A Letter from the President of the First Unitarian Board of Trustees

Greetings, Members and Friends,

Margie Gonwa here—your current Board President. I want to start by wishing everyone happy, healthy and safe holidays, understanding that we are experiencing another holiday season constrained in our movements and forced to consider whether and how to gather with family and friends in person. Keep in touch–reach out to your First U family by phone, text or email. Feel free to contact me at: margie.gonwa@gmail.com.

Resilience is a concept that fascinates me. Resilience means recovering from setbacks, adapting well to change, and persevering in the face of adversity. I personally commend all First U members and friends, ministers and staff, and board and committees for the tremendous resilience shown throughout 2021 as we all worked, met, studied, worshipped, recreated, raised our families, and maintained relationships in new ways during a second year of Covid-related restrictions. 

We supported each other through our small groups, committees and worship held online for much of the year. Foregoing in-person gatherings has sometimes left us feeling disconnected and uninformed and wondering if anything was getting done, but the First U board, committees and small groups met largely uninterrupted, albeit differently, throughout the year doing the work of the church and supporting each other, thanks to members’ commitment and leadership. No sugar-coating the fact that we lost members and participation due sadly to death, relocation, illness, inability to connect virtually, and other reasons. Committees such as Pastoral Care and Membership will particularly focus on engaging and helping one another, and we need more volunteers for this.

The Board held the 1st of this church year’s monthly Board First Forums on December 12, 2021, introducing the Board, their roles and responsibilities, and highlighting priority areas the Board is focusing on.  In brief:

  • Upcoming monthly Board First Forums will cover: changes in ministerial leadership and music, membership, the role of First U in the community/social justice, Good Relations, Finance, and next year’s board leadership. 
  • Discussion of some of the year’s priorities emerging from the Board Retreat: Membership, Social Justice and the 8thPrinciple, Good Relations, and the upcoming search for a permanent Minister.
  • Membership: Discussion of the critical role Membership plays in sustaining our congregation and the formation of a new Membership Committee and its plans.
  • Returning to in-person services and meetings and on-going Covid-related monitoring.

Please consider volunteering in 2022, if you are not already. We need you and your talents and your passion. There’s a lot going on and many opportunities for you to engage in your area of interest.

With Love,
Margie Gonwa