From Your Interim Minister
I got a call a week after I’d gotten the news that my contract was to be terminated a year early due to a financial situation that couldn’t be survived otherwise. It was from a relatively new member who offered to take $10,000 out of their IRA to establish a ‘challenge’ to other members to do something similar for the purpose of retaining me and the work of the Interim Ministry. Within a week $40,000 had been raised, which is almost enough to cover another six months. Thank you!
The director of UUA Transitions called it ‘amazing,’ and one of our Southern Region leaders called it ‘a UU miracle.’ It was very gratifying to have my Interim Ministry recognized as having been effective after only four months. And it bespoke a commitment from at least a few to keep going on this track, and to continue to examine root causes and habits that have brought us to the brink of insolvency. But, more than that handful of donors, I have noticed, as I hope you have, that there is a fresh, free-floating energy and optimism running through our congregations. The attention now being directed at Finance and Stewardship is resulting in a healthy increase in giving, including many members rushing to ‘catch up’ with their pledge payments. We are paying attention to ‘self care’ in ways not seen for a while. On May 10th, there was a reflection circle that attracted 26 and the sharing that took place told me that the church’s soul is intact, and the spirit strong.
As we near the end of the academic church year and go into summer, we will do well to shift gears a bit June to August, but not let the new esprit die down. Less demand in the summer gives us time to plan for the next church-year and try to scintillate like there’s no tomorrow. So we’ll try some new things in Services and music. A new young adult group is forming. There is new energy in Social Justice too, partly brought on by the White Supremacy discussion, and part by the excitement surrounding the prospect of a constitutional crisis.
We’re getting a new and improved Meeting House basement thanks to a very generous gift from Jim Craig. The garden is producing—let’s share in the harvest. Deterrent decals have been put up on the south-facing Sanctuary windows. (Ten days ago, I found three birds dead from collision. No more, we hope.) Karl Hesse is building a bat house with help from some of our young people. Good-bye mosquitoes, we hope.
Let’s keep this activity going. Let’s keep solving our problems, big and small.
— Rev. Leland Bond-Upson, Interim Minister