Message from the Board . . . Finding Focus

October 30, 2019 — Sitting on my porch this weekend in 80 degrees of sunshine, it was hard to believe that we are already on the verge of November. The challenge of keeping up with the constant, small demands as each day rushes by makes it easy to overlook the big things. So I want to take a moment to assure you that your Board is making a concerted effort to focus on the big things that matter most to the well-being of our UU community. Here’s an overview of what’s going on.

On the tactical side of things, we have made some solid progress in several areas in the past month or two. In September the Board reviewed an extensive proposal prepared by the Safety and Security Task Force chaired by Jim Hurdis, and directed Rev. James to work with the task force to begin implementing this plan to the extent allowed by our current budget. As a first step, we’ve restocked existing first aid kits and ordered additional ones. Stay tuned — more safety measures are in the works.
You may have noticed that there has been extensive tree work done around our campus, including the removal of numerous dying and diseased trees and overhanging limbs. Arborex Tree Services did an outstanding job, with a surprise bonus of grinding out stumps and chipping a huge pile of brush for us at no extra charge. Raleigh Paving is doing excellent work with our parking lot. New paving and pavement repairs are complete throughout our campus, providing 10 additional parking spaces. Because it’s turning colder, the seal coat and striping may have to wait until spring unless we luck into a stretch of warm, dry weather.

On the strategic side, we have made significant progress. We have been working closely with Rev. James to align the Board goals we identified in August with his developmental goals, and to better understand the organizational work he plans to address. This gives us all awareness of a bigger picture, only part of which will be addressed this year. It also allows us to prioritize and coordinate that work together. We hope to complete this plan at our full-day work session in early November.

To ensure that all of our committees and ministries are actively engaged in addressing these same priorities, we will be forming a Leadership Council of Board committee chairs, ministry team leaders and staff members to partner with us in supporting the mission of our congregation. We are in the process of planning our kickoff meeting with this group and look forward to our ongoing work together.
Jim VanKirk and I were recently privileged to attend the UU Leadership Experience (SUULE) hosted by our excellent UUA Southern Region staff. We joined 50 other leaders from 20 congregations from across the Southern Region for a five-day immersive experience that was nothing short of transformative. Without a doubt, it has renewed our vision of what is possible for our UUFR community. It has also deepened our appreciation of our larger fellowship with sister congregations, and with the UUA and the regional staff that support us all. We look forward to sharing this experience with you in greater detail during the coming weeks.

In faith and fellowship on behalf of your Board,

Mary Kay Fruga, Board President