SpringBoard - Governance in Motion


Beth Sandidge, President, Board of Trustees president@westsideuuc.org

The will to persevere is often the difference between failure and success. ~David Sarnoff

Despite my best intentions, I am late in composing this entry. So I shall include all the news since the December Board meeting to the best of my abilities.

Organizations do work slow, but without our dedication to the democratic process, then all voices would not be given a chance to be heard. Since the Board Retreat in July, we have been in dialogue about the term "one voice" which appears in the Board Covenant. Several members felt that this meant they could not dissent during the discussion phase of voting. The idea of one voice is meant to protect the decisions determined by vote. A board of governance ought to be diverse in opinion. People on the board should feel free to express their differences. Once a vote is taken and decides a matter, the board should support the vote. Any member disagreeing on the outcome of the vote is within their rights, but should not undermine the voting process. We now have updated the Board Covenant with a footnote regarding the definition of "one voice." For more, please see topic #7 at http://www.carvergovernance.com/faq3.htm#disagree.

Terry Tyler and Craig Brandt have been working on the Financials for the upcoming Canvass. Terry will be presenting information at the March congregational meeting in regards to this. I feel we are very fortunate to have both Terry and Craig working on this. They are looking into not only creating a budget with stability for our day to day functioning, but also ways to improve our priorities so that we may grow and be able to develop new, lasting opportunities through Westside.

I extend a big thanks to Terry Tyler for his unsolicited work on checking into the fire safety plan for our building. He has looked into updating and consolidating the information regarding the fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and fire service WUUC is enrolled in. We are in need of several items to bring our building up to date with the fire safety. I feel confident that Terry Tyler along with Mike Fisher of the Safety Committee and Dave Goforth of the Buildings and Grounds Committee will be able to make the necessary updates to our system. With help from Rev. Morris we will have a fire drill in the near future. A plan will be made public about what to do and where to go. Please keep on the lookout for notices.

Anne Harvey is working on gathering names for the new slate of leaders to be decided in these coming months. Please let her know if you are interested or know someone who would be interested in serving WUUC through leadership. March is the time for voting on three members of the Nominating Committee. By the June meeting, we will need to replace a trustee at large. Recruiting is occurring for other leadership positions as well.

Membership is a very important part of our church and we are working on identifying the strategies and practices that will help WUUC not only attract new members, but also retain our current membership and provide a future for our diverse congregation. I recently met with Linda Morrison, Kathy Spoon, and Lorraine Darwin to get their input on how we might change our approach for future development. All three brought great information and ideas to the conversation. Rev. Carol and Chris Edkins joined into the conversation. When I walked away, I felt there was a beginning of a plan to revitalize the efforts of the membership committee.

The lessons I have learned with the Beloved Conversations and Compassionate Communications workshops have taught me to be aware of my language and hidden emotional choices. I am now more aware of how my language choices are originating from an existing habit of thinking about how I can best succeed in a social situation. But, when at Westside, I am not looking to compete. Rather I am looking for comfort and sanctuary. It is important that we all feel safe while in community together. I am now working on my language choices. It is a mindful job, but one where the reward will be great in the long run. If you are interested in the practice of compassionate communications, please come to the newly forming workshops. They will be held twice a month.

The Linda Kraeger Memorial is looking lovely. I love the sound of the water as it splashes on the rock. It is like a section of a brook from the mountains nearby has been placed in our landscape to be enjoyed. The sound of water is calming and meditative. I am please to hear that there will be a dedication service on April 12. Rev. Morris and Duane are collaborating to see that this event is successful.

For the March Congregational meeting Geoff Mazeroff will act as Parliamentarian to see that we uphold and follow all our bylaws. We will be voting on three items: new members for the nominating committee, a new vision and mission statement, and our approach to the canvas. Please be sure to attend the meeting on March 8th to cast your ballot. Your vote is your voice and we need all voices to be heard.


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Westside Unitarian Universalist Church

616 Fretz Road

Knoxville, TN 37934

(865) 777-9882

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Tuesday 12:30-6:30p
Thursday 8:30-3:30p 
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