Last week, a few of us at the church received an email from one of our regional UU offices to learn about our church and how things are going at Second Unitarian, and how the regional staff and volunteers could help. I offered some thoughts – which you can read by clicking the link below – but I thought this would be a great opportunity to seek your input!
You can share your thoughts on anything – but the questions in the survey focused on:
- “What is the church working on (and what’s most important/seems innovative)?”;
- “What are we doing to connect with other UU churches and/or the broader Omaha community?”; and,
- “What are we doing that has the greatest impact?”.
I’d like to share the information I receive with the Board and incoming Minister, but you can talk with me more about that when you send me your thoughts. Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call me at the office – it will be great to hear how you think our church is doing (and to celebrate our successes, even while seeking to do better).
As far as some of my own thoughts, I reflected very briefly on the work I see the church doing (being mindful and intentional about how it will change and grow in the coming years, connecting our work with our mission in the world). I shared that I think our Share the Plate program has a lot of impact, as we learn about other organizations in the community and how our UU values are lived out in the world. I think the way we help grow (and learn from) children and youth has a tremendous impact.
And when the MidAmerica Region asked about connecting with other UU churches – I responded that many of our members like doing this when they have the opportunities to travel (on their own, or to a UU program – like District/Regional Assemblies). If you’ve never attended a UU gathering (there are camps and learning opportunities, as well as opportunities to do justice work or worship together), I encourage you to seek one out in the coming year.
Relatively soon (2018), the UU General Assembly (where between 3-6000 UUs meet for four/five days) will take place in Kansas City. Several members of the church have gone to one of these – so you can get more information from them – but this is a great opportunity to hear speakers on a variety of world issues. There are unique worship experiences and ways to get involved – and its proximity will be a great way to try it out (although if you don’t mind the travel, next year’s GA is in Portland, OR – a particularly nice place to visit in June).
I suggested that it might be easier to connect with other churches if there was some sort of message board or social networking site that connected people. For instance, those of you who are interested in social justice have great things to teach and learn from other churches – so that could be a way for people to connect.
This survey was a great reminder that our church is not alone; there are over 1,000 UU congregations throughout the United States (including two in Omaha – some cities have no UU churches and we’re lucky to have two great ones!). Go online to connect with other UUs, read the Seventh Principle).”