Andy’s Flaming Chalice – December 2012

Hello, Starr King family. Did you find a state of mind that kept “thanks” firmly embedded in Thanksgiving? It’s perhaps my favorite holiday and its glow of well-being generally lingers; rat-a-tat-tatting out a list of my gratitudes is always good practice. One of my foremost gratitudes is belonging to this spiritual community. You give me social warmth, focused worship, useful work and an opportunity to explore, discuss and learn from your moral compasses as I fine-tune my own.

December 1st is World AIDS Day, now in its 26th year of observance. More than 25 million humans have died from HIV in that span. Despite oceans of public health information and dynamic prevention/treatment innovations, there is still great ignorance, fear, stigma and mortality associated with HIV, abroad and at home. Consider talking to someone this month about your or their connection to this epidemic, and why you care.

The Board of Trustees (BOT) and Committee on Ministry (COM) are already at work planning their annual joint retreat, which will be on Saturday February 2nd. We retreat together annually, with our Parish Minister, to strengthen the bonds of shared ministry and stewardship between BOT and COM, learn from our respective wisdom (and error, sometimes), and plan for the year ahead. If you have thematic, ministerial (in the shared sense) or stewardship concerns, this is a great time to share them with me or BOT Vice-President Colleen Dino, COM Chair Bob Britton, Rev. Katie or anyone else on the BOT/COM so that they can be considered for our retreat agenda.

Are you fulfilling your potential as a leader at Starr King? Where might you add your talents and interests for our common benefit? Starr King has enjoyed initiatives this year from the Finance Committee and Committee On Ministry to educate us about what they do, do for us, and how your collective input and guidance is translated into pastoral, organizational and fiduciary management. The Board of Trustees is going to continue this trend with an after-church presentation in January 2013, in cooperation with the Nominating Committee. All these leadership bodies stand in your shoes as a congregation and do your work in helping Starr King to be a growing and stable enterprise. Starr King relies on steady waves of leadership development to identify and engage the people whose creativity, wisdom and energy will carry us into the future. I hope you’ll take the time this January to attend the BOT presentation following Sunday worship and think seriously about ratcheting up your involvement as a Starr King leader.

With warm wishes for your holiday contentment,