By Nancy L. Stone
We want to hear your voice. Your individual voice is an integral and vital part of our whole ministry. The Committee on Ministry (COM) invites you to join a Loop Group this year that is relevant to you and in an area of ministry you have experienced. With all the changes, in particular, the advent of virtual church and online experiences, we have a lot to talk about!
Loop Groups are simply small, guided discussions that help provide high-quality feedback to the Board about how members are experiencing the life and mission of UUFR. These feedback/reflection groups will provide you an opportunity to share and talk about what you are experiencing in various aspects of UUFR life.
The primary goal of the COM is to serve in an advisory role to the Board and ministers by providing them with feedback from the congregation using these listening sessions that we call Loop Groups. The COM works with the Board to select topics for the year. We then develop relevant open-ended questions to use for discussion. The committee summarizes the information, without attribution, and reports back to the Board.
Last year, the COM held three successful Loop Groups. The topics were “Adult Religious Education,” Worship Experience,” and the “Experience of UUFR without Walls.” The last Loop Group was in response to the pandemic as UUFR made the transition to virtual services and the use of Zoom for meetings, classes, and other activities. These focused discussions provided valuable feedback to make improvements that directly related to member experience.
Our goal is to have 4 or more Loop Groups each year, covering different aspects of ministry.
The COM is made up of six members and the lead minister with a rotation of three years of service. Replacements are selected by the nominating Committee for Board approval. We are excited to have several new members this year working with experienced COM members.
This year we are motivated to continue to provide pertinent Loop Group feedback/reflection sessions, starting with “The Newcomer Experience in a Virtual World.” More specific information about our First Loop Group will be announced in The Chalice with an invitation to join us in early December to hear about your experiences.
Help us complete the circle of communication. Look for announcements in The Chalice and on Facebook to find a Loop Group topic that interests you and join us for conversation and reflection.
For more information on our model of feedback, check out the book, Completing the Circle by David R. McMahill.