chalice light

On May 14, 2011 a group of congregants gathered to provide input to the Faith In Our Future strategic planning efforts. Thank you to all of you who donated your Saturday morning to this effort! Some of the many ideas formulated by groups of the attendees are included below.

We should help people live their values: help them find connection, meaning, strength, first stepsin order to create a better world.




GOALS FOR UUAA PROGRAMS expressed by participants 5/14/11

Worship and Music

1. We have weekly (Wed or Sunday PM) creative, interactive, informal worship service at location served by P.T. that attracts students and young people from all regional campuses lead by paid staff person.
2. We have worship associates to assist the ministers in conducting services and to assist the minister in details of the service.
3. The services are promoted in terms of accessibility and inclusion, using latest technology in bringing things into the service.
4. We have representatives of social justice organizations use 2 minutes or present mission statements.
5. The worship services incorporate ongoing pastoral care work.
6. We have 6 choirs and 3 music ensembles.
7. We offer 3 Sunday services and a Wednesday evening service.
8. We have 5 outdoor services on our land under a shelter.

Spiritual Growth & Development

1. Strong, year-round Adult program, with ties to Children & Youth programs, Worship, Social Justice, and related programs
2. 600 Youth & Children and Half of all Adults – involved, participating and making SGD happen!
3. SGD offers a diverse bouquet of opportunities for spiritual practice which might include, for example, "Spiritual Practices: Mindful Living and Eating," such as might be recommended by the Locavores, or "Spiritual Practices: Appreciation of the Beauty of the Cosmos".

Social Justice

1. Our social justice programs are well integrated with national, international and statewide UU groups such as the UUSC (international) and MUUSJN (Michigan UU Social Justice Network). For example, we use only fair trade coffee from the UUSC program.
2. We have a paid Social Justice Coordinator (lay or minister) who works with all social justice programs for adults, youth or multi-generational to recruit and train leadership, coordinate efforts, help with publicity, etc.
3. We have great communication about our social justice programs both within our congregation and outside in the community. Everyone in the congregation knows about our programs and can easily sign up to help. Within the wider Ann Arbor community we are well known as a Social Justice Church.

Pastoral Care

1.    By 2016 we have a visible, grass roots, Pastoral Care program that is embedded in our culture.
2.    By 2016 we have a comprehensive, communication system that informs the congregation of individual needs, status updates, pastoral care program structure and process.
3.    By 2016 we have model Pastoral Care programs and services for:

  • -    Elders
  • -    Youth
  • -    Families
  • -    Special needs
  • -    Single parents
  • -    Singles

Chalice Circles

1. Chalice Circles programs exist for youth and seniors throughout the Heartland District.
2. UUAA Chalice Circle program serves as a regional training /mentoring hub. 
3. Chalice Circle leadership regularly attends small group ministry meetings.  The lay leadership is fully supported and trained.

Recreation / Social

1. There are UUAA hospitality leaders, whose mission it is to connect people to groups, will be clearinghouse and network savvy.
2. Interweave: Interweave, which supports structures for leadership development, provides leadership within FUUAA, Ann Arbor, Michigan and national level.
3. Women and men’s programming: They have adequate staff support these programs which involves leadership development.

A collection of "functional" goals (not specific to a program)

•    More potlucks and informal gatherings  [face-to-face time, in addition to, not replaced by, technology]
•    Include the congregation activities and structure in our directory
•    Accessibility – Large print, physical access, “T” system for hearing impaired, etc
•    Communication between groups to know each other’s activities
•    Clear lines of authority & coordination – published for reference (in directory)
Governance, Decisions, Planning
•    More staff – both paid and volunteer
•    Paid appropriately
•    Supporting existing staff (secretarial, other resources)
Staffing& Office Resources
•    We have adequate staff who empower the congregation
•    Appropriate compensation to staff (salaries & benefits)
•    Add a Social Justice Minister
•    Webmaster as paid position
•    Professional staff not overworked on jobs not within their training
•    Projector and appropriate and updated technology (social networking, other new electronic / tech ideas we can’t foresee) 
Land / Facilities
•    Buy surrounding land – 100 acres
•    Wheelchair accessibility
•    Soccer field
•    Remove Buckthorn – 10% addition to (useable) land
•    Use bounty of our land to share with others (Good Food Garden)
•    Increase accessibility and useful space for programs (shelter, shade)
Financing / Stewardship
•    Increase financial participation by everyone  [make value visible / obvious]
•    Mortgage paid off, leading to increased investment in other areas and strong financial base
Welcoming, Integrating New Members
•    Recruit more families into the congregation
•    Spread “welcoming practices” into the congregation  e.g. Interweave
•    Help people find a niche in the congregation
•    Growth is a big part of our vision
•    Interfaith youth activities