This spring, the Leadership Team welcomed three new members – Deirdre Giblin, Patricia Kuchma and Peter Woolford – and said thank you and farewell to Bruce Alexander, Kim Farina and Elizabeth Page. We have been so grateful for the contributions of those now stepping off and look forward to building on their work in new ways.
We had two pieces of good news regarding the Music and Worship Arts project. First, the organ project has been fully funded, including the establishment of a fund for the ongoing maintenance of the refurbished instrument. We learned, too, that Debbie Johnston and Taylor Tresselt have agreed to head the effort to raise funds for the Ripley Chapel renovation and that further significant gifts have recently been received towards this renovation.
At this time of year, the ministry team puts together the calendar for the upcoming program year and we talked through the challenge that a calendar that is bursting at the seams (with wonderful programs) presents. In order to support this fullness, the Leadership Team came up with a plan to find leadership for some of the church fellowship events that have fallen by the wayside in recent years as volunteers were not forthcoming. We will be looking for various groups in the church, especially the Ministries, to take on the responsibility of finding leadership for just one event. In fact, the Welcome Ministry has already agreed to take our Town Day presence under their wing.
Leadership Team looked further at the results of the congregational survey undertaken earlier this year, and saw a real sense of the vibrancy and strength of our church in the results. The survey helped LT to evaluate how the congregation feels about the change in church structure. We learn that the general feeling is that the new structure works well, but there are ongoing concerns about communication within the congregation. One of the ways we have been working to improve this is by working with the facilitators to make the Purpose Forum more effective. We also hope that everyone will feel welcome to attend our Leadership Team meetings and to suggest items for discussion at our meetings.
We agreed to recruit a small bylaw committee to work on writing a streamlined, updated set of bylaws to put in place at the end of the 3-year transition so we are fully prepared to finalize the new structure at the end of this calendar year via congregational vote.
As part of our mandate to undertake big picture, strategic thinking, we spent some time at our June meeting asking ourselves if we had any sense of what God is calling FCCW to in the coming year. It became clear very quickly that we felt a call for us as a congregation to place more emphasis on being an outward facing church and in getting engaged more with issues of social justice. We are excited to see where God will take us on this journey.