Guy Newland, Board President
At its annual retreat on August 15, held at Fussman Pavilion in Deerfield Park, the Board agreed on five goals for this year: (1) to call a minister (instead of having a contract minister); (2) to establish an effective communications team; (3) to monitor and deal with the impact of the pandemic on our community; (4) to work to improve our shared ministry to one another in a number of diverse ways, including the work of the Committee on Shared Ministry and a variety of small steps to improve inclusion and transparency; and (5) to undertake antiracist initiatives.
A search committee—a revival of last year’s “transition team”—will work on the first goal. Sally Armstrong is organizing and will lead the communications team. We have a task force (Drew, Deb Allore, Kris Los, and Laura McBride) advising on the pandemic. The Committee on Shared Ministry (Drew, Guy, Carolyn Hancock, and Chris Bailey) assesses and advises the Board on how to improve our ministry to one another. There is no official group focusing on the question of what our next step will be as an antiracist community. Several people have a strong interest; we are brainstorming. If you have an idea, shoot it to me! How do we as a gentle, angry people confront the daily outrages of American racism?
At the regular board meeting (Zoom, afternoon of August 15), the Board approved a new contract for Director of Religious Education Kendra Peffers, running through January 10, 2021. We accepted a donation of a beautiful, black metal chalice from Kris Los, and this will soon adorn our Wisconsin door. We also made slight modifications to the existing policy establishing the Committee on Shared Ministry (so as to keep its membership distinct from that of the Board), and we had a “first reading” and discussion of a draft Board Policy on Disruptive Behavior.