congregants, we should be able to ensure that all those present get a chance to ask their questions, express their opinions, as well as strengthen relationships with one another, based in our shared commitment to our church and our Unitarian Universalist values.
As a result, we have scheduled meetings at a variety of times of day and days of the week over the next month, in hopes that all who are interested in attending will be able to make one of the gatherings:
- Thursday, April 30 from 6:30-8:00 p.m.
- Wednesday, May 6 from 6:30-8:00 p.m.
- Saturday, May 9 from 9:30-11:00 a.m.
- Monday, May 11 from 6:30-8:00 p.m.
- Friday, May 15th from 10:30-12:00 p.m.
- Sunday, May 24 from 12:30-2:00 p.m.
- Tuesday, May 26 from 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Each session will be hosted by two or more members of the Board. Whichever session you choose to attend, you’ll have the chance to hear about the Board’s vision for our future governance, with plenty of time set aside for your questions and comments. We will work to gather those comments and questions and, at the end of the process, produce a summary of frequently raised questions and concerns.
To express your intent to attend, please send an email to RSVP@foothillsuu.org or call the church office at 493-5906. With sufficient notice, we can likely make childcare available, so let us know if that is something you would need and we will do our best.