Church Leadership is a topic that recently came up in a discussion with the participants of the Beloved Conversations group. 15 members from UUCV have been participating in this program which seeks to create an intentional space for folks to talk about race and racism – in our personal lives, in the congregation and beyond. It is likely that this program will be offered again next year. Carolyn Briggs, Lety Ball and I were asked to participate in a panel discussion as one of the sessions. Some of the questions we were asked involved church governance. How do things get done? How do you join a committee/team? How do you become involved in leadership?
Our Leadership Development Committee is charged with filling vacancies on the Board, the Memorial and Endowment Committees, and the Leadership Development Committee. The 2019-2020 Slate of Candidates for these elected positions is posted in Berg Hall. This information was also in last month’s newsletter and was included in the mailing to the congregation about our Annual Meeting on June 9. I’ve said before that everyone is a leader in our congregation, if only by the example you set supporting the UUCV.
When we were asked about how to get involved in leadership, my reply was, “Don’t say no to the Minister” (or to the Leadership Development Committee) unless you have a truly good reason. Many of us decline these opportunities because we have either been down that road before, think it will be a headache, or because we don’t see ourselves as worthy. These may not be the only reasons but please consider what it means to be asked to serve our community in this way. You might still be thinking; “they needed a warm body” or something along those lines when that is not actually the case. The Leadership Committee spends an incredible amount of time and energy in seeking candidates for our elected positions. They work hard to understand the needs of the church that leadership vacancies present and how best to fill them. We want to fill these roles with folks that exhibit a commitment to Unitarian Universalism and to the UUCV.
Committee and teamwork is much the same, except the folks who fill the
position of “Chair” often arise from “within” by having participated on that
Committee or Team. Opportunities for committee involvement are found on
the walls of Berg Hall, in our newsletter, and in our announcements from the pulpit and on the back of the Sunday Order of Service. The folks at the Connecting Table can help you get involved in this important aspect of church life.
Being willing, and open to service is part of congregational life. In response to the question; “Who does the work of the church?” Tom Berg, (a cherished past member for whom Berg Hall is named) is known to have said something like; “We do, because there aren’t any little elves.” All that we do starts out in small groups that are really forms of ministry founded on being in relationship with one another. Barack Obama made the following statement in which I have substituted the word “church” for “country”; “I do this work not for the title or accolades because those things wear off pretty quickly. I do this because I love this [church] and want to make it a better place for everyone.”
That’s the heart of a leader.
Living in Paradise,
Bryan Buck, UUCV Board President