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Board Planks August 2015

What’s New with the Board?
The Board of Trustees is a very different group than it was just a few months ago.  Change is inevitable, and especially with our Board structure, as the members and, often processes, typically change on a yearly basis.  This year, for example, we started with four new members:  Anna Hamilton, Jacqueline Kairis, Donna Gonzales, and Marilyn Hyte.  Thus four out of nine of us are new, and we have all new leadership—a new president, a new Vice President (Marilyn), and a new Recording Secretary (Doyle Dobbins).
In addition to these major changes involving who is on and leads the board, the way the board operates has changed as well.  In previous years, the Board spent the majority of its time discussing policies and receiving reports on various aspects of the church, including reports on board policy, Ends reports, monthly Treasurer reports, and also reports on general happenings at church.  While we will still fulfill our important duties to be informed about these areas, we are shifting our focus to closely examine and address more existential concerns about our church. 

Thus, half our time will be spent doing typical board business, and the other half of our time will be spent discussing the major questions facing our church:  how do we govern more inclusively and effectively, who are we as a church and how do we best communicate that, how do we grow, what are the best ways to collaborate with other groups and sister churches to further our mission?  These and other major questions will occupy more of our time, and hopefully inform our visioning and policy setting in more robust and connected ways.  If you have any ideas for major questions the board should examine, feel free (actually, feel strongly encouraged!) to contact me (ostinw@firstuuwilm.org).
We have also made many other smaller changes.  We are a more technologically advanced board—utilizing our website (http://firstuuwilm.org/board-trustees ) and Skype capabilities for members who are out of town during Board meetings.  We are also engaging in more defined spiritual practices; in addition to our centering and closing chalice lighting words, each meeting we are practicing gratitude by thanking individuals and groups who we believe have gone “above and beyond” in their duties at church.  And we have decided to live out our values by working collectively toward a social justice cause a few times per year. 
For the board, things are different and even more different than there is room to describe here.  Things evolve, just as we do—individually and collectively.  May we embrace today’s changes and prepare well for tomorrow’s!

Faithfully yours,
Ostin M. Warren, Board President

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