This is a dialogue amongst the members of the Executive Circle, how are explaining, in a humourous way, how the new governance model works.
We are sitting on the chancel, in a semi-circle, as if we were at coffee time.
Bill: I’d like to talk about the Idea Board
Christine: Me too, it looks really boring! I forced myself to go and look at it the other day and I am not sure that many others are looking at it either.
Bill: I put my photography club idea up there and a few people have signed up.
Catherine: That’s great! But I agree, it’s not that exciting and I did it.
Margaret: I don’t even think people understand what the board is for.
Christine: Well, it’s called an idea board, but it’s not for ideas… it’s for actions, so why is it called an idea board.
Catherine: Good question! Why did we call it an idea board?
Marge: I think because we couldn’t wrap our heads around calling it a Discernment Board the way Rev. Catherine Smith did in her congregation.
John: I agree with Margaret, I don’t think people understand how to use it.
Margaret: (Sings) Let’s start at the very beginning… 😉
Bill: If you have an idea for something, you put it up on the board,
Christine: Uh… not exactly…
Bill: Oh right, if you have an idea for something, you fill out a form and put it back in the folder.
John: What folder?
Christine: The folder on the board.
Catherine: Yes! And then one of the elders will check the folder every week.
Person: Who are our elders anyway?
Catherine: Christine, Al, Paul and Vanessa
Person: And they check it every week?
Person: Who gets to decide if something goes ahead.
Christine: Well, if it falls in line with what kind of a congregation we want to be, and if the idea doesn’t require any financial support, then the elder can put it right up on the board.
John: What kind of congregation we want to be? Who knows what that is?
Marge: We have been using our stated values for our call to worship for the past few weeks.
John: We have?
Marge: Come on John! We have been doing it now for three weeks!
Catherine: Anybody know what those are? Without looking at the bulletin?
All: 1. Focused on faith
2. Welcoming, accepting and inclusive
3. Care for one another, and be open to one another.
4. Connected to the wider community.
John: Oh right!
Christine: As I was saying, if it fits in with these things, it goes right up on the board.
Person: Okay, but what if it does require some money?
Bill: Then the elder brings it to the next meeting of the Executive and they decide.
Person: They decide?
Bill: Yes, the congregation elected the executive to make decisions on its behalf.
Person: Are you sure?
Bill: Yup! Most of the congregation doesn’t want to be bothered with the day to day running of the church; they trust us to do what needs to be done. We meet every month, except during the summer, so you never have to wait very long before your idea goes up on the board.
Person: So, what kind of idea?
Bill: Things like the photography club, things like fundraisers, concerts etc.
Person: The stewards and the UCW used to arrange most of the fundraisers, do they have to ask permission now?
Bill: It’s not so much asking permission, but making the best use of our human resources. Making sure that our volunteers don’t get burnt out and that there is enthusiasm for the fundraisers and events we host.
Person: Well, when you put it like that, it makes sense. But you know, there seems to be an awful lot of changes going on here… chairs being moved around… a children’s area in the sanctuary… a new way of making decisions… heck, Murray’s not even the chair of anything anymore! And Marjorie is not the secretary!
Margaret: Nope, I’m the secretary now!
Catherine: Yup, there have been a lot of changes… and you people have been great about embracing them and supporting them. This congregation has so much to offer. Who knows what the future has in store?
Person: You mean there might be more changes?
Catherine: Again, yup! This summer, a group of us is going to take a look at the entryway and figure out how to make it the most welcoming and well-organized space. A place of deep welcome to first time visitors and long- time members. And we are going to host a Community Round Table in the fall to see how we might connect with the wider community a bit better.
Margaret: Let’s go back to the boring Idea Board…
Christine: Let’s not!
Margaret: I agree, let’s not! Let’s do something to make it exciting and bright! We have creative people in this congregation! Just like we heard in the scripture reading earlier, “For I am about to create new heavens and and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind. 18 But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating.”
Catherine: Together, we are creating something new… something vibrant and full of faith… just like you people are.
Isaiah 65: 17-21
June 25, 2017 – Riverview United Church
Rev. Catherine MacDonald