|Thoughts from the Minister|
On the Journey
Thoughts from the Minister
Traditionally, many Unitarian Universalist ministers take extended vacation and study time during the summer. This can work well as it is typically a quieter time for the congregation from an activity point of view. While I will be away at times during the summer this year, I will not be away for the entire season. In fact, I will not be out of the pulpit for more than two weeks at a time. I mention this because it is a change.
There are several reasons for this. First, it is helpful to use some of the summer for planning time. I will be around most of July and will use that time to meet with lay leaders about the program year ahead. Second, I'm not convinced it is the best thing for the congregation to have the minister away for two months without compelling reason. While there may be such a reason for me to be way in the future, this summer there is not. Lastly, Charlie and I are expecting our second grandchild in the fall, and would like to take some time then to go visiting.
The planning time in July will certainly be useful this year. We will be making the final arrangements for our move to two Sunday services in mid-September. We will also be moving into the implementation of our new organizational structure. While the big picture of the structure is in place, there is much still to emerge in the details. I think of the structure as organic, something that we will grow together.
One of the features that is very important to me as we grow into the new structure is inclusion. My hope is that this endeavor will help new members to get involved more quickly and long-time members to get things done more easily. I hope it will help us all communicate more easily and effectively, and I hope it will help to ensure that everyone's voice is heard when it needs to be.
When I talk with colleagues or check the literature on congregational organization, there are two things I notice. First, 1U does many things well and has many strengths. Second, the challenges that I see are ones that many congregations are facing. This means that there is a good deal of talk and a number of new books on related topics. So, we are not in this alone and have many conversations partners as we launch off into this next adventure.
Even within the congregation, we need many voices and perspectives. I encourage you to be part of the conversation so that our communal wisdom can be greater than any of us can be alone.
Rev. Kathy's Weekly Schedule: I am most often in the office during the day on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday. I frequently have appointments scheduled either in the office or off-campus, so it is an excellent idea to call or email before making a special trip to see me. With advanced notice, I am happy to schedule appointments that fit your schedule, for example, in the early evening.
Wednesday is now my writing day. Thursday is my day off. On Thursdays, I only respond to emergencies.
Rev. Kathy's Summer Schedule: I will be attending the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) General Assembly (GA) in Charlotte, NC (along with 20 or so 1U members) from June 21-26. I will be away from the congregation from Monday, June 20, through Tuesday, July 5, inclusive.
Later in August, I will be away from the congregation August 1-20 inclusive. This will be a combination of vacation and study time. I will be serving on the staff of the Southwest UU Conference's Leadership School (Dwight Brown Leadership Experience or DBLE) for part of that time.