On Wednesday, to our disappointment but not complete surprise in this COVID-complicated year, UFP learned from the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Transitions Office that we do not have a match for Interim Minister in the first round of the search process.

A second round of matching congregations with Ministers begins Monday. About half of the congregations in search — more than 25, large and small across North America — do not have a match in Round 1. “It’s a very tough year,” the UUA says.

Round 2 lasts two weeks. We may get the match we want in this round — that is the news we most want to share. But our multiple leadership teams have also understood from the beginning that we may not find a candidate to start Aug. 1.

So on Sunday, members of the Board, Interim Search, Committee on Ministry and Creative Worship Team are gathering informally with Rev. Julie, with all our creativity and commitment, to update each other, look ahead and explore possibilities and potential backup plans. The Board will keep the congregation up-to-date every step of the way.

— Ben Wolfe, President

Our New Officers, As We Enter Into a Year of Transition

Last Friday, UFP’s 2022-23 Board of Directors met for the first time in this unique transition year. Our formal business was to choose our Officers for 2022-23, as required by our Bylaws. And here they are:

President: Ben Wolfe
Vice-President: Aukje Byker
Treasurer: Joan Higginson
Secretary: Scott Donovan
Past President: Steph Wildheart

Board Members: Tracy Galvin, Mundy McLaughlin, Julie Wallace

We chose to spend some rich time “being” with each other before the “doing” of naming Officers. We are a strong and committed group of 8, half returning and half new to the Board. We wanted to start from each other’s passions for the work of this year, reasons for saying YES to joining the Board, and ways of working in a small group.

As Rev. Julie described last Sunday, we used some elements of Sociocracy for the role selection. The Board is now four years into play with this next-generation governance system, which aims to be more collaborative, creatively emergent, time-efficient and decentralized than Roberts Rules structures and meetings. Scott and Aukje join Ben in bringing several years of experience with Sociocracy to the new Board.

This year’s Board enters into all the coming adventures, possibilities and challenges of Ministerial transition with the dual mission of stability and self-aware, creative renewal.

The Board will benefit tremendously from the continuing presence of last year’s President Steph Wildheart. We are grateful for the contributions of our four departing members. Guy Hanchet is a past President who has been deep in the work of our Beth Israel partnership, Safe Gathering and (now) the Interim Search Committee. Chris Risley has been an ideal Secretary through his years on the Board. Meredith Hill is now helping lead both the Interim Search Committee and the Good Endings team. Heather-Lynn Fraser contributed greatly to Safe Gatherings and in other ways.

A MUrmuration of Unitarians

Look at what we can create together! Our voices, together, and skillfully organized by Ben Wolfe, wrote this poem! 

Migrating Murmuration, 2020, Nicola Anthony

A collective poem

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Because of our connections,
we know who to turn to in troubling times.
To care for one another and extend kindness
and much needed help to the world.

Because of our connections,
we empathize with our joys and sorrows, trials and tribulations.
The power and influence of one is multiplied manyfold.

We are strong. Because of our connections
our children are raised whole and holy.
We feel joy, we become whole —

Because of our connections
our impacts on the world could be significant.
We could intentionally and consistently welcome the stranger.
Because of our connections,
I feel more deeply connected to myself.

We can be so strong together —
A murmuration of Unitarians could make the changes the world needs.
We could be an influence of health and beauty. We can make magic —

A murmuration of Unitarians could be a sign
of loving connections
that inspires others to rejoice.

Our murmuration could be an unstoppable force for social justice.

A murmuration of Unitarians could be a wave of positive energy
as we dance together in patterns of harmony
providing an alternative to polarization.

A murmuration of us could grow our community of love and justice.
We could set alight a world of possibilities:
bring forth light and warmth to the world.

A murmuration of Unitarians could shift the energy
from fear to love,
and peace.

We could move as one, each individual with unique thoughts —
and yet move together with a common spirit,

Responding to change, pivoting as needed,
lifting up all that needs lifting.

A murmuration of Unitarians could build a welcoming, diverse community
with dignity
and justice.

Because of our connections,
this Fellowship will thrive
into more years of growth.

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