From the Soul Matters program:
“There’s one quote we all need to remember this month. The author is unknown, but they’ve given us a great gift. Here it is: ‘What will mess you up most in life is the picture in your head of how it is supposed to be.’
But isn’t having and using a vision crucial to guide our businesses, our congregation, parenting, for those who have children; perhaps even our lives? We know that having a vision helps us weather difficult circumstances; to keep to our goals; to keep on walking our talk; to give us strength when our 12-year-old whines, “But everyone else’s mom/dad is letting them do it/have one/go!”
And we also know the value of flexibility, of being open to the possibilities that change brings. Learning more about how we are living in our white supremacy culture makes us realize that, though our motives may be good, we do not always have all the skills we need to create a worthy vision. Our colleagues in the Soul Matters program remind us, “As Unitarian Universalists, we also know that one vision isn’t enough. As clear as our perspectives may be, we all know by now that none is complete. To see the entire view, we need everyone’s vantage point…
… and holding tightly to one single vision is also just no fun! We don’t just have to see things from others’ points of view; we get to see things from others’ points of view! Learning about the visions of others isn’t just a way of making up for your flawed perspective. It’s also an invitation to see the world anew!”
We can choose to see the world as children do. Letting go of the visions we worked so hard to create and cling to can be difficult, but having an expansive horizon ahead can be exhilarating. Like children and youth, we can fill up some of that space by learning and growing.
Here’s a challenging exercise for us this month – write your own vision statement – for just this church year – in just one sentence. You could just make the exercise a matter of answering one or both of the following questions: “How do I want to be different when this church year comes to an end?” and/or “What do I want to have done when this church year ends?” in one sentence each.
For some more support, check out these videos:
And then I invite you to share your one sentence response here as a comment. You can also write yours on the graffiti board in the basement hallway. That way our upper elementary children can see it too. Maybe you’ll inspire one of them to write their own. Or maybe one of the children’s sentences will inspire you!
Here’s to a fabulous new year in our Religious Education Program and the life of our congregation!
In faithful service,
Leah Purcell, Director of Religious Education and Family Ministry