I am sure that you recognize how fortunate we have been to have Tom Rich as our board chair for the last two years. He has been extraordinary in every respect, and if you haven’t thanked him personally I hope you will do so. Last night the Board thanked him with a wonderful sculpture/stand by Parker Hirtle, made out of a salvaged segment of the decorative molding of our own steeple (plus something expensive to drink from Scotland).
There is no one who will be able to fill the void that Tom will leave. Nonetheless, the Board and the congregation have much to do. So, after hours of unethical campaigning and hostile voter intimidation, I was elected to be the Board chair for the upcoming year.
I knew immediately what my first task as Board chair was: to lower expectations. The accompanying picture illustrates one of my techniques, a scaffold to help members remember that the bar has been lowered.
Fortunately, we have a very strong Board this year and it is clear that they are willing and able to share the burden (and the opportunity) that leadership will require. Equally fortunately, Tom will continue to play a strong role in FP leadership: he has agreed to stay on the Board ex officio. Altogether, and with the support and challenge of our growing congregation, I think it is going to be a great year. You are always welcome to come to any Board meeting: just don’t expect me to be Tom Rich.