This year, I’m a church leader. I say that with great pride. I remember the first time (20 years ago?) that I
was asked to join the Board of Trustees. I thought Wow I’ve arrived! I’ve proved worthy to be of service
to the church that I love. I served a year during which we said good-bye to Rev. Anita, then stepped
down to serve on the ministerial search committee that brought us Rev. Vann. Very interesting times,
and I felt honored to have been a part of forward movement for my congregation. I went on to work
regionally and nationally for the UUA as a teacher trainer for our comprehensive sexuality curriculum, as
a peer congregational counselor-in-training for the Mass Bay District, and for one year as the manager of
the Eastern Mass UU Ministers and Employees Group health insurance plan. Whew! So, a leader.
This did not happen overnight, of course, and my experience has not been without its bobbles. I’m very
individualistic in my thinking about good leadership qualities and that doesn’t always jive with others’
expectations, but for the most part my leadership duties have given me a great deal of satisfaction. In
1980 when I joined the church, nobody thought of me as a leader. I had enough to think about just
navigating my life and keeping food on the family table. Nevertheless, someone – maybe a few
someones – saw a spark in me; encouraged me; walked with me; mentored me.
So the next time you’re sitting in church, look to your left, look to your right, and consider. One may be a
church leader already. Seek them out at Fellowship Hour and ask them what they do in the church and
see if their cherished involvement is something you could learn about. Open yourself to the idea of
trying something new to help the church thrive. The other might be someone with enough to think
about just navigating their life and keeping food on the table. Seek them out and do a little discernment.
What floats their boat? What would be an interesting way for them to dip a toe into the business of
doing church? Talk less, listen more. Don’t be afraid to ask what’s important to them.
Many folks come to church for the first time because their boat is leaky and storm-tossed. I don’t know
anybody who can right that boat by sheer will. We all need help. You can be that help.
UUCGL PresidentBoard of Trustees