This month, the Parish committee continued “tying up loose ends” by discussing several “who does what?” questions. In the last two years, we have been discovering gaps in our understandings of who does what. We have found many things for which we, as a congregation, need to take responsibility. Wendy has led the Parish Committee with her gentle questions – how does this get done, how does this work?
We have been puzzling out the best use of the remaining money in the Capital Campaign Fund and how we will continue to take responsibility for the upkeep of the memorial garden area and the entire grounds around the building. For the next two years, Capital Campaign funds will be used to ensure that the plants and lawn in the memorial garden are well established and flourishing, as well as adding any necessary improvements to the terrace area, once we begin using this new space more regularly. After that, the care of the memorial garden as well as the rest of the grounds will be taken care of through the annual operating budget.
We have also been doing a deep dive into our responsibility for giving support and feedback for the new minister. Wendy has provided us with resources to further understand this issue. In response to what we have been learning, we are taking another look at the role of the Committee on Ministry and will be proposing a change in this committee’s job description to allow for more clarity and flexibility. We have also decided that we will appoint a Transition Committee to work with the new minister during the first year. After this time, the minister and the Parish Committee will work together to select a Committee on Ministry which will offer further support and guidance to the minister.
As we move forward, we are realizing that many of the ways we have done things in the past will change as a result of the new circumstances in which we find ourselves. This is an opportunity for creativity, and new learning as we collaborate with a new minister. This will be an exciting time for our congregation, and a chance to build on the already strong community we have created together.
We have a busy spring coming up. Here are some important dates to save:
Sunday, April 11 – The First Parish Annual Meeting
Sunday, April 25 (tentative pending final selection of a candidate by the Search committee) – The beginning of ministerial candidating week. The finalist for the position of our new settled minister will be leading the service and will be available all week to meet with committees and members of the congregation.
Sunday, May 2 – Service conducted by the Ministerial candidate and Congregational meeting to vote on calling a new minister.
With much hope in the midst of change,
Sue Twombly for the Parish Committee