We are a People of Vision…
Vision. What a great theme to start our new church year!
In organizations, we think of vision as the ideal state toward which we aspire. We have a vision of being a church that transforms lives! Our vision is the goal that motivates us to live our values!
There are other meanings for vision, of course. Some people have visions — meaning that they see something that isn’t there — either in a spiritual sense or in an imaginary way. And if we called our church “a vision” — we’d be saying that it is physically lovely! But vision is also our ability to see. Many of us can look at a physical object, but there is another way. It’s as blind superstar Stevie Wonder says, “Just because a man lacks the use of his eyes doesn’t mean he lacks vision.”
“People of Vision” are far-seeing people. They have a sense of the possible! They work toward their vision of a better world. Many of us have personal visions, of course — visions of success for ourselves or our children, visions of peace in our families or in the world, visions of things we hope to do or places we’d like to see. But this year at UUCW, we have the marvelous opportunity to see some of the visions for our physical space begin to take shape via the Build 2020 process, and we will be developing a new vision to guide our Religious Education program for children and youth, too!
UUCW’s Vision Seven years ago, our Board of Trustees created a Global Ends policy for UUCW; “ends” being the vision toward which we strive. These Global Ends were the framework for our Vision 2020 Long Range Plan, which includes our Build 2020 project, long-range personnel planning, and many more ideas which we have been working to weave into church life for some years now.
Here’s our Global Ends summary statement: Come as you are — leave inspired! At UUCW we welcome you into a caring spiritual community where you are free to seek your own truth. Together we grow through uplifting worship, learn from many kinds of wisdom, and work to build a better world. This statement describes how UUCW is now — and also, via the more detailed “ends statements” that follow — it describes what we are becoming.
UUCW GLOBAL ENDS POLICY
What Are Ends Policies? Under policy-based governance (the system we use at UUCW), “Ends” policies are essentially the Board’s statement of our church’s mission. The fundamental purpose of ends policies is to provide direction for setting goals — they are a statement of the kind of church we aspire to be; of what we are in the process of becoming as a church.
An ends policy sets our mission in a larger context. It describes broad goals or visions, rather than detailed operational objectives (those are the way we reach the ends). Ends policies are informed by our collective vision for the future.
Global Ends for an Inspiring Church
Caring Community — We experience warmth, hospitality, welcome and support. Our religious community fosters meaningful and respectful relationships among people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. Our welcome reaches beyond the congregation to include people from all walks of life.
Uplifting Worship — We connect with a larger meaning and purpose in our worship services. Our worship life is diverse, joyful, multigenerational, and personal; it involves our hearts, minds, spirits, and bodies, and inspires us to reach for our best selves.
Building a Better World — We work actively to eliminate oppression and create a sustainable, just, peaceful and compassionate world in partnership with other organizations and congregations, as well as among ourselves. Our worship, spiritual life, and caring community encourage and equip us to do this work. We share the good news of our faith and promote Unitarian Universalism in our wider community.
Growing Spiritually from Many Kinds of Wisdom — We are encouraged to seek our own spiritual truths. Our lives are enriched by learning our Unitarian Universalist faith and practices. We grow by sharing ideas from wisdom both sacred and secular.
Sharing Ministry — We embrace an ethic of service through our shared ministry. We joyfully answer the call to minister to one another and to the world, and we engage in the shared leadership of our congregation.
Embracing Responsible Stewardship — We share our time, talents and money generously to care for our church and its staff and facilities and for causes beyond our congregation that help us live our values.
I hope you’ll join us in embracing these global ends at UUCW this year — and helping them unfold! It’s going to be an exciting year for all of us.
Blessings to you all,
The Rev. Suzelle Lynch, Minister