October 2018: Building Team Spirit at MUUC

In the receiving line on Sunday morning, a congregant grasped my hand and leaned in close: “So when will we get our Black Lives Matter banner?”

“When we vote on it!” came my reply.

Yes, there is a lot of energy at MUUC for going forward with social action goals derived from last year’s focus on Diversity.

But how? Is the question. How do we decide our priorities and positions?

  • Many of us want to see a BLM banner out of front, along with real anti-racism work going on inside.
  • Many of us also want to see our building become more physically accessible for people with disabilities.
  • Many are thrilled that last week, the board voted to take a public stand in support of Yes on the 3, the campaign to retain protection from discrimination in public accommodation for trans people. Can we do more to support and welcome LGBTQ people?
  • Many of us might also want to expand on our commitment to Bread of Life, by adding programs and advocacy work around Income Inequality, persistent poverty, and classism.
  • What is your idea? What would you like to see MUUC organize around this year?

Which of these projects will we do? How will we organize around them? How will we choose?

What is Team Ministry?

The church leadership spent considerable time over the summer exploring this model, now in use at many UU churches. The idea is simple:

  1. Teams of folks within the congregation organize themselves around ministries that call to them: an anti-racism team, accessibility team, etc.
  2. Teams then each write a brief statement about their purpose, how it aligns with the church’s mission, and what they plan they do,
  3. A minimum number of team members, say 4 or 5, sign that statement, as commitment to work together for a year.
  4. The teams present their plans to the congregation, which then chooses which team projects to endorse and support as the church-wide priorities for the coming year.

 

Benefits of Team Ministry:

  • It follows the energy of the people here. What you want to do is what happens, what gets done.
  • It allows the church to focus on those projects. We work, learn, and grow together toward our goals.

In October, we’ll be organizing teams during Coffee Hour. Now’s your chance to think and speak up: What do you want to work on this year? What banner do you want to see flying on our front lawn?

Feel free to email me and come in to talk. If you’ve got an idea or a question, I’m here to talk.

For the last two years, I was a leader on my former church’s anti-racism working group. In the first year, we drafted a resolution and a gameplan for becoming an actively anti-racist congregation, along with several education and “listening” sessions. The resolution passed with a 98% vote. The next year, we hung a BLM banner, formed a task force on raising anti-racist kids, planned a major community forum, and kept up our anti-racist reading group.

I know from experience that teams like these can make a huge difference in our life together and in our communities. We can do it!

Yours in faith,

Rev. Susanne