Creating a New Mission for Evergreen

Mission Statement
We are currently working on drafting a statement of Evergreen’s mission that reflects the congregation’s Core Values, Bedrock Beliefs, and Motivating Vision. Once it’s ready, we’ll need your feedback to make it better!
Keep an eye out for that next step!

*click one of these to jump down to that section*

Since January, the Fellowship has been actively engaged in a series of meaningful conversations to examine the fundamental elements of our congregational life in preparation for the creation of a new Mission Statement. Each segment of this journey has been designed to provide opportunities for wide participation, open communication, and thoughtful reflection by the entire Fellowship through a variety of experiences including Worship Services, Congregational meetings, focus groups, cluster group meetings, and other small group gatherings. These efforts are in preparation for creating a new Mission Statement for the Congregation later this year.

 

Each step in the process is building consensus around clarifying:

  • Who we are as an organization

  • Why we exist (our purpose)

  • What we seek to accomplish as an organization (our Mission)

Every Member and Friend of the Fellowship has had the invitation and the opportunity to engage in the process at their own comfort and interest level at every key point in the process. Your participation has been, is, and will be critical to the long-term success of Evergreen. 

Evergreen's Current Mission

Our mission is to provide a liberal religious home where people find a welcoming community, a stimulating place of learning and worship, and the challenge and support to live the Unitarian Universalist Principles and Purposes.

Where we're at in the process...

Mission Planning Team

missionplanning@evergreenuu.org

Ann Kelleher  -  Karen Winchell

Laurel Nisler  -  Marijo Duprey,

Nancy Miller  -  Sally Malan

Mission Planning Team

Newsletter Updates:

 

Our Core Values

In January we embarked on the first leg of our journey to consider our values, beliefs, and vision for the Fellowship. Our examination of Core Values involved the entire Fellowship in a process through Worship Services, Congregational meetings, focus groups, survey outreach and cluster group meetings, to dig deeper and arrive at consensus on the Core Values to which the Congregation is fully committed. You can see the results in the word clouds below.

List of Positive Core Values:

  • Compassion, kindness, respect, appreciation, gratitude, love

  • Integrity, transparent communication, commitment, courageous presence, honesty, intentionality

  • Justice, equity, courageous presence, fairness, solidarity

  • Community, interdependence, courageous presence, financial stewardship, solidarity, tolerance of differences

  • Learning, creativity, curiosity

  • Environmental awareness, interdependence, courage

List of Negative Core Values:

  • Confusion, lack of transparency, hiding the truth, loneliness, dishonesty, triangulation

  • Getting stuck, intolerance, unwillingness to evolve, intransigence, entrenchment, indifference, righteousness, individuality to the extreme, obstruction, fear of change, lack of inclusiveness

  • Fear & anger, contempt, passive aggressive, avoidance, righteousness, controlling, condemnation, fear of change, belittling, resentment

  • Mistrust, gossip, triangulation, back-biting, loneliness, hiding the truth, leaving, mistrust of structure

axe example 2.jpg
 

Our Bedrock Beliefs

In February and early March we moved deeper into discussing our BEDROCK BELIEFS - what is most important to us at our center, the essential beliefs that we turn to in times of uncertainty and crisis. On March 15th, the Congregation came together to review the results of the discussions that had taken place over the previous weeks and came to consensus on a set of Bedrock Beliefs that were the most resonant for the Congregation.

List of Bedrock Beliefs:

  • We believe in the power of community, love, and compassion.

  • We believe healthy relationships give us life.

  • We believe in the interconnectedness of all existence.

  • We recognize the multitude of ways in which the sacred or divine is manifested within each of us, in the majesty of our natural world, and the beauty of art and music.

  • We believe gratitude and appreciation of life nourishes and strengthens us.

  • We believe in a democratic process and believe every voice should be heard and respected.

  • We believe in standing up for justice and equity in society.

  • We believe in the rights of individuals to seek truth through reason and conscience.

  • We believe change and challenges are inevitable. We are resilient and capable of handling life's challenges. Positive change takes effort, commitment, adaptability, and time.

  • We believe that everyone?s unique contributions are valuable, impactful, and make a difference.

  • We recognize we all get to live one day at a time.

 

Motivating Vision

From May to November, we were engaged in the third segment of our Mission Planning journey, Motivating Vision. Pastor Tom guided us more deeply on a path of introspection and personal discovery in order to encourage expressions of aspiration for Evergreen's future - where we want to go together in the future. This ongoing conversation has provided opportunities for us to envision new possibilities... what it is that we value and what the next 30 years could look like; to consider not necessarily what we see for the future but how we see, and perhaps make a shift in perspective based on our examination of what is nourishing us in our UU experience and faith; to participate in spiritual practices to open ourselves up to deeper awareness of what sustains us; and opening our hearts to listen to the concerns and fears and hopes of others in the larger community around us.

Visioning Covenant:

As we address the future direction of this congregation, we promise to:

  • listen with our hearts,

  • think with creativity and imagination,

  • stay open to and respectful of new ideas and

    concepts,

  • consider limitless possibilities, and

  • honor the values and beliefs of the Fellowship; and

we are:

  • ready to accept others without judgment, go to the extremes of diplomacy, and offer the maximum generosity,

  • prepared to laugh at ourselves and laugh with each other, and

  • eager to try, fail, learn, and try again

Our vision for Evergreen’s future will be our dreams for what we will become, will inspire energy and action to achieve those dreams, and will form the basis for the new mission statement.

All along the way, many at Evergreen have chosen to be a part of this democratic process as follows:

  • Over 200 visions and implementation ideas were submitted.

  • Forty-seven folks participated in five focus groups that synthesized those submissions into a draft vision, for a total of five vision statements listed below. (One vision statement was accompanied by a sketch.)

  • The congregation gathered together to bring those five draft visions together into one.

The Planning Team synthesized the five visions into the following vision statement:

Key Mission

 

Founded on the congregation’s Core Values, Bedrock Beliefs, and Motivating Vision, our mission will be a clear, concise declaration of purpose that:

  • offers a clarity that is central to our regular functioning (What is our common purpose? Why does Evergreen exist and what are we in the world to do?) and

  • is aimed directly at the hearts of the public (What do they need to know about Evergreen that will motivate their support or involvement?)

Our newly-clarified mission can be:

  • the key to congregational growth

  • the key to developing ministries

  • the key to successful stewardship in the future

 

This statement of Evergreen’s mission will not be the end of the conversation, by any means; it will be the beginning. So: please join us in kicking off this beginning by helping us reach that clarity of common purpose together.

 

 

For more information, contact the mission planning team at missionplanning@evergreenuu.org

Evergreen Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
1607 Fourth St. Marysville, WA 98270
Phone: 360.659.6621
E-mail: evergreenuu@comcast.net
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