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  January 2018  
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President's Monthly Column

January 2018          

A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT

Here we are at the beginning of a new year: 2018, a blank slate. Many people like to start the new year by making resolutions. They make promises to themselves for improved behaviors, better attitudes, and new and healthier habits. Do you look forward to the opportunity for a fresh start or a new beginning?

The Babylonians started this tradition thousands of years ago, giving thanks to the Gods for another year, and looking ahead to the future. In those days, with limited understanding of how the world worked and fear and superstition about life and death, it may have given them a sense of meaning and hope to create plans for their futures. Today, at the completion of the holidays and as we enter the deep days of winter, perhaps the idea of making promises to ourselves can give us this same sense of meaning and hope.  What is the future we want for ourselves and for All Souls? How can we ensure our ability to experience that future?

In October, this congregation considered a five-year plan for our future.  The four goals making up this plan (which was approved by the congregation on October 15, 2017) constitute our New Year’s resolutions.  By approving this plan, we committed to the following:

1. All Souls will nurture lifelong spiritual development by offering a consistently vibrant and transformative worship experience, reflective of our deepest values through responsive liturgy, music, and offering responsive faith formation opportunities.

2. All Souls will create a welcoming, caring community. We will be responsive to the pastoral needs of its congregants and consistently provide connections for its members by offering a strong lay Pastoral Care Associates program, well-coordinated fellowship events, and activities that serve all congregational constituencies.

3. All Souls will create a justice-seeking community within and beyond our walls. We will act boldly, compassionately, and publicly, for peace, justice and stewardship of the earth.  We will use an anti-racism/anti-oppression lens in all deliberations, planning, and decisions. We will maintain strong social justice ministries supporting systemic changes and direct service ministries that are present throughout the wider community.

4. All Souls will support our mission/vision work through effective, and inspired stewardship strategies; effective, efficient governance structures; appropriate staffing/staffing for growth; and an effective, efficient, accessible, and sufficient campus.

For over 15 years, the All Souls Mission Statement has served as our guiding star, leading us forward in all our work. The four goals/resolutions listed above are grounded and linked to our mission statement. All Souls Unitarian Universalist Congregation is a liberal religious congregation that nurtures lifelong spiritual development. We covenant to create a welcoming, caring, justice-seeking community within and beyond these walls. I hope that you can see the components of our mission statement reflected in those goals.

In our plan to bring these resolutions and goals to life, each committee, team, and task force at All Souls was asked to carefully review the Long-Range Plan and identify where their work fits and can support progress towards these goals.

It’s also important that every member and friend of All Souls do the same.  How do these resolutions and goals align with your own personal goals and commitments?  What is your role in supporting All Souls to keep these resolutions? What can you do to bring us closer to achieving our mission? No one group or individual can take on the work of creating this beloved community alone.  It’s up to all of us. We are in this together.

This leads me to share the theme for this year’s Stewardship Campaign:  “This is our congregation. We welcome the joys and accept the responsibility to advance its mission, retain its staff, and to enhance the depth and scope of its services.”

Peace,

Liz Binger, President, lbinger@snet.net