Old South’s June meeting of Council opened with a celebratory tone as we welcomed the Reverend Rick Spalding, our new Interim Senior Minister. Rick noted that he was marking the anniversary of his ordination, and he feels the same level of excitement he experienced that evening 41 years ago as he begins this new adventure as Old South’s Interim Senior Minister. He said that he is “in awe” of the breadth and depth of Old South’s vision for the future. Rick invited Council members to think about what they would like the church to accomplish in this season of transition. Rick encouraged Council to then share their ideas and thoughts with him.
Treasurer Bill Bulkeley provided Council with an update on the church’s finances. At our last Council, Bill had projected that we would be facing a small budget deficit at the end of the fiscal year. Bill was glad to report that the finances are improving from increased building usage and additional pledge receipts totaling $23,000. Consequently, the deficit will be quite a bit smaller than projected a month ago.
Council warmly welcomed Anne Dearing, Chair of the Transition Team. The Transition Team has completed Old South’s profile, an exhaustive process resulting in an impressive document. After holding over thirty listening sessions with the congregation, the team has three key points: 1) our members take great pride in Old South’s radical welcome; 2) there is a general consensus that we want our church membership and attendance to grow; and 3) members expressed a desire to see a community that reflects Boston’s diversity.
Council Member-at-Large Maren Batalden is leading the Senior Minister Search Committee, and she provided a brief update. She has met with Area Conference Minister Alex Shea Will to better understand the UCC search process. Over the summer, the Search Committee will spend time getting to know one another and familiarizing themselves with this process. They are hoping to schedule a mock-interview with a minister along the way. They expect to release the completed church profile in the fall.
After this good news, everyone was reminded to attend Sunday’s dedication of the newly named Phillis Wheatley Room, and Rick closed the joyful gathering with a word of prayer.
-Kate Silfen, Church Historian