Developing Our New Mission Statement

Significant progress has been made on the development of our mission statement this past month. On Saturday, January 6th, 25 people attended the Mission Statement Retreat at Pilgrim House Unitarian Universalist Church. I was very excited to see so many people that were able and willing to invest their time to participate. I would like to thank them for their time and insights.

I also want to thank Kathy Burek for facilitating the meeting. Without hesitation, she agreed to help. We are fortunate to benefit from her knowledge and experience in working with groups on projects like this. She is also continuing to work with the Board to articulate their values, especially around money and financing.

The purpose of the meeting was to identify the key concepts that will be used to create a mission statement for MSUS. The intent was not to draft a polished statement, but to produce the crucial data that will be used to craft the statement.

The majority of the meeting was spent discussing the following:

  • Why do we exist and what benefits do we hope to attain for ourselves and our community?
  • What are the values or decision criteria that should guide our relationships with the community beyond our walls.

The challenge was to focus on intentions and values, not means, or the products or services that we provide to achieve our intentions We were tasked with focusing on the why we exist, not what we deliver. This was more challenging than it sounds. The group looked at our existing mission statement and identified the elements that were intentions, benefits or end results.

The group also generated a list of values for how MSUS relates to those we serve and for the partnerships we form.

The board will review the information generated at the meeting and distill core concepts. I would also like to have children and youth offer input.

The data will be given to a group of four people who will be asked to draft a statement. The Board will review and edit and then it will be presented to the congregation for feedback.