I have taped a reminder to the desk in my study at UUCA. Printed in 48-point type, it says:
“Connection, Inspiration, Compassion and Justice
express who we are and guide what we do.”
These are the words that your Board of Trustees settled on earlier this year to describe the values that underlie our work as a congregation. They emerged from an intensive, months-long process that dozens of UUCA members took part in last fall guided by Laura Park from Unity Consulting. It began with an invitation to all of us to describe an experience of the holy. Then, in dyads and then groups of four, people sorted through their experiences to identify the values that those experiences expressed. From those many words the Board distilled the four that you see above.
Yay! We’ve agreed on four powerful and evocative values that guide us as a congregation. That’s good, but four nice words floating in space don’t accomplish much. We need to bring them down to earth. What do those words call us to do and be as a congregation? Starting in September your Board of Trustees will invite you into a process to help answer that question. Like last fall, you’ll be invited into conversations facilitated by trained congregation members. The goal of this process will be to help update what we understand to be our Mission and then what Ends, what specific goals that mission calls us to accomplish. Those Ends will then guide the work of UUCA staff and lay leadership.
This is the kind of good, generative work that will give us a strong foundation for where we go and what we do in the years ahead. I hope you will all find a way to take part. It will be organized around a process intended to help us name what is best in what we do now and how we can build on it to realize our hopes and dreams for this community.
In tumultuous times it is all the more important that those of us seeking Connection, Inspiration, Compassion and Justice be centered, clear and unified that we may be part of the work that makes this congregation a blessing to the world.