The Pioneer December 2013 Vol. 44, No. 4 - Page 4

Reports & Articles Message From the President As we move into the holiday season, the Society’s leadership is energetically engaged on a number of fronts. The UUPP (UU Planning People—our strategic planning team) is actively gathering input from key leaders via interviews, and all congregational members and friends via the on-line survey, which I hope many of you are completing. By mid-December, this information will be analyzed and submitted to the Board of Trustees, who will then determine the direction for the next step of the process. In January, we will again be seeking your input, but the questions will be more specific and focused. In the Parlor and downstairs in the hallway by the restrooms, we have posted a USNF timeline as well as a chart which gives a time frame for the strategic planning process this year. I encourage you to check it out if you haven’t already done so; participate as much as you are able in this process, and if you have any questions, to please feel free to ask any member of the Board or UUPP. As we plan for the next couple of years, our Minister’s contract with the Society provides for a sabbatical which can be taken after 5 years of service. Janet has shared that she will likely take her leave in the spring, either in 2015 or 16. There is much preparation that must be done by our congregation for that time, involving both logistical and financial considerations. A Sabbatical Committee will soon be formed to coordinate this process, which will likely affect our budget decisions this spring. Our Safe Relations Team is off to a good start this year, having held an orientation for its members in late September, followed by a workshop for all that was held in October on “Having Difficult Conversations.” The members of this team are: David Beauvais, Craig Dreeszen, Corky Klimczak, Patti McGuinness, Jane Simonds, Lynne Marie Wannamaker and Nancy Whittier. They are a strong and committed group of Society members who have worked very hard to lay a foundation to help our Society be a “place where children and adults can safely learn and grow.” Team members can be called on to handle sensitive situations where restoring right relations might be needed or safety is an issue. But safety, in all its forms, depends not on just a few, but on all of us. I encourage everyone to attend as many Safe Relations workshops and events as possible, so that we can each be informed and equipped to do our small part in promoting safety for all at the Society. Along these lines, I attended the Transgender Day of Remembrance in November, a part of which was hosted by our Society. The evening was a powerful reminder of how unsafe the world often is for Continued on next page... The Pioneer 4