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Stewardship and Communications

Marjorie MattyFrom Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty

When I wrote my Connector article for January I never imagined that the light snow that was falling that day would turn into a month of record snowfall, worship and meeting cancellations and sharing a discussion between clergy about the Golden Rule on Google+. It is incredible to think that we can never really know what the future will bring albeit those weatherpersons have been pretty accurate so far this winter. So you might imagine that I write this March Connector article with some trepidation as I think about the month ahead.

The worship theme for this month is “Stewardship” which makes sense considering that this month historically is the time of year when your congregational leaders encourage us, dear member/friend, to recommit to our Unitarian Universalist values, recommit to being an agent for change, to sharing your emotional currency, volunteer time and to share generously as a mean to sustain abundance at First Parish. You can expect to hear from the stewardship team in the coming weeks and I ask you to please consider increasing your pledge this year. You will hear more about this from the stewardship team, however, I want to let you know about and thank the incredible generosity of one of our members. This member believes in First Parish and considers this community their home. They believe in our commitment to do the right thing, they believe in our place in history and our impact on the world so much that they have committed to match any increase that any member or friend makes in their pledge.Talk about walking the talk…This has the potential to be huge for our congregation, enabling us to secure our future and to engage in some amazing initiatives to better represent First Parish and our UU values to the larger Metrowest community. Please consider being and supporting the change as well! Also, remember that there is a policy in place to secure your pledge so if you decide to be radically generous and your financial circumstances change you are covered.

As part of my administrative work this year I have committed myself and the congregation to becoming better communicators. To help me to do this I have called on Fran Sharp, Lois Schiappa and Jan Hardenbergh, as the webmaster, to work with me to address communication issues internally and externally. This team of individuals I have affectionately begun to call the Communications Task Team (“CTT”). Our work together began with making some significant changes to our website and to the First Parish Village – a HUGE thank you to Tom Yelton who helped us to make this happen. Tom Yelton spoke to me in September and shared that he wanted to transition out of the position of webmaster. I am not even sure how long Tom has been our webmaster extraordinaire, but it has been a long time and he has really set the standard for our external presence. Thank you so much, Tom! Being of the mindset that no one should serve more than six years in one volunteer position, I did not beg Tom to continue on as the webmaster although I did debate it in my mind for a bit. Seeing a volunteer need, Jan Hardenbergh decided to step up and take the reins of webmaster, thus I say to him “may we live long and prosper, Jan!” Jan, in the role of webmaster, is now participating as a member of CTT.

We have high hopes and lots of plans for CTT and our internal communication as well as our outreach into the Metrowest community. If you are interested in hearing more about CTT’s project plan and strategic action feel free to attend the “council” meeting on March 14th from 10-1. We will begin our time together discussing what we have learned in the last year and a half about First Parish and where we might consider expending some energy and resources in the short and long term, questions will be welcome. I could go on and on with all of the amazing news, but instead I will save it for when I see you next, which will hopefully be soon!

Peace and Love Rev. Marjorie