A Rich and Productive Summer By Erin Hottenstein, President of the Board of Trustees

Your new group of lay leaders is off to a fantastic start! We’ve been busy over the summer and are ready to jump into the school/regular church year.

The July Leadership Retreat was held at the Primrose Studio at the Reservoir Ridge Natural Area just outside Fort Collins. (L to R) April Undy, Sara Edwards, Sally Harris, Karen Johnese, Brian Woodruff, Margie Wagner, Michelle Venus, Rev. Gretchen Haley, Rev. James Kubal-Komoto, Erin Hottenstein, Anne Hall, Sue Sullivan. Not pictured: Scott Denning, Ed Beers.

The July Leadership Retreat was held at the Primrose Studio at the Reservoir Ridge Natural Area just outside Fort Collins. (L to R) April Undy, Sara Edwards, Sally Harris, Karen Johnese, Brian Woodruff, Margie Wagner, Michelle Venus, Rev. Gretchen Haley, Rev. James Kubal-Komoto, Erin Hottenstein, Anne Hall, Sue Sullivan. Not pictured: Scott Denning, Ed Beers, Jennifer Hawk Powell, Gale Whitman and Glenn Pearson.

In case you missed it, the Mission Task Force has made a final recommendation about our mission. We hope you like it! Check it out here. We’d love to hear from you at the Board of Trustees’ booth at the Start-up Festival or at Buckhorn Retreat.

In July, the Board of Trustees, Committee on Shared Ministry and Rev. Gretchen Haley had a weekend retreat. Our purpose was to create good working relationships for the year and to support the successful launch of Gretchen’s ministry. The Rev. James Kubal-Komoto, the new Regional Lead for the Pacific Western Region, flew in to facilitate and was very engaging.

We chose individual goals for personal spiritual growth for the year. We got to know each other through icebreakers that had us answering questions about how long we had been Unitarian Universalists and how long we had been in leadership at the church. One of the most enlightening exercises was like an anthropological expedition where we unearthed unspoken rules and truths, as well as recognizing the stories and traditions that live in our church community. We reflected on our history through the lens of each past minister. We discussed which group was responsible or accountable for different tasks. Finally, we brainstormed dozens of wishes we have for Foothills. My gratitude goes out to each person who made the retreat so rich and productive!

The Board of Trustees has held two regular monthly meetings since that retreat. Our work on the mission, we believe, is coming to a fruitful conclusion. We are in the thick of our task of creating a revised governance structure that is appropriate to our large-church size. This will continue to be one of our top priorities for 2016-17 and we are actively partnering with the Governance Task Force to see it through. Another priority we are continuing from last year is to improve communication with the congregation in both aspects of sending and receiving. New this year will be a priority on leadership development and a priority on vision setting. More on all these priorities later!

Lastly, about 15 lay leaders attended an all-day Stewardship Summit last Saturday. We were looking at stewardship in the wide sense of how all the teams involved in money – Finance, Endowment, Stewardship and the Board of Trustees – have a role to play in the caretaking of the church now and in the future. Our purpose was to look at our financial history as well as our current situation and gain a greater understanding of where we might go from here. Many thanks to Kay Williams, Walt Jones and the Stewardship Team for organizing the day, and to them and Erik Martinson for the outstanding reports. Thanks also to Rev. Haley for facilitating and to each lay leader for spending the day with us.  Our direction for the year is taking shape nicely due to all the effort our volunteer and staff leaders put in this summer!

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