We are a minister-led, member-driven congregation that is known as a theologically diverse religious community engaged in social justice. We are a welcoming religion for people of all ages, backgrounds, affinities, sexual orientations, gender identities, family structures, and beliefs. Our building is the gathering place for progressive causes in our area. Inspired by our strong worship program, we enact our values in our daily lives, practice our values within our Congregation, and manifest our values in the world.
All of those documents are subject to change, but a vision, in particular, should evolve along with the congregation as it grows and changes. And we are a much different congregation than we were in 2012. We talked about vision in a series of sermons earlier this year and formed a committee to discuss what a vision should look like for the UUCC of 2021 and beyond. The committee of around five met on several Tuesdays and kicked ideas and words around. We felt that a vision statement should be much shorter than our current one, which is excellent but not very memorable. What we really liked about our current vision statement was the end: “We enact our values in our daily lives, practice our values within our congregation, and manifest our values in the world.”
We discussed concepts we wanted to include: compassion, a spiritual home, our values, connection, growth in community. We considered input from the board retreat last year, the congregation survey Gates conducted a couple of years ago, our covenant and mission, and sample vision statements from other congregations and elsewhere. We made this beautiful messy document and shared it on Google docs with one another, and it is full of ideas that came to us during our sessions and outside our sessions.
On, I think, our third session, Janie came up with this beautiful turn of phrase: “Independent thinkers in an interdependent community,” and we knew we wanted to include that. We returned once again to our values and what we treasure about our community, and about the community we wanted to be in our larger community. In that session, we shook the cauldron of the ideas we’d pulled together and something poetic bubbled up. It was such a joyful process. I’d like to share the result with you now:
We are an interdependent community of independent spiritual seekers. We share our compassionate ideals and work to transform them into service for the common good.
At our board retreat earlier this month this vision statement was given the green light, by our board, to bring it to the congregation for a vote on whether to adopt it. To give you some time to think on it, we’ll post this on Facebook, our website, and in the newsletter, to let you sit with it a while and see if it speaks to you. We will vote on whether to adopt it on Sunday, September 12 at a congregational meeting.
I am so honored to share a common vision and mission with you.
Thank you for all the ways you make a difference.