July 2024 Sunday services are at our Haddam Campus
An Open & Affirming Congregation

UCCHH Visioning Team

Submitted by Lori Chadwick

Do we expect to have a “VISION” like Moses or other Biblical prophets? Maybe, maybe not. But we can and must IMAGINE where it is God is calling us and what is our PURPOSE.

Creating a vision for the future of our church involves deep reflection, communal input, and strategic planning.

As the Vision Team proceeds, our church needs its members’ support by providing feedback and guidance to help all of us unite behind a common belief in the future of UCCHH.  The Vision process will not address the sale or retention of church property, although it likely will clarify how best to utilize what we have/keep.

Members of the Vision Team

  1. Greg Shields and Sue Henehan
  2. Judy Hodgson
  3. Lindamae Peck
  4. Alexa Flora
  5. Glen Stebbins
  6. Ginny Evenson
  7. Hilary McLellan
  8. Kristin Battistoni
  9. Alan and Lori Chadwick

By following a structured approach, our church can develop a clear and compelling vision for the future, grounded in prayer and scripture, informed by the needs of our community, and supported by a concrete implementation plan.

We have a professional coach working with us. Most of the team met with Rev Paul Nickerson on 4/27 and again by Zoom this past Wednesday. The next meeting is scheduled for July.  Working with Rev. Nickerson will help keep us moving forward and on target.

What the Visioning Process is Not

Understanding what the visioning process is not can help avoid common pitfalls and misconceptions:

  1. A Quick Fix:
    • Not an Instant Solution: The visioning process is not a quick fix to immediate problems. It is a long-term strategic effort aimed at sustainable growth and impact.
    • Requires Patience: It requires time, patience, and ongoing commitment from the congregation and leadership.
  2. Top-Down Dictate:
    • Not Solely Leader-Driven: While leadership plays a crucial role, the visioning process is not a top-down mandate. It should involve input from the entire congregation to ensure buy-in and ownership.
    • Inclusive and Participatory: Effective visioning is inclusive, involving diverse voices and perspectives within the church community. We aim for 100% participation!
  1. A One-Time Event:
    • Not a Single Workshop: Visioning is not just a one-time event or meeting. It is an ongoing process that includes regular review and adjustment. We have a professional coach working with us. We have met twice now and all feel that his input and feedback will contribute to our success.
    • Continuous Engagement: It requires continuous engagement, reflection, and adaptation as circumstances and community needs evolve.
  2. Focused Only on Internal Needs:
    • Not Inward-Looking: The process is not solely about addressing internal church needs. It also involves understanding and responding to the broader community’s needs.
    • Externally Oriented: The vision should extend beyond the church walls, aiming to make a positive impact on the wider community.
  3. A Mere Marketing Exercise:
    • Not Just Branding: Visioning is not about creating catchy slogans or branding. It’s about defining a meaningful and actionable path for the church’s future.
    • Substance Over Style: It emphasizes substantive goals and strategies over superficial appearances.

What guides the Vision Process

1. Prayer and Scripture Foundation

Why it’s important: Establishes spiritual grounding and seeks divine guidance and ensures alignment with biblical principles and values.

2. Understanding Our Community

Why it’s important: Helps identify the needs, challenges, and opportunities in the community, and ensures the church’s mission and vision are relevant and impactful.

3. Developing a Purpose Statement

Why it’s important: Clearly articulates the core reason for the church’s existence and provides a foundation for all activities and initiatives.

4. Crafting a Vision Statement

Why it’s important: Paints a picture of the desired future and direction of the church and motivates and unites the congregation towards common goals.

5. Developing an Implementation Plan

Why it’s important: Translates the vision into actionable steps and goals and provides a roadmap for achieving the desired future.

Where we are so far

  1. Working on
    • Prayer and Scripture Foundation:
      • Prayer Team to pray the Vision Team through the process.
      • Working with a Scriptural focus during the worship service including responses from members of the congregation
    • Understanding Our Community:
      • Studying the demographics of our community
      • Identifying and interviewing Key Members of the community

We meet again on Wednesday, June 26th to continue improving the Prayer and Scripture Foundation. Feedback is welcome and we encourage you to participate in the Scripture activities presented each Sunday.

We should have the demographic information needed and begin to address who in the community we want to interview.

Please PRAY for the team and this process, it’s very important to the future of UCCHH. We need you to be involved in this process and encourage you to share your hopes and dreams. That is what Visioning looks like!