Moderator’s Message — Part 1

Dear Fellow Big Reds,
Saturday, Feb 24, 2018, our church council had a meeting to look at how we can better serve you. We focused on our organizational structure, communication, and membership. Each of these three areas is inter-locking and very important for a thriving church such as ours, so I wanted to take this moment to share what we discussed.
 
We tackled organizational structure first because we agreed that by improving how we do the business of the church will also improve communication of that business within the church. To us, this started with a review of our by-laws and newly drafted Proposed Operating Policies and Procedure. Peter Wall, our church council secretary, did an excellent job making an otherwise dry task interesting and meaningful. By the end of this discussion, each of us felt we had a better understanding of the purpose and value of our by-laws.
 
We also recognized the need and importance to clarify some of the language of our by-laws to improve their usefulness to us now and in perpetuity. John Shore, just before he termed-out as CFO, developed a draft of proposed operating policies and procedures for us to review. Folks…this was a huge gift from John and we are very, very grateful that he took the time to create such a wonderful foundation upon which we can create more efficient and effective guidelines of church business best practices! Thank you, John Shore!
 
Your council recognized immediately that trying to create a powerful “race horse” of written guidelines and best practices by committee would actually yield a “camel” instead, so we formed a task force to do the heavy lifting. We are all lucky that Peter Wall, Robbyn Mosley, and John Shore have agreed to refine, refocus, and revise as needed, these important documents. As members of First Congregational Church, each of you will have the chance to review and vote on any by-law changes recommended by this task force and the council.
 
One specific change to how we may do business going forward, is to have the 5 ministry chairs be the 5 voting directors at large that are specifically called out in our by-laws. In practice, the 5 directors at large have not been the ministry chairs. We believe, and many of you have expressed agreement, that having the 5 ministry chairs on the council will improve communication between and among the council and the 5 ministries. Additionally, to increase input and involvement and communication between the council and the congregation, we may propose that we add 2 or 3 more directors at large council positions. This possible proposal will be made clear in the coming weeks and each of our members will have the opportunity to vote on this change.
 
Next, we tackled communication which has been an issue of importance for so many of us since it floated to the top as one of the key areas of need during the New Beginnings/Day of Discovery process completed just as Pastor Ara was coming on board. You may have noticed some of the changes and improvements made so far with help from our very creative and capable Kim Williams! BUT…I’m going to wait and tell you more about our conversation about communication and membership later because there’s nothing more exciting than anticipating the sequels of a thrilling trilogy!! 😉
 
With Much Appreciation for a Very Talented Council,
 
Your “By-Law Aware” Moderator

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