Dear First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia,
For sixteen years, I have loved you as a family, actively participated as a member, gotten to know many of you, and came to learn this family's dynamics as I matured. Now, as President of the Board of Trustees, I will not simply see you as individuals, but rather as the Congregation of First UU, with a capital C. I am here to serve the needs of the Congregation as a whole, to serve our shared values.
Over these past sixteen years, we have weathered troubles and come out stronger, enjoyed many new family members and bid farewell to those who moved on, and transitioned through changes in ministry, governance, and membership. Through it all, I discerned some abiding constants: long term members who stuck to this family through thick and thin, showing flexibility, faith, forgiveness and fortitude; the professional and inestimable service of our Church Administrator, Norman Fouhy; a strong commitment to musical excellence, creative and modeled teachings for our youth, and strong professional ministerial service; and a love of being loved for who we are, not what we believe.
These unchanging facets colour my view of what the Congregation wants and needs as it enters its 216th year of existence. As a Board member, I am called to represent the entire Congregation, intentionally diverse as it is. In that spirit, I ask you to lift your voice and call, write, or e-mail me, or find me after church to talk, so I can learn your view of our family, and how you seek to foster peace, sustainability and justice in our community, our city and the world. I hope to connect with you, and strengthen connections among you all, including our leadership.
We are blessed with many leaders who volunteer their time and energy to serve the greater good of this community. The Leadership Retreat in August will strengthen our bonds, channels of communication, and commitment to sustaining this family. During Reverend Nate's well-deserved sabbatical in the Fall, we will experience a large diversity of pulpit presences, styles, and messages, giving us the opportunity to rekindle our sense of Who We Are, What We Stand For, and Why We Are Here; big questions, no doubt, and important ones to answer truthfully in order to grow stronger as a unified spiritual force. My wish is that Reverend Nate returns to an invigorated and inspired Congregation that is spiritually healthy and willing to live our faith each day in every way!
I am eager to learn more about each of you as we share this journey! After sixteen years, I am excited to take my responsibility to the next level and give back even more as a leader. I am humbled and honoured to be working alongside so many gifted and passionate individuals, and I look forward to this coming year of growth, education, and spiritual commitment.
Yours in faith,