President’s Blog September 2018

Reflections on the Recent Past

In August the Board of Trustees took our annual retreat. The concept of a day(s) long retreat is nothing new for organizations. The stated goal is usually to take an extended period of time away to reflect, plan and grow together as a team. The time together as a board is invaluable to set the course for the year and get to know each other better. As you know, our board welcomed two new members for this year: Cindy Hackett and Ellen Watson.

The learning this year centered on a concept known as RACI: Responsibility, Accountability, Consulted, and Informed. This heuristic is used to organize a team’s plans and get clear about who is doing the work under whose direction. You can learn more about this model of organizational development here:

We also delved into Brené Brown’s work around BRAVING  — that’s another acronym for Boundaries, Reliability, Accountability, Vault, Integrity, Non-Judgement, and Generosity, and applies to building a trusting relationship. Each element is critical for building trust and deeper connections. I have to confess that this is a high bar to reach for and I have missed the mark more than a few times. If you are not familiar with her work, a great place to start is her book entitled The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You Are Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are (2010.)

In September the congregation held its second annual rummage sale. We had an ambitious goal of $1,755, up from $750 the first year. From the moment I arrived early that morning I could tell we were going to have a great day. The energy, the organization, the careful placement of items, the donuts all foretold a story of shared success. The initial rush gave way to a day of ebbs and flows in terms of customers. The team was incredibly focused! We not only reached our goal but exceeded expectations. The final total was over $2,600! I have to also note that I’ve never considered a rummage sale a form of team development, but I witnessed a real can-do spirit that build stronger relationships among members. Thank you to all of you who helped make this year such a success.

Finally, the positive energy in the congregation is noticeable. As we embark on this year’s many ways to be involved I hope you find what fits both your needs and supports our shared mission and vision.


Andrew Eyres, President, Board of Trustees