From Markus Grae-Hauck, Music Director
Did you miss it? I almost did. If you attended the Sunday morning service on September 24th, you were there when Rev. Anya Sammler-Michael (Senior Co-Minister), Sue Raufer (Board President), and Jennie Wengrovius (Chair of the Music Committee) took a few minutes to acknowledge the fact that I completed the UUA’s Music Leadership Certification this year. You can read more about the program here: https://www.uua.org/careers/music.
Why is this important for our congregation? Many people feel that we already have an excellent music program with very qualified staff, so why bother developing more expertise when we could spend our resources on investing in our own ministries? If you are familiar with Stephen Covey’s book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” you know that the 7th habit that completes the circle is called “Sharpening the Saw.” If we don’t take time out to hone our craft and take care of our tools, our work becomes less effective over time – like a saw blade that gets dull, making the job more tedious than it needs to be. It is not easy to take the time for stepping away and sharpening the saw – there is so much wood to cut! But if we remember that a sharp saw cuts twice as fast, investing in its maintenance makes sense.
I was fortunate to have a wonderful advisor, Dr. Leon Burke of St. Louis, MO, who guided me through the three-year program. His mentorship is a great role model as I am now advising a new candidate, who is serving another UU congregation in New Jersey. She is an accomplished musician who is already doing excellent work in her position – and she is excited about learning more and further developing her skills. I am grateful for the opportunity to pay forward some of what I received.