By Heather Edwards, Trustee, UUCWC Board of Trustees
In the middle of another holiday season, I would like to pause to express gratitude for our UUCWC community and for the opportunity to be part of the Board of Trustees during this particular moment in our church’s history. During the board’s fall retreat, held virtually this past September, we developed board goals for the year. Every board member had a chance to give input into the goals, which were centered around the Seven Practices of Board Leadership presented by Paula Cole Jones and Reverend David Pyle in their “Practices of Board Leadership” workshop at the 2019 UU General Assembly.
These board practices were developed with the Eighth Principle in mind, to help boards think about how our practices can advance our own and the congregation’s work to dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions. As a new board member this year, this process was exciting and energizing as we looked towards the future of UUCWC and started to imagine what the upcoming year might look like. Look here to read about all of the finalized board goals for this year.
Personally I feel most energized by our goals that fall under the seventh board practice, “Transforming the Congregational Culture.” In their workshop, Cole and Pyle presented this practice more extensively as “Transforming the Congregational Culture to be more aligned with Unitarian Universalist values and beliefs, with a focus on the ways that we continue to bring the marginalized into the center of our congregation and our faith, and shifting the ways that our governance practices manifest white supremacy culture.” As our current board reflected on this practice and our hopes for the church this year, we lifted up that we want to continue considering the full scope of the Eighth Principle, and further integrating all aspects of it into our work and the work of committees and ministries.
We would like to continue working within a Simple Church framework, understanding and communicating how that informs our focus. And, we would like to consider the lessons of the pandemic in creating new ways to meaningfully interact and maintain a healthy and sustainable spiritual community. We want to intentionally consider the needs and experiences of both online and in-person members as equal participants in the church community and congregational life. And we would like to make sure that all UUCWC community members experience a spirit of Radical Welcome in which each person is invited to express their full self and to participate openly and authentically. We noted that we as a congregation are willing to be changed by those who come in, staying open to and inviting the transformation of congregational culture as an expression of our UU faith in practice.
As Reverend Kim has often said, we are not going to return to the way things were before the pandemic.These board goals explicitly state our intention to use this opportunity for change to continue the transformation of our congregational culture through the lens of the Eighth Principle.
If you are interested in knowing more about the work of the board, you are welcome to attend any or all monthly Board of Trustees meetings. Our meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month from 7pm to 9pm, via Zoom. You can email the board in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org to request the Zoom link. Church members and friends who are not board members will be muted during meetings with the exception of attendees who have been invited in advance to share updates on their committee or ministry activities.