On Saturday, June 18, 2016, program staff members met with our Board of Trustees to present our vision of ministry for the 2016 – 2017 church year. We
identified six different goals within this vision of ministry, as well as numerous projects in support of each goal. Although program staff members
developed these goals and projects in collaborative conversation among ourselves, I believe that our vision of ministry is nevertheless quite responsive
to the yearnings of the congregation. In particular, program staff members have sensed a widespread yearning for more emotion and spirit and heart
and personal connection within First Unitarian Church, and these goals reflect those yearnings.
Here are the six goals in our vision of ministry for the 2016 – 2017 church year:
1. More closely align our church life with our mission and vision.
2. Create a more prevalent atmosphere of radical hospitality and welcome.
3. Nurture a culture of greater abundance, generosity, and joy.
4. Build a stronger sense of community within our congregation.
5. Make it easier for congregants to participate in the life of the church, including our social justice initiatives.
6. Strengthen our existing community partner relationships and develop new community partner relationships.
And here are the specific projects associated with each of these six goals:
1. More closely align our church life with our mission and vision. Create more effective worship celebrations through greater innovation,
experimentation, and variety. Improve our multi-generational worship celebrations. Promote more lay-led music opportunities. Work with a musician-in-residence
from the larger community. Work with the Adult Faith Development Team to revitalize the adult faith development program, offering balanced content
and spiritual practices from world religions and wisdom traditions. Use Soul Matters theme-based content for worship celebrations and covenant groups.
Emphasize that Connect, Inspire, and Serve are mutually reinforcing.
2. Create a more prevalent atmosphere of radical hospitality and welcome. Upgrade the religious education classrooms and the classroom
building hallway. Work with the Marketing and Communications Team to realign website navigation and upgrade website content. Integrate technology to
create new opportunities for young adults to communicate with the congregation.
3. Nurture a culture of greater abundance, generosity, and joy. Initiate three staff-led community conversations. Encourage live
music during social hour. Increase the visibility of young adult initiatives and activities. Encourage collaboration among ministry teams.
4. Build a stronger sense of community within our congregation. Initiate “Tuesdays Together” programming starting in September.
Work more closely with the Covenant Group Advisory Team to encourage wider participation in covenant groups. Revitalize our lay pastoral care team.
Emphasize the social and covenantal aspect of music-making. Instill a culture of one-on-one conversations. Ensure that our membership list is thoroughly
accurate so that we know exactly who our congregation includes.
5. Make it easier for congregants to participate in the life of the church, including our social justice initiatives. Adopt
the “ministry team” model described in Governance and Ministry by Dan Hotchkiss. Ensure that young adults are invited to participate in church
6. Strengthen our existing community partner relationships and develop new community partner relationships. Enlarge our PIIN/UUPLAN
Bridge Team to include ten people. Identify and develop one new working or social relationship with a neighborhood association, a non-profit organization,
or an interfaith organization.
No doubt we will have opportunities to add several more specific projects to this list as the 2016 – 2017 church year moves forward! And no doubt our
ministry teams and our Board of Trustees will have their own projects as well! Let’s keep the momentum going!
See you in Church!