Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Vision Statements: What's Yours?

Don Blevins and Cynthia in Eastern Ky 2006

For the first time in over ten years,our congregation has been going through a complete Vision Process. We've managed to do two whole five year Long Range Plans without revisiting a very ancient mission statement. Finally, we have taken on the task!

It didn't take long for our Task Force to agree that this work is vital. But it's taken months, and many meetings, for us to agree upon how we can engage the congregation in this work. Whether we'll succeed remains to be seen.We have a diverse and geographically scattered congregation. Two of our members drive up from Pikeville in Eastern Kentucky, about four hours each way!

So, leading up to next week's big Vision Sunday, we have tried to intrigue, excite, cajole, and court the membership into participating. We had three Sunday services on "vision" related topics. The first dealt with historic and visionary Unitarian and Universalist figures; the second with storytelling and the value of story in vision. By far, the third service, dealing with personal visioning, created the most buzz.

Since I didn't preach, I can only take credit for coming up with the idea of using this topic as an entree to congregational vision, and choosing the right people to help present it. I also devised a list of questions for them to consider... but they did the heavy lifting. In about exactly ten minutes each, Don and Jessica gave their individual accounts of how they created/adopted a vision for their lives. People were mesmerized, energized, and excited!

I hope our members take some time this week to think, and write, about their personal visions. I plan to! It was pretty close to what I expected when I asked folks to raise their hands if they felt they lived from a sense of vision/mission. About ten percent raised their hands.. maybe 15 out of 150 adults. But when I asked how many had written it down, the number of hands decreased to 5 or 6. Are we living our lives, or are they living us?

Here are the questions:


o What is your vision?

o How did it arise?

o What decisions have you made to move toward it?

o How has it changed?

o How has it changed YOU??

o What obstacles have you encountered?

o What have been your greatest ah-ha’s?

o What would you say to your child/ a child or young adult about living with vision/purpose/intention?


o How does it connect with your spiritual practice, your inner life, your beliefs, your “soul”?

o How do you balance having a vision with trusting life and being open to surprise? That is, how do you keep your vision from being too rigid??

Don Blevins.. he's thinner now!