First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church

Visioning Workshop Notes 02-08-15

First Jefferson Visioning Cottage Meeting Notes
Sunday, February 8, 2015
DRE Office, FJUUC

Facilitators: Tina Harmuth, Lewis Morris
Present: Sheryl Abrahams (recorder), Jo Burnham, Lorraine Levine, Thea Chambers, Joe Chambers,
Cheri Husband, Alonzo Reed, David Winkowski, Patrick Gutierrez, Judy Gutierrez, Charles
Schneeberger, Charlotte Bailey, Joel Bailey, Roy Brake, Rev. Jennifer Innis, Raziq Brown, Jamie

I. Tina began the session with a re-cap and summary of the Visioning Workshop on January
24, 2015.

II. Lewis and Tina led the Spectrum exercise, designed to help participants get to know one
another’s strengths and personalities.

III. Lewis led a discussion/ explication of transcendence.
A. Faith has to do with that which is meaningful to us. We are thinking about the “how” of
faith.

B. Participants took 3 minutes to reflect silently on the following question: “When you walked
into this church for the first time, what was your experience?” The group then took time to
share individual stories.
Themes from individual first impressions of the church:
-Noticed uber-connected member; hoped to form those types of connections
-Came during a church reunification; hesitant and hopeful about how they would be
received
-Good sermon
-Welcoming feeling; lovely grounds
-Family atmosphere; so much nature
-Small groups program active; extrovert-dominated congregation
-Participation welcome from all different people with different viewpoints, not handing
anyone the answers

C. Creating and finding meaning- working with that which we find meaningful.
Temporal Triangle of Faith- Wilfred Cantwell Smith

Temporal Triangle of Faith

 

Worship
Witness
Faith Development
Beloved Community

 

 

 

 

 

Looking at the diagram, transcendent values are what emerge as we move from the “me” to the
“we” and simultaneously move up to the pinnacle of the triangle. Thinking about our shared
transcendent values as that which will inspire us as we move forward. Namely, the transcendent
values of: Hope, Joy, Connection and Awe, which emerged from our workshop on 1/24. Thinking
about what we would like our church to look like in 50 years in relation to these values. OK if
these aren’t our personal 4 words- we can nonetheless all think about how they inspire our 50-
year vision.
Many of these stories highlight the process of moving from the “me” to the “we”; stories of
transcendence. Emphasizing that once we move from the “me” to the “we”, we can’t go back.
When we come together as a congregation, it’s not about the “me” anymore.

IV. 50-Year Visions: Discussed what our personal 50-year visions looked like in relation to the
shared transcendent values.

A. 50-Year Visions in Relation to Connection:
-Communal accountability and personal accountability as part of that transcendent value
-Demonstration of the value of service- connection to the community
-Whole integration- welcoming
-Diversity across all demographics (leading with covenant; welcome to all, but hewing to our
shared promises to one another)
-Service: visible changes to the world through cooperation with other organizations and
individuals within and outside of the church.
-Covenental values-understanding that these contracts are the embodiment of our shared
values. Entering into covenant accomplishes the transition from me to we.
-Seeing each other as members of this congregation first, and as pagans/ humanists/ theists/
etc. second. Being seen as a pagan first was more “me”; now being seen as a member of the
congregation first is more “we”.
-Full-time minister and DRE
-Church known for outstanding lifespan RE and greater retention of youth/ young adults who
have grown up in the church
-Primary place of spiritual growth and development for members and friends
-Recognition of UU symbols across the globe
-UUs will be excited to evangelize
-More doing and acting out our good values
-Increasing our enthusiasm for the church and for service
-More connectedness, activation, output and commitment
-Be a steady presence in community for the next 50 years.
-Abundant RE ministry
-Fully staffed
-Providing transcendent experiences
-Inspiring hope, joy and awe
-To Think, to Change, to Act
(make us think, then change, then act differently)
-Tailoring our programming and outreach to serve young families (multigenerational community)
-Membership double our current size
-Network of area UU churches
-Accessible to all abilities
-Social activities besides Sundays
-Culture of joyful giving and receiving

Quote from Bruce Lee: “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must
do.”

Discussion of worship as honoring that which is worthy.

Rev. Jen offered a 35-year perspective on UUism: these values very much resonate with her
experience over the past 35 years. The focus on covenant is more recent- dates in part from the
use of the word in the entry language to the updated principles. Very intrigued with where
covenant is going to take things in the future. Recent rend towards reclaiming language of
reverence to use in our own ways as UUs.

Last Updated on Friday, 20 October 2017 13:24
 
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