October: Building Team Spirit at MUUC

September 24th, 2018

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

September: Revisiting Our Vision

When your eyes are tired the world is tired also. When your vision has gone, no part of the world can find you. — from “Sweet Darkness,” a poem by David Whyte Our Vision Are your eyes tired? Sometimes I can feel that way, especially when the news is too much, too negative, too sad. […]

Reflections: April 2018

It may be hard to believe … spring has been so reticent to appear. But appear it will, without our needing to believe it, or coax it, it will come … all of a sudden, the turning, new life emerging and we, astonished once again, may feel the stirrings of our souls.

Reflections: March 2018

The further … we .. widen … our church’s circle of inclusion and concern, the more stable and resilient over time we become. We are reminded in Deuteronomy, we drink from wells we did not dig, eat from vineyards and olive groves we did not plant … Those before us gave, that we might have.

Reflections: February 2018

What would it take, my friends, for MUUC to truly put out a Welcome Table? Welcome to the differently abled? Differently aged? Differently racially identified? Differently incomed? Differently gendered or oriented? Differently privileged or disadvantaged?

Reflections: January 2018

Technically Epiphany is celebrated January 6, but, my dear ones, we will be celebrating epiphanies all month long and into the next … It is a journey of discovery for each of us to examine how it is that race, power and privilege shape and define our lives.

Reflections: December 2017

While you may [struggle] to believe that one day’s worth of oil burned miraculously for eight … or that Mary conceived immaculately, you can still believe that the telling of these stories has changed people’s lives, reminding us that the infinite power of the right … can be hidden in the small and the weak.

Reflections: November 2017

My friends, this church year is the year of paying attention. These times are rich in gratitude for all we have and all we share. It is not just about Thanksgiving Day. It is about the gratitudes large and small that season our lives every day.