I am ending my term on the Board of Trustees. I spent one year as a trustee, one year as vice president, and two years as president. Thank you for an amazing and supportive four years. I often associate four years with high school, and college, and some leadership positions. So much can change and yet so little can change. So much has changed in my own life during that time. My mother died of cancer unexpectedly within my first few months of joining the board. We bought and sold a house. I became fully self-employed and grew a thriving group practice as well as an antiracism consultant business. I felt supported by UUCWC throughout all of these major life changes and feel privileged to have served with so many amazing members of the congregation, deepening my commitment to UUCWC.
During those four years I saw the culture of UUCWC change, starting with the adoption of the 8th principle in 2018. That conversation around whether to adopt the 8th principle as it was written was hard and necessary. Who knew that in 2020 we would be in the middle of civil rights movements around racial justice. We had new bylaws go into effect in 2019 that reflect who we are now and our desire to be more inclusive and flexible with changing times. The Board experimented with letting go of Roberts Rules of Order and trying consensus building and pulse checks. The Board let go of a timed agenda in their meetings to promote spending time where it needed to. This helped the meeting feel less like a business meeting and more like the coming together of different perspectives. We kept reminding each other to be strategic and mission based and support the amazing committees and ministries when we affirmed the use of the seven board practices. The seven board practices centers the 8th principle and invites us to build the Beloved Community and move away from the hierarchical paradigm most boards and organizations are used to. We moved towards more shared leadership and thinking about how to support leaders moving into and out of leadership roles.
We weathered a pandemic and the loss of life. We celebrated sabbaticals. We got to experience different ministers and interns. We planned for an expansion with the capital project. We did things we couldn’t have imagined such as going virtual for services, meetings, and everything else. Our health allows us to evolve while maintaining our core values.
I want to thank you for all being part of this community and for all the ways you show up to make UUCWC a sacred space where I and so many others feel nourished. As a black woman, I have felt safe, respected and cared for, which is often hard to do in predominantly white spaces. It speaks to the work so many of you have done around white body supremacy and racial justice. I look forward to what comes next.
Thank you. May you be well. May we all have enough to thrive.
Nathalie Edmond, President, UUCWC Board of Trustees