While we joyously celebrate the remarkable leadership that Joe Chuman has blessed us with for 47 years, we also recognize that endings bring with them a feeling of loss and, sometimes, even grief. Moving from the familiar into the unknown makes it especially important to transition well into new leadership. We also acknowledge that different people bring different strengths to the position. We must make space for that in our thinking.
The search for a great match for the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County will take time and careful consideration. Therefore, the Leadership Advisory Committee is exploring the option of having an Interim Leader fill the position until the Search Committee begins its work to find a permanent new leader. The Advisory Committee consists of Janet Glass, Tracey Kelley, Wes Matsui, Dwight Panozzo, and Ron Schwartz. We have been meeting regularly since the retirement announcement and have begun discussions of our options. Although the timeline is not yet set, plans are already being made to ensure a smooth transition for important functions such as the leader’s monthly platform and the leader’s pastoral duties. The committee will provide more details as things become more settled in the months to come.
After the issues related to situating an interim leader are determined, a Search Committee will be established. It will be expanded to nine members in an attempt to serve the interests of the whole Society, to ensure that all voices have representation, such as the Sunday School, Social Action Committee, etc.
A change of leadership is never simple, but one that involves a leader of the stature of Joe Chuman is monumental. So it is with that in mind that we humbly ask for the congregation’s patience and trust as we work thoughtfully to keep our Society thriving and flourishing through this transition.