It’s hard to know where to start right now. At every level and in every direction, there are complexities, moving pieces, and areas that need time and attention. This is no less true in our congregation, as we emerge from our years without a settled minister in this time of great upheaval.
I am so grateful for the time our board has taken over the summer getting to know each other, learning to work together, building a foundation of trust, and digging into our work. As we prepared for the board’s final retreat, each board member brought forward what we felt was the most pressing work to attend to, both for this church year and for the upcoming few months.
As we worked through our ideas, we took a step back to discern together the priorities that will serve as guideposts as we navigate this year together, both for the work that we have on hand and the work that will emerge as the year progresses. Below are these four areas where the board intends to focus our energy.
Underlying these priorities is a vision, which we based on last year’s board vision statement. This serves as an overarching guide, a foundation for the priorities, and is woven into every aspect of the work ahead.
WSUU 2020-2021 Board Vision Statement:
Center equity and anti-oppression principles and provide leadership and engagement in applying an equity lens throughout the WSUU community.
WSUU 2020-2021 Board Priorities:
We’ve heard from people throughout the congregation how much they miss the kind of connection they’re used to in our community. It is especially important to keep our connections to one another strong in this difficult time and find space for solace and joy together.
Right Relations work is foundational to the healthy functioning of our congregation. It’s how we covenant to be together, how we communicate constructively and support each other, how we navigate difficult conversations and conflict, and how we repair rifts in community. The need for this work has been on the forefront for some time, and moving the work forward will be a high priority this year.
Equity in Governance
It’s clear that the systems we may take for granted often have negative impacts, perpetuating unbalanced power structures and further marginalizing those of us who are already not centered in society. Our systems of governance should align with our highest values, supporting equity and accessibility. Getting to this place of alignment will take time and begins with reviewing the systems that we have in place.
This one sort of goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: It’s vital that we keep our building and financial stability strong, being good stewards of our resources during these uncertain times, so we’re here and healthy long into the future.
The board is moving forward on goals in line with these priorities, as well as continuing to develop and clarify the specifics of the work to be done. In this process, we welcome your input, inspirations, and contributions.
We’re continuing to host coffee hour break-out sessions through the first weeks of October—please stop by and share your thoughts!