Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Other Side of Candidating Season

While there is a lot of celebrating during candidating season, there is also a lot of mourning.  My congregation received word this week that our Minister is leaving us for another congregation.  To say I am upset is an understatement.  It caught the majority of our congregation completely by surprise. In an effort for transparency, the Minister and Board will be hosting a fireside chat session next week, but is that enough?  Do Ministers owe their congregations any sort of warning? I feel a bit betrayed.  I really like our Minister and I have no idea on why he felt a need for another church.  I thought he was happy here. Obviously, we will know more after the meeting, but I feel if he knew this was a possibility for a long time, why didn't he say something?  We spent the whole year in the dark about his future intentions.  I don't think I am alone in feeling this way.  I feel that there is a special relationship between a congregation and its Minister and we deserve more than a vague announcement.  Thoughts?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Stewardship

How are all your annual stewardship campaigns going?  I imagine most of them will be winding down in the next few weeks.  As a member of a smaller congregation with big dreams, I always feel a little nervous this time of year. There is so much we would like to do, but not nearly enough resources (both people and money).  We are constantly on the edge of deciding whether or not to keep a full-time minister or ask him to go part-time.  We have already drastically cut our DRE's hours.  I can't imagine cutting our ministers hours. Is there really such a thing as a part time minister? I feel he is very valuable to the congregation and should be compensated for it.  I am already upset that we have had to cut back the DRE's hours by so much.  As a denomination, if we truly want to grow, we need to invest in our children.  Creating a strong foundation now will hopefully keep them in the church as adults.  Strong RE programs are what brings young families to our churches.  Full-time Ministers provide the leadership and consistency vibrant congregations need.


Our Stewardship Committee is asking that we all raise our pledges by 20%.  Obviously, not everyone is in a position to do this, but if you are, please consider it.  Look around you and see if there isn't a place that you save some money give it to your church instead.  Do you have to go out to eat twice a week?  Do you really need a third pair of sandals? Can you hold off redecorating your house?  I would venture that if you are reading this blog, Unitarian Universalism is something you need.  It is something that sustains us everyday.  Please consider making it a priority in your life.