As the new year dawns, we can reflect with pride and gratitude on MDUUC’s accomplishments and bright future: Our membership totals nearly 500 in a time when affiliation across most religions is shrinking; We enjoy a quartet of gifted ministers, music that enriches our worship and truly amazing talents of lay leaders in so many areas.
MDUUC is a strong faith community, which evolves in response to the seismic changes around us. We, your Board of Trustees are committed to improved communications with you in partnership through these turbulent times. Our caring church community and UU values are a constant North Star, helping us navigate our path.
We take seriously the privilege and responsibility of serving MDUUC and its members. Enclosed you’ll see our first outreach to the media about our congregation’s historic vote to become Sanctuary. We’re pleased to share that approval of both resolutions –one specific to our church and the other a broader ‘Declaration of Conscience’ issued by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA)– were nearly unanimous and represent tangible examples of living our values. (PPT here: http://www.mduuc.org/news/make-it-so-2020/).
We’re committed to better getting the word out, and as you see in this letter, also to better communicating internally. This letter is the first in an envisioned series of regular communications from our Board, to supplement the regular in-person Congregational Forums in which we share updates on major initiatives and hear feedback. Look for forum announcements in the Beacon, weekly church e-mail, on the Bulletin Board and in Sunday service program. And/or always, please reach out in person or by email to any board member to raise your Church business concern. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Last year, the Board established 2 primary objectives for the 2016-2017 church year:
- Complete the Make It So 2020 Strategic Vision and Goals and present them for approval at the January Congregational Meeting
- Address leadership and staff needs required to accomplish our church mission
We are making excellent progress on both objectives:
- Membership approved the Make It So: 2020! Vision at the Congregational Meeting, and
- Councils are now hard at work developing plans and actions for realizing the vision statements you endorsed.
- Two search committees are identifying candidates for a full-time Assistant Minister to work under the supervision of Rev. Leslie Takahashi, and a new Director of Lifespan Religious Education to replace Barb Greve. Hiring the talented people we need is a critical priority;
- Increased member financial support will be needed to adequately compensate these professionals in our costly market. You will hear more about this need from the Board and our Stewardship Committee, as we kick off our 2017-2018 Pledge Drive in March.
We are living in ‘interesting times,’ and grateful for your partnership and engagement with us on the journey together.
Leslie Baxter Hovey (President) , Michelle Carroll (Vice President), Les Polgar (Secretary), David Stanley (Treasurer), Sharon Solstice, Kate Newkirk, Doug Schuster, Kathy Teplitz, Bill Yarborough, and Steven Hirsch.