First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church

Visioning Workshop Notes 1-24-15

First Jefferson UU Church of Fort Worth
Visioning Workshop
Saturday, January 24, 2015

Facilitator: Marguerite Mills
Process Observer: Michael Zepeda
Recorder: Sheryl Abrahams
Visioning Task Force Chair: Tina Harmuth

1. Introductions
2. Behavioral Covenant (available at church for viewing)
3. Designation of Tasks (listed above)
4. Expectations- what group believes that we are here to do and not do

The group determined that we are here today to accomplish:
-Find commonalities
-Get to know Each other better
-Think about who we want to be as a church

The group determined that we are POSSIBLY here to:
-Work towards a path to tomorrow-Determine next steps-Get 90% of the way towards a new vision statement (facilitator stated that we would most likely lay the foundation; Others pointed out that more congregational input would be needed before we got to this point.)

The group determined that we are probably NOT here to find solutions to problems.

Clarified that we are here today to deal with transcendent values, and to work on both
mission and vision, as they go together.

5. Mission and Vision
Mission determines the fundamental reason for the existence of the congregation.
Succinctly state why and what it does to achieve the vision.

FJUUC’s current mission statement: “We are a liberal religious community of diverse individuals. We nurture spiritual growth, encourage lifelong education, work for social justice,
serve the larger community, and celebrate life's gifts together through meaningful worship.
We welcome and support others in their expression of religious freedom.”

Some definitions of vision: Outlines what the congregation wants to be and/or how it wants
the world to be.

An example of FJUUC’s mission statement as a vision statement: “FJUUC nourishes the
spirit. Celebrates diversity. Frees the intellect. Heals our world.”

Question about how specific our vision should be. Answer that visions are fundamental statements from which everything else springs. Detailed goals have their place in the strategic plan that is created after a vision is complete. The vision is a transcendent statement- that which inspires. Point made that last vision was created based on prior strategic plans, but this is backwards- should have strategic plan spring from vision.

6. Transcendent Center of Value and Power
Wilfred Cantwell Smith


What does the word transcendent call up?
-Rising above-Greater power than us all-That from which our power comes

We sometimes struggle with this, but we must acknowledge that we have power. Power comes
from being together- this is what we mean when we talk about shared values.

7. Getting to Know Each Other Better/ Spectrum Exercise
The group participated in an exercise where we placed ourselves along a continuum based onour responses to certain statements, like “When I disagree with people, it is easy for me to say
so,” and “I have a regular spiritual practice.”

This exercise is designed to help us get to know one another, and our particular strengths.

8. Back to Transcendence
Going from the Me to the We is the source of our transcendent power.
Will do a group exercise called “Experience of the Holy.” Emphasizing the need to trust the

Group broke into pairs. Each pair described to one another a transcendent experience andwrote down words that described or encapsulated that experience. From their lists, each pair
selected 3 words.

After the pairs exercise, the group broke into 4 groups of 5-6 people. Each of these smallgroups selected 3 words to describe transcendent experience.

The whole group then came together and shared the 3 words arrived at by each small group.
These words were compiled into the following list:

-epiphany-hope-joy-healing-connectedness/ connection-humanity

The main group used a “Fist to Five” process to narrow the list down. For each word,
participants held up their fingers to show a number: 5 was really liked the word, 1 was didn’t like the word, fist was the word absolutely had to go (non-negotiable).

From this process, we worked our way down to four words that we felt encapsulated our shared values. These words are the foundation of our work going forward.

Words that encapsulate our shared values: hope, joy, connection and awe

9. Tools to Use Going Forward
Marguerite presented tools that can be used in church work going forward, including the RASCI tool to ID roles and responsibilities, the SWOT tool to analyze strengths, weaknesses, threats
and opportunities when planning, stories, music, PERCEPT, games and testimonials.

10. Next Actions:
-Send out these notes to group for comment/ corrections-Prepare a piece about this process for the church newsletters-Post the results, written on newsprint, for the congregation on Sunday-Be ambassadors to those who weren’t here
11. Process Observation:
-Good behavior for most part-Good job remaining on task and getting through the work-Handled contention well- no hissy fits-Facilitator gave group good marks for group dynamics

Last Updated on Friday, 20 October 2017 13:24

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