Our Vision Process
UUAA’s Vision 20/50 project began with a year-long community dialogue in 2019-20 about who we want to be as a congregation, and what kind of world we want to leave future generations. The result was a boldly-imagined bright and just future for our children and grandchildren that we intend to bring alive by living in alignment with our principles, values, and covenants.
The Vision 20/50 Congregational Vision document lifts up three Priority Areas that will serve as our congregation’s guiding North Star for the work we will do together over the next 30 years:
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Our Vision 20/50 story as a children’s book.
Our Vision Priorities
Climate Action/Climate Justice
The climate crisis is an existential threat to the web of life — life that people of faith and conscience are called to protect. UUAA discussions during our 2020 visioning process made it clear that the congregation wants our community to take bold actions that address sustainability, resilience, and climate justice issues. As a faith community, we would hope to serve as an example by living in harmonious relationship with the natural world, and by working in collaboration with community groups who are confronting injustices caused by climate change.
In March, 2021, UUAA enrolled in the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Green Sanctuary 2030 Program. This program provides us with a structure and additional resources that accelerate our action planning on climate issues. Our work includes:
- Taking action to make our UUAA building and land carbon-neutral.
- Inspiring each other to have greater awareness about sustainability issues surrounding food production, energy use, soil and water, and more.
- Offering educational and spiritual resources to help adults and children in our community learn resilience and find their own ways to act on climate issues…with hope and shared conviction.
- Working in collaboration with outside groups who make an impact on climate justice issues that affect vulnerable members of our Southeast Michigan community.
- Adding our voice to local, state, and national dialog on climate related policies.
Every aspect of congregational life is part of this effort, keeping aware of how we can all work on “zero waste” and a smaller carbon footprint. UUAA groups leading this effort include the Climate Action / Climate Justice Team, the Food Justice Team, UUAA youth working with the Sunrise Movement and others.
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As a radically welcoming congregation, we actively invite the voices, presence, and power of many people and groups in order to help shape the congregation’s common life and mission. We seek especially to include the people and groups systematically pushed to the margins, cast out, silenced, and closeted.
As congregants, Radical Welcome asks each of us to:
- bring our culture, our voice, our whole self to engage in truly mutual relationships
- be present, to listen, to be curious, to be compassionate and open-hearted
- be willing to be changed by those who come to our Congregation
- celebrate our common humanity
As elected leaders, lay leaders, and staff, Radical Welcome asks us to:
- seek to ensure that the presence, gifts, and perspectives of all people will be visible and valued
- engage with congregants and groups in the UUAA community when they feel their voices aren’t being heard about systemic issues
- develop new systems and modify existing systems, programs, and communications that invite and welcome all people – including those from groups who have been historically marginalized.
As a Radically Welcoming congregation, we aspire to become known and recognized as a transformed and transforming congregation with open doors and open hearts, where different people and groups share power, and shape identity, mission, leadership, worship, and ministries.
For a better understanding, we encourage you to check out this chart from Stephanie Spellers.
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The existence of racist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, and anti-immigrant incidents – in addition to crimes against transgender people and other forms of oppression – causes great harm in our country and local communities. We recognize the importance of examining these issues both within and beyond our congregation. This vision area seeks to define, refine, and implement a structure that can support a range of congregational actions on local, regional, and national levels. Some key questions we are considering include:
- How can we, as members of the UUAA community, deepen our support and relationship with congregants and community members with marginalized identities – especially with BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and queer and trans people?
- How do we create a space where no one feels “other” and all serve as teachers and learners?
- What relationships can we build with community partners who are working to end racism and oppression?
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Our Vision Priority Areas are directly linked to our congregation’s long history of advocating for civil and human rights, and standing up for the pressing issues of the day: immigration and prison reform, LGBTQ rights, anti-racism, hunger, poverty, homelessness, reproductive rights, affordable housing, and environmental protection.
In 1865, our founding members covenanted with each other “for the purpose of maintaining religious worship and conducting the temporal interests of a religious society.” Ever since this founding, we have worked within our congregation and with community partners to live out the audacious notion that we can make a difference in the world.
What is the foundation of our long history of activism and social justice work?