A couple of Sundays ago, a group of us met at the request of the Standing Committee to start a conversation about our understanding of ourselves, and our vision for our future as a congregation. This is in part to help us continue the discussion about how to live out our covenant in more depth and also to gather ideas and thoughts to help guide the upcoming conversations with the architect about our needs and wishes with regard to our building.
Tom Wight, Carole Russell and I led the meeting. We asked the group three questions. Below are the questions and their responses. We asked these three because they address the issue that underlies our whole reason for being: for the sake of what are we here? We need to discern our answers to this question so that we can then figure out how best to use our finite resources of time, energy, money, and talent in the areas of our congregational life that will move us forward.
I invite you to add to these lists. I will post flip chart paper in the vestry for the next couple of social hours for you to write your answers to these questions, or to dot the ones that speak to you.
Our hope is that this can help us discern 1) where we are and 2) where we would like to be in the next five years or so. Then we can look at the bridges that will get us from here to there: our programs and ministries within the congregation; our outreach ministries beyond the congregation; and our building. We can then prioritize how we want to strengthen them.
--- Rev. Ellen
Who are we?
good in crisis
people striving to live their covenant
Historical / have deep roots
a searching people
try to be welcoming
willing to learn from people we reach out to
inclusive rather exclusive
Who are we called to be/do in the world?
Encourage people to better themselves and the world
to be respectful of each other and the world
live out our covenant & principles
example setters & leaders
open ourselves out to the greater community
showing who we are
Be a light to draw in and cast out rays
provide worship space
live in harmony with the environment
no further damage
nature and community
use talents for greater good
teach and be taught
nurture creativity – think for yourself, be aware of lines, but also transcend them
nurture self responsibility
lift up and out of the status quo
go an extra mile with hospitality
eat good food
offer a relevant, powerful, meaningful and effective practice/model of religious liberal community
being there for one another
flexible, especially for folks not yet here
Who are our neighbors?
of different religions
people we like and don’t like and vice versa
physically – town center/HDC
a grave yard, sacred ground that
tourists that visit the graveyard and our church
what we do now effects future
neighbors to the world
as a people
as a planet
neighbors to other UU congregations
people who use our church/space