Last year MSUS started a process to update our mission statement. A task force was formed and obtained preliminary data from the congregation by asking for responses to some strategic questions. They drafted a statement and solicited feedback from the congregation. The statement was never finalized. The process was put on hold due to the time and energy that was being focused on assessing the potential purchase of the Ibis Street church.
During the process of assessing the potential purchase of the Ibis Street church, we learned a lot about our hopes for the future of MSUS and its role in creating and serving a loving community within the congregation and its role in serving the community beyond our walls. We learned a lot about our financial situation and the need for long term financial planning to achieve our vision and mission.
Given our recent experiences, Reverend Laura and I decided we need to step back and take a bit more time in developing a shared understanding of our mission. Developing an understanding our mission is different from crafting a mission statement.
We need to develop consensus about our purpose in the world. Why do we exist? What differences do we make in the lives of people in the congregation? In our community? In the world? How are we serving and giving back?
Our mission will provide guidance for the decisions that are made that address the above questions. Resource allocations including how money, time and talent are used are guided by the mission. When decisions are made by the Board, a committee, or an individual, we should ask ourselves, will the outcome of this decision further our mission.
Reverend Laura and I are developing a process that includes deep and meaningful conversations, yet is efficient with people’s time. In general, the process includes:
- Board discussion of our mission:
- Second Sunday Forum for congregational discussion
- Retreat in January (a focused 3 – 4 hour event)
- Developing a document articulating our shared understanding of our mission and a mission statement
- Review and comment of the above document
- Completed mission by May 5th.
I invite you to invest time in this process. Your insights and opinions are critical to the successful development of the shared understanding of our mission. I look forward to these most important conversations.