News from Board President

Dear friends,

You may be wondering, “What’s going on with the minister search?” I’m excited to tell you that it’s going quite well. Our search team put together a wonderful profile of our congregation that has been posted on the UUA Minister Search Jobs Board, and the Prairie Circle team has done the same. Our two profiles are joined in offering what is called a “yoked ministry”. To the best of my knowledge, we are one of only two pairs of congregations in the country that are searching this way. I like to think this puts us on the cutting edge of the future of Unitarian Universalism.

We have begun to receive applications! Our search team and the team from Prairie Circle UU are working together to plan for the next stage of the search. They are carefully reading the ministers’ materials, viewing sample sermons, and preparing for interviews. This process can be a slow one; there are many congregations seeking ministers and many ministers seeking congregations and the sorting process to match the right ministers with the right congregations takes time and patience. We will keep you updated as things unfold.

In the meantime, we continue working to strengthen our congregation so we can be the thriving, diverse, justice-seeking spiritual community we seek to be. The next challenges we will be working on are:

· Encouraging the volunteer commitments that are necessary to do the work of nurturing and sustaining our spiritual community

· Getting our finances stable and ready to support us into the future

Which brings us to this year’s pledge campaign.

The pledge team, with full support from the board, has decided to use a personal canvassing approach for our pledge campaign this year. We will be making personal calls to every pledge unit (individual or family) in the congregation to have a conversation about Tree of Life and what being a part of it means to you. We want to listen to both your hopes and your concerns for our congregation, and to answer any questions you may have about how our congregation functions.

Our particular focus this year will be to go beyond asking for money to encourage thinking about all of the non-financial ways each of us can contribute to the life and well-being of our congregation. Our primary goal and deepest wish are to transform the idea of pledging and volunteering time from being a duty or obligation into being an opportunity—an opportunity to be part of creating a beloved community of spirit and action.

We ask each of you to be ready to receive our call with an open heart and a willingness to share your ideas for how you might be able to help our beloved congregation thrive.

With love and respect, Sue McCowin, Board President

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