As we start on a new church year at Westside, I want to thank you all for your trust in electing me to serve as president of the Board of Trustees. It is an honor to serve you and a privilege to work with other members of the board and other church leaders. I think we have a very talented and diverse team of people dedicated to the success of our church.
I believe Westside is poised for great progress. We have a wonderful minister who enjoys widespread support from the congregation, and the level of enthusiasm in our community seems to be the highest it’s ever been (with the possible exception of when we first moved into our new building about 20 years ago). Last year we recognized and agreed that we are ready to progress from our old, comfortable, family-style church into a more organized, inclusive, and welcoming “pastoral-style” church. We made a lot of progress on that path last year, and we plan to make further strides in the coming year. I think we should all congratulate and thank ourselves for enduring—even embracing—our growing pains.
The new board is already discussing ways to advance this transition to a pastoral-style church. One initiative is revision of the church’s bylaws, policies, and procedures. The old documents have served us well for many years, but as we move into a different way of being a spiritual community, these documents will need to evolve as well. Don’t worry; the board is committed to keeping the congregation involved in this process, and any changes to the bylaws (the most basic document) must be approved directly by the congregation.
As we look toward growing into a pastoral-style church, we are also exploring ways to increase our revenues. As you all know, we took a great leap of faith with our last budget and must increase our income in the coming years. The board is discussing ways to do this that will try to draw on both internal and external sources of revenue. For example, we are talking about how to use our excellent physical facility to provide income during the many hours of the week when we aren’t fully using it. We are also looking at ways to energize the WUUC endowment fund effort so that Westsiders (and others) can honor the church as they mark milestones in their lives. And we are moving quickly toward an online contribution option for pledges and other donations.
If you have other ideas for helping Westside grow and prosper, please (PLEASE!) tell me or any other board member. We are hungry for ways to help our beloved church community grow and prosper.
Thank you again for your trust and for the privilege of being able to work with such an excellent group of church leaders!
You can reach Barry at email@example.com