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January 2020 by The Reverend Joel Miller

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I’m so pleased to be working with such a great staff here at the Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge. They are meeting the changes of this interim time with grace and good spirits. And with Diana Dorroh’s retirement as Executive Director, everyone on staff is seeing changes in their responsibilities. 

Allison Hall’s duties are changing the most. Her role on staff is now the Membership and Operations Administrator. This new title reflects the greater oversight Allison has over the administrative work she has been doing and reflects that her ministry with the church will now include membership administration. Allison is great at welcoming folks and keeping in touch with folks in the church community, so we are taking advantage of her skills. 

Adding these new duties also means I must reduce time Allison spends on other duties. The new office hours are most notable example of what I’m reducing. Fortunately, the imminent upgrade to new technologies, including the new phone system, will keep easy access to staff while allowing space for Allison’s many new responsibilities. Her hours are unchanged, but her skills and good spirit are being used more efficiently. 

I was glad to know that after my announcement about the new office hours that many of you reached out to Allison, concerned that her full time hours were being cut. That reflects a kindness and depth of relationship that I admire and is a strength of UCBR. Please know that I welcome your questions and concerns in this transition time. You can reach me at interim-min@unitarianchurchbr.com or call the church and leave a message for me. 

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I’m looking forward to some exciting events in February and March. On Saturday, February 29, your Board of Trustees and I are asking the entire congregation to begin the work of expressing the values and goals for the Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge. This is very important work for every congregation making a transition from a long and successful ministry to beginning the search for a new Senior Minister. I will write and speak more about this important event in the new year. Please save February 29, 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., for this vitally important congregational work!

In late March I hope you will attend the Heart Revival Retreat lead by Rev. Rhetta Morgan. This retreat will be an opportunity to do the shared spiritual work of opening our hearts to each other and to the ministry we are called to do in this world.

It’s an exciting new year at UCBR, and I am so glad to be part of your interim journey.