In Gratitude: Plans for the Coming Year

(This post was sent the week of June 2nd as an email to all Foothills’ active friends and members, so just posting here so that it is easily accessible for all who may have missed the email, or if we want to reference it later…)

Dear friends,

You might remember, a few months ago, our Stewardship team sent out a great letter talking about our goals for moving our church forward in the coming year and inviting your partnership to make these goals a reality.

They identified 3 specific goals for “moving forward” this year:

  1. More fully support our homelessness ministry;
  2. Increase campus ministry programming and staff support; and
  3. Hire a staff position to support the areas of membership integration and volunteer coordination (“congregational life” – you may remember us talking about how we gain 100 members a year, and lose 100 members, and we can’t even tell you why….).

I am so happy to report that as a result of your generosity we are able to move forward in all three of these areas!! We are building on our successful Faith Family Hospitality ministry by launching the exciting new One Village One Family ministry with over 30 members walking along side homeless families as they move into housing.  And we are adding additional hours and budget to support the full launch of campus ministry in the fall – even as we seek to strengthen our partnership with the Gellar Center and Foothills’ member Elizabeth Sink’s new interfaith community.

But perhaps most exciting of all is the opportunity we have been presented to move forward with the congregational life staff.  Though the pledge drive didn’t yield the kind of results necessary to fund a full time position, over the past few months, the UU Church of Greeley has approached us to see if we would be interested in sharing a staff position primarily funded with their budget dollars.

Because they are in need of a minister (half time), the opportunity is not just to have a staff position, but to add a religious professional who is trained and passionate about how we welcome, integrate and invite into service all those who seek a liberal religious home in Fort Collins.

Sharing staff across UU congregations is a leading experiment going on across the country to serve more people within limited resources.  For a congregation like Greeley that has struggled to grow beyond its small (40 members) size in recent history, this is a great opportunity to strengthen their system and capacity to offer stability to their minister.  For us, it is a wonderful opportunity to help strengthen Unitarian Universalism across Northern Colorado and to enhance our support for members and to better track and employ all of our members’ gifts.

You’ll find a link below to a statement describing in detail the background and plan for this opportunity.  I encourage you to read this for all of the details.

Greeley’s minister (Rev. Kelly Dignan) was called to Boulder in April, so we have had to move fast.  The Board appointed Board member Karen Harder and me to a shared search committee with two of Greeley’s Board members.  We interviewed three strong candidates last week, and we are in the final stages of being able to announce our candidate.

Over the course of the next few months Foothills will be focusing on our transition in our Interim Senior Minister position.  But as that transition takes hold, because of your generosity, we will also be able to keep moving forward with our positive vision for the future, living our values of being a welcoming place for everyone and strengthening Unitarian Universalism all across our area.

We don’t know exactly how this shared ministry position will work, or even if it will work.  Our plan is to try it for a year, and see how it goes.  If it goes well, we keep going.  If it isn’t working out, we identify what we learned and we try something else instead.

Thank you so much for moving our church forward through this transition time, and helping our community focus on a positive vision for what we can do together.  Read the linked document, and please let me know your questions and ideas for what this inspires in you.  And look for information about our shared hire with Greeley to be announced in the next few weeks!

In partnership, and with gratitude,

Gretchen

Full Background Information Document link

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One thought on “In Gratitude: Plans for the Coming Year

  1. Pingback: Our New Shared Ministry Position with the UU Church of Greeley | Faith Forward - A Foothills Blog

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