Dear Friends,

It takes a lot of trust to enter into a community process. So many of us can be attached to getting our own way—or at least trying to! To engage in conversation, in listening, in collaborative discovery is a mark of spiritual maturity.

In that light, I’m grateful to the dozens of OUUC members who showed up this past Friday evening and Sunday afternoon for the first two sessions of the visioning process.

On Friday evening, participants took some time to get better acquainted with each other; then I delivered a summary report of our process to this point, including the valuable input offered so far, through surveys, cottage meetings, conversations, and texts.

On Sunday afternoon, the group entered into discovery, through sharing stories of strength—of Olympia UU Congregation at its best. From those stories, groups extracted central themes and values at play in those moments. The first round of Break-Out Groups reported out some wonderful themes. While we narrowed things a little for the later part of the afternoon, I’m going to share all of the first round’s creative work at the bottom of this message, so you can see some of the qualities of OUUC at its best.

This coming Sunday afternoon, at 1:30 pm, we’ll gather again. This time, we’ll use the themes you’ve surfaced from the best of the past to dream of a desired future. From that dreaming (in the first part of the afternoon), we’ll begin to focus and hone. At the end of this coming Sunday, the group will arrive at a “conceptual consensus”—some guiding concepts and priorities to direct the work of the Writing Team in the coming weeks, as they work to translate the concepts and priorities surfaced in the group process into elegant, inspiring language in the form of a new Vision, Mission, and Ends for OUUC.

If you’re not able to take part in the group process this coming Sunday, I hope you’ll take time to jot down notes on a Padlet here: https://padlet.com/JakeMorrill2/8szdg7dttzyskdjk

If you have particular ideas, which may not fit into this high-level visioning process, about what you’d like OUUC to be doing, you can enter them here at this Google Doc here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1elVUcxtxOsKBi2AjVALdOCbBa4ejzeFhdtP2DoyhmhQ/edit?usp=sharing

 

It’s such a pleasure to see you come alive, to see you listening to each other, and to see the vision for your future ministry together take shape and vitality. I look forward to seeing you this coming Sunday.

In Faith,
Jake Morrill

OUUC Consultant

 

Themes of OUUC at Its Best Reported from BreakOut Rooms This Past Sunday:

 

  • welcoming, accepting, inclusive, open, supportive community; excellent quality of worship, staff, participation
  • connection, outward action
  • be and seek together, love
  • We are a welcoming, accepting, inclusive, open and supportive community,  The excellent and engaging quality of our worship, music, staff and participation.
  • sense of community/safety net, social activism and courage to act on beliefs
  • beloved community, passion for justice
  • community, social justice, spiritual freedom
  • spiritual and emotional support, purposeful engagement
  • inspired feeling of acceptance, stepping up in multiple ways
  • non dogmatic spirituality, inclusive community, opportunity for involvement
  • spiritually nurturing, spiritually grounded response to injustice
  • Community and church mutual support: Positives about community…safety, inclusiveness, love, desire to help. To work on…make community more porous
  • Inspirational worship and music: We’re doing well; consistency in worship, message; services are inspiring; feelings expressed through each component
  • Anti connection/racism: as a congregation we come across privileged, white, intellectual “snobs”  — opportunity for self reflection, asking how to be of service

 

  • Inspirational worship and music: through hard times congregation has been accepting but there is room for improvement; authentic communication
  • Courageous justice in action: humble, authentic  and courageous partnership with community; we can do things on  short notice; ask how we can empower others
  • “Loving acceptance and welcoming”
  • In addition to Authenticity of communication, add: openness to growth and trust. Need / desire for personal connection
  • some more to courageous justice …1) Act on our compassion/authentic action 2) Engagement/support with other communities / Inclusion, it is not about us
  • Shared spiritual exploration and openness: many examples including call on theology through our lives; personal experience of Sunday service; Trade off: UU spirituality makes it difficult to talk to those inn other faiths; those in other communities may not be seeking something different; those not satisfied may be more open to UU