Board President’s Update: Grasping for the Familiar

Board Meeting Zoom
Photo by Rev Joe Cherry

Board President’s Update April 2020

Last night Robert McDonald called me to ask whether our congregation had come up with a way to offer help to members and friends who might need it. I was happy to say, “Yes! We set up an email address where people with needs or resources could reach out to each other: assistance@uucleveland.org.”

But the other thing that made me happy was to hear Robert’s voice and have a short talk with someone I haven’t seen in a couple of weeks.

Last night was also the March Board Meeting. Of course we met remotely. Putting Zoom into “gallery” mode created small rectangular images of everyone’s video feeds. I joked that it was the UUCC version of “Hollywood Squares.”

It was so comforting to see everyone’s faces. We figured out how to indicate that we wanted to talk and used thumbs up, sideways, or down to indicate feelings about issues and ultimately vote. We coped with microphones not working and the presence of children and Tadd’s athletic cat. And the meeting worked.

We are trying, in the midst of this Covid-19 pandemic, to move forward, to do the things which we can still do, perhaps in ways we’ve never done them before. And that takes a lot of extra effort.
It takes courage to reach out into the uncertainty.

It takes creativity to figure out how to proceed with the tools we have available.

It takes perseverance to learn new skills and consider new ways of doing things.

It takes faith to depend on each other as individuals and on our collective whole even when we cannot reach out to each and feel those shoulders and arms supporting us. It takes faith to believe that there will be an end to this tunnel–even if we can’t see it. And it takes faith to imagine that we will find light there, even if it is a different light than what we have known.

We are moving forward. The Board is meeting. The Strategic and Facilities Planning teams are preparing reports and recommendations. Nominations are being finalized for the Search Team. Our Stewardship campaign has launched.

We are working towards our common future.

I was the Board President of the First Unitarian Church of Cleveland from June 2018-February, 2019 when First Unitarian reunified with the Unitarian Universalist Society of Cleveland and formed the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Cleveland. I became the first President of new congregation, with a term of February 2019-June 2020. This essay originally appeared in the congregation’s monthly newsletter.

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