Its been a busy summer for many of us including your senior minister. After attending a powerful General Assembly in Columbus, OH in June (more about that this fall), Francis and I spent several weeks in Maine where I wrote and recharged. I was back in early August with a few other shorter trips between then and now. Meanwhile your church has been busier than usual for the summer. Many of you had the chance to enjoy our fabulous summer worship program. Congratulations to the Worship Associates on a job very well done. Our Tag Sale was a huge hit, once again bringing in over $10,000 and building community spirit even if everyone was melting. Linda Hudson and her team deserve our thanks. The staff has been at work planning and preparing for our next year of ministry together.
Last June we ratified changes to our constitution which allow us to better organize our staff and governance so that we can respond to the call of our mission. Some of you will recall that the congregation voted to make your interim senior minister Rev. Roberta Finklestein chief of staff. Since then and through my first year we have been trying different ways to align the work of our staff – paid and volunteer- to best serve our mission. We voted in June to make the senior minister not only chief of staff but also Chief Executive Officer in keeping with the principles of a more efficient and accountable policy based governance.
After studying our staff needs over the past year, I am pleased to announce that David Vita has been restored to full time status as our Director of Social Justice and Membership. We have also added several new Faith Development assistants to work under Mary Collins in order to better serve the needs of our young families. I have also promoted Dorothy Adams from Director of Operations to Executive Director of the church. This move, common to those larger churches following policy governance, will give her the latitude to run the business of the church. As Executive Director she will provide professional leadership in running the more secular aspects of the church, including financial, facilities-related and organizational resource management. I will remain the CEO responsible for the over sight of the entire church.
The board is fully engaged in the good work of policy based governance about which you will hear more in this issue and in the future. We remain committed to our mission to inspire, connect and act for those who come through our doors and those in the communities we are a part of.
There is much to be concerned about these days; from political fears to the ever widening gap between the rich and the poor to the very real consequences of climate change. But this I know: Hope is found most often when we gather together, affirm what is good and answer the call to heal the world. Now more than ever we need one another. Now more than ever we need the strength of our congregation. I look forward to seeing many of you in the coming weeks as we gather the spirit and harvest our power.
Yours always, Rev. John