February 20, 2023
By Michael Bloom


As I write this, many of us may still be processing the news of Audrey Gale Hall’s suicide. I sense that members are supporting each other and that those who need additional support are reaching out to the Lay Pastoral Ministry Team or Reverend Michelle. Please check-in with each other. A memorial service will be held on March 11, 2023. Details to follow.

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The Board of Trustees met on February 16, 2023 and achieved some important outcomes.

The Board acknowledged Annie New’s resignation from the Board and from the position of Vice President. Annie needed to step down to assist with caregiving for two close family members with illness. Our thoughts are with her and her family during this difficult time.

To fill the vacancy, and as set forth in our Constitution, the Board voted to have Bradley Smith rejoin the Board as a director and to serve as Vice President. We are excited to have Bradley back on the Board of Trustees.

The board also welcomed Leah Olive-Nishioka as Secretary. We are still looking for a Treasurer.

The board also revised the Long Range Planning Task Force (LRPTC) Charter to correct the youth enrollment graph and to revise the membership composition requirements. Membership composition was changed from one person with more than 12 years of membership tenure to two people.

The Board also approved the membership slate. Please join me in welcoming Troy Rockett, Elspeth Davis, Trish Hinojosa, Linda Lord, Nancy Lipp, and Ann May to the Task Force. The Task Force will start work in early March. Under the charter, I have the responsibility to schedule and chair the first meeting which will include voting on officer positions. The updated charter is available in the members area of our website.

To recap, the purpose for the Long Range Planning Task Force is to collaboratively develop a plan to provide for the long-term financial and spiritual sustainability of the congregation. This includes the condition of our Endowment (including loan repayment).

I am still directing much of my brain power on the growth vs. quality debate I mentioned in my January message.

Companies operating under capitalism, strive for growth, but we are not a company operating under capitalism. Is striving for growth or striving for quality a better strategy for Emerson?

Some believe that striving for growth leads to a healthier, stronger, and happier congregation and financial and spiritual sustainability. Others believe that striving for quality leads to these outcomes. Which seems more correct in your view?

Either way, I’m still incredibly excited about the year ahead and I hope you are also.

Thank you.

Michael Bloom