The following are the primary responsibilities of the UUCV Board of Trustees. Quoting from our Bylaws: “Article Viii. Duties of The Board Of Trustees, Section 1. The Board shall develop written policies necessary to effectively govern the church. The Board shall conduct strategic planning and congregational assessment. It shall develop the mission and vision of the congregation. It shall hold the fiduciary responsibility for the church and shall annually recommend a budget to the congregation at the Annual Meeting.”
Our Bylaws are found on our website along with our Policy Manual.in the Documents Section (located at the very bottom of our uuventura.org webpages.) I recommend that everyone periodically review these important documents and become familiar with the governance of our congregation. You could say that doing so is part of being informed about our 5th Principle: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large. The work of the church doesn’t just happen magically. It takes an informed congregation, planning, and willing hands and hearts.
Last month the Board held a retreat with several goals in mind. First, we needed to get acquainted as there are two new members on the Board, and, Second, we needed to begin charting a course for the year ahead and beyond. Very little happens quickly in a church. Slow and steady is typical. It’s known as getting things done in “Church Time.” That means if you are an action oriented person you may become challenged by the pace of decision making at a church. You might hear someone say; “It’s all a process” as if it should be taken for granted, in a tongue and cheek sort of way, as a fact about how churches operate.
The primary emphasis at the Retreat was on creating a Vision for our congregation. This is a process that will take time to unfold. We developed two “Open Questions” to be considered; 1) What is our Mission? and 2) What are the ways we want to grow? In just looking at the first question, about every five years a congregation might review and update their Mission Statement. Ours is at least 10 years old. Even if you really like our current Mission Statement, change is the reason for a review. Our membership has changed, our demographics have changed, and the social issues of the day have changed. But to change it, if that is what we decide, will take a deliberate process and it will take time.
The second question is equally deep and central to our future. In that light, it makes sense to re-examine foundational questions. Going forward you can expect that the Board will be creating opportunities every two months for conversations where questions (like those above) can be explored and the voices of our congregation can be heard. These are really “Holy” conversations, sacred in the sense that they will be about us, the UUCV, and the aspirations and dreams we each hold for our congregation. You may imagine that this will be thoughtful work for all of us. It will also be extremely rewarding.
Living in Paradise,
Bryan Buck, President