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President’s Column for the March Lat

Updated: Apr 9, 2020

We have all seen migrating ducks and geese flying in a V-formation. One flies at the point of the V while the others follow behind. A common assumption is that the that this duck is the leader of the flock, while the others are merely followers. However, truth be told, birds rotate into and out of the lead. The reason for the V formation is that the bird at the front is having to work at full energy but those following it have an easier flight, since they benefit from the turbulence in the air caused by the flapping of wings. They rotate into the front of the formation, giving each bird a long rest before moving back to the front, which in turn allows the flock to go much greater distances with less effort.

This formation is so efficient that jet fighter pilots use it to save fuel, enabling them to go further as a team before needing to refuel.

The V-formation reminds me of leadership in a UU congregation. Ultimate authority rests with the members of the congregation, not a bishop or synod, and this is a polity that has been handed down to us from our Puritan ancestors. At different periods of our lives we have more time and energy to serve in leadership roles, at other times we need to fall back and realistically access what we can and cannot do. This is helped by our by-laws, which ensure a turnover in board membership, with overlapping two-year terms and a limit of two terms.

One implication of this arrangement is that each year, a portion of the board and several committees have fresh faces, while some continuity is maintained. The Nominating Committee is tasked with filling these slots by approaching potential candidates in the spring, securing their approval, and submitting a list of those who have agreed to serve to the congregation at least two weeks before the Annual Congregational Meeting which will take place May 17th this year. All members in good standing will have a chance to vote on this slate, or to make nominations from the floor.

I know from personal experience on the Nominating Committee that suggestions are appreciated. Also, you are encouraged to attend the monthly meetings of the Board of Trustees on the second Tuesday of each month in the Library at Hillel. If you have special concerns and wish to bring them before the board, please contact the President at least a week ahead of time to discuss getting it on the agenda.

Finally, please consider the many ways that you can serve. Whether it is on a committee or volunteering in many other ways, UUCBV members make a difference in whatever they undertake and make it a little easier for the lucky ducks flying in their wake.

Jerry Wagnon

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