At Breakfast Church in early July, we took the time to reflect back on the steps we have taken to realize the UUCBV vision adopted by our congregation just over ten years ago. And to envision what we might do in the next ten years.
Members and friends of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Brazos Valley know and value ourselves and are valued through the Brazos Valley for:
· Our love, warmth, and compassion, celebrating life’s joys and offering comfort for its sorrows;
· Our radically inclusive hospitality, offering hope and affirmation for all people; and
· Our inquiring faith explored and our respect for many paths and sources of religious inspiration.
In this spirit we, as a community of faith, seek to:
· Make Meaning as an ever-deepening spiritual community engaging with all we find sacred;
· Make Connections within our congregation, across generations, and out to the wider community, across differences of all kinds; and
· Make a Difference in empowering every person, young and old, to serve others in daily acts great and small, to sustain the world and make it whole.
During Breakfast Church, worshippers at each table responded to questions related to our vision. I promised to provide a summary of the answers in a Lat article. I decided instead to provide the actual statements, not just a summary. So, here we go:
First Vision statement regarding love, warmth, and compassion:
Over the past decade, in what ways have you as an individual shown your love, warmth, and compassion for others? How has your faith community shown love, warmth, and compassion for others?
· Celebrated the marriage of one of our members and his partner
· Our caring team does a lot of this
· Attended vigil when mosque was attacked
· Provide financial and volunteer support for Hope’s Closet, Family Promise, Habitat for Humanity meeting human needs
· Our minister inspires us to go out and serve the community as individuals
· Share our experiences with interacting with others at church
· What might we do in the next ten years to express our love, warmth, and compassion within our congregation and to the wider community?
· Be visible (in our new location) as a Welcoming Congregation
· Visit the patients in near-by hospital
· Support GLBTQ students at Blinn College; perhaps provide meeting space for their organization
· Express our love, warmth and compassion via a “wayside pulpit” at the new location
Second Vision statement regarding radically inclusive hospitality, hope and affirmation:
· Over the past decade, in what ways have you as individuals offered hope and affirmation to others? How has our faith community offered hope and affirmation to others?
· By our involvement with Family Promise
· Supporting the community by participating in Pride Parade, Crop Walk, Habitat for Humanity, Black Lives Matter,
· Providing support after Hurricane Katrina
· Individually, members and friends have opened their homes, worked at shelters, lived our principles, made monetary donations, participated in protests, and served as examples
What might we do in the next ten years to offer hope and affirmation to others?
· Become a Reproductive Justice Sanctuary
· Provide UU Campus ministry
· Partner with other organizations and churches
· Be an example in our community
· Let the community know what we are doing
· Continue what we are doing
· Invite others to church
Third vision statement regarding exploration of our faith and respect for many paths and sources of religious inspiration
Over the past decade, how have we, as individuals, and as a faith community, demonstrated our inquiring faith and our respect for many paths and sources of religious inspiration?
· Post 9/11, we have been more involved with our Muslim neighbors
· We teach in Religious Education about other groups and we try to emphasize similarities rather than differences
· We have provided things such as money, clothing, food to meet needs
· We have invited others, including Muslim students, to visit our church to share their faiths
· What might we do in the next ten years to demonstrate our inquiring faith and our respect for many paths and sources of religious inspiration?
· Use the pagan stones in the new location
Note: This group ran out of time.
As we shared our memories and experiences, we all realized that we have made meaning, made connections, and made a difference in ourselves, in our congregation, and in the wider community and beyond over the past decade. We are sharing our ideas for what we can continue to do or begin to do as we move into the next decade.
Let’s keep the conversation going. Don’t wait for a formal process. Write down your inspirations in our new “ComUUnicate Log” at the Committee on Ministry table during coffee time after church. More information about this new process is available elsewhere in this newsletter.
Let’s work together to leave a vibrant and inspirational legacy of the UU principles to future generations in Brazos Valley. -Gaye Webb