Update from the Worship, Covenant and Goals workshop

Last Saturday, church members, the Board, the Worship Committee, and Rev. Marta met in Melrose to discuss several topics: our worship service, our covenant, and goals for this coming church year.  Here are some highlights from those discussions.


Rev. Marta led this discussion, which started with participants thinking about and discussing questions such as: Why do we worship, What is the role of the speaker, and others.  We then discussed some upcoming changes to the order of service which had previously been discussed by the worship committee, and are designed to improve the overall flow of the service.  You’ll see those changes in our services this year.  As ours is a shared ministry, there will be other opportunities to participate in helping to shape our worship services.


David Parker then led a discussion about our covenant, which we say every week in service.  Our covenant is one of the foundations of our church, and describes how we aspire to be together in community, and so it is important to periodically revisit it and ensure that it reflects our shared beliefs and vision.
We looked at some covenants from other churches, and talked about what we liked and didn’t like from them; we also talked about what we liked (and didn’t like) about our own covenant.  As with any such discussion there were a variety of viewpoints; however, a couple common threads emerged:
  • The language should be clear and easy to understand
  • Avoid a covenant that is a ‘list of bullet points’
We determined that it was important for everyone to have an opportunity to participate in the process of updating (or deciding not to change) our covenant.  Rev. Marta proposed a process that is facilitated, open to input and discussion from all, and would result in a congregational vote.  This is planned to happen in February; more details will be forthcoming soon.


Finally, I led a discussion about our goals for the year.  My objective was to get feedback on the goals that the board had set at our board retreat earlier in the year, and to gather ideas on how to accomplish the goals set.  Here are the goals that we set, along with some highlights of ideas and feedback people had:
  1. Hire and onboard a new Music Director
    • This was agreed to be an important near-term objective, as it was recognized how much music is a part of the fabric of our church.
    • Would like a music director who will engage people within the church to participate in music.
  2. Document and update policies
    • We should ensure that policies are accessible to all.
    • Updating our policies will help new people to transition into roles.
  3. Continue to grow and increase membership
    • Growth isn’t necessarily increased membership.
    • We should focus more on outreach, advertising, and communication.
    • Think about how to achieve greater diversity.
    • Ensure we are welcoming.
  4. Facilitate education on what it means to have a Minister of Color
  5. Have a balanced budget in 2018-19
    • Long-term, possibly the most important goal.
    • Establish a fundraising committee/schedule early in the year.
    • It is important to live within our means honestly.
  6. Energize and engage the congregation as we embark on our first full year with Rev. Marta
    • Have a structure for supporting Rev. Marta.
    • Provide opportunities for people to engage with Rev. Marta beyond worship services.
    • Have a common calendar with all church events on it.
  7. Have fun!
    • Another game night?
    • Fundraising can be fun.
    • More community events (bingo night, Halloween party, potlucks, etc.)

Feedback? Want to help out?

If you have feedback on any of these items, please reach out to the board at uumboard@lists.neighborhood.net.  Also, it is important to point out that the board and church leaders can’t accomplish all of this themselves – it takes all of us to be a vibrant, fun and growing community.  If you’d like to help out or participate in any way, please reach out – we’d love to hear from you!
In peace,
Brendan Shea
UUCM Board Chair