Dear CCC Community,

We are almost there and I appreciate so much how many of you have contacted me by email, phone and through the Google Form as we step into the Retreat House Renovation Vote this Sunday after worship.

Preparing our Hearts and Minds

As we lean into the vote we use Robert’s Rules of Order (RRO) to manage our congregational business meetings.  Our inclusivity value extends to anyone who is present and wants to address the body.  Voting, however, is limited to those who are members.  With this in mind I want to share three additional framing points.

Guiding our perspective-taking:  RRO allows us to structure our discussion time so that all voices are heard that wish to participate.  Once we move the renovation motion into order, we will follow with a short presentation summary of the work of the RH Task Force. Next I will share comments provided to me by those who are absent.  Next, Dean Ripple will provide the Treasurer’s perspective and then I will open the floor for formal deliberation.  We will limit floor comments to 2 minutes per person and I will allow a person to speak again once everyone who wants to speak has had an opportunity to do so first.  I also take the prerogative as the meeting chair to ask either of our speakers to answer questions directed to them for their expertise.  Remember all of this is designed for us to listen to the Spirit and discern what is best for us as a faith community.

Maintaining our Relationships:  Typically in a congregational-style business meeting we vote with our voices (yeas and nays), then if needed, move to a show of hands or use a ballot when necessary so individuals can maintain their right to privacy of their vote. I am acutely aware how many of you are struggling with this decision. You are weighing the many implications that such a decision brings.  I don’t want anyone to stay away because they don’t want to hurt others feelings or feel they might lose their ‘church family.’  Each of us affords the respect of our conscience and should vote according to what we believe is in the best interest of the church and CCC’s forward movement. We will be flexible and discerning what vote method best suits our needs within the meeting.

Finding our Forward Momentum:  Regardless of the outcome on Sunday, we affirm our values expressed in our covenants to be a Just Peace, Open and Affirming, and Becoming an Anti-Racist Church.  It has been the long history of the church that to do this work we need spiritual formation, fellowship, and renewal.  For many of us that renewal best occurs in nature where we are unencumbered by technology or pressured by to-do lists. We also hold this value as vital to our spiritual lives.

Two Final Notes 

First, I can’t thank the Retreat House Task Force enough for their work.  Their charge was to develop a master plan and then provide us with the costs of the Phase I renovations to the Retreat House. They have faithfully completed their task and bring it to all of us for our consideration.  They have provided ample information on our website so please consult all the materials provided to best prepare yourself for Sunday’s vote.

Second, thank you for becoming fully present to this decision by listening with kindness and respect to one another. I will continue to receive feedback through the google form and you can always email me through Saturday evening. Your patience and candor provide me wise counsel.

Sunday is Our Day.  See you then.

Gwen

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