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posted May 2, 2016, 6:39 AM by Greg Ward   [ updated Apr 10, 2017, 6:17 PM ]
I think that our congregation was truly fortunate to have you as our interim minister.  Any interim minister assignment is challenging, and I think the UUCB assignment was exceptionally challenging.  You performed your job admirably under very difficult circumstances.  Our congregation was polarized over very painful issues including: dealing with ministerial misconduct thirty years after it happened; a campus in sorry need of repairs due to mismanagement and deferred maintenance; a lack of trust between the congregation and the leadership of the congregation; a bloated staff structure that we could not afford; and, finally, numerous sacred cows (such as the music program) that couldn't (and can't) be touched no matter how dire the circumstances.  In addition to all of these problems, our congregates were and still are in a state if denial about how serious our problems are.

I cannot figure out whether stepping up to help us through this period was an act of supreme bravery, a love of the challenge of an impossible task, or not being aware of how bad the situation really was.  I suspect it was some combination of the three.  In any event, you did an admirable job of carefully analyzing the situation, coming up with solutions that would help assure our long term viability, and convincing the congregation that these steps were both necessary and unavoidable.  Your Congregational Conversations were very helpful for those who attended them and helped instill a sense of ownership of the problems and the solutions.  The process was painful but necessary, and I certainly can understand why you may not be the most popular person at UUCB.  But I think we have set a course in the right direction.

On a personal note, I truly appreciate your sermons and your delivery and you humor.  You had a very tough job and you did very well.  There is still a lot of work for us to do, but you have helped immensely in getting us back on track.  I will truly miss you and I hope we can find a settled minister who is as effective as you are.

I wish you the best of luck on your next job.  You are battle tested!!!