Did you know that in the 1800s the City of Chicago raised its downtown buildings in order to build a sewer system? That’s right. They ele- vated large, already-established buildings. And then, when the capacity of the sewer system was finally maxed out, the city spent 40 years and four billion dollars to dig deep tunnels and a HUGE quarry to contain the overflow. This story and more about the history and power of great ideas is the subject of a recent book and movie called How We Got To Now by author Steven Johnson. It’s fascinating stuff—and I was struck by how the hard work and perseverance of individuals has made such a difference in the world.
Welcome Table’s story also continues on, one day at a time, through the collective works of our members. It was full steam ahead for the board in the first quarter of 2015. We organized a new member orientation, ordered new church t-shirts and began planning an Open House for the new building. Pledges were on target at the end of March, our newly donated laptops are getting synced up (thanks to the work of our IT guru & treasurer, Bridgett Chandler) and the Personnel Team will soon do annual staff evaluations.
We were thrilled to sign off on the decision of the interim search committee to hire Chris Morton as our new minister. The team—Curt Williams, Beth Grabow, Chad Blanchard, Ann Polansky and Kirk Duncan—began meeting in early fall and deserve the highest kudos for their hard work. Some members of the team will continue to serve as a pastoral support committee for Chris.
The Board followed the lead of Disciples General Minister and President, the Rev. Dr. Sharon Wat- kins, in taking action concerning legislation in Indiana that led to a showdown between religious and gay rights. The Board wrote a letter of support to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray when he issued an executive order banning city-funded travel to Indiana. Since then the legislation was amended and the travel bans by a number of cities were rescinded. It felt good to speak up.
The Board also approved Kathy Coggins and Moira Gideon to represent Welcome Table at General Assembly this July in Columbus, OH. And we have planned, in conjunction with the Regional office and other Disciples churches, a Bon Voyage and Thank You party on June 7 for Michael Kinnamon and his wife Mardine, who will be retiring to the sunny city of San Diego.