Hello, WIN community! Let me introduce myself. My name is Carl Carmichael, Past Chair and current Peace and Justice team leader. I have been involved with the Wyoming Association of Churches (now Wyoming Interfaith Network since 2010.) I served as the Peace and Justice chair for 4 years, then was Chair of the Board for 4 years, so returning to my roots and my true passion to work for social justice issues is crucial to who I am as a person.
First, a little housecleaning. You may know, or if you don’t, Susie Markus has resigned as Executive Director, citing family medical issues.
As we go along, funding is an issue, but it is for all non-profits these days. WIN is not broke, we have funding to carry us into next year, so long as we are frugal about it. Second, Funding often comes in towards the end of the year, and while we expect to get our usual support from judicatories, it is true that judicatory giving is down, for a variety of reasons. Which makes it necessary for us to change our funding model to acknowledge changing conditions, and we are looking for more support from individual members, so if you have given already, please consider giving more, and if you have not given yet, please consider doing so now.
Now I want to share some of the subjects and conversation from our annual Board Retreat, which was held last week in Lander. Eight of our 15 current Board members were in attendance, and we discussed a wide variety of issues. We talked about how to get along, at least temporarily without an Executive Director, and I volunteered to function as the communications person for the time being, hence you getting this message from me. Since all of us work as well as serve WIN as Board members, we decided that we would do Sunday messages on a bi-monthly basis (every other week, with a different person delivering the message each time). I think that is something to celebrate, as you will be getting different perspectives from different people each time.
So far as hiring a new Executive Director goes, we resolved to get by as best we can while we look for just that right person to fill that role for us. That does put a burden on the Board, and particularly the Executive team and Chair, but we will persevere and I have every confidence things will work out.
In getting to know each other better, and in light of our transition to an Interfaith organization, we shared our personal and judicatory histories and motivations that bring us all together in the spirit of a truly interfaith group. This was truly interesting as well as enlightening to hear each person’s story!
We talked about just what an Executive Director means to WIN, and besides being the face of WIN, the administrative help, taking care of day to day tasks is a position that we need to fill as soon as the right person comes along.
We talked at length about what we need and want from a new Executive Director. We need to come up with a list of job duties that is specific and would fulfill our needs. Coordinating activities, keeping an eye on the finances and building a budget, putting together agendas, correspondence, fundraising, and just the daily tasks that come along. This will require someone with lots of varied experience, hence our desire to not rush into hiring a person just to fill an open space.
We also discussed at length how to get our name and ideas out to a wider audience, including talking with our judicatories, individuals and more contact with those donors we already have.
We also will be making housecleaning changes to the website, which if you have not visited, you should do so soon. it is at wyointerfaith.org. There is a wealth of information to be had on the site, so if you have questions most of them can be answered on the site, I highly recommend you visit it.
Finally, I am asking for volunteers to be on the Peace and Justice team. If you have a passion for social justice and would be interested in working on social justice issues, I would love to have you contact me and get on board with the team. We are actively recruiting at this point, as Peace and Justice has been pretty much dormant the last couple of years, so we are in a rebuilding mode. If you go to the website, and click on the Peace and Justice button, it tells you who we are and what we strive for, and if you click on the resolutions button, the P and J current resolutions are there. Those, however, will be updated at the annual meeting in October 18, 19 and 20. Please give serious consideration to sharing your thoughts and ideas with a group of like-minded people.
Peace and blessings to you all,