Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Shared "Shared Vision"

Third in a series of posts about the April 2011 UUA Board Meeting

Several thousand Unitarian Universalists contributed to the current UUA "shared vision", or ends, first through Open Space Technology at GA 2007 in Portland, and then through Appreciative Inquiry at GA 2008 in Fort Lauderdale. The initial draft was vetted in 25 smaller meetings across 12 districts, with 85% of those in the meetings saying the ends capture "almost all" or "most" of what our members wanted to happen. The Board made the most common recommended changes, and we have been working with this set of ends since April of 2009.

In light of our Unitarian Universalist value that says everything is open to question, this vision too is subject to change. The stakes are higher now -- 12 districts have either adopted these ends as their own, or are in the process of doing so. The "ends" have been shared between UUA Board and the UUA President, and now the district boards.

This is one of the reasons "Gathered Here" is such a powerful concept. Using Appreciative Inquiry as the underlying mechanism, there will be hundreds (thousands?) of conversations over the next 18 months that identify what is important to us, and what differences we want to make in the world. These will be both one-on-one, and in congregational settings, including voices that are not always "at the table", such as Young Adults who identify as UU but may not currently be congregation members. Common themes will be identified across congregations, clusters, and districts -- by fall of 2012 we expect to have enough information to consider revisions to our current shared vision.

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