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President's Column

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 “It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” Yogi Berra, (…or maybe Niels Bohr, the famous physicist). And so we have it – an unknown future, a change. Some people hate change, and have told me so. Yes, Steve well deserves to retire, they say, but I’m still not happy about it.

Tomes have been written about how to personally deal with change, how best to face the unknown.  I’ll just start with this - change is easier to face if you feel you have some understanding and control over the process. So the board intends to help you understand the process and where you may participate if you wish. How are we going to do that? Well, we have already started with those of you who attended last November’s Town Hall meeting. At that gathering you discussed the question: What is our brand? How do we wish to be known by others in our city?

Your answers fell into some of the following themes: We are known for action. People come for the programming – music, branches, RE, etc. We have many challenging issues – among them is that it is difficult to clarify our values. We have them but they can be hard to express.  We want to be better at expressing them, at bringing in the larger community, at connecting with our youth. Your thoughtful list is long and I have posted it on the Board’s bulletin board for your perusal.

So, I invite you to attend our next Town Hall Meeting on March 4th after the second service. In large group, we will discuss a draft timeline and the congregational process advised by the UUA. One thing the transition advisors at the UUA strongly suggest is that we have an interim minister. (See below). We will also look at some tough issues such as: “What about Nathan?” In smaller groups, we will take on the issue of “I’m really upset.”

One way I personally deal with upset is to get out my guitar and sing those flamenco songs of sorrow I learned long ago when I studied in Spain. Of the 18 of us in our group in Spain, one became a professional interim minister of the UUA. And by luck, my friend, Rev. Janet Newman, will visit me the weekend of March 17th. She has agreed to speak with anyone interested in the role of interim ministers after church on Sunday, March 18th. So, we will meet in the sanctuary after the second service. Bring your questions and concerns. I promise I won’t bring my guitar.

So -- Town Hall on March 4 and discussion with an experienced interim minister on March 18.  Come along.