The Board of Trustees held its retreat by Zoom. All current Board members; Robie Evans, Director of Operations; and, Rev. Michael Brown attended. Even though we are governing together, some of us have never met in person. So, we had a long getting-to-know-you discussion. Board President Julie Forest informed the Board that Rev. Michael, who will be serving us through Dec. 31, 2021, will not be serving in the capacity of Lead Minister. The role of Lead Minister will be filled by an Interim Exec Team, aka the Succession Policy's Interim Committee consisting of Julie, Robie, Lay Leader Dave Hunt, and Cora Pendergast, Board Vice President. The Board also spent time reviewing some of our basic governance documents and received a presentation about the seven types of Board meetings and actions provided for in the church constitution. We began brainstorming our priorities for this fiscal year which the Board will produce in its Annual Agenda by the end of September. Finally, in a major change in policy and practice, the President and VP agreed to open up agenda planning for regular monthly Board meetings to include all Board members who want to attend. ~ Maureen McNair, Trustee at Large
The most recent Board meeting was August 17. Beginning with happy news, the Board unanimously approved Congregational Sponsorship of Rose Reidel, our Office Manager and student at Starr King School of Ministry, to support her process of becoming a UU Minister. We heard a summary of finances and approved an Annual Pledge Drive for this Fall. As we face a series of short term ministers, the Board agreed to a temporary administrative structure in which those ministers will be supervised by the Board of Trustees; Omega Burckhardt, the Assistant Minister arriving Sept. 19, will be supervised by the Julie Forest, Board President; and, Robie Evans, Director of Operations, will serve as Head of Staff, supervised by Board Vice President Cora Pendergast.
Happily we have experienced two in-person large gatherings on our campus, the Saturday evening musical event in honor of Rev. Kathleen, and the Sunday worship service in the meeting house marking the end of her ministry with us after 14 memorable years. In most ways the recommended protocols about masks and distancing were observed, and so far no negative outcomes have been reported. We are pleased to continue recommending more in-person happenings.
One educational requirement for becoming a Fellowshipped UU minister is to have chaplain experience through the Clinical Pastoral Experience (CPE). And though mine happened long ago in the summer of 2003, I still remember the hardest lesson I learned from that time…it was the importance of saying goodbye. I would often end a pastoral visit with a patient with the words, ‘see you later.’ One day my supervisor asked, “How do you know you’ll see that person later? They might be discharged from the hospital before you visit again or worse, they may die before you return. It’s important with every visit to say ‘goodbye.’” And there were times during that summer that proved he was right – I didn’t always get to see someone later.
by Maureen McNair
A bottle of scented hand sanitizer. A ﬁve dollar bill tucked in an envelope. Homemade food. These are just some of the gifts our pantry clients give to our pantry and volunteers on Saturdays.
This past Saturday, one of our existing clients told me he owned a signage business and oﬀered to make more laminated numbers similar to the ones we hand out to clients so we can practice a ﬁrst-come, ﬁrst-served food distribution. He oﬀered signs and banners too. All for free.
The Delta variant of the coronavirus is causing increased cases everywhere. We no longer have any true "no risk" situations. Fortunately, the vaccines are highly effective, though slightly less so among the elderly and those immuno-compromised. The variant is as contagious as chicken pox and can hit the not vaccinated really hard, including children. Vaccinated persons are FAR less likely to face possible hospitalization or worse. The disease can surely be spread by those not vaccinated who pick up the virus, but also by fully vaccinated people who may become infected even without showing symptoms. Getting vaccinated is the primary responsible thing we can do, for ourselves and others. We surely don't want to help perpetuate health disparities among those who are marginalized in any way, who may face more crowded living conditions and fewer work options than some do.
by Maureen McNair
Every winter for many years, the volunteers at our Hillcrest Interfaith Shelter Network site, which hosts homeless guests for two weeks, prepare for our guests’ arrival by watching an instructional video. The video does not tell volunteers how to organize meals or set up cots we borrow. Instead, the video features homeless guests from prior shelters who speak to us directly about how to engage them in conversation.
"I am very pleased to announce that the FUUSD Board has hired Omega Burckhardt as our assistant minister with a two-year contract. She will begin her ministry with us effective September 19. Here are some words from the soon-to-be ordained Omega Burckhardt." - Julie Forest, FUUSD Board President.
"¡Es un gran honor andar por este camino con Uds.! I am honored to serve as your Assistant Minister beginning in September. In this time of tremendous transition, I look forward to learning about this vibrant community within and beyond the walls of the church buildings, fostering relationships with ministerial and lay leaders, and working towards a shared vision of the Beloved Community of Now and the Future while honoring the traditions and complexities of the past. Juntos honramos el pasado, celebramos el presente, e imaginamos el futuro.
Saturday, Aug. 21, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm, Hillcrest patio. Come and help us celebrate Rev. Kathleen’s 14 years of service to our congregation as we fondly say “Farewell.” We’ll celebrate outdoors on the Hillcrest patio with special musical guests, Chris Hassett and Drew Massicot - you won’t want to miss this! During this time of rising infection rates with the Delta variant, there will be no food or drink served at the event; but please bring your own individual water container. There will be plenty of time to visit with each other, masked and socially distanced. Please arrive between 6:30 pm and 7 pm; live music will start at 7 pm.
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