Living Our Mission: Strategic Planning Report
In March 2017, the Mission Task Force presented the Board of Trustees with a Strategic Planning Report. The Executive Team and the Board of Trustees are now working collaboratively to evaluate it and consider which elements to implement and how/when. The full report as well as a visual representation of its seven initiatives and four key themes are seen here.
The congregation adopted MLUC’s inspiring Mission:
“Together, We Transform Lives through Love, Service, and Our Welcoming Faith”
But our Mission cannot be a set of empty words; a lifeless creed. Instead, it must be a call to action – the collective directive that inspires and guides us, and the essential criteria by which we evaluate, develop, and measure the success of our programs and ministries. Our task as a congregation is to make the Mission come alive in our hearts and drive what we do as a loving community now and into the future.
In September 2016, we held a Living Our Mission Summit at which a wide cross-section of the congregation were challenged to address this fundamental question: What is necessary for MLUC to fully live its Mission? Seven key strategic initiatives emerged from that Summit:
1. Inspire Greater Engagement in Our Church;
2. Serve the Needs of Our Local Community;
3. Engage and Support Children, Youth and Families More Deeply;
4. Program for a Diverse Congregation;
5. Become Better Known in the Community;
6. Develop and Sustain Leadership;
7. Fund our Mission.
Following the Summit, Action Groups considered each of those initiatives and proposed concrete plans for accomplishing them. In reviewing the seven action plans, the Mission Task Force identified a four common themes that emerged from and animated the specific plans:
1. Enhance Our Loving Community
2. Engage in Our Local Community
3. Spiritual Growth
To learn more, see the Full Report.
A Single 10:00 Worship Service
After gathering feedback from our Board of Trustees, the Choir, the Church School Committee and other RE volunteers, my Search Committee, two “town hall” meetings, and lots of emails and personal conversations, the overwhelming response I have received is that we should continue our summer schedule of having a single 10:00 worship service throughout the church year. The primary benefits will be:
1. Instead of having one sparsely attended, subdued service at 9:00 and one well-attended, vibrant service at 11:00, the whole congregation will experience one unified, energetic worship service at 10:00. This will be especially appealing to potential new members.
2. Instead of having duplicated sets of sparsely attended RE classes, we will have unified, well- attended classes and a single set of RE teachers. This will simplify recruiting and planning for our new DLRE and RE volunteers, as well as for our ushers and greeters.
3. A single 10:00 service will allow us to have meetings and groups before and after the service, and post-service meetings will not interfere with lunch plans. Also, members who normally attend the 9:00 service will no longer have to miss meetings and events scheduled after the 11:00 service.
4. When our attendance grows again -- and I fully expect that it will in time with a fulltime DLRE and our hosting a Nursery School -- we can always accommodate the larger numbers by going back to two services.
So it appears to be win-win all the way around. I want to thank everyone who has shared their opinions and suggestions (such as asking able-bodied members to park in the Ditmar Park parking lot when attendance spikes this fall).
With the exception of May 21, May 28, and June 4, we will continue to have a 9:00 and 11:00 service until our summer schedule of having a single 10:00 service begins on June 25.
With appreciation for your input,
Plan to attend MLUC's Annual Meeting on Sunday, May 21 at 11:15 a.m., where all members will have the opportunity to review and approve next year's budget and elect Trustees and members of the Nominating Committee. (There will be one service at 10:00 a.m. on both May 21 and May 28.)
THINGS YOU CAN DO TO ADDRESS CLIMATE CHANGE
As a follow up to Climate Expert Chad Tolman's talk at MLUC on April 23, here are his recommendations for taking concrete action.
- Take classes at local universities (Osher Lifelong Learning (Wilm.) and UD (Newark)
- Read good books:
- Climate Literacy: The Essential Principles of Climate Science. (www.globalchange.gov)
- Climate Change Evidence & Causes. An Overview from the Royal Society and the National Academy of Sciences, National Academies Press, 2014. At http://www.nap.edu/catalog/18730/climate-change-evidence-and-causes
- Lester R. Brown, Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization. W. W. Norton & Co., NY, 2009.
- Bill McKibben, Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet. Henry Holt & Co., NY, 2010.
- David Archer, The Long Thaw: How Humans are Changing the Next 100,000 Years of Earth’s Climate. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 2009.
- Kathleen D. Moore and Michael P Nelson, Eds., Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril. Trinity University Press, San Antonio TX, 2010.
*Books without links are available for purchase at Amazon.com
Find Websites with Reliable Information
Climate Change News (Google “climate Tolman”) to keep up on energy and climate science, public policy, opinion, ethics and economics
Price on Carbon: Putting the Market to Work by Linda Swift, endorsed by US League of Women Voters (LWVUS)
State and Trends of Carbon Pricing. World Bank, Washington D.C., October 2016.
Toolkit for Climate Action, (LWVUS
Climate Change Science: An Analysis of Some Key Questions. The National Academies Press, 2001
The Koch Brothers’ War on Climate Science. The Real News Network, October, 2016
Chasing Ice. A documentary about ice loss from largest glaciers, 2014.
Visit Museums with Good Climate Exhibits
Climate Change Museum in NYC
Marion Koshland Science Museum in Washington, DC
Reduce Your Family's Carbon Emissions
- Use book: Cooler Smarter: Practical Steps for Low-Carbon Living – Expert Advice from the Union of Concerned Scientists, Island Press, Washington, D.C., 2014.
- Make your home, appliances and cars more energy efficient.
- Reduce your consumption of meat, especially beef and pork.
- If you fly, buy carbon offsets. Learn about them at Green America.
- Find out your carbon footprint
Support and Volunteer for Organizations Working for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, and Social Justice
- Your church
- League of Women Voters
- Interfaith Power and Light
- Sierra Club
- Union of Concerned Scientists
- Environmental Defense Fund
- National Wildlife Federation – Delaware Nature Society
- Citizen’s Climate Lobby
Write Letters-to-the-Editor and Opinion Pieces for Local Newspapers
Meet with Your Public Officials and Legislators at Local, State and National Levels
Question Candidates for Public Office about How They Would Address Energy and Climate Change, If Elected