Board Reflection for May 21, 2023

Karen Nowicki, UUCCH Board Member

What can I say that hasn’t already been said before in one of these reflections?

You may be tired of hearing board members up here talking about change and building a better future but the truth is that the church is doing a lot of work on itself and I want to commend Margret, Paula, Natasha, Julie, lay leaders, members and friends that have all been an integral part of this work. From the re-writing of the covenant, to the policy work, and finally the ministerial search team, who will be officially commissioned today, many of you have been involved with various aspects of this work over the past year.

Through all this work, we’ve been turning inward and examining our deepest and sometimes darkest places to carve out the better way forward.

This makes me think back to the divided nature of the congregation when we decided to take a year of discernment and the sometimes heated discussions around a settled or a developmental minister for our next ministry.

When this current board proposed the options to the congregation a couple months ago there was an overwhelming support for a contract-to-call minister and there were even more people who voted for a developmental minister than a settled minister this time around. This speaks volumes to the work we’ve been doing as a congregation, sometimes the very deep and uncomfortable work, but it has helped us see past what we think we are and really starting to see what we are – a beautiful congregation with a lot of heart and soul but one that doesn’t have all the answers yet.

We are not broken, we are not damaged but we do need to be honest with ourselves and with potential new ministers about who we really are – a group of people trying to carve out a safe space in a world where division and uncertainty persist, a group who tries to live our faith calling to be beacons of hope, compassion, and justice. A group trying to listen deeply to the voices of the marginalized and to amplify their calls for equity and dignity. In this time of political and social upheaval having a place of sanctuary away from the confusing and sometimes disheartening world reminds me there are good people trying to do good things in this world. This faith calls us to confront the pressing challenges of our time and to work tirelessly for positive change.

However, working tirelessly for positive change doesn’t just mean in the world around us, it also means working on the world within ourselves and our congregation to keep living into the ideals that this faith aspires to. On this celebration of the history of UUCCH let us honor the past and use those 67 years of experience, knowledge, and wisdom to continue moving this community forward.

To create this positive change, we need your partnership. Each and every one of you has a unique role to play in the life of our church. Your presence, your ideas, and your passions contribute to the tapestry that makes our community so vibrant. By engaging in committees or teams, participating in social justice initiatives, and actively supporting our programs, you help shape the direction of our church and bring our shared vision to life.

As stewards of this vibrant community, the Board of Trustees is vested with the task of ensuring that our church remains a place of solace, growth, and inspiration. We take our responsibility seriously, working alongside our minister, staff, and each one of you to create a space where all are welcomed, accepted, and loved. It is through this congregation’s strength and talent that allows the board to continue this important work and moving us forward into the future we imagine.