The staff has been meeting regularly to talk together about ways we can create a more caring community within the congregation. One of our newest members, Jim Francek, has been helping us to develop a program that will help deliver on our affirmation’s promise ‘to help one another.’
Working together toward this goal we have created a map, using Google Earth on the internet, and put a virtual pin on the location of every household of members and friend of the congregation.
You’ve been pinned!
Perry and Ed spent a lot of time on that project. They divided the total into 23 neighborhoods, which we’re calling Circles of Care. Do UU know your neighbors?
One of the next steps in this important, exciting project is to have a gathering of folks who want to learn more and possibly get personally involved in helping to create our Circles of Care.
On the back of this letter you will see your invitation to this gathering. I’m hoping you will mark your calendar, whether the old-fashioned way, with a pen, or with some electronic method so you’ll remember to attend: December 5, at 1:30 to 4 p.m.
Jim has become a wonderful resource for me and for the staff. He was ordained into the Roman Catholic priesthood in the 60’s and left to marry Pat – they raised two children and have worked together in the human-resource and human-growth field. Their consulting firm is called Tava Full Circle.
Jim and Pat are skilled in group process and have been using an approach referred to as Appreciative Inquiry (AI), which fits nicely into the essential things we are about as a religious congregation. AI asks basic questions: what do you appreciate in the present? What do you hope for in the future? What action can you take to create what it is you want?
When the staff was meeting with Jim last week he asked, “When have you felt cared for?” I immediately thought of the two weeks I spent with my daughter at her house in Maine following my surgery last summer. Other memories came to mind and each was accompanied by a deep sense of appreciation. When have you felt cared for?
Jim also asked us to think about a time when we offered care, which brought to mind the essence of what ministry is about – not only ministry as a profession, but as an opportunity to be there for someone and be a recipient of their appreciation. It works both ways: each of us wants to be part of the circle of caring – what goes around comes around. Whether or not you are able to attend the organizing meeting I hope you’ll be part of this Circle of Care.