Feedback

This feedback listed here is from three different interim assignments: The Unitarian Universalist Church of Vancouver, WA (feedback currently being gathered); The Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley (feedback gathered in April and May of 2016); and the Bull Run Unitarian Universalists (feedback gathered in April and May of 2014). 

Forever Grateful

posted Apr 22, 2017, 11:11 AM by Greg Ward

As a member of the committee interviewing Rev. Greg about coming to UUCV for the second year of a two year interim period, I asked him “How much can you really do in just one year?”  Well, I can tell you that the answer to that question is, "A LOT”!  Rev. Greg brought to us strong, compassionate and expert leadership. He was able to quickly and accurately assess our needs and strengths and started to address these even before he arrived. We now have a covenant, a clear organizational structure, a strong Worship Associates program, an empowered and pro-active board, a very successful Stewardship Drive and so much more.  Rev. Greg is an excellent preacher and your Sunday morning services will thrive under his guidance. There have been challenging times, but throughout it all, Rev. Greg has done his best to model for us what it means to be in covenant with him and with one another. We are about to call a wonderful new settled minister and we are ready to enter this next chapter with renewed energy and confidence.  We would not be where we are today without Rev. Greg’s expert guidance and support. We will be forever grateful.

Interim Minister Hiring Team / Worship Associates Executive Committee

Feeling Buoyed

posted Apr 19, 2017, 7:49 AM by Greg Ward

I hold deep gratitude for the profound gifts I consistently have received from Rev. Greg through listening to what he shares each Sunday.  I'm not sure I can express the incredible power I experience when I hear his messages stir me and guide me on my inner journey right now.  I sit in the services feeling buoyed, held by love and feeling great love for the people around me.  I sense that my best intentions are recognized, reflected and amplified. I appreciate Rev. Greg's honesty, dedication, willingness to be in the messiness of everything we're going through, and showing up with Love. 

New Member of UUCV

Energy is contagious

posted Apr 19, 2017, 7:41 AM by Greg Ward   [ updated Apr 19, 2017, 7:41 AM ]

Rev. Greg Ward has been a powerful change agent for our congregation. He took us through, in one year of interim ministry, what others may have needed two years to complete.  He has been warm compassionate and caring.  His youthful energy is contagious.  He is very capable using newer technology in Sunday services as well as giving inspiring messages.  He has worked well with the various committees and Board of Trustees as well as staff members.  We will miss him.

Member of the Ministerial Search Committee

Love for Ministry

posted Apr 14, 2017, 5:12 PM by Greg Ward

Greg is enthusiastic and passionate about creating loving and compassionate communities. The best part about  working with Greg is how much you can trust him. He is a calm, measured, non-anxious presence- it can be positively relaxing to listen to him during high-tension meetings because you trust him not to make things worse. He works hard to get an understanding of the system he's moving into and to create reasonable goals.  From there he works with you to achieve those goals. In the manner very effective leaders, Greg will work exactly as hard as the people around him.  He apologizes when he screws up and anticipates that you will do the same.  The expectations are high, but so is the grace and the love that allows for all the human moments. Between his preaching and leadership, his capacity to both teach and learn from the people around him, and his obvious love for ministry and for you, Greg will change the life of your church.

Co-Chair of the Ministerial Search Committee and In-Coming Board Member

Night and Day

posted Apr 13, 2017, 10:09 PM by Greg Ward

Although the time Greg has spent with our congregation has been short, the impact he has had on me and on the Church has been nothing short of profound. When he came, we were static; services (especially the sermons) were meh and uninspiring, there was uncertainty in many realms about roles and responsibilities, and it seemed like we were collectively losing our mojo. That all changed from the very first time Greg was in the pulpit. His first sermon was in an entirely different league from what we had been hearing for the prior year, and every single one of his sermons since then has been riveting, thought-provoking, and inspiring. So much so that, after a month of listening to him knock it out of the park, I felt called to join the Worship Associates team - I felt that Greg was someone I could learn from about how to speak in public about spiritual and personal issues, something I've not done much of. And, I was right; it's been a great experience and I've learned a ton, and Greg has been a superb mentor. From the perspective of our Church, to me it feels like night and day from a year ago. Greg has done hard work to help us better define roles & responsibilities amongst the Board, our myriad committees, and the professional staff. At times his efforts caused sparks - but now it feels to me like we are humming. 

I'll be really, really sorry to see him leave; the next Church to call him will be getting a real gem.

Member of Worship Associates

Here's What you can expect...

posted Apr 12, 2017, 9:48 AM by Greg Ward

Rev. Greg Ward came to our congregation as interim minister following the unexpected departure of our first interim minister and at a time of congregational anxiety. He stepped into our unknown and highly anxious system with professionalism, clarity, and compassion. Here’s what you can expect from Rev. Greg:

  • High quality worship: Rev. Greg has a gift for writing compelling sermons and crafting an inspiring worship experience. He worked with our lay Worship Associates to develop their skills and the results have been impressive, both for the congregation in the improved quality of worship and for the individual Worship Associates in their experience of leading worship.
  • Attention to covenant: We did not have a covenant, but Rev. Greg assembled a team that led us through the process of developing one. He is also modeling how to practice using it and the difference in how we are with each other in community is palpable!
  • Help with church systems: Rev. Greg has helped us to identify where our church systems need updating to be in line with best practices, with particular focus on the RACI model (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed).
  • Help with conflict resolution: Rev. Greg led us through the very difficult process of asking a member to leave the church. He did this will skill and compassion, making what could have been a highly volatile situation one that empowered church leadership to act in the best interest of the congregation. He also helped the Ministerial Search Committee and other church leaders respond to an inflammatory and persistent breach of covenant by a disgruntled committee
  • Insight for the MSC: Rev. Greg was responsive to the MSC’s requests for input, both about accurately describing our church to others and preparing us for the interview process
  • Pastoral care: Though this was not supposed to be a focus of Rev. Greg’s interim duties, he was able to respond with immediacy and compassion to unexpected pastoral needs (such as the election result and the unexpected death of a congregant).

Is Rev. Greg perfect? Is anyone? When he did misstep, Rev. Greg was very open to direct communication and quick to take responsibility for his actions.

You will not be disappointed by Rev. Greg and the gifts he will bring to your congregation!

Co-chair, Ministerial Search Committee

Impressions

posted Apr 11, 2017, 9:04 PM by Greg Ward

Rev. Greg Ward has been an excellent interim minister for our church community. He came to us after our first interim had to leave and jumped right in to keep us on track, so we could call a new settled minister. He is a careful listener who used what he learned to help us articulate our vision of the kind of community we want to be. Under his guidance, our budget drive took on more energy, and we raised our pledging to a new level.

He was not afraid to say the hard things we needed to hear if we truly wanted to be a better beloved community. There were some hurt feelings, due to resistance to a new way of doing things. Greg managed to be both firm and kind.

Greg is very organized and tech-savy; he always responded to emails in a timely manner. His sermons are thought-provoking and inspiring. Our worship associates have a bigger role in the services. Even while doing all the organizational things an interim minister does, he did not neglect those who needed pastoral care. He visited the sick and the dying. 

In spite of being here for less than a year, Greg chose to get involved with clergy of other faiths in our city. We are hopeful that our new settled minister will continue this.

Our community feels blessed to have had Greg for our interim, and we feel well prepared to welcome our new settled minister later this year.

Impressed

posted Apr 11, 2017, 9:03 PM by Greg Ward

Although our Vancouver church has many wonderful and loving members, we have a history of difficulty resolving conflict.  Rev. Greg bravely stepped in when our first interim minister left after just one year and he has had a very busy and challenging year, but UUCV is much the better for his thoughtful ministry.  As a member of the Transformation Team, I was impressed with Rev. Greg's strategic thinking; his ability to evaluate UUCVs strengths and challenges and lead our team and other groups to address our issues.  Sometimes team members became frustrated with the speed of Rev. Greg's analytical and planning skills (because we had trouble keeping up with him) but our team also benefited from his example of how to openly and compassionately address such issues.

Rev. Greg has helped us through grief over a tragic, untimely death, and has helped us to be hopeful despite fear for our nation's future.  He delivers thoughtful and moving sermons and has selected inspiring readings for every service and meeting I have attended.  

Member of Transformation Team

Impressions

posted Apr 11, 2017, 8:44 PM by Greg Ward

Greg is a religion trailblazer in that he has thought out in great detail what a church needs to be and do to meet the religious needs of 21st Century Americans – needs that are very different from those of 20th Century Americans. This knowledge enabled him to give us the leadership that led to many needed changes including greatly increased stewardship pledging, the solution to a long unresolved angry battle between an attacking member and church leadership, and the development of a superb covenant of right relations that will be honored and used to our great advantage.

Member of Stewardship Team and Worship Associate

Good Choice

posted Apr 11, 2017, 6:21 AM by Greg Ward

Dear UU friends,

I am so glad you chose Greg Ward to be your interim minister--you have chosen well.  Greg came to us at the UU Church of Vancouver (Washington) during a difficult time.  Not only had the minister resigned (after 20+ years of service), but there was a lot that was broken here.  People were not communicating well, problems were not being dealt with effectively, there was a lot of friction amongst some members, and it just wasn't a positive place to be.  Fixing all that was a very tall order, and, although I think our problems were so deep that a year wouldn't be enough time to fix everything, Greg has guided us on a path to better and more respectful communication and improved processes.  Greg is intelligent, engaging, well trained, an excellent leader, and one of the best speakers I have ever heard.  His sermons are thoughtful, deep, well crafted, and beautifully delivered.

We are now very excited about our new settled minister who will be arriving this summer, and that, coupled with a new positive energy and excitement about our future, has made our church a much better place to be.  The efforts we have made to improve communication (led in part by Greg) have made a world of difference--results are palpable.  There is an excitement here that I have not seen before.

Needless to say, I will miss Greg when he leaves us and goes to you.  Know that having him work his magic, your congregation is in good hands, and will be much better for having him with you.

I wish you all the best.

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