In 2015 WUUC engaged in a process that developed the “Empowered Together” vision of who we will be in the year 2022 (just 5 years from now):
“ . . . WUUC is successfully achieving its goal of creating a congregation focused on helping people grow, building a vibrant community and making a positive difference in the world.
Community and Engagement
Our growth is undeniable. Our people are actively engaged in the work of the church through a variety of ministries including small groups, social justice action, education, and alternative forms of worship. We have found innovative ways to include a diverse range of people in the community. Individuals are supported and growing in their personal lives. Groups are active in effecting change in the community and combatting injustice. People are experiencing greater joy, connection, and vibrancy — we are having fun together.
Our core is strong. With 325 members and a half-million dollar annual budget, we have the flexibility to achieve our goals. Our professional staff helps with ministry, membership, music, facilities, education, finance, and more.
People give generously to support the mission of the church and we have other reliable sources of funding including rental income and coffee shop sales. Our mortgage is paid off. Our expanded building and new annex are a boon for our growth and provide room for more people and programs.
Transformation and Action
Our actions are transformational. Our leadership is distributed and supported by an involved congregation of volunteers. We intentionally develop lay leaders from within our congregation. People are drawn to our church by our outreach, presence in the community and active social media engagement.
We are actively engaged in taking social action in our community as well as participating in larger UUA initiatives. Our children and youth are enthusiastic about our programs which help them grow as independent thinkers and young people of action.
We are WUUC, empowered together.”
The Board has been taking steps to move us toward this vision by reorganizing around ministries and in developing staffing and financial plans. The Board has tasked the Long Term Growth Task Force (LTGTF) with developing a plan to put the infrastructure in place that will accommodate this vision.
The LTGTF held its initial meeting on March 15. Members include representatives of the Board, staff, past growth task forces, and WUUC’s Ministries: Chick Sweeney (Chair); Ron Hammond (Board), Rev. Jamil Scott (Staff), Leroy Meitzner (Short Term Growth Task Force), Leslie Schmidt (Two Services Task Force), Charlotte Benson (Sustainability), Liz Ligon (Community and Engagement), and Jan Radoslovich (Transformation and Action).
So far we have focused on reviewing and understanding the work of those who have already ploughed this field. Did you know that WUUC had a 5 Year Plan in place in 2005 that committed to calling Rev. Alex Holt into settled ministry and charting the course for WUUC to become a congregation of 400+ adult and child spiritual seekers and to deepen its impact as a liberal religious community? Then, as the story goes, life got in the way of the plan as Rev. Holt left to pursue other professional goals and in 2008 and 2009 we found ourselves as a congregation without a minister. In 2010 Rev. Lois Van Leer joined us and in 2012 we found ourselves in the happy position of needing to alleviate crowded conditions in the sanctuary, religious education, and parking areas. A task force developed an action plan for better use of our existing facilities, which eased our pains. The report of that task force provides us with valuable information about our real facility constraints and we are studying it carefully. Did you know that there already have been architectural concepts prepared for expanding our existing sanctuary and building a classroom and fellowship hall building in the location of our present religious education portables? We are re-examining these plans, as well as the work done in 2016 that looked at the feasibility of expanding the number of services we hold each Sunday, as well as other potential options or sequences of actions.
Plan on joining us following the annual congregational business meeting on May 21 to discuss the “Empowered Together” vision and what it means in terms of our congregation’s size, staff, facility, and other resource needs. At this meeting the LTGTF will present the next steps we are taking in developing a recommended plan to accommodate our vision.