Sunday 22 Jan 2012

Envisioning Our Mission

Chalice Lighting

We light this candle as a symbol of our faith.
By its light may our vision be illumined;
By its warmth may our fellowship be encouraged;
And by its flame may our yearnings for peace, justice and the life of the spirit be enkindled.

UU Principles

Joys and Concerns

Song: Let It Be a Dance


We all have a vision for our congregation. It informs some of our involvement and continued education in our life together. This vision, though often unarticulated, exists like a moving picture in our imagination.

Allow that moving picture of our congregation to become more explicit. As we engage in this process, relax and allow the vision to appear to you, rather than deliberately trying to create it. As images, thoughts,  feelings, or words occur to you, jot them down on the paper, remembering to stay with these images, thoughts, or feelings long enough. Then, even with your eyes half-opened, write down the essence of your imaginary experience. Don’t interrupt the flow of your imagination to write. Consider that you are taking still frames from the moving picture of your vision, and just jot down phrases that describe these still frames.

In your imagination, approach a compelling, but practical, vision of our congregation five years from now.
-What is the feeling of anticipation you experience in yourself as you do this?

Imagine yourself driving through our area.
-What do you notice about our community?
-Who are the people that live here?
-What are their needs and desires?

Now approach in your imagination the actual location where our congregation meets.

-What does the landscape look like—how does it look on the outside?
-What does it say about the congregation?

Now open the doors to the meeting place.

-What do you notice?
-Who is gathered there?
-In what activities are these people engaged?
-Who is missing from the picture?
-What is the atmosphere like?
-How does it feel to be there?
-What are the aesthetics of the place?

Tour the building, and visit the various activities that are occurring in the building.

In your imagination, allow yourself to get a sense of the worship, education, outreach, and fellowship of this congregation . . . as you deeply hope and imagine it to be five years from now.

Stay with whatever images, thoughts, feelings, and events occur to you.

When you are ready, jot down just the essence of what presents itself to you.

Spend the next five minutes in this exercise of imagination.

Sharing Our Vision

#704 by Rev. John Murray (18th c. Universalist)

Go out into the highways and byways.
Give the people something of your new vision.
You may possess a small light,
but uncover it, let it shine,
use it in order to bring more light and understanding
to the hearts and minds of men and women.
Give them not hell, but hope and courage;
preach the kindness and everlasting love of God.

Service leaders
Lisa deGruyter, Ginnie McNeil, Robert Helfer

Vision exercise adapted from UUA Vision, Mission, Covenant Handbook