From the President, June 2018

From the President, June 2018

It’s really real. The title “President of the Board of Peoples Church UU” is now mine. What the hey?!?

I find I’m alternating between energized excitement (“Wow! I get to be part of really moving Peoples forward!”) and dismay (“What makes me think I’ve got what it takes to do a good job here?”). I’ve finally realized I’m perfect for this or any leadership position at Peoples, because:

  • I’m excited and energized
  • I’m dismayed
  • I’m doing it anyway

In other words, I’m doing exactly what every team chairperson in the history of our church has probably done: acknowledged they may not know exactly what they’re doing, but choosing to do it anyway because they’re committed to Peoples. This is a not-so-subtle way of letting everyone know that “Oh, I don’t know enough to take that leadership role” is not gonna cut any ice with me. We all get to step up into leadership positions, no matter how little we may feel we know about what that entails, because:

  • Peoples is worth it
  • We can be confident we’re going to have a whole bunch of excellent company in
    those feelings

And my definition of “leadership role” is pretty darn flexible. Leadership is not just being a member of the Board. In my view, a leader at Peoples is anyone who:

  • does more than just go through the motions (think of church Operations Manager Cathy Fischer, who creates not just informative Voices, but beautiful ones)
  • finds a way to contribute their skills to Peoples, despite the crazy busy-ness of their lives (think of Arianne Waseen, Abram Doval , and Megan and Tim Jones, parents working around kids’ needs to practice so they can provide delightful special music at services)
  • agrees to join a team for the first time (think of new-ish member Lu Wilcox joining the Nominating Committee)
  • sees an opportunity to introduce more people to Peoples and works to make it happen (think of Jude Johnson spearheading the effort to bring The Vagina Monologues here)
  • speaks up for herself with a comment, question, or concern (think of new member Florencia Lynch) mentioning to me at a service how she likes to slowly settle in to a new situation, at her own pace, and how she appreciates not feeling “pressured” into trying new activities before they’re a good fit for her
  • supports Peoples activities, even if she doesn’t often participate in them (think of Linda Levy being one of the planners for Peoples’ participation in Cedar Rapids PrideFest, even though she’s not a member of the LGBTQ community)
  • finds a way to participate as a member of Peoples outside Sunday services (think of newer members Sarah Hermann and Kate Martinek choosing to become HomeChurch facilitators)

See? There are a ton of leaders at Peoples, and equally many ways to step up into some form of leadership in this beloved community. So don’t do yourself – or Peoples – the disservice of saying, “Oh, I’m not cut out to be a leader.” Because you so are.

Life is good.