Thursday, February 7, 2008

Policy Governance as Holy Work

Second in a series of posts on the January 2008 UUA Board of Trustees meeting

I was looking forward to the two sessions with Rev. Rob Eller-Isaacs and Louise Wolfgramm from Unity Church-Unitarian of Saint Paul. Unity has long been known as one of the congregations that is making policy governance work, and I had heard Rob speak on this issue some years before. I had a whole list of questions on monitoring, how to avoid a downturn in volunteerism, the fine points of limitations, and other meaty governance questions.

That's not at all what they talked about. The exercise they took us through was elegant in its simplicity - and took us to a level of discussion and way of framing our discussion that was nothing less than brilliant. Starting from our own experiences with "the Holy", we moved from that into how we brought these values into our Unitarian Universalist ministry. We were like a group lost in a thick jungle who finally got to a hill high enough to see where we were.

We will repeat the exercise in the fall with the UU District Presidents Association, and hopefully the UU Ministers Association as well. I also plan on "stealing" it for my own congregation.

It was a gift. It was also a reminder of how important it is to include elements of worship and wonder into our more mundane activities. The simple act of lighting a chalice speaks volumes about committee deliberations being "more than a meeting" - and our time as more than volunteerism.

Next post: Remembering 1968

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