One of the graces that we encounter in times of transition is the opportunity to take stock, to gain perspective, and to set our course.

This is true in much of life, and is especially true in the life of a church.  The leadership transitions that have been a part of Union’s life for the past several years have opened up numerous opportunities, not the least of which is the opportunity to take stock of our history, discern what it is that God is calling us to next, and chart a course for that future.

To do this, Union is starting a Visioning and Strategic Planning Process under the guidance of Rev. John Wimberly, a retired Presbyterian pastor with years of experience in this field.

Wimberly’s first step is to gather a Visioning Team, made up of five to six members who are not currently serving on Common Ministry.  We are grateful that Barbara McClure-Lukens, Shana Espinosa, Mary Kay Bishop, Bruce Shafer, Ed Tucker, and John Feldhouse have agreed to serve on this team.

The Visioning Team and Common Ministry met with Wimberly for a day-long retreat earlier this month, and now are at work, utilizing the insights and process we learned that day to draft a statement articulating what we believe Union’s purpose is. Once this draft has met Common Ministry’s approval, the Visioning Team will hold several focus group sessions to elicit the congregation’s feedback.  After we engage that feedback, the Visioning Team will work on developing goals and strategies, which they will again bring to the congregation for input and feedback.

There will be a lot of back and forth, a lot of time and energy spent developing this vision and plan, and I for one am grateful for that, as it will help us to step into the next chapter of Union’s life with purpose and direction.

We will continue to share updates on the process and look forward to hearing your perspectives.  In the mean time, I leave you with the two questions that were at the center of the Visioning Retreat:  What do you love about Union?  What do you believe is Union’s purpose? We look forward to hearing your answers and discerning our future together!

—Pastor Bridget