|From the Executive Director|
July will come. As I told you last month this is the mantra we repeat in June as we do the intense work that comes with Ministry Days and GA. This June the phrase took on an even deeper meaning as we were assaulted by awfulness in the world and the heartbreak of losing too many colleagues and family members too soon. The day after the Orlando shootings I was on a zoom call with some of our leaders and I shared that I was losing hope for the world and it was a good thing I wasn’t a preacher because I’m not sure I could offer any hope in these challenging days.
Thankfully that feeling was relatively short-lived as our time together at Ministry Days and General Assembly inspired and buoyed me as it usually does. Seeing so many of you, knowing that many more were joining us virtually around the world, has a way of making the long hours and hard work seem meaningful and even important. And for that I’m grateful.
Last month the Board of Trustees made two important additions to our mission and vision that seem relevant to the events in the world and our future. Our mission statement now says that our mission is to nurture excellence in ministry through collegiality, continuing education,collaboration and shared commitment to antiracist, anti-oppressive, multicultural practice. We are now acknowledging that we cannot nurture excellence ministry without committing to learning how to be better across cultures while standing up against oppression, racism and other isms such as classism, sexism and ableism. This is an important statement while many in the world seem to be fighting against those different around us.
The second change the Board made was adding a sixth vision statement/end to our goals for the UUMA. Titled ‘Relationship to the World’, the new vision statement declares: “The UUMA is in partnership with religious communities beyond Unitarian Universalism to nurture excellence in ministry across faith traditions. Collaborating through shared learning and public witness, we build and strengthen our relationships with other progressive religious professional organizations. “ I find this exciting because it is often when we reach out ourselves, our communities, our professional organizations when we not only learn the most but also find new ways to work together in unique ways.
I’ve worked for many organizations and some congregations over the years where mission statements and goals were nice words posted somewhere that nobody paid much attention to and rarely lived. I’m proud to say that’s not how the UUMA rolls. When the staff puts together our goals for the year we use these as a guide for what we do and how we prioritize our work. Who knows what might happen at the UUMA as a result of these changes? Hopefully, we will be a stronger UUMA that provides more tools, more connections, more inspiration, more hope for each other and the world. And next year we will only be waiting for July, not hope, to come. Enjoy your summer!