First Parish Blog

Summertime Thoughts, July 31

By , July 31, 2016

Summertime Thoughts – July 31, 2016

Dear Friends, Just yesterday I had the privilege of spending almost five hours in retreat with your congregational leadership – the Parish Committee and the other committee chairs.

We tackled the Big Questions that effective leaders must face when moving into collaborative leadership:

  • What is leadership and what is management and what is the difference?
  • How best might we shift from asking “Are we doing things right?” to “Are we doing right things?”
  • What is the difference between Power and Authority? And how are each conferred in our congregation?

We reviewed the Parish Committee Covenant and made some significant “upgrades” to it. That Covenant will be published once the Parish Committee ratifies and adopts the new language, but I like that it begins like this:

“We promise to respect and care for each other and for ourselves. We promise to treat our time together as an opportunity to make an important gift to our congregation.”

We determined to become excellent communicators, starting now. Communication is crucial to the health of the congregation and builds confidence in the Beloved Community.

We asked ourselves about our own conceptions of good leadership and the congregation’s culture around expectations of leadership.

And we determined concrete steps to take to create the best process we can to make the best decisions we can. We lifted up the need to involve all “stakeholders” in discussions early in the decision-making process, and acknowledged the wealth of intelligence, compassion and care in our community.

Tomorrow our daughter and I will fly to Glasgow by way of Reykjavik, Iceland. We’ll be there for two weeks. During that time the Rev. Richard Trudeau is on call for any pastoral emergencies. You can reach him at 508-230-8173 or

May these days of summer be happy ones for you and yours! Blessings, Buffy

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