“The best explanation for congregational health is clarity of mission and identity,” writes the Rev. Ken Beldon. All of a congregation’s activities are expressions and reflections of the mission. The goals and objectives, timing and budgeting, indeed the congregation’s governance model itself should be chosen so as to fulfill the mission. Congregational consultant Dan Hotchkiss urges that fidelity to churches mission is necessary “to achieve both the outward results and the inward quality of life to which it is called.”
It is with this kind of conventional wisdom in mind that the Trustees and the Governance Task Force have led the process of creating a new mission statement over the past year. Thanks to all of you who attended the discussion meetings and lent your opinions on some of the proposals we have put out.
Another bit of conventional wisdom is that that a churches leaders and it’s ministries must be accountable to “the mission” not to the “mission statement.” This is, in part, a recognition that a mission statement needs to be reviewed and updated to be kept meaningful in a changing world.
First order of business was to look at our current mission statement. Here it is:
- Inspire a thirst for justice and partner with others who share our commitment to loving community
- Challenge our assumptions about the world and ourselves
- Be a place of renewal and exploration
- Minister with hope and inspiration
- Create a sanctuary for freedom of thought and expression
- Support personal growth and develop leaders through education and example
Familiar to you? Probably not. It is quite well written and expressive of much that we hold dear to in our hearts, minds, and for many our souls. At over fifty words, it is certainly not memorable! A more concise statement, possibly even short and clear enough to be easily called to mind was a goal. Read it again. Is this statement reflective of our identity as a spiritual community? I don’t think it is and many agree.
At our February Board of Trustees meeting we finalized a simple eight word, possibly memorable, maybe even inspirational statement for the congregation to consider adopting.
Proposed Mission Statement
Practicing Loving Community, Advancing Justice, Nurturing Spiritual Growth
What do you think? Stay tuned for information on the process of discussion and decision on this critical, exciting, initiative.