On Sunday, Dec 11, twenty-two folks gathered with the Transition Team for a conversation about vision. We again used a format for deep listening, allowing YOU to hear EACH OTHER so that you might better build relationships of trust and understanding.  

A well-articulated and authentically-lived mission will play an important role in UUCW making a successful match with your next settled minister. While UUCW has had a variety of vision and/or mission statements over its history, the most recent was adopted in 2007; it is dated, buried in meeting notes, and is seldom referred to. The time has come for a renewed vision for UUCW’s future.  

Together, we spent time talking about who UUCW is and who it wants to be, what makes us most proud of this congregation, who we would want to miss UUCW if it weren’t here, and what changes and realities we most hope to see. We used photographs to help inspire that vision.  

Here’s a word cloud capturing that conversation: 

At the end of our time together, each person wrote a simple statement of their most highly held vision for UUCW.  These are captured below verbatim:  

My vision for UUCW is… 

  • To blend our diversity into a spiritually nourishing home. 
  • For UUCW to be a place where everyone feels they belong and have a voice that is heard. 
  • That we support each other and prepare our youth for the future and be a beacon of light for the wider community.  
  • A vibrant, all-inclusive, multi-generational, spiritual community that takes action to share our values and do good, respect differences, uses and supports right relations, and has a mentality of abundance and dinners in the home.  
  • To have nourishing, intellectual content in Sunday services and throughout.  
  • That it be a caring community that supports its members and has a positive influence in the community.  
  • Becoming a place where we, the congregation, learn and grow into better caretakers and companions for our community and the wider community.  
  • To find a balance between our outward work and inward work with love and joy.  
  • That we embrace a mentality of abundance, increased transparency, and more community outreach.  
  • To be a community where each person lives into their best life.  
  • That with joy and in our varied beauty, we reflect our principles into the world.  
  • A journey of mystery, deepening, curiosity, and connection for all who enter this space.  
  • A church with the continued perspectives of inclusiveness within, outward social action, and improved transparency and congregational input.  
  • Multi-generational engagement with the congregation impacting the community to build a better tomorrow through love and respect.  
  • To become an even more successful ethical ‘fellowship.’  
  • Bringing warmth, caring, and enlightenment to our world through the work of our hands and hearts.  
  • To make the work we wish to do a joyous experience for people by building bridges with music, chili, nature walks, and anything else that draws people with exuberance.  
  • A strong sense of belonging including all ages with an emphasis on values, diversity, spirituality, and joy.  
  • That we are able to piece it all together to be a congregation that meets the needs of our community within and the wider community.  

This first conversation was just that…a first conversation…a time to start to imagine a vision and mission that would inspire and direct this congregation (for a short time, you can check out a colorful overview of this conversation on the whiteboard in the community room.) And, there will be more opportunities to engage in this process; whole-congregation input is vital.  

The success of this interim time depends on your engagement with these questions, and your willingness to be both vulnerable and open to unfolding possibilities. 

That we may be deeply connected,  
Rev. Julie 

PS: The next planned opportunities to connect and deepen include a grieving/healing circle on the evening of January 19, and a congregational workshop on Saturday afternoon, Feb 11. There will likely be more ‘after-service’ conversations as well.