My preferred leadership style is collaborative, but I am not afraid to take charge when the context calls for it. There must be room for great team work, but sometimes decisions have to be made, and made quickly.
Minister and Staff Manager, Unitarian Church of Edmonton 1997- 2020. I am very proud of having served a single congregation for 22 years without serious conflict. Pastorates of that length are quite rare in our denomination. In that time I played a key role in leading the congregation through a decision to leave a beloved old church building. I was instrumental in encouraging the leadership to think outside the box in their search. Instead of simply finding another church, we sought out a building large enough to provide revenue producing rental space. In a time when church pledges all over are dropping and religious groups must consider alternative ways of funding, the Unitarian Church of Edmonton is on a solid footing. I leave a church community that financially healthy and able to concentrate on it’s strategic goals. During my tenure I have presided over several staff hires, the modernizing of computerized finance and membership tracking operations and the development of websites, blogs, audio file sermon archives and a strong social media presence.
I have designed and presented a wide variety of adult educational programs and workshops and helped the congregation reach the decision to sponsor refugee families in 1999 (Bosnia) and 2015 (Syria).
In this setting my primary ‘workforce’ consisted of volunteers, though I also supervised two church staff positions. I was also tasked with representing the church to the wider community. This included the denominational and community service leadership detailed below and in my resume.
President, International Council of Unitarians and Universalists 2007-2014. I served as the the face of Unitarianism internationally for six years. I was responsible for leading an international Board of Trustees that created policy to govern 42 national member groups around the world. I made several goodwill trips to India, Philippines, Romania, England, the USA and Kenya in the process. During a time of transformation, I chaired the committee that searched for an executive director who would take on an expanded role. Having two candidates with excellent but different skills, I made a successful case for hiring both. I then was tasked with managing the two staff members who executed administrative and program planning functions. I was responsible for organizing and presiding at biennial week-long meetings of the entire Council at differing venues around the world..
President and Board Member, Canadian Unitarian Council 1999-2006.
During a major transformation of the CUC as it debated and then declared autonomy from the US organization, I served on three critical bodies. In 1998 I worked on a task group researching Canadian attitudes towards the possibility of forging a new relationship. Our report committed the national body on the path of change.
Joining the CUC Board of Trustees in 1999 I joined the Canadian-American negotiating committee that drafted the plan for the changing our relationship and helped negotiate the financial arrangements. I then travelled western Canada promoting the proposed agreement in the months leading up to the ratification vote. When that agreement was ratified, I chaired the task force that designed the organizational and service delivery model that now defines the Canadian Unitarian Council. Finally, I was elected President to manage the implementation phase of the organizational plan.
Dean of the Goldmine Youth and Leadership School near Bremerton Washington 1993-1994.
This school offered leadership, personal development, worship leading and spiritual development skills and practices to 30 youth each year, ages 16-19. As Dean I worked with a team of trainers and facilitators to develop and provide the highly successful program.
Choice in Dying
I authored a curriculum for Canada Unitarian Congregations to encourage discussion and formation of a national position on Choice in Dying.
I drafted the policy of the Canadian Unitarian Council on Choice in Dying (adopted) 1992
I was then tasked with writing and presenting a brief to the Canadian Senate Committee on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide.
As spokes person for Dying With Dignity Edmonton from 2014-16, I appeared on radio programs and in debates and gave frequent lectures promoting the prosed changed to Canadian law.