Minister’s Column – August, 2018

My favorite metaphor for the church is a lighthouse. At our best the church is a light sent out into the darkness when seas are rough, guiding us to safe harbor, a place of rest and com­fort. Yet it is also a beacon sent forth to proclaim truths the world yet needs to see and hear. The work of the church is finding the balance point(s) between reaching in – for sustenance and depth of spirit, and reaching out – speaking truth to power, learning to love the world and its people ever more expansively, widening the circle of justice, inviting all in.

Creating a vision and plan for the next five years can help us at UUCV manage this dynamic balancing act as beacon and sanctuary. The five members of our visioning task force will be considering all this as we gear up to begin creating our vision for the next five years. We have dubbed ourselves 5-For-5: the Five-Year Vision Task Force, or simply 545. I am so grateful to be working with Kim Prieto, who has agreed to chair the team, Janice Frank, George Owens, and Andy Edgar Beltran.

Not that we are going to write the plan ourselves, that’s where everyone (and we mean everyone) comes in. 545 will facilitate a congregational process to generate ideas and input from members and friends. There will be congregational gatherings, surveys, phone calls, coffee hour conversations, and more. We’ll ask com­mittees and groups to balance dreaming boldly with being prac­tical and strategic. And on the other side of a year or so – after conversing, discussing, wrassling, dreaming, developing the art of the possible – we will have a planning document to guide us through the next five years. We intend it to be a living document to be revisited throughout the years ahead.

The 545 team has already met twice, and you’ll be hearing from us regularly.

First, we ask some questions:

What is your metaphor for the church? My lighthouse is only one among many possibilities. How does the church make a difference in your life and the world? What metaphor captures the energy, inspiration, delight and power of this church com­munity?

And lastly – In service to what? What is the larger purpose of all this visioning and planning? What greater good does the church serve?

We might not yet have answers. I can’t wait to discover the answers we live into.

The journey continues.

With love, Rev. Dana