Board of Trustees Message – JUNE 2024

Publication deadlines can sometimes be a nuisance. As I sit at my computer keyboard, I am aware of the many things about our congregational life for which the outcome remains at this moment unknown. What kind of budget shall we anticipate for the 2024-2025 church year? Who will be serving as its leaders? Will Rev. Rodney Lemery be called as an Associate Minister at MDUUC? These questions may certainly be answered at the congregational Annual Meeting on June 2, to be conducted shortly after this issue of the Mt. Diablo UU Beacon is released. We will not have a regular Sunday Service that morning in order to allow all members to fully participate in our democratic process of making these decisions. To that end, please be reminded that we will need a quorum present that includes both on-site and virtual participants who are eligible voting members. 

However, at the conclusion of every church year we can look back on things that are known and for which we are simply grateful.

We are grateful for the many, many activities and gatherings that brought us together in splendid community as we continued our path forward from the worst effects of the pandemic. There are too many offerings to be mentioned here, but I hope everyone who has declared MDUUC to be their spiritual home found that feeling reinforced through engaging in one or more of the myriad of programs that took place in 2023-2024. Your very presence is what makes MDUUC so special.

We are grateful for our ministerial team and the staff who take care of our programs and operations. Their often heroic efforts to maintain the integrity of this faith community through thick and thin cannot be praised enough. Let us never take their dedication for granted, and you are invited to join the Board in expressing your own words of gratitude to them whenever the opportunity arises.

We are grateful for the news that our Director of Religious Education, Marena McGregor, is now formally recognized by the Unitarian Universalist Association as a Credentialed Religious Educator. Her skills and experience have successfully kept our ministries to children, youth, and families vibrant and relevant. We congratulate her for this achievement which she has worked hard to obtain.

We are grateful for the work of the Associate Minister Search Committee: Stacy Cranston, Catherine Der, Peggy Kroll, Alison Ray, and Bill Wostenberg. Their thoughtful shepherding of an atypical ministerial search brought to light new possibilities of professional ministry at MDUUC.

We are grateful for outgoing Board members Jaynese Davis and Neysa Matt. They have gone above and beyond in so many ways both visible and behind the scenes in their service as leaders in governance at MDUUC. Their guidance on the Board will be missed, but their gifts will undoubtedly be an ongoing blessing elsewhere in support of this congregation that is close to our hearts.

In the face of all that is unknown, we are grateful for knowing this: MDUUC remains resilient and strong in its determination to set a standard for a faith tradition that puts love at the center. May it always be so. We are now leaning into liminal space.

Our wish for everyone is a summer that is replete with joy and rejuvenation!

In faith and service,

Mark David Watanabe

President, MDUUC Board of Trustees

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