“Growing Effective Leaders and Faithful Members for a Stronger Community”
Welcome to Rotary Year 20/21! As discussed in the last episode, our Rotary International theme this year from RI President Holger Knaack is “Rotary Opens Opportunities.” Our Rotary District 5930 theme this year from District Governor Eddie Bartnesky is “Lend a Helping Hand.” Our Rotary Club of Kingsville theme this year is “Growing Effective Leaders and Faithful Members for a Stronger Community.” So why do we need a Club theme? Allow me to answer your question…with a question: “What is a theme?”
To me, a theme helps provide focus. It’s similar to the topic or main idea sentence we learned about in elementary school. It tells your audience what you’re going to tell them before you tell them. It also serves to remind us what we’re doing and why. Let’s look deeper…
Growing: We are not building leaders; we are not assembling leaders; we are growing leaders. Growth is organic. It requires nutrition and nurturing from outside, but growth comes from within.
Effective: Why not a “good” leader or “popular” leader or even an “efficient” leader? According to John C. Maxwell in Leadership 101, ‘Efficiency is the foundation for survival. Effectiveness is the foundation of success.’
Leaders: We are all Rotarians; we are all Leaders. We are leaders in the community, we are leaders in business, we are leaders in Service.
Faithful: Rotary is non-political and non-religious; this is to promote an environment of inclusion, not exclusion. However, faith doesn’t necessarily mean organized religion. Faith is trust. Faith is hope. Faith is continuing to do good works even without direct reward. What does faith look like? When you donate $100 to The Rotary Foundation towards the End Polio campaign knowing well that you will never see the hundreds of children on the other side of the world who can then be vaccinated, that’s what faith looks like. Faith in Rotary. Faith in Rotarians.
Members: Many consider Rotary to be a Service Organization with world-wide Membership. President Holger insists that Rotary is a world-wide Membership Organization with Service Opportunities. What’s the point? We are nothing without our Members! Our Members are our greatest asset.
Stronger: Strong bonds are hard to break. So too are strong members and a strong community hard to break. Strength can be power. Strength can be influence. Strength can also be an insurance policy against adversity.
Community: To be in communion with, together; that is, in and amongst those with whom our lives are closely linked. Right now, it may not really feel like we are in a community with our neighbors. I think part of our new call to action is making sure that our fellow members and neighbors do feel like we are still together, closely linked.
So, we have our theme, now what about that logo?
If you have not yet surmised, this is an artist’s rendition of the 1909 Kingsville High School. The “Old High School” should be a source of inspiration to the Kingsville community: it was one of the first buildings in the new town to be built, it was burned and rebuilt, it fell into disrepair then again rebuilt. Still it stands and is now the new City Hall!
The school also represents well our club theme:
Teachers are leaders. Students go on to become the leaders of tomorrow! Education is paramount to leadership. The school façade itself is an artist’s representation of three historic Spanish missions: Concepcion, San Jose, and of course, The Alamo. Not only do Spanish missions of the Roman Catholic Church represent faith, the missions themselves were an act of faith. The school building now houses the offices of Kingsville City government. This not only represents local leadership, but it also represents our local community at large!
Ok, so we have our theme, we have our logo, now what?
Now we go out into the world to do the work we have been given to do! We go forth and serve through the Rotary Trilogy of Membership, Foundation, and Public Image. We go forth and do work in our Five Avenues of Service: Club Service, Community Service, International Service, Youth Service, and Vocational Service. We go forth with a new club exercise! For inspiration and a segue, we look to the Rotary People of Action campaign, specifically, Together, We Connect!
Our new Membership Strengthening Program is called “Together, We Connect: Weekly Pair Bonding.” This will serve to reinforce both our membership and our club! Be sure to read your weekly instructions and assignments.
We’ll keep this club theme, and all of our themes, in the forefront as we continue with our Strategic Planning and our “Kingsville Rotary Vision 2020!” More on that in the next episode…
Thanks - Justinn J. Jones, President, Rotary Club of Kingsville