Charting a New Course with Glide Memorial Church - A Q&A with Minister Marvin
Charting a New Course with Glide Memorial Church
GLIDE has established a new structure that separates the governance and management of the GLIDE Foundation from Glide Memorial Church. While the two entities remain connected, the church begins a new chapter, and we hear from Minister of Celebration Marvin K. White about what to look forward to in the coming year.
Marvin: As we think about who we are as a church, this calling forth of the first ever board of directors is a real sign that we are innately organized. We called on 12 people to be on our board who have all been church members with anywhere from 2 years to 25 years of involvement. This is really an outward sign that the church is growing, the church is excited about the future, and we are able to chart this course.
The board of directors will hold the governance keys and the fiduciary responsibilities for the church. They’re also the church’s cheerleaders and advocates in the world. They are tasked with bringing more of people’s time, talent and treasure into the congregation. They are my thought partners as the minister of Glide Memorial Church. They are growing a pastor at the same time that I am growing a board, because it’s our first for each of us. We aren’t inheriting a governance process. We’re creating one.
M: There’s some deep community, spiritual and values-led decisions that will determine how we organize ourselves as a church, and it’s really exciting that we’re in that process. I tell people, it’s like we’re Hamilton, the musical, and these are our Federalist Papers that we’re writing, and this is our first government. Who are we at our heart and at our core?
The values that the organization holds are that we are radically inclusive, truth telling, loving and hopeful, we are for the people and we are Celebration. And these are all, for the church, spiritual principles for us. We are radically inclusive, open and affirming, extravagantly welcoming, and unconditionally loving. We meet people exactly where they are on their spiritual journey or on their understanding as atheists or nonbelievers, the power of communities coming together as beloved community.
M: During the pandemic, we were intentional about reaching people at home, so we designed and produced a Sunday Celebration for the home audience. And there are people who found that they wanted a religious and a spiritual experience in the comfort of their own homes. It was such a break from what they thought church was.
We are now bringing some of those things that we learned online back into Sunday Celebration in person. We’re not coming back to the same celebration that we left before the pandemic. We’re making sure that those who come in person and those who stay at home can both experience beloved community and spirit.
Pride is going to be an exciting month, too. This is the first time in two years that there’s actually going to be a parade again. So, our team is already taking the glitter out of the freezer and thawing it out!