Wednesday, July 03, 2013
Gini Courter said that we need a 50 year vision.
Some of my friends think that 50 years is an impossible planning horizon. One even called it "oppressive" in that it imagines one generation imposing its will on the future.
I have no idea how seriously Courter meant 50 years. Maybe it was the equivalent of the Biblical 40 years -- meaning a long time.
I also don't know what she meant as a "vision". All these re-organization words -- mission, vision, strategy, objective, plan etc. -- are vague and often interchangeable. People can project what they want, or don't want, into the words as a method of argument. People describe "visions" as words on paper signifying nothing or as Stalinist masterplans enforced by bureaucratic terror, and everything in between.
But everybody I know thinks that there is something missing in Unitarian Universalism as it is a practiced, some passionate purpose that is beyond shared belief, greater than religious community, and not fully expressed in our public ministry.
I think that it is remarkable that a UUA moderator, in her last report, would so freely admit that even people at that level know that there is something missing. It was a confession that they are bouncing around from tactic to strategy and back again with goal no greater than growing. And while the absolute numbers are holding, there are no new plants.
So what's missing? Call it vision, call it shared theology, call it mission, UU-ness, call it the X-Factor.
More than it, we need to think about it, and in ways that penetrate the thick clouds of derp that cloud our view.