What are Vision, Mission & Covenant?
We’ve likely all heard these words used, and often interchangeably. As it turns out, although interrelated, they do not mean the same thing. The diagram below from the UUA sets out a mental model of how they might fit together, with vision having the broadest focus, narrowing into mission and then covenant.
Because of the confusion around terminology that often occurs, we would like to propose specific definitions for our purposes at UUCC:
What is Vision?
A vision is an empowering and energizing, carefully defined picture of the congregation’s future. It is not the current reality of the congregation, but a dream of what the congregation wants to make of itself. Vision answers the question:
- What do we want the congregation to look like in five or ten years as a result of efforts in ministry, programming, and outreach in service of our highest aspirational values?
What is Mission?
The mission is a defined, concise, and focused statement of what the congregation wants to mean to the community, and for what it wishes to be known. It is a statement of who we are and what we value, and it should be the measuring stick for all the congregation does. The mission statement should incorporate answers to the questions:
- If (X) is our vision, where does this lead us in mission?
- What “must” we do, and who will be served?
- What service is for those inside of the congregation, and what service is offered to those in the wider community?
What is Covenant?
Covenants describe the way people interact with one another in service of their highest commitments. At UUCC, these may be the words you are most familiar with, as we say them together most Sundays during worship. Covenant incorporates values, prized beliefs, and behaviors that are held dear, and it sets out an image of how individuals are expected to behave in groups. It is rooted in the past and reflects the promises that people make into the future. Covenant answers the question:
- What are the qualities we want in our life and work together?
The process of developing Vision, Mission, and Covenant takes place over time as congregations grow and change, and as people reflect upon and renew their promises. Our congregation is called to review and renew our Vision, Mission, and Covenant statements every seven years. We hope you will engage in this process, sharing your perspective, insight and dreams, as we gather input from all members of UUCC through interview, small group conversation, questionnaires and other activities.
Stay tuned for next steps coming soon!
Mission / Vision / Covenant Review Committee
Melanie Whelan (Chair), Gregory Seidman, KP McLaughlin, Lindsay Thompson, Tina Horn, Jenny Afkinich (Board Liaison)