Congregational Meeting Successes – It was a treat to attend the annual December congregational mtg. this past month. Yes, really – and not only because it ended 45 minutes ahead of schedule. We passed a balanced budget for next year which, while smaller than this current year’s budget, was closer than we had feared. (Thanks to our board for communicating that concern in advance to the congregation, and to members who responded by increasing your pledges.) We also re-committed to our intentional welcome to LGBTQ+ communities, by voting to renew our Welcoming Congregation status, 25 years after originally receiving it. I look forward to the innovative programs our Faith in Action Ministry will offer in 2018 to support this work.

Faith in Action Staff – And speaking of Faith in Action…something else good happened because of the budget we passed. Many of you know that our own Rev. Carol McKinley has been coordinating our Faith in Action Ministry, ever since the structure of Accountable Persons for each ministry area was implemented a few years ago. But it has been volunteer work thus far. I thank her for that, but no one should have to do staff work for free, at a church or anywhere else. (Plus, whenever the day comes that Carol retires from this work – I have no reason to think it will be soon, but it will happen sometime – we won’t be able to find a volunteer who does it nearly as well.) So I am thrilled that our newly-adopted 2018 budget included funding for the Faith in Action Coordinator position. It’s not enough hours – we were only able to fund a 5 hours/week position, and the job is more like 10-15 hours. I do hope we can build the position larger in 2019 and subsequent years. But this is a strong starting point for building the staff support infrastructure to maintain our social justice work as a congregation. So please join me in congratulating Rev. McKinley (back!) as paid OUUC staff, and thanking her for the good work she has already done.

Happy Holidays – Just a reminder that this Sunday we have THREE worship services: a single morning service at 10:00 am, and special Christmas Eve services at 5:30 pm (family-friendly) and 9:00 pm (traditional). I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season. I will be on vacation December 25 – January 1, visiting family in Texas (and attending to final logistics, following my mother’s passing last month). I hope to see you on the 24th, then look forward to entering the new year with you!

Rev Eric Posa