Staffing Task Force Update

As we begin the new church year and think about our future, the Trustees and the Executive Team are evaluating staffing Color Chalice Letterheadplans and organizational models that meet our community’s needs as

Together, We Transform Lives through Love, Service, and Our Welcoming Faith

Background

During the 2015-2016 Church year, Main Line Unitarian Church experienced vacancies in three senior staff positions: the head of Child and Youth Religious Education, the Director of Administration, and the Associate Minister. In response, MLUC’s Board of Trustees raised a Staffing Task Force to evaluate the Church’s needs, consider various staffing options, and prepare a recommendation for how to respond to these vacancies.

Letters from Haiti: An Unexpected Accident

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Trip co-leader, Mike Carpenter warned us at Tuesday night's evening reflection that if something is going to go wrong during our time in Haiti, it'll happen on Wednesday. He was both right and wrong.

The day started with a visit to MPP's schoolhouse, which was expanded in the past year with a generous gift from the Unitarian Society of Germantown. We helped with the grounds and met the children, who were full of wonder. Then we headed to our vehicles.
 
And that's when Wednesday struck.
 
On the road back, we came upon an accident. A motorbike with a passenger clipped a boy crossing the road. The boy was lying limped where he fell, and the bike fell over too. One of the young men limped off the road. 
 
Our caravan stopped and two members of the group jumped out to aid the boy. Monica Perme and Nuala Carpenter are both health care professionals and cared for the boy, while the boy's father and others incited a loud, angry argument over who was to blame for the accident.
 
Amidst the furor, the boy regained consciousness.IMG 8610
 
Eventually, Monica, Nuala, the two injured Haitians, and the boy's mom went to the hospital in one vehicle, and the rest of us headed home in the other two.
 
So often we ask ourselves why we're in a place like Haiti. It's not an easy question. Today we knew. We weren't there intending to help in this situation; we were just there. We have no way of knowing if what we did prevented something worse, though it kind of felt like it did. What we do know is that at a terrible time in a young boy's life, when he was surrounded by confusion, and anger, and noise, he received compassion and skilled care and he was delivered safely to more care. 
 
The reflection this evening centered on that event, and several other out-of-leftfield experiences that seem to happen more here than at home. And on the joy that comes with doing this work of living together.
 
It included Monica remembering something that one of the youth, Julia MacDonald, said while gathering rocks to clear a space for a playground at the school what seemed like a lifetime earlier. She said, "I wish I had bigger hands to help." 
 
May all of us have the hands and hearts to help, wherever and whenever we're needed in this world that so often confounds our plans.
 
-Kevin Donahue
Youth Coordinator for the trip

Letters From Haiti: Arriving in Port-au-Prince

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We are settled in with our Haitian hosts after a whirlwind day and a half.

The 13 members of the Unitarian Universalist College of Social Justice service learning trip to Haiti arrived in Port-au-Prince Friday and Saturday. Most of us are from the Main Line and Wellsprings congregations In suburban Philadelphia.
 
On Sunday after attending a morning evangelical Christian service with more than 1,000 Haitians, we took a brief tour of the country's national history museum. Then we climbed into three vehicles for the three-hour trip to the headquarters compound of the Mouvement Peasant Papaye (MPP), our hosts for the week. 
 
The trip took us past a vast ghetto of makeshift housing near Port-au-Prince, through the mountains and into Haiti's Central Plateau.
 
To see the depth of poverty here, to be so close to the people who live their lives here, is a world-rocker. 
 
We shared our feeling of heart-opening and heart-breaking at the night's reflection. A house away, we could hear a family going through its paces--talking, laughing, a child calling out. For me, it was a reminder that our circumstances may be so different but our humanity is identical. We live, we dream, we fear, we grow angry and despair. We persevere. 
 
After the reflection, we star-gazed. The sky is both darker and brighter here, and bursting with light. May that be a good omen.
 
Monday we will hear more from our hosts, including MPP's founder, who recently abandoned a presidential campaign. And hopefully we move one day closer to understanding and being in relationship with the people who live in this complicated, difficult, wondrous place.
 
Please keep us and our hosts in your thoughts.
 
-Kevin Donahue
Youth Coordinator for the trip