Thursday, December 29 2011 13:31
At the Board meeting earlier this month we reviewed and adopted the first part of the long range planning process. As part of this process we are putting forth a proposed new Mission Statement for the congregation to consider during several congregational conversations we will schedule next month. The new Mission Statement is based on our Unison Affirmation and will be the basis for determining where "we" (the
congregant "we") want to go and what "we" want to accomplish:
Love. Seek. Serve.
Love is the doctrine of this church, the quest for Truth is its sacrament and Service is its prayer. We will be known for this in the world.
By adopting this as our mission we (as individuals and collectively as a congregation) are accepting personal responsibility to live out our ethics and values. At the Board and committee level, we will look at programs through the lens of this statement. As individuals it gives us a chance to look at the small moments of daily life where we can "live the mission".
The last sentence of the statement is very important. With those words, we accept a broader role for First Parish and ourselves as members. We assert that to move our mission ahead we need to engage outside the walls of the church as well as inside the congregation. As we go to the next step of defining goals, objectives and milestones, this will be an important part of how we sort through what we want to do.
When we began this process, we did not want to get into the Mission Statement business. Our goal was to stay focused on more tangible elements of a long term plan. The problem we ran into was that you can't draft a long term plan unless you know what you are trying to accomplish. i.e. what your mission is. It isn't enough to say "we want to grow;" we need a reason to grow.
After we cleared the mission hurdle, we identified three key elements that will help us prioritize spending to further our mission. They are:
♦ Our heritage and location give us a credibility and standing to advance our Mission;
♦ Our minister, professional staff and congregation are capable, but have limited incremental capacity to expand our reach into the wider world;
♦ Our building, fiscal situation and communication capacity limit our ability to further our Mission. To further our mission we must expand our resources, including staff, volunteers and suitable space. The next steps are to listen to your feedback on where we are, adjust and go forward.
Please feel free to talk to me or any other Board member about this.