From the Board of Trustees

From the Board of Trustees

Hello all,

As my term as the President of the Board of Trustees ends, I want to take a bit of time to reflect on the 2022-2023 church year. One of the biggest threads that I see running throughout the year is increased communication, both within the church and with our friends and neighbors outside of UUCE. The Board and Executive Team each had a representative attend the other team’s meetings, and, speaking for the Board, this greatly increased our understanding of the challenges the Executive Team faced – much more than reading a report or meeting minutes. With a greater understanding, it makes it much easier to step in and help out. We also re-instated the Council of Chairs meetings (the next one is August 12 – mark your calendar!). Getting all of the team/committee leaders together in one room is inspiring, and allows ideas to be bounced back and forth, and bigger ideas, such as strategy, to be discussed and planned.

Not only did we strengthen our relationships and break down barriers between groups within UUCE, this year we reinforced our connections with the Unitarian Universalist Association. We worked with our UUA MidAmerica representative, Phil Lund, on more challenging situations. The Revitalization Team also attends a monthly Small Congregation check-in, and members of the Board, Executive Team, and other teams have also attended webinars throughout the year.

Through the work of the Revitalization Team and the group that led UUCE’s participation in Elgin’s Pride Parade and Festival, I see our presence outside of the church walls growing and expanding. I am so excited and thankful for these efforts – putting our light out in the world to shine will help to attract new members and friends, which will make UUCE an even better community and spiritual home.

This church year felt like a blank page. After surviving the time when Covid was a public health emergency, and getting “back to normal” (a new normal, anyhow) with weekly services and the teams and committees picking back up, we were left with a feeling of “OK, what now? Where do we go?” A blank page can be exciting, but it’s also a little intimidating. With the increased communication and teamwork, along with the congregational survey, I feel like we now have at least an outline.

As I hand over the Presidential gavel to Krista Wagner, I want to end by expressing gratitude for the Board members for their efforts and support this year. Huge thanks to (in no particular order) Steve Stultz, Krista Wagner, Kevin Sweeney, Henry Fixemer, Thomas Lesiewicz and Jamie Lynn. At the Annual Meeting, we elected Kevin Sweeney from the interim to the fully-elected Treasurer position, and we also added Ann Kremer to our team. I am looking forward to the progress we will make in 2023-2024.

Erica Khan, on behalf of the Board of Trustees

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