Strategic Planning Process & Update

By: Sandy Pearce, Board Member At Large

The Bphotograph of sandy pearceoard needs you to create a meaningful, viable strategic plan for the next few years at UUFR.

Think of a strategic plan as “frame-bending” planning. Imagine an artist whose radical, innovative ideas bend the frame of the picture in order to make space for the possibility of an unseen or unconsidered future. The underlying assumption in strategic planning is that things could work better at UUFR. Who is UUFR called to be in our next chapter of congregational life? Frame-bending planning means taking a hard look at who we are now and where we want to be.

So, we enter a Discernment Stage. We gather and analyze data about our membership demographics and the demographics of Wake County, discuss expectations and dreams with congregation members/friends through Loop Groups and surveys, engage in one-on-one relational meetings with established and new members, incorporate feedback from the Addressing Institutional Racism Committee’s congregational assessment tools, and visit other progressive churches and talk to lay leaders there.

The Committee on Ministry partners with the Board to gather information and to summarize the important themes and ideas that are gathered from listening sessions with the congregation. Then we provide feedback to the congregation through discussion groups and town halls.

Based on this information and feedback from the congregation, the Board enters the Action Stage. The Board drafts a preliminary plan that lays out UUFR’s vision and mission, and creates objectives and strategies to live out our values. We engage in tailored assessments to fill in the gaps, e.g. who is not represented in the plan, what do we need to do to get full congregational input. We listen more.

In June 2023, the Board will present the strategic plan to the congregation for approval. Board members, staff, and lay leaders will make the plan a living document over the next several years as we continue to grow and strive together.

This flow chart illustrates the process we are following:

Flow chart of strategic planning process



Look for more information about ways to engage with the strategic-planning process this Fall, including Loop Groups, a congregation-wide survey, and a Town Hall after service on October 23.

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