Dear Ones,

How do you weave what has happened in your life into how you make sense of the world, who you are, and who you’re becoming?

Meaning-making is one of the most basic and key spiritual tasks, as well as one of the fundamental reasons we engage in religions. As we near the end of the church year, many of our minds are turning to summer adventures and fun even as we also reflect on all that has happened in the life of the Woodinville UU Church this year. One of the places my mind has been turning is to your history and how you’re making meaning of it as a congregation.

I’m sure you recall your work on your collaborative history odyssey this winter and spring. One of the key questions that’s come from this work (and one of the key questions of congregational transitions work) is: How is and will your congregation make sense of your heritage and lift it up to help you understand how your heritage affects who you are, the relationships you want to have with each other as members, and where you’re going?

One process that’s come up for engaging in this is called appreciative inquiry. What’s appreciative inquiry? If you remember the process we used at a worship service in April, where you turned to each other and discussed questions I gave you, then you’ve experienced a tiny slice of appreciative inquiry. You may recall that at the end of that exercise many of you wrote some values on paper “seeds.” We “planted” those in paper “soil.” Recently some flowers have begun to sprout from that soil in the sanctuary – and I hope those of you who haven’t added flowers will do so in the coming weeks, following the prompts next to that mural. In addition, those of you who participated in initial interviews with me in fall 2018 also experienced appreciative inquiry.

After discussions with the Board and Transitions Team, we’ll be building on this. We want to have an initial session before this church year ends so I’m organizing an event on June 16 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. after worship. We hope that many people will attend and join in the process. This work is designed to help the congregation bridge to the work we hope to do in fall 2019 about understanding where you’re going as a congregation, which in turn will deeply influence your ministerial search process.

Finally, if you want more information about appreciative inquiry, here are two interesting resources:

Love and Blessings,

Rev. Diana