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Vision Statement Draft

Wed, May 8, 2019

 

Vision Statement Draft

(with Core Values intro)

 

We are a community that values radical inclusion and artful worship, where belonging is more important than belief. We are a restorative sanctuary for the suffering and weary, a space for creative and contemplative ritual, and a hub for transformative moral action on the justice issues of our day.

 

Guided by these values, God calls us to:

 

Grow in intimacy as the weird and wonderful Body of Christ/the marvelous, multiform, motley Body of Christ.

 

Provide a diversity of distinctly Christian, creative and liberating worship forms to nourish the spiritual lives of the current community and reach new seekers.

 

Address the Bay Area’s most urgent human need by working to end OR ending homelessness in Alameda County.

 

 

Vision Statement Process

 

The following vision statement is the fruit of 4 in-depth discussions held among approximately 150 members of the FCCB community in 12 small groups during Lent.

Representatives from each of the groups met at a Vision Summit and distilled responses from each group into one large document answering the questions:

  • • What are our community's core values?
  • • What is God calling us to do?
  • • What is God calling us to be?

Small group leaders then indicated which on the long list of values and priorities they felt best represented our community as a whole. The Long Range Planning Team distilled that document into a more succinct form and gave it to the Vision Writers (Laura Leaverton, Chris Bucholz, Bree Elle Gardner and Molly Baskette) to turn into a bold and actionable statement of what our community will focus on over the next 3-5 years.

The vision statement is not intended to be an exhaustive list of every gift, opportunity and hope for what we will do. We can and will do so much more than what appears in the statement! What it is: an articulation of those spiritual callings that are perceived most widely and deeply across the congregation.

The four vision writers along with the Long Range Planning Team will hold a learning hour on Sunday, May 19 at 11:45am to take questions and hear feedback about the vision ahead of a planned congregational vote to adopt the vision statement in June.

 

Vision Elaboration

 

Grow in intimacy as the weird and wonderful Body of Christ OR Grow in intimacy as the (marvelous) multiform, motley Body of Christ.

First Church fosters extravagant welcome, connection/community and compassion. We are called to grow in love with one another, a foundation for living out the teachings of Jesus in the wider world. To do so, we will facilitate small groups, intergenerational engagement, and community spiritual practices that will bond and bind us together.

 

Provide a diversity of distinctly Christian, creative and liberating worship forms to nourish the spiritual lives of the current community and reach new seekers.

Less than 3% of Berkeley identifies as mainline Protestant. That leaves many folks unaware of or uninitiated into the richness of our progressive Christian faith. The UCC Constitution affirms “the responsibility of the Church in each generation to make this faith its own in reality of worship.” We will experiment with new forms of worship to go deeper on our own spiritual journeys, attract newcomers who may have been hurt or excluded by other Christian churches, and pique the interest of those who have never considered Christianity a viable option. The worship experiments may include, but not be limited to:

  • • worship days and times outside of Sunday morning

  • • virtual/digital worship and spiritual formation

  • • lay-led and participatory worship experiences

  • • outdoor worship

  • • services geared toward multiple generations/learning styles

  • • contemplative worship

  • • cross-cultural worship, and

  • • spiritual formation on retreat

 

Address the Bay Area’s most urgent human need by ending homelessness in Alameda County.

The suffering of homeless people is evident on our streets every day. Countless more suffer housing insecurity in less visible ways. We are moved by the teachings of Jesus to respond with love, compassion and generosity.  We will join with the wider community (faith communities, non-profit organizations, and government agencies) to educate, advocate, and take action to prevent homelessness, to reduce the suffering it causes, and to restore individuals and families to safe, permanent, dignified shelter.