|From the Executive Director|
September has become as much, if not more, the beginning of a new year as January is. I’m not tempted to sing Auld Lang Syne or drink champagne at the end of Labor Day but my professional excitement and expectation of the year ahead is just as great. The new year at the UUMA is bringing many changes. We've lost our Program Coordinator, Jennifer Channin, and have given Allison Palm more hours (she’s now 3/4 time) and a new title, Program Assistant. We are getting ready for our next Beyond the Call program on entrepreneurial ministry, our third Institute for Excellence in Ministry, mentoring and coaching training, and implementing our first endowment campaign. We've begun a new team (the Collegial Development Committee), added a new good officer role (Regional Resource Officer) and are working on fully implementing UUMA Connect. To name just a few.
One of the most challenging parts of my job is determining, with the help of the staff, board and our volunteer leaders, how much we should do and when should we do it. If you haven’t noticed, I lean to the “do more” school of leadership. I know that you have made a commitment to having a vibrant and healthy UUMA given the dues you pay, and I believe there are more opportunities for us to support and strengthen our ministry than our members and resources can produce. So my “to do” list is always longer than I can get through. Perhaps you can relate.
The beginning of any year is a time to look back and a time to look ahead. What do we want to keep doing, what do we want to stop doing and what do we want to start doing. In the next few months you will tell us if we are doing the right things by your participation. Institute registration will be as larger or larger than before - we know that. We don’t know how many of you will take part in the second Beyond the Call program, the second coaching training or the first mentor training. We will discover how many members will become charter members in our first endowment campaign (100% participation is a stretch goal) and who wants to become a Regional Resource Officer. And we’ll determine how many people want to be trainers for our third UUMA-wide conversation, Where Leads Our Call?
For those of you serving in congregations or starting a new seminary year I hope you are excited about the year ahead and are able to find that precious balance between nurturing the new and celebrating the current. For those who are serving in institutional settings where September may be just another month in the calendar may you find time to reflect on what you yearn for in the next stage of your ministry. And may our Life Members know the contentment of a life’s ministry done well and the joy of what might be next. Happy new year!