David Tucker, Trustee

Mahatma Gandhi said that only a person who never loses hope can be a leader. As I write this, I know that there is great pain and suffering in our community... in Charlotte... in Tulsa... and around the country and the world. And yet, for all of that, I am filled with deep hopefulness. Why? The great start the Board is having this year; and the wise, wonderful leadership of our congregation by Rev. Deborah Cayer and the rest of the marvelous staff and lay leadership at ERUUF.


In August, the Board had an excellent annual retreat facilitated by Rev. Cayer and Jeanne Allen of Duke University's Nonprofit Management Program. New Board members Kristi Chilton, Julie Edmunds, and Barbara Sheline are adding great energy. Continuing Board members Ginny Fox, Chuck Kimpel, and Kat Moran are valued veterans. Secretary Elizabeth Dunn and Financial Liaison Dave Mills are wonders! Rev. Cayer is our invaluable Ex-Officio member. And I am truly humbled by the chance to serve as Chair this year with this extraordinary group of passionate, committed, and visionary leaders.

At our September Board meeting, we focused on three areas. First, informed by the writings of Caroline Oliver and Dan Hotchkiss, we asked: What is moral ownership of a congregation? Who are the moral owners of ERUUF? The current members? Future members, not yet arrived? Our Unitarian Universalist heritage and traditions? Our mission, vision and calling to create the beloved community? Do our Mission Statement and Ends Statements need updating to reflect how ERUUF has changed in the past decade? The Board will continue this discernment going forward.

Secondly, and closely related, the Board discussed the initiative this week by the Lead Minister and ERUUF's Coordinating Team, in consultation with the Multicultural Team, to share a message of Black Lives Matter, and other messages of hope, inclusion, and anti-oppression, on our electronic sign on Garrett Road. The Board unanimously adopted a resolution of strong and enthusiastic support, and we stand shoulder to shoulder, humbly and gratefully, with Deb and the CT on this very important moral message.

Finally, the Board examined its role in Stewardship at our Fellowship, and heard from Rev. Cayer about the exciting initiatives she is leading to re-envision the Stewardship Team and process. The Board's focus under policy governance is on Ends, not means; on governance, not management; on looking "from the balcony" at the big picture; and  focusing on the future, on the greater vision, and on possibility. Thus the Board will work hard this year on refining and articulating our shared vision for ERUUF, and the charge for this year's Stewardship Team, in close collaboration with Rev. Cayer. 

These are some of the things that give me hope in a time of challenge. So do all of you who are reading this. Your energy, your gifts of time and treasure, your presence, and your dreams are the indispensable fuel for ERUUF's growth and leadership -- now, and in the days ahead. Thank you for being here as we begin our bold second half century at ERUUF!