As my term as President of the congregation comes to an end, I look back at a year of goals achieved and those remaining on the horizon, and a greater appreciation for the hard work of the Minister, RE Director, our staff, lay leadership, and the myriad volunteers that make our church a special place.
In the last year, we as a congregation have accomplished much:
- installed Liz Lerner Maclay as our new minister;
- created the Benevolent Society, a legacy giving program for the church;
- implemented a Safe Congregation policy; set the stage for becoming members of RI Mobile Loaves, the RI State Council of Churches, and Interfaith Power and Light;
- begun construction renovation of the Meeting House, after a successful capital campaign;
- built on the work of Jim Estey by reimagining the Parish Supper;
- hired a new Administrator to replace our beloved Posey Kooris;
- run a successful commitment drive and begun the work of changing to a culture of giving;
- completed a congregational census;
- introduced a new website and internet technology assessment for the church;
- had a successful leadership retreat focused on strategies for our future;
- begun the work of upgrading safety and security within the church;
- and, after a staggering amount of work, we are close to realizing our goal of becoming a Sanctuary Church.
These goals were met because so many of you in the congregation volunteered your time and resources to make our goals a reality; for that I am forever thankful to all of you. Having said this, we still have much to do to make ourselves a more welcoming, spiritual congregation focused on social justice; every day, marching forward, one step at a time.
The leadership of First Unitarian is not one person, but a collaborative effort of people who truly love this church. I could not have served as President without the help, support, and encouragement of John Simmonds, Cynthia Rosengard, Rev. Liz Lerner Maclay, DRE Cathy Seggel, members of the Prudential Committee, Posey Kooris, Walter Sotelo, Jaime Durango, Pedro Vasquez, and our amazing committed volunteers. I owe them all so much for their counsel, assistance, fortitude, and grace under pressure.
I was honored to be your President this past year, and leave you with a favorite quote of mine from Will Rogers: “We come here for just a spell and then pass on. So get a few laughs and do the best you can. Live your life so that whenever you lose, you are ahead.”
Be well. Enjoy your summer. Blessings on all of you.
President, Prudential Committee