“We build on foundations we did not lay.
We warm ourselves at fires we did not light.
We sit in the shade of trees we did not plant.
We drink from wells we did not dig.
We profit from persons we did not know.
We are ever bound in community."

Rev. Peter Raible (paraphrased from Deuteronomy 6:10-12)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Is your Mission Statement Tweetable?

What's in a Mission Statement? Does it need to be short and memorable, simple - something that can guide you like a North Star? And in this day and age, does it need to be Tweetable?

At First Universalist, we recently re-examined our church's mission statement (it had been over a decade since we last looked at it.) The previous Mission Statement was, 

"We join together at First Universalist Church in a welcoming, spiritual community that affirms our liberal religious heritage. Our ministry is to bring the Universalist message of love and hope to one another, to our children, and to the work of social justice." (Two Tweets.)

And after a detailed, very intentional process, lead by our Board of Trustees, we emerged with: 

"In the Universalist spirit of love and hope,
we give, receive, and grow. 

First Universalist Church"  (One Tweet.)

Universalism undergirds this new mission statement: Love and hope call us to faithfully give the gifts, talents, voice, passion, resources, compassion, and energy we have to serve one another and the world. Love and hope call us to give our attention, to listen, and to walk with others. And love and hope call us to let go, to trust, to receive the blessings that come unbidden, to receive without expectation of returning the gift. And love and hope call us to grow, to deepen, to integrate, to walk ever more faithfully as we align our values with our actions....it's a spiral that goes deeper and deeper. 

"Give, receive, grow." I think it's deceptively simple and I've barely given it justice here. We're just beginning to live into it. But I love how that screen of "give, receive, grow" can be applied to everything we're doing....children's ministry, small groups, justice work, worship. If we're not giving, or receiving, or growing (in that spirit of love and hope), then we're off mission.

We'll be unpacking this new mission statement in more detail and what it's calling us to in a sermon series starting in September. 

But for now, these thoughts: What's your mission statement (personal or institutional)? How easy is it to be remember? Can you Tweet it?! 


Anonymous said...

The UU Church of Berkeley just makes it into a Tweet ...

"The mission of our congregation is to create loving community, inspire spiritual growth, and encourage lives of integrity, joy, and service"

Justin Schroeder said...

@anonymous: I love it! Great Mission Statement. Thanks for sharing it. And yes, you make it into one Tweet! - Justin