Creating a New Mission for Evergreen

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

Starting in January 2020, the Fellowship 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 was 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 were in preparation for creating a new Mission Statement for the Congregation later that year.

 

Each step in the process was 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 Previous 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

Ann Kelleher  -  Karen Winchell

Laurel Nisler  -  Marijo Duprey,

Nancy Miller  -  Sally Malan

Mission Planning Team

Newsletter Updates:

On January 24, 2021 Evergreen held a special congregational meeting to vote on the new mission statement and it was approved! Check out the final mission statement here, or continue reading to learn more about the journey we took together to get there...

 

Our Core Values

In January 2020 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 2020 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 2020, 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.

  • 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. Please join us in kicking off this beginning by helping us reach that clarity of common purpose together.

The Planning Team would like to take this opportunity to thank the Board and the entire Fellowship for their ongoing support and encouragement over this year as we have carried out the charge entrusted to us. It has been our privilege and our honor to see this task to completion. We are truly grateful to you for your respectful and appreciative participation in the process. To the extent that you added your voice to the vision of promise and possibility for Evergreen's future, the entire process has been that much more representative and inclusive.

In this significant time in our larger world, we look forward to making this Mission Statement a reality... to making it part of how we live our Congregational life, make our Congregational decisions, plan for our Congregational future. We have much to be thankful for and much to look forward to in the months ahead. You have all made that possible with your patience, dedication, and generous spirit.

Thank you for all you have contributed to make this such a meaningful process.

 

The Mission Planning Team

Ann Kelleher    Karen Winchell    Nancy Miller

Marijo Duprey    Sally Malan    Laurel Nisler

On Sunday, January 24, 2021, Evergreen held a special Congregational Meeting to adopt a new Mission Statement. The adoption of the capstone of this process - our new Mission Statement - was overwhelmingly approved by the 41 eligible voters present (38 Yes, 1 Abstain):

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