As we settle into our new and welcoming home, and in this time of holidays, it’s a good time to pause and reflect on what we want to be as a UU community. Or, as Lead Minister Mark Ward challenged us this past Sunday, “It is fine to be a gathering place of liberal-minded people, but to what end is our gathering? It is good that we proclaim freedom of thought and conviction, but what is that freedom for? It is laudable to affirm love, justice, compassion, equity and acceptance, but again – to what end?”
Your Board of Trustees held a series of listening sessions last year with the Congregation and, from those meetings, distilled the input and updated our congregational Ends Statements. These Ends Statements, listed below, act as our strategic vision and capture the specific areas in which we seek together to impact our lives and further our Mission.
As a Unitarian Universalist faith community, we nurture individual search for meaning as we work together for freedom, justice and love.
Within Each Congregant: We Seek
Embrace principles, values and practices which explore the sacred in the world and the mystery of existence.
Gather together in worship which guides and sustains our individual and communal response to the sacred through multifaceted creative, artistic and musical experiences.
Among the Congregants: We Care
Feel welcome and connected with each other.
Share generously of our personal resources of time, talent, and money.
Honor and support each other in times of celebration and need.
Beyond our Congregation: We Work
Act meaningfully and visibly in community service, advocacy and education.
Serve as a beacon of liberal religious thought and action.
Offer our space for events which serve a varied audience and inspire community dialogue.
Partner with other congregations and organizations in support of shared objectives.
We seek to achieve these Ends as we work on 1) our own spiritual development, Within ourselves, 2) as a community of seekers in relationship to each other, Among ourselves, and 3) improving the world for the better Beyond our own walls. Our wonderful, professional staff helps us in achieving these Ends by offering a wide variety of programs and services. They seek to integrate congregational ideas and participation with these Ends. Each member and friend in the Congregation has a responsibility to work with other Congregants and our staff toward our Mission and Ends, as this is our Covenant to one another.
Finally, it is important that you provide open and honest feedback on our programs and services, so we know what’s working and what we can improve. Consider the following questions for helping assess progress on meeting our Mission and Ends:
- What did we set out to do?
- What actually happened?
- Why was there a difference?
- What do we do next time? (which activities do we sustain, improve or eliminate)
It’s best to provide feedback face-to-face at the end of each meeting or program. However, feel free to provide feedback to any of the staff or Board members at any time. Let us know how we are doing in achieving our shared Mission and Ends.