First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church

Strategic Plan 2009-2014 Yr 2 Report

First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church

Strategic Plan for 2009-2014

Year Two Report

November 20, 2011


Table of Contents

Overview *

The Common Ground Vision *

Desired Outcomes, Plan and Report…

First Jefferson is a Church That *

· Is Diverse *

· Honors right relations with each other and the community *

· Supports lifelong spiritual growth 4

· Provides inspirational worship *

· Is fiscally resourceful and sound *

· Is a community where people feel connected *

· Serves the community (Service Is Our Prayer) 6



In the fall of 2008, thanks to a grant from the North Texas Area Unitarian Universalist Societies (NTAUUS), First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church asked the Reverend Larry Peers, a senior consultant from the Alban Institute, to help us create a comprehensive strategic plan, hereinafter referred to as The Plan.

Rev. Peers, working with a steering committee, led us into a form of Appreciative Inquiry called Future Search. On the last weekend of September 2008 a large and diverse group of members and friends met to discern a Common Ground Vision for the church.

The principal outcome of the conference was a Common Ground Vision. It emerged through a process of consensus after a review of our past, an assessment of our current situation, and by

identifying current and future trends.

The Common Ground Vision

First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church is a Church that:

    • Is Diverse
    • Honors right relations with each other and the community
    • Supports lifelong spiritual growth
    • Provides inspirational worship
    • Is fiscally resourceful and sound
    • Is a community where people feel connected
    • Serves the community (Service Is Our Prayer)

This Common Ground Vision identified the above seven priorities. At the conference task forces were formed around each of the above priorities. The task forces, working with existing church committees and church leaders, further refined the ends envisioned and proposed specific steps, the resources necessary to realize them, and a timeline within which to achieve the steps. The Comprehensive Strategic Plan was delivered to and adopted by the congregation May 9, 2009. It is a five year plan for the church, its facilities and the congregation.

The Plan is not carved in stone but rather is subject to periodic review by the appropriate church committees and the Board. The Plan is a living document adapted to the changing conditions within the church as it grows. The Plan serves as a general roadmap with some specific ideas on how to achieve the church’s goals.

The Board of Trustees has encouraged and assisted the committees, staff, and leaders of the church in implementing The Plan. Ideas or action steps that do not appear to be working and/or do not have the support of the church congregation have been discontinued or revised as needed.

First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church is a Church that:

  • We are an anti-racist, anti-oppressive, and multicultural congregation.
  • We are a community where diversity is accepted, appreciated, supported, and encouraged. Our leaders, members, friends, and staff recognize and respect differences among members and friends and visitors.
  • We are accessible to all people whether "fully-abled" or "differently-abled."

Year 2 Plan

  1. Continue Building the World We Dream About course
  2. Work with the Adult Religious Education committee to deliver the Living the Welcoming Congregation curriculum
  3. Explore special-needs training for the congregation – RE has a training already for teachers
  4. Advocate for full ACT (Allied Communities of Tarrant) dues payment


The Diversity task force continues to meet. Additional energy and focus on this effort is required to meet future goals of curricula use or training.

The goal of diversity dovetails into the congregation’s focus on right relations. Great diversity work was done this year in our individual and group exercises of relational ethics. (see Right Relations report)

Next Year




First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church is a Church that:

  • Church members, friends, and staff are in right relationship with each other and the larger community.
  • The various groups and constituencies of the church are in right relationship with each other and church members, friends, and staff.
  • We encourage and support social justice and community service initiatives.
  • We are in relationship with local institutions, community leaders, and elected political representatives.

Year 2 Plan

A finished relational covenant to be voted on by the congregation at Fall Congregational Meeting


The Committee on Ministries rolled out our congregation’s relational covenant which was approved at the December 2010 Congregational Meeting. As in every year, we have met an expected amount of individual or group conflict. However, the relational tone and appreciation of each other is apparent now more than ever. The board of trustees and church committees have been tasked with exercises and readings to continue our education on how best to be with each other.

Next Year

  1. Fill each First Jefferson post in area social justice organizations
  2. Focus on social justice and community service initiatives
  3. Increase or begin to financially contribute our share


First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church is a Church that:

We support lifelong learning and spiritual growth.

Year 2 Plan

Adult RE - Two course selections planned: On Social Justice, The Prophetic Imperative, offered 9:45 a.m. on Sundays beginning May 16. On UU Theology, What Moves Us, beginning later this year.

Youth RE – DRE search and transition


Julie Tribble, our Director of Religious Education Children and Youth, began work October 2010.

Adult Forum and Bible Workbench are strong programs thanks to their committees of one.

Journeys weekly Small Group Ministry meets in the Religious Education hour and fills some of the lifelong spiritual growth goals.

Additional energy and focus by the congregation on Adult Religious Education is required to meet future goals of adult curricula.

Next Year



First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church is a Church that:

  • Our worship services inspire our children, youth, and adults to remember and strive to live out the ideals we hold in common as exemplified in the history and traditions of Unitarian Universalism.
  • Our sanctuary reflects the inclusivity and diversity of faiths and beliefs encompassed among us and within Unitarian Universalism.
  • Our sanctuary and other parts of the building are aesthetically pleasing, well maintained, and inviting.
  • Our grounds are colorful and attractive. We have a Memorial Garden, walkways, and comfortable and inviting places to sit.

Year 2 Plan

Sanctuary painting summer 2010. Painting and repair to building hallways, grounds plantings, irrigation repairs and a retaining wall planned in 2011.


The worship goals as stated have been met and will be maintained by the Worship Arts committee. Future worship actions items are not expected other than requests to increase minister time to full-time.

Building and Grounds items are included here because they are a part of a member/visitor’s worship experience.

Key leaders in Building and Grounds moved or weren’t able to continue. The loss was not just in volunteerism, but knowledge as well, and the change in appearance of our building and grounds has been noticeable.

When the church’s contract janitor gave notice, the board hired an outside cleaning service which began work November 2011.

Continuing foundation issues are being worked on and will be followed by repairing and painting of the church exterior.

Next Year

Additional energy and focus by the congregation is required to address issues of:

  • church aesthetics
  • room maintenance (clean-up and re-set space)
  • grounds grooming and enhancement

First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church is a Church that:

  • As a generous and abundant community we have the financial resources necessary to carry out our mission consistently and reliably.
  • Our system of financial record keeping is transparent, accurate, and follows generally accepted accounting principles and practices.
  • The treasurer, operations coordinator, and finance committee inform the congregation of the state of the church’s finances.

Year 2 Plan

Develop and begin annual stewardship model


The church is almost one year into a three-year consultation with a UUA Stewardship consultant.

The defunct Finance Committee was reconstituted by summer 2011.

Past errors or inaccurate accounting practices had our Treasurer working overtime cleaning processes, systems, and documentation.

In the interest of staffing for health, the congregation approved a deficit budget at the May meeting 2011. A focused team working on developing rental income is required to meet the church’s financial goals.

Next Year

A Fundraising Committee is necessary to plan money-making events or find viable solutions to increase cash flow. The office assistant’s job description includes managing rental income. However, he needs this committee to interface with and share the work beyond his part-time schedule.

First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church is a Church that:

  • Members and friends are connected to each other and to the church community.
  • Meaningful support is provided in times of need.
  • Everyone is invited, encouraged, and enabled to develop his or her own individual gifts in service to each other and the community.
  • Membership will increase by 3% per year between February 1, 2009 and January 31, 2013.
  • Church publications effectively inform members, friends and visitors of church activities, groups, committees, organizational structure, policies and procedures, and volunteer ministry opportunities.

Year 2 Plan

Implement the year-round stewardship model; complete the enhancement of job descriptions of leadership positions including the Board of Directors and Committees, Committee Chairs and members, as well as mini-job descriptions; provide leadership training and support; plan and execute live video streaming on the website.


Stewardship Committee and Connectedness Team (Membership Committee) implemented each action of their plans.

Because Stewardship means creating, guarding, and maintaining something, that committee’s actions could be stated to apply to any of our common-ground vision. By committing to an every-member canvass, three annual cottage meetings on various topics of church life, and a Healing Workshop, the congregation is connecting about church and its good work regularly.

The Connectedness Team continues to call and write members and friends just to say hello and connect.

The Caring and Sharing Committee has strengthened its organization but is short a co-chair.

Our presence on social media has increased and is better monitored. A Social Media Policy was developed.

All-church communications are published now by our office assistant rather than volunteers.

Church membership has increased by more than 3%. (From 146 in July 2010 to 156 – July 2011, to 170 November 2011)

Next Year

Additional energy and focus by the congregation is required to connect to the community at large in order to:

  • organize, fund, and record worship services, testimonials, etc.,
  • provide social media content to get the good news of First Jefferson out there
  • canvass for community needs and build community coalition

First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church is a Church that:

An important part of our identity as a congregation is the unison statement of covenant we read each Sunday morning during worship:

Love is the doctrine of this church, the quest of truth is our sacrament and service is our prayer. To dwell together in peace, to seek knowledge in freedom, to serve others in community to the end that all souls shall grow into harmony with creation – Thus do we covenant with one another.

Service is our Prayer is a key component of this covenant. Accordingly, we serve the community in a variety of ways.

Year 2 Plan

The Social Action Council is undertaking a service calendar in an attempt to identify and track service work done by the church. Communication between groups and individuals will keep the church serving the community and help lessen the ebbs. Faith development leads to social justice work. Adult RE classes like, The Prophetic Imperative, teach the UU theology behind Social Justice of which community service is a part.


The Social Action Council meets regularly and mobilizes the congregation in local service efforts like Cowtown Cleanup, Gay Pride Parade, etc.

Some church members, including a few from the Social Action Council, met in spring 2011 to study The Prophetic Imperative together.

A Green Sanctuary effort is underway. An energy audit by Oncor resulted in $50,000 of recommended repairs, replacements, or enhancements that would make us more green (two big A/C replacements, window lining, sealing and insulation, and solar panel installation.)

Next Year

  1. Fill each First Jefferson post in area social justice organizations
  2. Begin to financially contribute
  3. Develop Social Action yearly calendar
Last Updated on Friday, 20 October 2017 13:25

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