Dear UUCC Members,
Over the past several months, your Board of Trustees has been contemplating UUCC’s mission, vision, covenant, and ends statements.
One of our board policy guidelines says the board will review our mission, vision, and covenant statements at least once every seven years. The current church year marks the seventh year since the last review. In the past, such reviews often resulted in the crafting of new statements – endeavors that required substantial investment of time and energy. This year, we asked ourselves a few new questions about this guideline: What benefits will be derived by re-writing any or all of these statements? Will the process itself be meaningful for the congregation as a whole? If not, what process might be? We hope you will think about this issue with us.
Of the statements under review, many members are most familiar with our covenant, because we read it in unison in Sunday services from time to time. Essentially, it is a set of promises on how we will interact, respect and support each other. Our board’s consensus was that the current covenant (adopted in 2004) serves us well, and we do not recommend any changes to it.
Strengthened by our common humanity and inspired by our seven principles, we promise
to be a safe and welcoming community,
to nurture each other’s hearts and spirits,
to delight in the beauty of our diversity,
to struggle together on our spiritual journeys, and
to challenge each other to live our values.
Thus, we pledge our time and vigor to the continuing celebration of spirit, of the world, and of humankind.
Our mission is to be a vibrant, nurturing, and inclusive congregation, enriched by our diversity, shared ministry, and love. We inspire spiritual and personal growth for ourselves and our families. We live our values and act with our community to make the world a better place.
UUCC’s mission statement describes the reasons for our congregation’s existence. After reviewing and discussing our current and past mission statements, the board feels that the former version (below), which was adopted in 2004, is a better fit for our congregation than the current version (above), which was adopted in 2010. We welcome your thoughts on (re-)adopting this shorter, simpler statement:
The mission of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia is to be a transforming spiritual community. We freely explore the mysteries of existence and act to make the world better.
Vision (and Ends)
Many members are probably least familiar with our congregation’s ends. Under policy governance – our congregation’s adopted governance structure – the ends articulate our congregation’s vision and intent, and guide the paid and volunteer staff in the performance of their work. UUCC currently has eight ends.
Our board discussed at length the value of having both a vision statement and ends, and concluded that having both seemed redundant. We believe the ends are a comprehensive statement of our congregation’s vision for the world we want to create, so we recommend replacing our vision statement (below), which was adopted in 2004, with our ends.
We, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia, use the transformative power of our faith to be a community where:
- We actively search for truth, encourage spiritual growth, and live meaningful lives as Unitarian Universalists.
- We seek to learn from the world’s many religious traditions and celebrate an array of theological beliefs.
- We minister to each other with caring and compassion, building strong congregational bonds in live and friendship.
- We offer people of all ages a rich variety of programs that encourage, challenge, and expand our thinking.
- We welcome diversity in in membership and make special efforts to attract, integrate, and engage newcomers, families, teens, and young adults.
- We each commit our talents and resources to the sustenance of the congregation, and acknowledge every individual’s contributions.
- We are respected as a principled religious community that takes action and effects change which enhances the broader community.
As we proceed with a meaningful review of the mission, vision and covenant with respect to how they might best serve our congregation, we are interested in hearing members’ opinions. What do you think? What are the best ways to recommit to our purposes? If you would like to comment, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to engaging in this important conversation with you.
UUCC Board of Trustees