UUFP—Past/Present/Future: “Meeting”

is a collection of stories
about UUFP’s formative years and
its ensuing perseverance in purpose, mission and ministry.
Grow in Wonder – Connect in Love – Engage in Service – Inspire Generosity

It was the first Policy Board meeting of the new church year. Most of the Board members were arriving from the community meal that had just ended in the social hall, where fully half the members of the congregation had gathered for an evening of programs to nourish body, mind and spirit.

It was also the first meeting of the most diverse Board in the congregation’s history, thanks to the dedicated work of the Leadership Development Committee in seeking out, cultivating and training potential leaders representative of all ages, races, sexualities and family structures.

The Vice-President was the first to arrive, a senior from Hampton High School whom everyone agreed had a bright future ahead of him in political science. He smiled as one of the at-large members entered the room, and they cheerfully greeted him back.

Then the screen on the wall lit up as another at-large member connected. One of the congregation’s elders, he would have liked to be at the meeting in person, but he preferred not to drive at night. Still, the A/V was so seamless nowadays that it was almost like sitting in the same room. The Secretary connected, too; she’d just had dinner with her young children, and now her wife was putting them to bed.

As the remaining Board members, the senior religious professionals and some guests arrived and took their places, everyone looked around at the others’ expectant faces, whether at the table or on-screen. It was an exciting year to be on the Policy Board, with an assistant minister joining the staff, the almost-complete refurbishment of space for the growing music program, and the new interfaith partnership focused on promoting spiritual wholeness. Most importantly, the congregation knew that it was in good hands for whatever surprises the year might inevitably bring.

Then it was time for the meeting to begin. The Secretary sent the agenda per Martha’s Rules of Order to everyone’s tablet, and the President began speaking. “This evening we light our chalice that it may guide us forward through the coming year, that this great gift of time, this promise of community might be fulfilled through all the ways we grow in wonder, connect in love, engage in service and inspire generosity.”