Keeping Connected March 2019

Dear Friends,

Our New England weather changes on a seasonal, even daily, basis. Those who live in other places of the world may enjoy a predictable climate.  A reliable 70 degrees and sunny might even feel enviable as we slog through winter. But New Englanders generally relish the seasonal changes, finding the changes in weather invigorating and something to look forward to.

In our personal lives, sometimes we seek to maintain a comfortable status quo.  Sometimes we feel more daring and seek out new adventures. Sometimes the world imposes on our lives and tells us it’s time to deal with change. We each try to maintain a balance in our lives that feels right between keeping the status quo and growing.

We have been talking about changes lately at Congregation Shalom. In early January we introduced new communications vehicles for our membership. I’m pleased that recently I’ve heard some very positive reactions to the new weekly Updates and monthly Keeping Connected emails. I’ve been told they are much easier to read, which is exactly what our goal was. I will admit I listened to some grumbles and confused reactions at first. But, in just a couple of months, I’m seeing a more enthusiastic embrace of both.

At last month’s Special Meeting, we introduced virtual participation for the first time. Thanks to technology, we accommodated 11 members who were unable to come in person. They listened to the presentation, participated in the discussion and asked their questions, and then voted. We were pleased that it worked so well.

We have recently announced our plan to move Congregation Shalom to a voluntary dues structure.  Many people have put in a lot of work to do the research and analysis that led to a unanimous vote by the Board to proceed. The Dues Task Force is being expanded to bring in additional expertise related to taking the next steps. This change is a positive, forward-thinking move for the financial health and viability of our community. This is a significant change, I don’t deny it. I trust that our membership will approach it with the spirit of embracing something new. We have scheduled two informational meetings for those who would like to learn more about what voluntary dues are and why we are making this change. Please come on February 27 at 6:15pm or March 10 at 12:30pm.  We will again arrange for virtual participation.

Change is all around us. As we look for the arrival of spring, let’s bring that same sense of anticipation to the changes at our temple.


Joanna Myers