August 29, 2018
Normally, I sit down and get my thoughts on paper just by putting my fingers to a keyboard. This time was different. I kept asking myself, “Why?” I’m not sure but, in the end, I decided to center my writing on words I’ve heard lately in my conversations with some of you. I want to share some thoughts.
Conflict: As you read in the recent Herald, around 40 of your leaders met two weeks ago for a Leadership Retreat. From Staff, to Council, to Committees, we all met together at Mercer Island Presbyterian for an all-day gathering of dialogue, sharing, listening and crucial conversations. Conversations were at times uncomfortable, and they were vital. Questions were asked, and answers were not always clear or known. At one point, there was what some might label “conflict,” and we worked through that with conversation. Disagreement and dialogue are so very important. If we walk on eggshells around each other, we will never land on the hard answers. Conflict, while uncomfortable, can be good. By breaking down barriers, we can arrive to what we really need to be doing. Dialogue and authentic conversation move us forward. Let us not shy away from difficult conversations. Let us continue to walk in covenant together, be respectful and most importantly, be kind to one another.
Trust: During times of change and uncertainty, trust is key. Trust is not just “there;” trust must be earned. This is especially true with leaders. A caring member noted they were concerned about trust and transparency with Council. “Council can seem like a mystery,” they noted. I assure you, this is not the intent of anyone on Council. I believe for some, this is the perception, and perception has a way of becoming reality. Let us change this perception. How can we make Council more transparent? Minutes are recorded on Plymouth’s website (Our Priorities); we hold quarterly Congregational Conversations and open Council meetings; what can we do differently? I welcome your thoughts and ideas.
Worship Opportunities: Thank you, Anna Colwell and Rev. Dr. Kelle Brown for beautifully recapping the retreat, celebrating the bringing together of our congregation into one Sunday worship service and imagining MANY worship opportunities throughout the week. At the retreat, new ideas and fresh energy surfaced about other worship opportunities Plymouth could offer: community service projects, world music series, sermon reflection groups and more. We are excited for ways we can open our doors to others.
Please feel free to email me (email@example.com) for a copy of notes from the leadership meeting or to share your ideas for how Council can be more transparent. I welcome your interest and ideas! Thanks be to God. – Lorelie Kaid, Plymouth Moderator
The following is the first in a series of “Meet our Council members.”
Lori is honored to serve as your Moderator this year. As a member of Council for the last two and a half years, and the Implementation Team before that, she has seen incredible challenges, insights and complexities of the path we are making and the passion this brings out in all of us. “We must BE church,” as Rev. Dr. Kelle Brown states. Faith is strong here.
Moving to Seattle in 1976 at age 12 to live with her Dad, Lori grew up in Kirkland, Washington when the town was relatively unknown (and Bellevue Square was a strip mall!). She attended University of Washington, earned her BA in Political Science and Sociology, and received her MBA from City University with an emphasis in Organizational Leadership. She and her husband Alex, came to Plymouth in 1991 and joined in 1992. Alex attended Plymouth when he first came to Seattle in 1972 and remembered how friendly it was. When they sought a church together, he remembered Plymouth. First impressions are important!
Lori spent seven years in the Racer room (2-3 year olds) at Plymouth and served on the Children and Youth Board. Professionally, she is the VP of Enterprise Project Management at WSECU, a local credit union committed to community, based in Olympia. Lori and her husband live in Maple Valley and raised both of their sons (AJ and Michael) at Plymouth Church UCC.