River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation

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Values
Congregational Feedback is sought on this values draft

Congregational Feedback is sought on this values draft. Send any thoughts you might have to Charlotte Jones Carroll at SJ-Feedback@rruuc.org .

Draft Social Justice Ministry Values and Big Questions

The Social Justice Ministry at River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation Seeks to Be:

  • Inclusive and Accessible. It should have multiple entry points, a broad range of activities, minimal bureaucracy, and clear communication so that families and individuals of all ages can find easy and meaningful ways to be involved.
  • Spiritually-grounded. It should be strongly rooted in our Unitarian Universalist faith, provide ongoing opportunities for reflection and growth, and be strongly connected to other parts of congregational life.
  • Energizing. It should help people find and follow their passion(s) for justice, whether that gets lived out within or beyond the congregation.
  • Relational. It should foster deeper connections among people in the congregation—especially across generations—as well as helping participants develop genuine connections across differences with the people in the community that we partner with and/or serve.
  • Nurturing of Leaders and Skills. It should help to identify new participants and leaders, build expertise, and help people find ways to serve that are right for them.
  • Focused yet Flexible. It should be concentrated enough to be effective, yet adaptable enough to respond to crises, disasters, and other events that call for an immediate action.
  • Coordinated. It should be in sync with the UU, interfaith, and secular organizations whose work is relevant to our congregation and community.
  • Effective and Accountable. The ministry and all social justice activities should have clear goals, strategies, and metrics for making an impact, coupled with regular and transparent communication to the congregation about progress and how resources (including financial contributions) are being used.

 

Big Questions for the Review Committee and Congregation:

  • It’s impossible to do everything, yet being too rigidly focused can be exclusive. Can we find a common ground between trying to do too much and being too narrowly focused? For example, what would it look like to have a few central issues or themes that the congregation follows for multiple years, with the understanding that these priorities are not intended to be exclusive?
  • In the spirit of helping people find their passions and develop relationships, can we find ways for people to come together and take action that doesn’t require being an official task force, or even being an official activity of the congregation?
  • Can we move towards a culture where the priorities are driven by the time and energy participants are actually and truly willing to put in, as opposed to what people say or desire in the abstract?
  • For a variety of reasons, sometimes a particular commitment or activity needs to end. This is not necessarily a sign of failure, just a sign of change. Should we have a formal process for celebrating and retiring activities? Why or why not? If so, what might that process look like?
  • We strongly believe that this work isn’t just about changing other people, it’s about changing ourselves. One of the most simple, powerful and effective ways to do this is by forming relationships across differences. What would it look like to place a much stronger emphasis on activities that bring us into direct connection with other people in our community?
  • How does the current system for funding social justice work relate to these values, and especially the commitment to being relational?
  • How can we improve communication about social justice so that everything about the ministry is more inclusive, accessible, effective, and accountable?