Big Changes Underway for BCC’s Future


This article first appeared in G’vanim, March/April 2017 issue.
By BCC President, Lauren Schlau

In previous columns I have discussed the strategic planning process in which the Board has been engaged. The purpose is for BCC to have a collaborative, wide ranging plan to guide our next three years. Progress has been slow, challenged by the usual interplay between planning for our future and attending to current business. We took a major leap forward at our Board retreat held at BCC at the end of January when we were blessed with the services of an outside facilitator, Karen Sim, to help guide us through the process. She came to us at no charge through the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), our umbrella organization. Our URJ financial commitment provides many benefits including new resources to help congregations like BCC improve what we do and how we do it.

We spent the morning of the retreat revisiting and redrafting new mission and vision statements and a list of our values that will be conveyed to current and prospective members and visitors. The afternoon was devoted to our focus areas and goals. Up to this point we had identified five focus areas, Organization/Finance, Membership, Ritual/Worship, Social Justice and Education/Learning. With Karen’s help, we saw that we needed another area – Governance. This refers to developing members’ leadership skills and guiding them into and through our leadership pipeline, typically from committee member to chair, then to the Board of Directors and ultimately to the Executive Committee. Discussing governance was just what we needed to see how we can be more effective as BCC leaders and to better develop our members’ talents.

We are also considering a reorganization – with a new organization chart – of Board positions and duties to help us be more efficient and effective going forward. The Board members present were excited and committed to make this happen. We have set a goal of having this ready for approval at our annual Congregational Meeting in July.

This process is intended to be collaborative, engaging our members along the way. Our mission, vision, values and the plan itself, including the new structure (which requires a by-laws amendment), will be developed on a draft basis. Then we plan to hold a series of town halls to discuss this with members.

With member input we will finalize and ask for your approval in July. This will be a big but definitely progressive and exciting change for BCC.

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