Board Reflection for Sunday, November 13, 2022
Kate Sloan, UUCH Board of Trustees
One of my favorite questions to ask around here is “How is this church run?” I always get conflicting answers, some eye rolls & sometimes just a laugh. We may not have been able to settle on a governance model to get it, but UUCCH has been pretty clear on what we want. The three developmental goals we set after our “year of discernment” were to encourage a culture of trust, of connection & of abundance. So how we doing?
The Board has taken up the task of writing a policy & procedures manual. I know, boring – and what on earth does that have to do with trust, connection & abundance? It comes back to my first question – how is this church run? And it goes straight to the heart of a culture of trust. If you can set out the responsibilities, the accountability, and the duties of each section of church government – who handles what, who is accountable to whom, what the chain of command is, and all the little procedures that are needed to accomplish our church’s mission – then you bring clarity to the governance of the church. Congregants no longer have to ask: “Do we have to go to the BOT on that?” “Who’s in charge of this?” Governance is no longer a mystery. Clarity & accountability bring trust.
How about Connection? This church is working hard on that one, too. This isn’t just a Board thing – since Covid, all of us have had to deal with a breakdown of communication & connection – really, there’s only so much anyone can do over Zoom. Our congregation has had difficulty adjusting to the new normal – well, really, the entire world has. Division, bad behavior, loneliness, and a feeling of loss still pervade many relationships. UUCCH is working on a new Covenant – a way to be in relationship with each other, highlighting the wonderful character of this church, shining the light on what our fellowship can bring not only to each other, but to the world around us. And can I tell you? This church is remarkable. I know we tend to focus a lot on things that have gone wrong, that sometimes we’re suspicious of each other’s motives and sometimes things fall apart, but that’s normal for churches. We’re not unusual there. What we don’t tend to focus on, and what I’d like to remind you about is that there is such love here. We do care about each other. We laugh together, we lift each other up. We’re there with a helping hand when we’re needed. Covid lockdowns made have dented a bit of our connection with each other, but it didn’t destroy it. We can still give each other the grace to disagree with one other, to fall & to get back up, to leave & come back, to fight but still love. Because really, for all of our faults, love still is the spirit of this church.
How about our last goal? A culture of abundance? Um, look around? We rebuilt our sanctuary in the middle of a pandemic. That is no small feat. We now have a new tricked out space in which to live into our principles. We are just starting to figure out how best we can use all the toys we have. Hey, we have a screen now & a projector – maybe movie nights can come back. We have an amazing sound system – we’ve already had Jim Scott here – how many more concerts can we host? How can we best share this amazing abundance with not only our congregation, but our neighbors as well? We are just getting started. We’ve been through a lot. These past years have tested all of us, but we persevered. We may feel a little battered, but the core of this church – you, all of you – are still shining bright. We have more work to do to really nail the goals we’ve set for ourselves, but as long as we’re together – you, me, UUCCH – if we set our mind to it, we can do anything.