President’s Perspective: Strategic Priorities

Strategic Priorities for UUCC – 2017

by Todd Iveson, 2017-18 President

The UUCC Board of Trustees has established three primary strategic priorities for the church to focus on during the next three to five years. While these goals may be revisited and revised as the needs of the church change, they provide a framework for the focus of our efforts in the foreseeable future. These priorities are in line with the mission and the vision of our church:

Encourage deep connection; clarify a path to service, responsibility, and leadership; facilitate spiritual growth through membership, small group development and adult religious education opportunities.

Address future building plans and staffing needs to better enable our mission of radical welcome, deep connection, and helping to heal the world.

Reach outward to Columbia and our Missouri community in a way that enacts our Unitarian Universalist values. Partner with groups outside our church to increase our members’ commitment and active participation in efforts of providing sanctuary, and promoting social action, multi-culturalism, anti-racism, inclusion, and environmental awareness.

In its meeting on Nov. 16, the board adopted the strategic priorities above as part of our continuous process of strategic planning. These priorities flow from the previous work of the congregation on our mission and vision statements and provide a more specific focus for the energies of our ministry over the next several year.

The words of these priorities were carefully crafted after much discussion and speak for themselves. But I want to share some thoughts these goals inspire in me about how we can give substance to the ideals we have expressed through our mission and vision.

The first priority calls on our commitment to radical welcome and spiritual growth. It challenges us to create a path not only to membership for all who share our principles, but also a way to fully integrate each member in service to the church and its mission. To truly create radical welcome, we must make it possible for each member and friend to find a fulfilling way to bring their gifts, to let their lights shine. At the same time, we must provide all of us with new ways to grow spiritually through interaction with other points of view and exposure to unfamiliar concepts.

The second priority echoes the words of our mission statement and makes us focus on the practical steps we must take to bring those ideals to life. We cannot be radically welcoming unless our building and programs are fully accessible to all; we know we have much work to do to achieve that. We also must realize that we cannot fully realize our ambitious goal of helping to heal our world without sufficient staff to support our dedicated volunteers. While our reach must always exceed our grasp, if we reach too far without the necessary support, we will fall.

The third priority renews our commitment to social action and specifically calls on us to engage more fully with the community outside our church. It recognizes that we are powerful in the collective energy we as a congregation can bring to these issues, but that we are always more powerful when working in community with others. Working with others also allows the wider community to hear our message of courageous love and radical welcome.

I am sure the words of these strategic priorities will inspire different thoughts in many of you. I look forward to having those discussions and to moving forward to achieve these goals.

On a practical note regarding the second priority, I am excited to tell you that I recently met with the now fully constituted Building Needs Task Force. This is a committed group with the complementary skills needed to help us bring clarity to our path forward on this important issue. The task force has agreed to engage in a meaningful process to seek input from the congregation and, based on that input, bring at least three options for future building plans to the congregation by Sept. 30, 2018.

The task force members are Matthew Bossaller, Kevin Fritsche, Larry Lile, Gretchen Maune, and Connie Ordway. Please let them know your vision for the future of our church home.