WATCH THIS SPACE for updates including information about Rev. Greg Ward's TRANSFORMATION TEAM
Meantime, see one of their first pieces of work, "Congregants' comments about possible UUCV Covenant elements."
What is Interim Ministry?
In the summer of 2015, with the departure of long-time minister Rev. Mark Gallagher, our congregation entered a period of interim ministry. Normally, this is a period of about two years, during which time the church should identify our strengths, needs, and challenges. We should also try to address as many of the needs and challenges as possible, so that we will be prepared for a "settled" minister by the fall of 2017.
Our first year Interim Minister, Rev. Lee Bond-Upson was with us from August 2015 through July 2016. A Transition Team was formed by the Board of Trustees to serve as liaison between Rev. Lee and the congregation, to provide opportunities for congregants to share apprehensions, hopes, and wishes with him. Congregants participated in a variety of activities under their leadership; see "Exploring Our Identity" below. We held bitter-sweet farewell gatherings for Rev. Lee and wish him well as he moves on.
Introducing Our Interim Minister
The Board of Trustees is excited to welcome Rev. Greg Ward as our new Interim Minister for the year 2016-17, who joined us on August 16.
Rev. Greg Ward is a cradle Unitarian Universalist. He was dedicated during a UU service, nurtured in the arms of Sunday School teachers and raised in our classrooms. He found inspiration, celebrated milestones and mourned the deaths of family and friends in our sanctuaries. He met and made lasting relationships in our social halls. He worked for cooperative governance of our dreams in our board rooms and helped those dreams become justice along the streets around the congregations he's served.
He's served in Oakland, CA; Toronto, ON; Atlanta, GA; Monterey, CA; Washington, DC; and Berkeley, CA. For 15 years he was in settled ministry but found his greatest contribution to our movement is as an Accredited Interim Minister with the Transitions Office of the UUA. He works as an organizational consultant helping congregations clarify their mission, channel their energy effectively into what's most important and prepare to attract the best possible settled ministry.
Above all he is a story teller. He finds that stories are the only thing creative and expansive enough to contain heart, wisdom, truth and imagination. His overarching hope for Unitarian Universalism is that it become a relevant part of the conversations which are making cooperation, leadership, love and justice possible.
He is in the office most Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays by appointment. You can set up an appointment via email or by calling 360-695-1574.
Exploring Our Identity
House Meetings and Surveys
In the Fall of 2015, Rev. Lee and the Transition Team distributed surveys to gauge active participation in the church and get a sense of where the energy lies in support of various activities and programs. The congregation also hosted 20+ House Meetings designed to allow for small group discussion, personal interaction with Lee, and an opportunity to vote with your feet regarding some hot button congregational issues. On Feb 7, 2016 Lee presented the data to the congregation in a sermon entitled "Thinking Outside the Box" (text version) (audio version). The graphs he referenced as well as the raw data are also available for your perusing pleasure (Graphs and Raw Data).
With our Interim Minister at the helm, this UUCV congregation is contemplating several questions together during this two-year interim period.
- · What kind of church are we?
- · What do we want to change and stay the same?
- · What do we want to look like in the foreseeable future?
- · What kind of activities have we engaged in, and what do we wish to do in the future?
- · What has our structure been, and do we want to change it?