Vision Statement for Lifespan Spiritual Exploration

“Spiritual practice and spiritual seeking centers our community.”  ~ UCM 2020 Vision Statement


Lifespan Spiritual Exploration at UCM….

  • Cultivates a common understanding of what it means to be on a spiritual journey and a collective sense of being on this journey together,
  • Empowers people of all ages to engage in reflection and practices that lead to personal growth and to ownership over their spiritual journeys,
  • Supports the congregation to identify how to live our values and mission through service and action in the community,
  • Fosters intergenerational connections and builds multi-age community both within and beyond the congregation,
  • Provides developmentally-appropriate opportunities to learn about UU traditions, history, and values and how to put those values into action,
  • Supports families in raising children and equips parents to be spiritual teachers at home,
  • Celebrates rites of passage across the lifespan, and
  • Addresses spiritual needs at all life stages and transitions from a UU perspective, e.g. adolescence, sexuality education, relationship changes, starting a family, aging, and death and dying.


In order to achieve this vision, we will:


  • Keep the programs that work and continue to adapt and innovate
  • Change the role and structure of staffing (paid and volunteer) to support lifelong spiritual exploration
  • Assess and adapt our facilities to meet our current and new program needs
  • Change the language that we use to describe this area of ministry and its programs
  • Offer people of all ages a variety of methods for learning and development some of which go beyond Sunday mornings at different times and in different locations and using different ways of connecting with one another


How did UCM get to this vision?  

Fall 2016

  • The Religious Education Committee (REC) and Adult Religious Education Committee (Adult REC) commit to the process of examining our RE program as part of an re-envisioning process to guide toward programmatic and staffing decisions for the future.  


  • Consultant, Cindy Beal, facilitated a sharing of RE history among members of our congregation including parents, RE volunteer teachers, members of the RE Committee, Adult RE Committee, UCM staff and the UCM board.  


  • RE-Start Webinar–parents, members of REC, Adult REC, and RE volunteer teachers participated, along with the minister and Acting DRE. Focus: expand our understanding of the purpose of faith formation programs and to learn about multiple approaches (Full Week Faith, 2nd Hour RE, theme based ministry and including children/youth more in worship).


Winter 2016-17

  • REC and Adult RE examine input gathered during the 20/20 Strategic Planning Process, looking at over 70 comments pertaining to Religious Education.      


Spring 2017

  • REC and Adult RE decide on offering a World Cafe Model to draw in the whole congregation around the future of RE / faith formation at UCM.  After learning about this model, they practice it at a Committee of Chairs meeting in April.


Fall 2017

  • 65 people participated in an “RE Envisioning Conversation” at the end of October/beginning of November. The children and youth also shared their ideas in a special RE program the first Sunday of November.


  • Members of the REC, Adult RE, ET, and Liza, and Joan met with Hilary Allen, a staff member with the New England Region UUA, to synthesize all of the rich data from the RE Envisioning Conversations and to begin to plot out next steps.  


January 2018

  • Ad hoc group comprised of Rev. Joan and members of the Executive Team, Governing Board, and both Religious Education Committees met for two half day sessions to further develop long-term goals for religious education at UCM and also to discern the best configuration of staff and volunteers to support our goals. They created the Vision Statement for Lifespan Spiritual Exploration (other side).