Is it Your Turn at the Table?
Unitarian Universalist churches are fully self-supporting and independent in their governance. That makes us different from most other religions that rely on their national organizations for leadership direction. At UU churches, the Board decides the direction of the church based on the church’s mission statement and strategic goals.
Wildflower operates with a seven-member Board which consists of four officers (President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer) and three regular positions. A term lasts two years, and a person is permitted to serve two terms in a row but no more than that.
For summer 2021, we have five positions open: three 2-year terms and two 1-year terms. (One-year terms happen when someone does not complete their 2-year term.)
Being on Wildflower’s board has, at times, been very challenging. But I have built a good sense of what I am capable of, that I can be a leader, and I have developed a deeper connection to my own sense of community. It has personally been very fulfilling, and I hope that I have had a good impact.
I was on the Board for four years, two as Treasurer and two as President, and I learned so much – leadership skills, teamwork and team building, finance and accounting practices, real estate in South Austin, and congregational polity in the UUA. Moreover, I made lasting friendships in the congregation. Board membership requires one’s time and energy, and the return on that investment was excellent for me!
The work of the Board is important, but it’s not just work. Many past Board members have cited their Board service as the most meaningful experience they have had at the church. It’s an opportunity to learn more about how the church works, bond deeply with a small group of people, and enhance leadership skills.
Because we govern ourselves, it is important that every voting member who is able takes a turn at serving on the Board. It takes all of us chipping in to make this church work, and that includes Board service. Is it your turn at the table? Please read the Board member job description and the frequently asked questions as you ponder that question.
If you feel ready to serve on the Board, please fill out the Declaration of Interest in Board Candidacy and email it and the associated documents to the firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for submission is April 25, 2021.
The congregation will vote on those who submit the packet at the June congregational meeting.
Being on the Wildflower Board allowed me to connect deeper, trial new leadership approaches, and reflect on and serve my community with a dedicated group of people. Priceless. Tough at times, but lovely, necessary, spiritual work.
Serving on the Board is part of my Servant Leadership. This is not for me, not for my resume, not because I need to serve on one more Board. It is because there is something that calls me to bring the best of our joint resources, knowledge and experiences to strengthen our Beloved Community. I don’t get joy from working through mounds of numbers on reports, but this is a ‘trust’ I have been given and will do it to the best of my ability, while serving the community and offering clarity and choice and steps to assure our fiscal responsibility. I do get joy in working with so many other people who contribute in countless other ways, from making our spaces more interesting, colorful and comfortable to assuring our children are supported in the love, fun, learning and joy that surrounds them. Seeing the scope and breadth of what is touched and by whom while we all work toward this Beloved Community…that gives me joy.
For One Who Holds Power
by John Donohue
May the gift of leadership awaken in you as a vocation,
Keep you mindful of the providence that calls you to serve.
As high over the mountains the eagle spreads its wings,
May your perspective be larger than the view from the foothills.
When the way is flat and dull in times of gray endurance,
May your imagination continue to evoke horizons.
When thirst burns in times of drought,
May you be blessed to find the wells.
May you have the wisdom to read time clearly
And know when the seed of change will flourish.
In your heart may there be a sanctuary
For the stillness where clarity is born.
May your work be infused with passion and creativity
And have the wisdom to balance compassion and challenge.
May your soul find the graciousness
To rise above the fester of small mediocrities.
May your power never become a shell
Wherein your heart would silently atrophy.
May you welcome your own vulnerability
As the ground where healing and truth join.
May integrity of soul be your first ideal.
The source that will guide and bless your work.
The things I liked most about being a member of the Board of Trustees is that it felt like I was deepening my loyalty and devotion to the church and deepening my friendships with my fellow board members.
Serving four years on the Wildflower Board was a huge spiritual growth experience for me, as well as a chance to work closely with some of the most committed, caring and intelligent people I’ve ever known. It helped me develop leadership skills, and above all, it deepened my understanding of our UU faith.
I have been a member of Wildflower since 2009. Over the years, I have volunteered with a number of committees and the OWL program for youth. Joining the Board in 2018 allowed me to see the bigger picture while better understanding the challenges – and growth opportunities – of being a leader. I am most grateful for how much I have strengthened and grown my relationships with other Wildflowers. My family and I feel more a part of this wonderful community than ever before.
I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
Being a Board member during a particularly tumultuous time in Wildflower’s recent history has been one of the most difficult and major times of learning and personal change for me that life has yet to offer. Without answers much of the time, I needed to address my need for perfection and control, to open my heart to others, to listen deeply, be accountable for the harm I caused, and learn how to love with humility and clear boundaries. I call that an amazing spiritual journey.