President’s Perspective – on being president

By Barbara Rupp, 2018-19 President

My term as president will be ending in another month, and my biggest surprise is how quickly it has passed. A few people have asked me, with what is possibly a look of sympathy in their eyes, how time-consuming and difficult this role has been. I’m delighted to report that the position of president has not been anything close to a “burn-out” experience. Rather, it has enabled me to get to know more members of the congregation and has made me even more grateful to have this wonderful church in Columbia.

Three things have caught my interest the most this past year. The first, and the one that stands out the most, is how this church community came together to bridge the budget gap when our initial stewardship campaign fell short of its goal. What is remarkable is that it was not just one or two families giving unusually large pledges – though we are fortunate to have some members who are quite generous in their support – but it was a large percentage of members pitching in to pledge what they felt they could do to help. Sometimes that was an extra $50 or $100, sometimes significantly more, and new members also stepped up to help. It spoke volumes about what this church means to us and our determination to see it thrive. Kudos to all!

Another area of interest this past year has been the Building Needs Task Force and our work with the architectural firm SOA. The architects will attend our May 5 Annual Congregational Meeting and, hopefully, help move us forward on this important project for the next few years. We are also talking with fund-raising consultants who will be helping us reach our goals.

Last, but not least, my time as president has brought me a bit more in touch with members of our community who give of their time and energy over and over again to help out both at our church and in our larger community. We have some remarkable people in our midst, and I feel fortunate to have been able to work with a few of you this year.

So, not surprisingly, I feel that both being on the Board of Trustees and being president have been an honor and privilege, not a chore. Next time someone comes up to you (and it might be me next year!) and asks you to please consider serving on the board, I hope you’ll see it as the opportunity it is.