As this church year is coming to a close, the board has been reviewing the work we have done. These past two years of Interim have been incredibly important and often times challenging for many of us. As a board this year, we identified our priorities as Mission, Governance and communication. We have worked so hard to heal, rebuild trust and communicate about our work. We believe we accomplished that goal. We were resilient, and we stuck together. We worked as one body, and one voice. This church year began with a very successful start up festival getting dunked so we could hear from you what you wanted to see happen at Foothills. From there we got to work!
Here is a summary of what this year’s dedicated board has been working on:
- We held productive retreats, one leading to development of our top priorities and task forces, one leading to new ideas for governance structures and a new approach to the mission statement.
- We participated in 2 leadership development days, and have made it a priority for our congregation moving forward to better prepare our lay leadership positions.
- We had a good, and strong relationship with our second year Interim senior minister, The Rev. Howell Lind, allowing us to heal from the previous year, and do our work well.
- We appointed task forces within the board for mission, governance and communication to efficiently accomplish more work between monthly meetings.
- Two models were used – the Mission Task Force and communication task force being composed of Board members and a minister, and the Governance Task Force being composed of Board members, other members of the congregation and a minister.
- We met with former Presidents and Treasurers and benefited from their historical knowledge and perspectives. This was a wonderful kickoff to our year back in August.
- We have improved efficiency of Board meetings
- We finished every meeting on time or only 15 minutes over. Yes – we are pretty excited about this!
- Established more responsible and fiscally conservative budget policies
- We have brought to the congregation a budget that addresses growth in key program areas, and achieves fair compensation for all staff, while still increasing our support of UUA regional services and earmarking funds for the reserves for the first time in years.
- We effectively managed (had oversight of) two minister searches in one church year!
- Senior Minister search
- Assistant minister search
- Improved the Board’s communication – we did a lot more listening this year.
- Per Rev. Howell Lind’s guidance, we initiated the practice of quarterly informational forums, where the ministers, board, and other important leaders report on their activities and receive input from the congregation.
- Held forums conducted by the task forces on mission and on governance.
- Wrote Blog/article posts in the Extra to help educate the congregation of our work throughout the year.
- Board members attended most church events to make sure the congregation always had access to us.
- We practiced being more visible, sharing our experience on the board as we did our work.
- We got a church app, made improvements to our website and the church grew its connection on Facebook.
- Appointed a mission task force made up of members of the board and Rev. Gretchen Haley.
- Held Mission Task force forums to listen to the congregation, to find out who you said we were.
- Made significant progress toward a mission statement that will guide the work of the board, staff and church as a whole.
- Continuing to work on discerning and articulating the mission to be completed in the fall.
- Carried last year’s governance work forward with greater congregational participation and engagement.
- We conducted book discussion groups on “Governance and Ministry: Rethinking Board Leadership” by Dan Hotchkiss, supporting the development of Board members and also engaging other members of the congregation.
- Appointed a governance task force and built a foundation for a multiyear transition to form of governance suitable for our size church.
- Held Governance task force forums to listen to the congregation as well as share what the process will be to determine the best governance fit with our congregation.
Growing our church and our reach:
- Share the plate continued to be shared and grew our giving to local and national organizations important to Foothills.
- Experimented with multi-site partnership (Greeley); although this experiment was concluded at the end of this year, we developed a stronger sense of our role as a resource church for congregations in Northern Colorado and Southern Wyoming. Learning from our partnership with Greeley, we will continue to be a resource to smaller churches in the region, but exactly how we play that role is evolving.
- Our experiment with a new style of a pledge drive was a big success. Many increased their pledges, and the church was educated about our cash flow needs and issues.
- Continued growth of our campus ministry program
- Began offering young adult OWL
As you can see, it has been a very abundant year and the board is so grateful for the opportunity to serve you as well as to work alongside our excellent ministers, The Rev. Howell Lind, and our soon to be new Senior Minister, The Rev. Gretchen Haley.
Before our work is done this year, we will continue to prepare next year’s board members, and the work we want to continue as well as begin.
We could not have accomplished what is written above without the incredible participation we received from all of you this year. Thank you for taking the time to communicate with us, for showing up at our forums, reading our blogs, bumping into us at coffee hour, and telling us how we were doing.
In closing, I want to thank The Rev. Howell Lind for bringing our board, staff, and congregation the opportunity to breathe, reset, and heal. Thank you for your 50+ years of ministry and insight that you brought to all of our meetings and conversations. We will miss you, and we wish you and Nancy much joy in your next adventures.
I want to thank the board members who are rotating off the board this year for their many hours of service, wisdom, friendship, and commitment to our church. You will be missed greatly next year, please don’t go far. Rich Young, past president, Nate Donovan, Treasurer , Elizabeth Stanley, Secretary, Karen Harder, member at large, and Larry Watson, member at large.
Last, it has been my honor being in the role of president this year, and I look forward to working with Erin Hottenstein, your new president as we continue to serve Foothills church during this exciting time of new ministries and growth. May you all have a playful and restful summer – you can find your board at the start up festival in August – possibly near a dunk tank!
In faith and love,
Jennifer Hawk Powell, BOT, President