Yes, it’s true! We have consolidated and summarized all the comments that people wrote on our outline of a person in the Community Room, and the answer is, we want it all!
In terms of identity, you told us you want a feminist who is LGBTQ friendly, trans-friendly, and everyone-friendly; someone with knowledge of disabilities and how they affect people; someone welcoming of Jewish community and history; and someone who has a non-dominant identity in terms of race, gender, sexual orientation, or ability.
Regarding personal qualities, you want someone with a sense of humor who is compassionate, empathetic, kind, and open to constructive criticism; someone who can resolve conflicts and bring people together; and someone who is easy to talk to. Our minister should practice good self-care, be hard-working and wise, be willing to admit when they are wrong, and be intelligent and creative. They should be able to transcend but also connect on a human level, be able to connect with the least religious and most spiritual among us, and be in touch with the light within themselves and others. They should also be open to all viewpoints, have healthy skepticism, have a scholarly knowledge of world religions, and be organized and good at communication.
As to our minister’s professional assets, you prioritized social justice, seeking someone who understands oppression, is experienced working for equity for all, sees climate action as an urgent priority, and is skilled at building relationships. But you also want good and meaningful sermons that balance intellect and heart and are thoughtful and provoking. You want someone committed to our children’s religious education program, who can give creative “Time for All Ages” presentations and who gets to know our kids. You want someone with good pastoral care skills who will help with our Care Team. You want someone involved in the music program. And you want a full-time minister who will include newer members in the services, stay involved with arranging non-preaching Sundays, and support strong lay involvement in our services.
You’d also like someone who understands that Wildflower is no longer a “wounded” congregation; who understands and aligns with Wildflower’s values and goals; who has a true vision for Wildflower and a passion and commitment to guiding the church; and who has knowledge and history to share!
Piece of cake! 🙂
Of course, we know as well as you do that perfection does not exist. This project was merely to get all of us brainstorming and thinking about what is important to us. As we move into the next phase — taking the survey and attending cottage meetings and focus groups — we will have the opportunity to narrow our focus and set priorities. We can’t have it all, so we’ll need to figure out together what is most important, not to each of us personally, but to Wildflower Church as a whole. We look forward to working with you through this process, and remember, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions!
If you would like to see the summary of all the comments made on the person outline, you may do so here.