Several months from now, as we are joyfully celebrating Howard’s long-serving visionary leadership and openly and warmly welcoming our new Minister of Ritual and Celebration, how will we look back upon the time our community is going through now? As we look back from that viewpoint, I think many Jubilants will be agreeing that our Jubilee! Community has gone through the greatest change and challenge it has ever experienced, as we came together to find a candidate who was just the right fit for our community.
From the announcement that Howard was retiring, almost a year ago, our Board has taken on this challenge. It created a Transition Team to work on the initial steps, with the Board providing guidance over what the team’s role would be. Over many months, the Transition Team worked on how best to find a replacement for the irreplaceable one. From the candidates that applied, three were given the opportunity to each lead celebrations on two Sundays and meet members of our community during a Meet and Greet.
Our Board continued its work to determine the best way to move forward and be inclusive. Our Board worked to give all Jubilants the opportunity to participate in the process by evaluating each candidate with written comments. Staff and leaders of our teams had the opportunity to offer their perspectives as part of a focus group. This is all information that was shared with Jubilants through a process that was as transparent as possible. It has been a process that honors our community, what our Jubilee! Community stands for, and, again, our value of inclusion.
All of this you likely know about, and while there are always hiccups in any process, especially one as challenging as this one has been, it has been offered with grace, compassion and resolve. There are many people to thank who have given their time, their wisdom, and their patience to construct such a process, but two people who were mostly behind the scenes deserve special praise – Claudia Sherry, our Board chair, and Paul Howey, Transition Team chair. Their leadership made this happen.
It takes an incredible amount of dedication, hard work, and commitment to bring any group together, and Claudia and Paul have shown that they are masters of an undertaking such as this. So let’s not wait until the results are in. Let’s not wait until months from now when we can look back with appreciation for this challenging, but growth-filled, process. As Jubilants, let’s acknowledge the hard work that went into completing this part of the task and offer our appreciation to all who contributed, but please, offer a special thank you to Claudia and Paul. I know I will.