From Your Interim Minister

From Your Interim Minister

The work to strengthen our financial position continues at what I observe to be a heightened energy level.  Most of the recommendations of the financial procedures audit of our systems have been instituted.  (Thank you for paying for that, anonymous donor.)  There is zero evidence of misconduct.  There is some evidence of not having paid close enough attention.  The Treasurer, the Finance Committee, the Board, the Administration, the Fundraising groups, many of the most-involved congregants, and I, your Minister (as ‘CEO’ of a Policy-Governed congregation), are all elevating our attention to Finance.  Please stay tuned.  Better than that, please get involved.

In a related issue, I think we can say we have consensus on the Board about budgeting the expense of the Wakami initiative in Guatamala.  We will do what we can with the three offering plate collections that are scheduled for 2017, plus certain special fundraising.  But we will not dip into general funds to meet the obligation implied in what appears to be a non-binding agreement.  Everyone agrees that protecting our institutional financial health must come first.

Now for some good news!  Donald Trump is keeping his #1 campaign promise, namely, to “make America great again.”  However, this greatness is not at all what he had in mind.  What he has done is unite—in record time—a large majority of the nation against his policies.  All who believe in equality, equity, kindness, justice-under-law, an independent judiciary, the democratic process, orderly procedure, elections free of ‘dark money,’ respect for peoples of other countries, green living and protecting the environment—all are unanimous in opposing the Trump agenda.  These same groups plus Labor have unanimously opposed past Administrations, but what makes this different and is helping to make America great again is the unprecedented involvement of tens of thousands of ordinary people objecting the direction the country is going and holding their elected representatives accountable, often in inclement weather.  Democracy!  It appears that those Town Halls, all over American, particularly in ‘Red’ States, had a great deal to do with defeating a rushed and sloppy replacement for the ACA/Obamacare.  The Bill was withdrawn on Friday 3/25 due to insufficient support from within the Republican Party.  Unhappily, half of the GOP opposition was because the sloppy Bill wasn’t cruel enough for them. This is an unprecedented defeat for a new President, and augurs ill for other Trump proposals.  If proof emerges that the Trump campaign did indeed play footsie with the Russians and its cyber-warfare against us, we may see pressure for more resignations, possibly going all the way to the top.

I assume some of you are displeased that I write about political matters in this space.  I do so because these matters are so closely tied to our religious values.  I believe that without vigorous resistance our democracy could be seriously damaged by the current regime.  In the coalescing of opinion in reaction to and rejection of Trumpism I see signs of hope for emerging as an even stronger democracy.

Please see my retelling of the origin of the Flower Communion that we will have on Easter Sunday, April 16th, and remember that Rev. Čapek was murdered by Germany’s National Socialists in 1942 for opposing fascism.

Rev. Lee Bond-Upson