With this offering, appearing every month, the Board tries to convey to the whole Fellowship what issues the Board is thinking about and what all that thinking and discussing adds up to so far.
- blip • blip blip • blip • blip! •
Unlike the radar in an airport control tower, the Board’s radar is magic! Air traffic controllers know that each blip on the screen is an actual airplane carrying actual people which must be brought safely to earth without delay. So, too, the Board’s radar has blips that demand immediate action: nearby blips. But unlike the air traffic controller’s radar, the Board’s radar also has distant blips for planes that might never land, or maybe might land next year, or the year after that. Sometimes the Board, in a paroxysm of visionary thought, thinks up a blip that it feels ought to be on the radar and just hauls off and puts it there. Then the Board must eventually decide either, alas, it’s a plane with no wings and removes it from the screen, or it’s a plane capable of a smooth landing and the Board keeps it on an approach path.
What blips stand out this time?
The BIG Blip
- Congregational Mission Statement
At its December 5 meeting, the Board, together with most of the Committee on Ministry (CoM), tried to chart the way to put a new Mission Statement (or several Mission Statements) before the congregation for a vote. There were lots of suggestions, lots of opinions, and lots of discussion! I will be careful to say here only what we agreed on, or at least only what my notes and rickety memory tell me we agreed on. Voting on adopting a mission statement will very likely happen in January and extend over four consecutive Sundays of in-person voting. Somewhere in the middle of the in-person voting, mail ballots will be sent out to those who have not yet voted so they can vote by mail. A quorum will consist of 40% of members. The CoM said they will send out to the congregation the latest Mission Statements and offer people the chance to submit feedback and/or write a new Mission Statement themselves. Indeed, they did send out that email on December 11!
I will now lapse into the potentially dangerous mode of Expressing a Personal Opinion (or two). Buckle up! I view a mission statement as comparable to a pair of shoes: necessary, important for moving forward, sturdy, and fitting well on the feet. But not lasting forever. Shoes wear out, and so do mission statements. A mission statement should be reconsidered at least every five years or so. This is a great relief, because any mission statement we adopt doesn’t have to be “perfect” and last forever. It just has to be a short statement of why AUUF exists and what we want the wider world to view us as. Short, so we can keep it in our heads. Memorable, so that if someone wakened you at 3 a.m. from a sound sleep and asked you, “What is the mission statement?” you could, bleary eyed and still half asleep, recite it perfectly. Even half-asleep, you can put your shoes on.
Here’s blipping at you, kid.
~Over and out