With the end of our formal church year, the Transition Team will take a break–and give you a break–until resuming work in partnership with Reverend Dave in the fall. Until then, we will continue to support the work of the Board, begin communications with the new interim, and be available to the congregation and staff to help address your ideas, concerns and needs. We are very pleased that Jeanne Leadley and Jeff Kirkwood have agreed to join this team for the coming year, especially as three of us prepare to transition to the work of the Search Committee.
Thank you for all the energy, time, and thoughtful, honest input you have provided in our transition process this year. With Pam’s help, we have all learned a great deal and moved down the road in our preparation and readiness for a new settled minister. In the fall, we will complete the formal work recommend by the UUA with Reverend Dave’s help and your continued participation.
Below is a summary of the remaining results from our shared work this year. These are the results from the March 23, 2014 all-church Transition discussion focusing on our future. The replies were grouped into theme areas suggested by their content and examples of replies are summarized in each theme area. This organization was developed to provide direction to those who may use the results (full detail available from church office). Look closely! This is quite an inspiring agenda for our church’s future.
Tim Bartik, Rochelle Habeck-Hunt, Mary Lewis, Don Miller, Zoe Valette and Reverend Pam.
12 Themes for Strengthening Our Mission and Ministry
Q2: “As we go forward, in what ways do we need to strengthen the church’s mission and ministry? “
- Further develop ways to welcome, integrate and retain visitors and members (especially young adults)
(e.g., after-service childcare so parents can meet/greet other adults; expand how we welcome both new and old visitors and involve our newcomers, strengthen outreach to potential new members; determine and implement what it takes to bring in, integrate, and hold ages 18-40)
- Cultivate capacity to become a diverse (racial, ethnic, cultural) community
(e.g., challenge ourselves to explore and consider beliefs; be uncomfortable and grow; work with others unlike us to help us; provide offerings that appeal across ages, cultures, beliefs; broaden exploration of spiritual paths; reach out to more young adults and couples)
- Expand social justice program and include all ages
(e.g., more social justice actions for all ages working together; more people involved; focus on green church; work with our partner churches; strengthen our voice for community justice; more discussion and work with other groups and churches)
- Increase outreach and visibility in the community
(e.g., draw unchurched through outreach and programs; disseminate our mission; increase our presence and visibility in the community; connect with more churches/organizations – especially those different from us in race or ethnicity – in Sunday service exchange, work projects, etc. to learn values we share.)
- Make Sunday Services important and high quality experience for all
(e.g., make Sundays important with time for contemplation, deepening/growth, music, raising our highest values through the service; high quality and challenging on both intellectual and emotional levels; keep “meet and greet” and congregants in service; more diverse speakers (Muslim, African-American, etc.); be mindful of new seekers – explain routines, provide hymnal, collection optional, no acronyms); more integration of RE teachers and SJ programs into service)
- Incorporate and honor wisdom from all of the world’s traditions
(e.g., open to many sources of wisdom and world religions to inspire our Sunday services and spiritual growth; more readings, ideas from major religions (Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, etc.)
- Develop full program of Lifespan RE to address needs of all ages
(e.g., more user-friendly opportunities (times, childcare, small groups, adult Sunday school) to engage more people in developing their religious lives, exploring values and beliefs; survey needs and interests; RE to spiritually strengthen younger generation; keep regular community service for children within RE)
- Strengthen ways to create connections, blend generations, and build community within
(e.g., more ways to come together easily; cross-generational interaction in our activities and projects; incorporate young adults into community; strengthen intergenerational connections with youth/adult buddies; share home projects, neighborhood gatherings; re-develop a singles social gathering; take more time for having fun together and listening to each other; keep honest communications; helping)
- Improve structures and process to facilitate communication and operation
(e.g., fine-tune and coordinate all our communication outlets for timely and easy access by all; clarify staff responsibilities and backup; communication among committees to create coherent schedules; system and resources to ensure people who visit or join get what they need/want/seek; complete transition from minister-led to program church; assess and evaluate regularly how our ministry is serving us; value what we can learn from our interims and be open to receiving new settled minister)
- Develop our physical facility and setting
(e.g., more parking; increase visibility from street; begin to dream of completed church with building of a new sanctuary; more seated gathering space in foyer where visitors can sit and talk, host a community garden – food for congregation and/or needed community; continued focus on green church)
- Broaden and develop lay leadership in all aspects of church life
(e.g., more leadership development; enlarge/diversify lay leadership/participation; respite for leaders)
- Provide support for volunteers in program and staff structure
(e.g., more people working with Arms Around; more RE involvement to decrease burn out of teachers; staff support structure to all volunteers/unpaid staff; reorganize administrative support)