by Marianne Alt, President, Board of Trustees
Each year the UUCWC Board of Trustees meets at a fall retreat in fellowship, deepening our understanding of our board duties and setting the goals for the year. This year, we began the process at the retreat by examining what kind of board we are (strategic) and how we think about the problems we grapple with (urgent, important, non-urgent, and non-important). We reviewed a list we’d made of what we, as a congregation, do well (it’s a great list if anyone wants to see it) and our five goals from last year. We were able to come up with four general topics for goals for the 2018-19 church year and some of the things that the board could do to meet them but needed more input. Knowing that we wanted to enhance ownership and engagement in the congregation, Nathalie Edmond presented them to the Leadership Council at the September meeting to examine and provide feedback. The leaders present broke into groups to discuss what they thought was needed for each of the goals. A small team of wordsmiths from the board, John, Nathalie and Hannah, took these suggestions and beautifully wrote what you see at the end of this article.
The overarching goal of Enhance Ownership and Engagement means that we hope that every congregant can take responsibility for the four specific goals listed. They were written as aspirations for how we all can see the work of our church. As your committee or ministry reviews these goals, we ask you to consider what contributions your group can make to realize them. What do you do already? What else could you do? While not all the decisions, plans and actions that your group makes may move the church closer to one of these goals, it is worth recognizing when one does and thinking about how more of them could.
A couple of terms might not be familiar; Growth through Service and Growth Mindset. “Growth through Service” is the name of a program for communicating volunteer and leadership opportunities to all members of a group and helping members find the right fit in a volunteer or leadership role. Liz Rodenburg presented this concept at the September Leadership Council and it was received very positively. A 3-month pilot project is planned for the near future. If successful, we would implement it at UUCWC over two years (perhaps under a different name). If you have any questions please reach out to Liz or Brandon Rodenburg or go to the Delaware County UU Church website to see their version of this program.
Growth Mindset, in brief, means to be open to and look for new ideas and opportunities that allow for growth both as an individual, a group and a congregation. These opportunities could be physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. The growth mindset is more uncomfortable with the status quo than with change. (This is also a term formalized by psychologist Carol Dweck and used by schools and educators in a very specific way that is different than what I just described.)
Thank you in advance for taking them time to read through the goals below and for taking them to your committees and ministries to discuss and implement. We are strong as a congregation because you are committed to doing the important work of this church. May it always be so.
Marianne Alt, President of the Board, UUCWC
2018-2019 UUCWC Board of Trustees Goals
Overarching Goal: Enhance Ownership and Engagement
Goal: Support the Capital Project
Ensure that the voices of all congregants are heard and that progress and/or obstacles are effectively communicated to all stakeholders.
- Monitor Progress; e.g., have a Board liaison participate in scheduled Capital-Project meetings.
- Help overcome obstacles.
- Receive monthly reports from the capital campaign project at the Board meetings.
- Make updates about capital project available to the congregation.
- Help manage responsible financial goals and decisions that honor our 8 principles.
Goal: Institutionalize the 8th Principle
Observe and decenter white-centeredness as part of congregational culture. Examine and adjust systems and processes in support of institutionalizing a racial justice lens.
- Support RJI initiatives.
- Continue covenantal discussions around racial justice lens in Council meetings, and across ministries, committees and processes.
Goal: Nurture Leadership
Foster the development of structures to support the emergence of new leaders and sustain the engagement of existing leaders.
- Support personnel decisions that strengthen the infrastructure to support our program-size congregation and minister’s sabbatical.
- Support implementation of “Growth through Service.”
- Support leadership training for new and existing leaders.
Goal: Cultivate a “Growth Mindset” In All That We Do
Celebrate potential, capacity, and a passion for learning and growing in individuals, teams, and the congregation.
- Explain growth mindset to the Congregation. Emphasize curiosity, capacity, openness, and inclusion.
- Continue to support opportunities for engagement across demographics (e.g., long-term and new members, across generations).
- Encourage direct communication and feedback about changes in various forums.