In the Universalist spirit of love and hope,
we give, receive and grow.
The process of developing this new mission statement, which was approved at the June 5, 2011, annual meeting was a long one.
1. More than 100 congregants participated in Mission Possible inquiries in January 2011.
2. The Board of Trustees crafted a draft mission statement that was discussed at four listening sessions.
3. Board of Trustees president Kathy Coskran wrote about that process in the May issue of The Liberal.
4. On May 1, Trustee Craig Bierbaum presented a revised draft of the mission statement. Use this link to hear his presentation. Read the transcript of what he said here.
5. Based on congregational feedback since, Board President Kathy Coskran responded to input about the proposed mission statement; click here to read.
Here is our previous mission statement:
We join together at First Universalist Church in a welcoming, spiritual community that affirms our liberal religious heritage. Our ministry is to bring the Universalist message of love and hope to one another, to our children, and to the work of social justice.
Background on the Mission Possible process
Our Appreciative Inquiry (AI) process in January 2011 was designed to articulate our values, our peak experiences at First Universalist, our wishes for the future and specific possibilities for the future—resulting in 31 pages of notes.
In mid-February the Board of Trustees worked with consultant Laura Park to discern our core values based on the AI process. Board members reflected on what they had seen and heard during the AI process, including reviewing the notes, and present it to the group. They were urged to be creative. What follows is some of this stage of the work, including presentations they made to each other, poems, power points, word clouds, even charades, and three oil paintings. A smaller group of the board finalized the draft of the mission statement that came out of the work at the retreat, which is what was discussed at the most recent sessions with congregants.
Click here for a compilation of the flip charts gathered at each session held in January with the 125 congregants.
Poem: "Twas the Night Before the Board Retreat," by Candace McClenahan
Poem: "Dear Brothers and Sisters," by Faith Woodman
Word frequency, by David Leppik
Word clouds, by Dan Berg
Charades, by Nancy Gaschott
Powerpoint summary, by Kathy Coskran
Powerpoint overview, by Judy Goebel
Powerpoint imagery, by Craig Bierbaum
Paintings, by Jane Johnson