September Moderator’s Letter

Greetings Fellow Congregants,

I was energized by Homecoming Sunday.  Sunday services were followed by an Answering the Call to Love rally on SW Market Street, just outside our main sanctuary doors.  It was uplifting to participate in the family friendly rally.  How wonderful to have our children start their social justice work at an early age!  We want to thank Mary Gear for leading the gathering at the church and to DeReau Farrar for leading us in songs.  While the rally continued at the church, nearly 200 church members marched down to join other marchers for the Portland Stands Against Hate coalition.  Thanks to Dana Buhl, our new Acting Director of Social Justice, for organizing our participation in the march, and to our ministers who led us.

The Board and Executive Team (ET)* held its annual planning retreat in August.  We were ably led by the Rev. Dr. James Kubal-Komoto, regional lead for the UUA Pacific Western Division.  We addressed a question that is perennial to ET & Board relationship: what are our respective roles and how do we partner to realize the vision and mission of our church?  It is not easy work; there is rarely enough time to communicate specific plans and trade offs but our retreat provided the time to make meaningful progress on understanding specific issues and building trust.  The board was reminded of the need to articulate high level goals that will lead us to accomplish  the Church’s mission.  To that end, we discussed our 5-year goals and discussed ways make further progress on them in the upcoming year.   Our Executive Team has the task of building a team that can fulfill our Church’s goals and mission.   Members of the entire Board and Executive Team are excited over the positive relationship we hold with one another and will be providing opportunities this year for congregants to learn more and contribute to the planning and success of our Church

This year the Board Meetings will see a change.  Periodically, we will take part of the board meeting into a private discussion prior to our business meeting to enable Board and ET to work on our partnership and address questions that have come up around our roles.  If you are planning to attend a board meeting, please check the posted board agenda packet for that meeting or the Church’s calendar for an accurate start time. Board agenda packets are typically posted six days before the meeting  Our next Board meeting will be on Thursday October 5,


Randy Russell

Moderator, First Unitarian Church of Portland


* The Executive Team includes our Senior Minister, Bill Sinkford; Associate Minister, Tom Disrud; and our Church Administrator, Kathryn Estey.  The Executive Team members are ex officio members of the Board.