Hopefully those of you who have been impacted by the ice storm this past week are now nearing normalcy. First I’d like to thank everyone who pitched in during this time when so many were without warmth, power, or water. Quite a few of our congregation made the trek down to the church buildings to take steps to ensure these facilities were safe. Thank you for you assistance.
It’s interesting the timing of the ice storm, and the work the Board has committed to do this year. One of our goals is to look at the conditions we operate in and access if there are steps we should take to change the way we view our safety. As part of this work, three of the board members attended a Emergency Preparedness session put on by the Clara Barton District of the UUA at the Holden Street Church in Worcester. This session, attended by congregational members from throughout New England and into New York, as well as the Home Land Security Officer for the city of Worcester, was enlightening. Many scenarios were discussed to deal with events ranging from a loss of power to a pandemic to an unsafe situation on a Sunday morning. We are working on ways to engage our larger fellowship on what steps we should take.
In the same vein, the Board at our November meeting considered the results of a taskforce that has been operating to assess whether to include background checks for those working with our youth and children. Broadly, but not universally, supported by those involved in Religious Education and YAC, the board needed to consider this policy in light of more and more voluntary organizations, including UU Churches, using these checks as a reasonable way to affirm the safety of children for families entrusting them to us. The board approved this new policy in principle, and with modifications. The board will also set up an informational session to allow those interested in gaining further information to do so, as well address questions and concerns if they exist. This policy is expected to be implemented September, 2009.
To you and your family, friends, and those you think most of this time of the year, the Board wishes you a festive, happy, and warm Holiday season.
For the Board, Jeff Levering