by Julie Edmunds, Trustee

In his book Governance and Ministry, Dan Hotchkiss talks about the paradox involved in church governance—the need to balance the “transforming power of religion” and the “stabilizing power of organization.” How do we construct and maintain structures and policies that provide us with the support and flexibility to realize our vision of transforming lives? This question is one that frames the work of your Board of Trustees. In our October meeting, we discussed several issues that get at the core of this issue.


We first learned about the important work of the Eno River Fellowship Foundation. The Foundation provides grants of over $20,000 annually to improve the quality of life in the fellowship. For example, the Foundation provided part of the funding for the sign out front that more broadly communicates our values. They also provided funding for beautification of the grounds and for improved sound and lighting.

The bulk of the meeting was then spent discussing two interrelated topics: 1.) How do we measure our success at achieving our vision and mission? 2.) What should be the areas of focus for the work of this Fellowship for the next 3 years? We considered the types of data we currently collect and the extent to which they provide us with the information we need to assess our progress in key areas. We also reviewed initial ideas for a strategic plan that will guide the congregation’s efforts over the next three years. We will engage in more in-depth discussion about the plan at the November meeting.

Hotchkiss argues that the success of a congregation is defined by the extent to which its mission is achieved. All of us on the Board are honored to be tasked with the responsibility of working with you all to achieve that success.