submitted by Christine Parke and Diana Finch

I hope by now you’ve had a chance to read a bit about the VME (Vision-Mission-Ends) project that your Board is leading. In the weeks ahead we will need your thoughts, energy, and knowledge. Join us as we determine how our community can identify and address the greatest needs of our local, national, and world-wide communities.

The VME Project is a chance to reflect on our vision, mission, and ends. But what is the difference between “vision” and “mission”? And what the heck are “ends”?

Maybe this will help……

  • A Vision is a description of a desired future state, a description that is intrinsically motivating and universally oriented. If OUUC over time marshaled its resources toward an outcome, the VISION is what a person would observe and experience in the world.
  • A Mission articulates the actions the congregation does repeatedly to realize the vision.
  • Ends contain language that describes the activities of OUUC members and friends as we move forward in our mission work.

Here’s an example of a vision, a mission, and how the ends – our efforts – can be measured.

  • Vision: In Olympia, everyone has high-quality ice cream.
  • Mission: OUUC distributes high-quality ice cream throughout Olympia.
  • Ends (internal and external)
    • End: OUUC members and friends understand the importance of ice cream and pray to the ice cream god.
      • Operational Definition: In a quarterly survey, no fewer than 50% of OUUC members answer in the affirmative to the question, “Do you understand the importance of ice cream?” And, in a quarterly survey, no fewer than 50% of OUUC members answer in the affirmative to the question, “Have you prayed to the ice cream god in the last week?”
      • Monitoring: Direct Inspection, quarterly
  • End: OUUC members and friends carry songs of ice cream in their hearts.
    • Operational Definition: In a quarterly cottage meeting of at least 15 OUUC members, no fewer than 80% OUUC members in attendance are able to recite the lyrics to the three major ice cream hymns; and, at that same meeting, no fewer than 50% in attendance are able to cite an instance of singing about ice cream in public.
    • Monitoring: Direct Inspection, quarterly
  • End: Organizations all over Olympia actively take part in distributing ice cream.
    • Operational Definition: by July 2022, four other organizations/congregations in Olympia each distribute more than 100 pounds of ice cream each month.
    • Monitoring: internal report, annually

~~ This example is made up; sadly, there is probably not an ice cream god. ~~

But now – with your thinking stimulated about visions and missions and ends  – what vision do YOU want for our community and the future? Not just for OUUC, but for Olympia, our country, our world?

The VME project has started; sub-teams are recruiting volunteers; regular updates will be sent to keep you informed. We are designing several ways for you to participate and get your ideas into consideration; please be on the lookout for surveys and virtual meetings. And if you have questions or ideas for us, you can contact me at james.s.trujuillo@gmail.com.