Drivel that cannot fit in a single panel comic.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Start up weekend

The church had its start up weekend. It is something that happens whenever a UU church calls a new minister. This was facilitated by the District Executive.

Friday we went over church history, significant moments, and discovered a couple of recurring themes. The entire congregation was invited to this event. 35 out of about 100 members attended.

The Saturday workshop involved the Committee on Ministry, the Board and standing (those listed in our by-laws) Committee Chairs.

This workshop was quite unusual in that I got a lot of substantive things out of it. A fair amount not directly church related.

In list form, the things I got out of this:
WARNING: Contains UU jargon

  1. Instead of focusing on becoming a "program" church, we should focus on becoming an excellent "pastoral" church. (more information about the quoted terms can be found here). Excellence will allow us to grow and then deal with the transition to "program" if it happens. If we never get beyond the 150 or so mark at least those 150 people will have a wonderful place to worship and to have their needs met.
  2. Gained an understanding about why leaders in the church sometimes repeat things and others still don't get it even after several explanations. The leaders have dealt with their feelings and are comfortable with the ideas whereas the rest are still grappling with their feelings and explaining the ideas does not help in dealing with the feelings.
  3. Be very mindful of the stories we tell each other and outsiders. An incomplete story caused some serious distress and that distress was relieved by extra clarification. The incomplete story was short and sweet but did not reflect the whole truth and left a very negative impression. Leaders need to take the time to explain the whole thing rather than speak in shorthand.
  4. Pay attention to actions vs. words.
  5. Gained an understanding of why some would be opposed to changes and how to help those people through the transition.
  6. Gained an understanding of the beliefs of our neo-pagan congregants. A gained a way to view their beliefs in way that I could understand.
  7. Realized why atheists can be so damn annoying and why I'm hesitant to apply the term to myself despite having similar beliefs. Not that anything I believe or do fits into any one neat label.
  8. Learned what is gained from attending worship and why falling asleep during the service is not necessarily a bad thing.
  9. Committees are not covenant or affinity groups. More information
  10. There is some hard but exciting work ahead.
  11. The minister's name always gets attached to a major change even if the minister was not involved. Not fair but we need to keep that in mind in implementing changes.

I'm still processing all this. Where can I get a copy of the Cambridge Platform? From what I've read and heard, this document is significant. No, where can I get an illustrated version of the Cambridge Platform? Maybe it is something that could serve as an UU version of a "Chick tract"


Will said...

I'll bite: why is it that atheists can be "so damn annoying"?


Toonhead said...

Some of them act like fundamentalists but refuse to admit it. They just take their exclusion one step further.