a positive path for spiritual growth


Honoring Our Past, Creating Our Future


The following material, as presented at a Unity Board Retreat in early October, can also be downloaded as a 3-page document:

An evolving document (9/8/20)

Category #1: Transition
1.More organized, clear process/timeline communicated to the congregation/transparency
2.Proper good-bye/closure/explanation of why left
3.Address grief/sorrow/healing

Category #1: Action Plans
1.(done) Conduct Healing and Reconciliation Circle (1-2 wks)
2.(in process) Create Minister Search & Find Team (SFT) (1-2 months)
3.(ongoing) Commit to and create clear transition process between ministers with help from UWM (3+ months)

Category #2: Minister Characteristics/Responsibilities
1.Grounded in Unity Principles
2.“Holding” the ministry – taking responsibility for the ministry as a whole/a “calling”; knows how to set up sacred space/”holding the space”/being still/setting the tone for the service; foster a sense of community within the church
3.Public relations beyond ministry/outreach skills (FOCUS and other churches; UAlbany, etc)
4.In-depth discussion in classes; having a thirst to learn along with the congregation; being a student; walks the path of spirituality along with the congregation; committed to own spiritual practice
5.Genuine; interaction skills (with small group, large group, individuals); transparency in intention
6.Well organized and attentive to priorities and details; consistent office hours; good administrative skills; responsible time management; good decision-making skills
7.Fiscal responsibility/supports financial structure (budget & process)
8.Open to feedback/ability to take suggestions; availability thru email/voicemail; reliable and accountable; timely responsiveness to congregants, board and staff
9.Committed to mid-week classes; attendance at Sunday evening service (OneSong)
10.Substantive and succinct sermons
11.Attention to self-care, health & fitness

Category #2: Action Plans
1.(Board & SFT, in process) Synthesize & distill list of minister characteristics from HOPCOF; define what we’re looking for (1-2 wks) (Refer to Minister Search & Find Team)
2.(done) Create survey for congregation of desired minister characteristics
3.(Steve, Heather) Training for Search & Find Team
4.[“Warm-up team” – Board member(s) & SFT member(s)] Integrate results of survey with information from HOPCOF of desired minister characteristics
5.(SFT) Integrate the above with search packet
6.(Board; November) Review and revise senior minister job description to reflect desired minister responsibilities and characteristics; review previous list of minister characteristics (job posting) & interview questions (Dottie)
7.(SFT) Send packet back to UWM for posting
8.(Board & SFT) Develop list of interview questions, based on packet
9.Create evaluation and feedback process

Category #3: Board, Team & Staff Effectiveness and Communication (between Board, Minister, Congregants)
2.Public relations
4.Decision-making skills
5.Collaboration skills (“plays well with others”)
6.Board/Minister relations
7.Consistent Board training
8.Clearly defined roles and responsibilities (Board/Staff/Ministers/Volunteers)
9.Regular town hall meetings
10.Reliable and accountable
11.Responsible financial management

Category #3: Action Plans
1.(Board) Consider “Agreeing & Disagreeing in Love” policy
2.Continue to conduct regular interactive town hall meetings and Q & A/information-sharing sessions (ongoing)
3.Add slide to Sunday service “Announcements from the Board” so that platform assistant can provide updates
4.Conduct “I of the Storm” classes on a regular basis; consider making participating in this or other class(es) a requirement for membership
5.Review and update leadership development program for the Board, Staff and Congregation to increase consistency
6.Develop clear policies and procedures-Finish the Safety Policy and disseminate to the congregation-Develop/update job descriptions for all staff positions-Develop a performance/feedback system for Board, Minister, Staff and Congregation to be implemented on a regular basis

Category #4: Sunday Service/Programming/Sermons
1.Substantive and succinct sermons
2.Expand participation in the Sunday services
3.More opportunities for choir/other musicians

Category #4: Action Plans
1.Provide more opportunities for participation in the Sunday service (e.g. Platform Assistant, guest speakers)
2.Provide more opportunities for choir participation

Category #5: Membership/Attendance
1.Want more people attending Sunday services and other programs
2.Want to increase membership
3.Want more youth and young families
4.Want more diversity (ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, etc)

Category #5: Action Plans
1.Develop new programs to increase attendance and attract more members
2.Increase Sunday service and other programs attendance
3.Create programs to encourage diversity
4.Rebuild the youth program
5.Provide activities to attract youth in the community
6.Connect with regional youth coordinator for ideas of how to build remote youth program
7.Increase UCIA’s visibility through social media, tabling at events (e.g. Pride Festival), etc (marketing)
8.Encourage members/congregants to add information to Servant Keeper; provide training
9.Develop “Church buddy” (“Unity buddy”?) program for new congregants, new members

Category #6: Education/Classes/Small Groups/Unity Principles
1.Regularly scheduled classes, Unity SEE classes, free form book discussions, membership classes, etc

Category #6: Action Plans
1.Consider making participating in “I of the Storm” class (or other class) a requirement for membership
2.Plan an organized, ongoing, annual schedule/rotation of classes and retreats; semi-annual membership classes
3.Join SpiritGroups (small group ministries program)

Category #7: Sacred Service/Volunteerism
1.Prioritize opportunities
2.Foster a sense of community among church members & congregants

Category #7: Action Plans
1.Implement Sacred Service (volunteer) program
2.Reinvigorate the Social Committee

Category #8 Spiritual Social Action
1.Need more involvement in racial and social justice causes
2.More diversity

Category #8 Action Plans
1.Develop/reinvigorate a Spiritual Social Action committee (e.g. Black Lives Matter)
2.Revamp/rename 5/5 group (Beloved Community)
3.Recruit volunteers for racial and social action committees
4.Invite persons of color: Speakers/musicians/soloists
5.Strengthen relationships with neighbors (e.g. Circulation Day)