President’s Message – October 2012

This coming weekend, the Board will come together to discuss our goals for the year and how we will be working together as we organize ourselves for this congregational year.

A topic that I touched on last year, and which I plan to develop more fully this year, is enhancing the overall infrastructure of the congregation. To that end, I have touched base with various committees as they establish their priorities this year. I have scheduled a workshop for committees to develop vision statements and covenants, which will be shared during the course of the year with the congregation. On the staff side, procedural manuals and job descriptions are being developed. I plan to complete that process before the end of this year. This is an area that I feel very strongly about overall.

And why, you may think, am I so gung-ho on this particu- lar area of congregational life? Some of you might be horrified by the idea of any structure since UU’s are not a structural group by nature. You may think it unnecessary and, on some level, detrimental to the congregation if we have any sort of rigidity. Others of you may just think this is a dry, boring area, and why would anybody want to spend their time on something so tedious?

As a practical matter, I am a human resources professional by trade and this is right up my alley. I love this stuff! Nothing is better than developing a structure by which an organization can conduct its business in an effective way. To me, the purpose of management and structure is to prevent chaos. Without it, we’d be all over the place. As it is, we are anything but and have a very strong legacy to pass on, but we don’t have a lot of it in writing. To me, this exercise is freeing, and not stifling – it gives us less to have to think about because we don’t have to reinvent the wheel all the time. We can, and should, always tweak and refine, but the essentials are there.

On a more spiritual level, engaging in this process necessi- tates focusing on who we are as a congregation. It allows us to take care of ourselves and, in so doing, enables us to engage more fully in our community and in our world, with surer footing and a greater sense of purpose. That, to me, is what UUCM is all about.

Teresa DeSousa
President, Board of Trustees