by Sandy Muccioli, Chair, Nominating/Leadership Task Force
Several weeks ago, the Board-appointed Nominating/Leadership Task Force started hosting weekly zoom meetings after Sunday worship services to bring awareness to the volunteer/service opportunities at UUCWC. These are not breakout rooms, but a separate zoom meeting with the link posted in the chat and also on the UUCWC website and weekly email. Each week, two committees/ministries share the stage to present what they do, what kinds of people are on their committees and one “unexpected” person or skill that has or would be a valuable addition to the group. The April theme of “Becoming” is perfect to describe what these groups are doing. We’re calling these meetings, “Expect the Unexpected.”
First to present was the Nominating /Leadership Task Force. The task force has developed a new process for the way participation at UUCWC is experienced. The traditional Nominating committee is morphing into a team that matches people’s passions to the needs of the congregational ministries and committees. In addition, a larger umbrella group is being formed which we’re calling “Congregational Engagement.” In fact, we have already begun using this name in place of Nominating.
Key to the functioning of CE will be the creation of a database based on interviews of members of the congregation. We want to know what feeds you spiritually, what you love doing, your special abilities/talents and how you are most comfortable working with others. The five-member core team will then search the database to find a good fit when opportunities become available on committees and ministries and on the Board of Trustees. We will be presenting the new process to the Board at their next meeting. Assuming they approve, for the 2021-2022 church year we have openings for the core team as well as several openings for people to conduct interviews and/or do data entry. Unexpected? You get to meet and learn about people in a group setting (interviews will generally be performed by more than one person) without also having to try to do the match making. You can be detail oriented OR big picture.
The following Sunday, the Treasurer and Financial team told us of a new streamlined structure to the church’s finances that more closely reflects our spiritual mission and makes them easier to manage on a volunteer basis. The position of Finance Committee Chair is open for the 2021-2022 Church year. What’s unexpected? The Finance Committee welcomes “at-large members.” The committee itself already consists of other committee chairs: Treasurer, Stewardship, Fund Raising, Auction and Endowment. At-large members need not commit to a full term or have any experience with numbers! On the contrary, Finance welcomes other perspectives and skills. Can you write? Do you like research? Are you a problem-solver or out of the box thinker? There are many opportunities for short term tasks that take some weight off of the leaders already involved with their representative responsibilities.
On March 21, the Board of Trustees told us about the unique bird’s eye perspective you get from being on the board. Believe it or not, two of our Board members admitted to being introverts! Actually, there are many places for introverts to stretch in a safe way at UUCWC. A wonderful part of being on the Board is getting to know people you would not ordinarily gravitate toward in your day-to-day lives. These people are not necessarily other Board members, but representatives of our committees and ministries who interact with the Board. What is unexpected? UUCWC is organic. The governance has moved away from old rules, like Robert’s Rules of Order, yet as we evolve, we continue to remain strong by representing the forward-looking needs of the congregation. Board meetings are intentionally spiritual.
That same Sunday, the Auction team highlighted that participation is not a year-long commitment. Many skills are valuable, such as writing, database/tech skills and organizational abilities. Some tasks include friendly outreach to local organizations for ads and gift certificates and offering creative ideas to the congregation for donations.
March 28 brought George Faulkner of the Building committee with some fun images of a Gothic cathedral under perpetual construction and a long team of mules pulling a wagon. Building Chair is open for 2021-2022 but George’s point was that it is a relatively simple committee to run with many helping hands already available. Building also welcomes at-large members. What is unexpected? You will not be required to be in danger or catch mice!
Presenting with Building was Bob Alt representing the Stewardship team. Stewardship is one of the committees that utilize “shared leadership” – it functions as a team rather than with committee members directed by a chairperson. Stewardship is also not a year-long endeavor. What unexpected skill fills the group? The wonderful contributions of artists creating the graphics for the annual brochure.
As of this writing, there are six more presentations to look forward to: Grounds and Right Relations will present on April 11. Fund raising and Endowment will share the Zoom on April 18. The final presentations for this first round will be on April 25, featuring the Earth Ministry Team and Memorial Garden. Watch for more “Expect the Unexpected” presentations to come!