Reflections from a New Board Member

by Wendy Stasolla

For the past twenty some odd years, I’ve seen UUCWC through the lens of being a church member, an RE parent and teacher, and as part of various committees and volunteer opportunities. As part of the Board of Trustees, I now have a much broader view of the workings of UUCWC. This new perspective already has me in awe of the many volunteers and staff who quietly work behind the scenes to make things happen.

What impresses me most is that, despite our building being closed, our community is still doing the things we do best. There are members working tirelessly to make our dream of a newly renovated space happen, committees revising budgets, refreshing our website, re-writing bylaws, reimagining the technology in our sanctuary, and discussing when to return to in-person services. We’re still supporting outside organizations in need with our weekly plate dollars, caring for our own with meals and rides, communicating information through weekly emails, running chalice circles, and the list goes on. Yes, I can say I’m in awe of all that I’m seeing as UUCWC.

In the spirit of serving on the Board as best we can, a group of us are attending board training sessions through the UU Leadership Institute. The course is called Helpful Board Habits. We are given reading assignments and then gather virtually with members from other UU Churches across the Northeast to discuss and practice what we’re learning.

We’ve been delving into a methodology called dynamic governance and, although it was developed by an electrical engineer for work environments, it has been adapted worldwide by all types of organizations as a way of decision making using a process of understanding how things influence each other within a whole. I’m impressed by these methods of capturing input from everyone present and synthesizing them into a common understanding of a bigger picture. This process ultimately leads to decisions that more fully capture the spirit of the participants involved.

What I’m realizing after hearing stories from board members at other congregations is how well we, at UUCWC, already operate as a board and church community. I see more and more how UUCWC places great emphasis on keeping the whole church community in mind as well as our shared principles when decisions are being made by our board and committees. This is a wonderful thing and I believe it is what helps keep our congregation humming along as the beautiful hive of shared ministry that we are, and I feel blessed to be a part of UUCWC.