By Doug Randall
September 2014-June 2015
This year I was honored with the duty of serving as your president. It was very enlightening and I would encourage all members to consider serving on the Board at some point during their “journey”. The experience gives you a great understanding of how this fantastic organization functions.
My journey as president started in September at our Leadership Retreat meeting. At this meeting, we came to the conclusion that we needed more members to sustain and grow FUSF, as well as form stronger bonds within our existing congregation. “Community” was the word that kept coming to the surface. This sense of community attracts new members and closely knits those already within.
To achieve this community there were several things that needed to be done. (NOTE: I’m not going to name everyone involved with these efforts as I know I will leave someone out. Suffice to say that many, many people have contributed and continue to do so and we are all deeply indebted for their work.) First of all, we needed to improve our online and public appearance to the world. The new website took the work of many hands and has had an immediate impact on our outreach. At the same time, our logo and messaging got a facelift to better reflect our position as a thriving and multi-faceted community.
Next on the list was a Membership Coordinator. This position had been in the minds of leadership for some time, but our budget just couldn’t support it. The Leap of Faith team met and a decision was made that we needed to push for this if we were ever going to get over the hump and achieve a sustainable membership base. Through many generous donations, we were able to fund the position for a year (Jan ’15-Jan ’16). Laura Cerier was elected by the Board and has done a terrific job. The large number of new faces you are seeing in service today can be directly attributed to Laura’s hard work with much help from the Welcoming Team and the Public Relations Team.
We continue to build our community from within with activities such as: Spirit Groups, Drumming Circle, Trivia Night, Wine Tasting, Super Bowl Party, and the Talent and Services Auction with the ever popular (and possibly expanding?) Bella Noche, the brand new Hiking Club, Seder Dinner, and many more. I have heard rumblings of starting Circle Dinners back up again as well as a Kayak Club (that last one was a plant-hoping someone gets inspired!)
As you can see, we are on a good path, the difficulty is maintaining momentum. Sustaining and growing this community is our priority. I think we have made great strides towards that goal this year. I ask every member to think about ways they can contribute beyond their pledge. Start a new group, volunteer for a team, introduce yourself to someone new, serve on the board-there are endless opportunities and our future is bright with the resources and talents brought by this amazing community.