John Bates: Come ‘Round Right

JohnBates

‘…Come ‘round right’ is the last line of the Shaker song ‘Simple Gifts’ that you’ve probably sung at service. It’s a short song with an easy melody that has become part of the Old American Songs for voice and piano and now widely used. For me, those words seem to capture where the Congregation is here at the end of the year. Lots has been happening in the Congregation over the past several years – buying 23 Edwin, hiring new staff and transforming our Lifespan Religious Education program, calling a second minister, an all-member combined annual and capital campaign. These were capped by a wonderful music service and the best attended annual meeting I can remember. And as I helped clean up after the annual meeting, I had this feeling of peace and accomplishment. That spirit seemed to be all throughout the campus – we had come ‘round right. We’re in a groove…on a roll…but that Shaker song stuck with me as best capturing the essence. It’s a nice place to be and good to enjoy the moment.

I’m still working on getting into the role of President and doing more UU thinking. I’m looking forward to going to General Assembly (GA) in Portland, Oregon, later this month to really get me in a UU mindset. Mara and I are going to take a few days before and be tourists in Portland. The Board discussed some of the major themes we want to discuss at our June meeting, but we need to work on them some more so I’m looking to GA for some inspiration. I floated the idea of a mid-term strategic planning where we could again engage the congregation. And never one to miss an opportunity for a bad pun, I thought we might call a 5-year plan a ‘20/20 vision’ (groan…). So, let me know your thoughts.