Why does Foothills exist?

The Board of Trustees’ Mission Task Force asked for your input on our first attempt at an answer (APRIL 26 BLOG POST TITLED WHY DOES FOOTHILLS UNITARIAN CHURCH EXIST) and we heard you!

While many congregants responded favorably to our first draft, we heard constructive feedback that challenged us to:

  • Shorten the statement so it’s easier to remember and summarize.
  • Better represent our positive, welcoming church community.
  • Clarify the statement theologically.
  • Strengthen it to convey what we are called to do.

The task force has incorporated input from dialogue sessions with congregants as well as from the online survey.  Our revised version received preliminary approval from the Board July 19, and we are pleased to share it now with you:

Foothills Unitarian Church unleashes courageous love in Northern Colorado and beyond by embracing our diversity,
growing our faith, and awakening our spirits to the unfolding meaning of this life.

 We really like the new version because:

  • It is shorter, and the first phrase is especially easy to memorize while capturing the essence of why we exit. Plus, it builds on what was so compelling about our 2014 working statement: “Further the reach of love.”
  • It is a little edgy, challenging us to live into our considerable potential.
  • It articulates what might be considered the Unitarian Universalist “brand” for those who are unfamiliar with our faith. No other church invites members to discern for themselves the meaning of life.
  • It emphasizes this life, not some future reward.

We appreciate all the thoughtful feedback you provided to help us refine the statement.   We hope you are pleased with the results and that you will consider voting to approve it at a future congregational meeting.  But first, we want to hear more from you!

  • Email the task force with your feedback at mission@foothillsuu.org.
  • Come to a dialogue session with task force members at 10:45 a.m. Sunday, August 14, in the sanctuary.
  • Share your reflections with your Board of Trustees at the Start-Up Breakfast August 27.
  • Join Board members for a discussion at the Buckhorn Church Retreat Labor Day Weekend.

 

Here are more reasons why we selected a word or phrase.

Foothills Unitarian Church unleashes courageous love in Northern Colorado and beyond by embracing our diversity,
growing our faith, and awakening our spirits to the unfolding meaning of this life.

Foothills Unitarian Church Naming our church within our mission statement is important because we are a church and it differentiates our church from others.  It also defines who the actors are in this statement and lifts up the important concept of community.  We – collectively – are the church community and the church is us.
unleashes We are a community with potential that has yet to be fully realized. We intentionally chose this strong word because it describes the powerful force we can be in realizing the future we envision.  It also conveys our understanding that all the love we need already exists within, between, and beyond us, and our task is to make it real in the world.
courageous love Love is the spirit of this church and will continue to be. This is not just any love – courageous love describes the love that transforms and heals both personally and communally, the love that connects all of life.  Courageous love emboldens us to create the world of justice and wholeness, the vision of Beloved Community. Working together for justice and leading justice efforts are both reasons for being and our aspirations for how we are known.
In Northern Colorado and beyond We are the largest UU church in this growing area and we have articulated an aspiration to be a resource church.  We desire to be a force for change and a leader in our broader community and in the wider world.
by This word signals that which follows summarizes ways we as a church community make possible our potential for unleashing courageous love.
embracing We joyfully welcome all who welcome all.
our diversity, We draw wisdom from diverse sources.  We are diverse – or aspire to be more diverse – in our demographics.  We are strengthened by our diverse perspectives and, especially, as we transcend them.  Our practice of remaining in covenant despite our differences is a powerful tool in the work ahead.
growing Spiritual growth, faith formation, and growing ourselves, our children, and our youth as UUs are highly valued endeavors we support with quality programming.
our faith, This has two meanings: personal religious faith and our Unitarian Universalist faith tradition.  Our community supports those for whom a personal experience of faith is important and necessary.  We also are committed to growing Unitarian Universalism as we affirm our seven principles and all they entail.
and awakening our spirits This speaks to our fundamental reason for gathering together for worship and sharing our joys, sorrows and gratitude.  The word “awakened” also resonates with the cultural moment and the need to be awakened to injustice and to respond with our witness and courageous love.
to the unfolding meaning This is an important theological element that distinguishes our UU tradition.  In our covenantal rather than creedal faith, we are called to be active participants in discerning what is true.  Because revelation is not sealed, the meaning of life continues to unfold to us.  This also speaks to what brings many people to our church to begin with: we seek to make sense of our lives, and we find here a community that holds us and helps us as we search.
of this life. Unlike many other faith traditions, ours is focused on this life and not on the hereafter.  This underscores the relevance of what our church community offers here and now.

 

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5 thoughts on “Why does Foothills exist?

  1. I too really appreciate the breakdown word by word! I’d love to see this explanation in some form become part of the permanent website when the mission is published. It’s a great summary.

    Like

  2. Outstanding result, excellent explanation of the choice of each word and phrase. Readily understood, and am eager to embrace. Well done!

    Like

  3. Pingback: On a Mission: Finding Focus for 2016-17 – Faith Forward – A Foothills Blog

  4. Pingback: A Rich and Productive Summer By Erin Hottenstein, President of the Board of Trustees – Faith Forward – A Foothills Blog

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