Volunteering has always been part of my life. And it has been a wonderful training ground. Churches – perhaps any form of employment – is a somewhat closed system. As a leader, you can be friendly, but you can’t really be friends with members. A degree of professional distance is required in order to protect necessary boundaries.
I have learned a great deal through volunteer activities, starting with what makes a good experience for the people who step up. Recruiting, training and managing volunteers are skills I have learned by observation. I know what kind of leadership works well for me, and I have worked in a full range of situations, some excellent, some poorly managed. Lasting for 22 years in a volunteer managed
The congregation I served is independent, meaning that while part of a larger denomination, the highest authority is the congregational meeting and below that the work of the Board of Trustees. In other words I have spent my career working for volunteer-run bodies. A record of 22 years in one church suggests some mastery over working with volunteers.
A detailed list of major volunteer commitments can be found in the About me page.
In addition to those major commitments I have enjoyed working as:
Grey Cup Festival Volunteer, 2018 and 2014
Edmonton Food Bank occasional distribution volunteer, 2014-2019
Theatrical Stage Manager and technician, Various companies and productions, 1973-1982.
School volunteer (isn’t everyone?) 2009-2018
Election volunteer, various parties, 1980-88. (Became necessary to stop overt political work when I became a volunteer.
Edmonton Pride Parade group leader, 2000 present, marching with combined Unitarian congregations.