|From the Board of Trustees|
None of us can predict what will happen in this new year, just beginning. But one thing we can be sure of is that we will be dealing with changes and challenges, both personal and professional, unlike any we've seen before. This is true for those just beginning in ministry, and those who've been at it a while. Wherever we serve - whatever kind of ministry we practice - our work will continue to be impacted by changing cultural landscapes, complex world crises, and shifting narratives about the role of religion. Impacted as well by economic stress in our own lives, and the lives of the people we serve.
It's hard to make sense of it all, much less know what to do.... though we try! I preached a sermon a few months ago, entitled Not Your Parents' Congregation. People made a special point to come to church that Sunday; their anxiety was not relieved, though, when I offered more questions than answers.
All of this is terrifying. It is also exciting. At this point, now halfway through my term on the UUMA Board, I am increasingly aware that the work of our professional association is not to know all the answers, not even to design a smooth path through bumpy times. The work of the UUMA is to be aware of all these shifting currents, and to look for the unprecedented opportunities sometimes hidden amid the challenges. It is to cultivate ways that members can be in deep communication with one another, sharing ideas and teaching one another. It is to model governance that is collaborative, transparent, and always accountable to our shared vision of excellence.
In this new year the Board will be developing an updated vision for our UUMA - a vision informed by the wisdom, questions, and innovative work you told us about in the 19 chapter conversations of last spring. We are learning to practice generative thinking: looking for "cues and clues" in what we see and hear, focusing more on catalytic questions than on problem-solving, taking care how we frame the challenge of looking into the future.
None of us knows exactly what will happen. But we do know that the journey we take together is filled with promise and growth. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve Unitarian Universalism and our ministries in this terrifying and exciting time.
Many blessings in this New Year!