A Note from the President

A Note from the President

I am pleased to serve you for the next year as your new Parish Board president. I look forward to our year together with its celebrations and challenges.

Our Annual Meeting on May 19 was well attended by nearly 100 members of the congregation.  On our web site you will find The Annual Meeting, a summary of our wonderful programs and initiatives and the committed individuals making them happen.

The report also captures our pride in our church with its impressive array of spiritual and program offerings for all generations and interests. We are grateful for the dedication and creativity of our minister, student minister, staff and volunteers to create these opportunities for all of us.

At the same time, like all institutions, we face significant challenges. While our finances are sound because of the diligence of our parish boards, finance, stewardship and other committees, our tight budgets are often unable to address important facility needs and provide additional support to our hard working committees. Furthermore, many committees struggle to find enough volunteers to support the expanded scope of activities the congregation has come to expect.

Drawing on our church’s strengths, it is important to continue meeting these challenges directly, building on the fine work over many years. As I briefly described at the Annual Meeting, this year I hope our leadership can focus on the impact of competing needs and limited resources on our church life: committees/volunteers, staff, facilities/space, and congregation. In other words, where do we want to be in five years and what are the tradeoffs? Many of these issues could be addressed if we were able to strengthen our personal and financial commitment to stewardship. While we have made great strides, it is critical that we create a broader understanding of the link between stewardship and the long-term health of our church.

In doing so I welcome your suggestions and your ideas. As we move forward, I want to also thank the retiring members of the Parish Board and other committees who have given so much of their time and energy–Ed Bing, Bob Corning, Lauren Crocker, Eva Patalas, Stefan Frank and especially President Jonathan Wolf (continuing ex officio); the following committee chairs: Ben Bauer (Finance Committee), Jody Judge (Nominating Committee) Martha Bayliss (Adult Programs), Deb Lockett (Social Action), Betsy George (Youth), and Donna Ruvolo (Religious Education). I join others in welcoming the new Parish Board members-Carolyn Howard (vice president), Ann Donohue (clerk), Betsy George, Catherine Claypoole, and Jack Weis; and express gratitude to those continuing to serve-Doug Burden, Leslie Kolterman, Martha Spaulding, Beth Westlund and Marilyn Yee (treasurer). I look forward to our year together.

Jeanne Widmer, Parish Board President

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