The theme for our worship and religious education this month is intention. In the article “The Heart’s Intention,” Phillip Moffitt differentiates between goals and intentions. Goals are focused on a future outcome. We think of an outcome we would like to see, and we take steps to accomplish it. We can measure whether or not we accomplish the goal. Intentions are focused on how we are being in the present moment. They are about aligning our outward actions in the world with our inner values. Both are important.
Recently I met with BBUUC board members to discuss our goals and priorities for the 2021-2022 church year. There are always so many hopes we have for the congregation and so many things we wish to accomplish. And, we have limited time and energy, so it is valuable to set priorities for the year. Our three priorities are:
Engaging in anti-racism and anti-oppression work through studying and voting on the Eighth Principle of Unitarian Universalism (https://www.8thprincipleuu.
Plan for the ministerial transition when Rev. Amy’s contract ends in August 2022.
Review and Revise BBUUC Governance Structure.
When we talk about goals as a church, it is important to keep in mind that how we work on our goals is more important than accomplishing the goals. All world religions teach, in various ways, that the journey is more important than the destination. How we do our tasks is more important than the accomplishment of the tasks. Goals are important and they help us move forward with our mission and vision in the world. But we don’t want to stray from our Unitarian Universalist principles and values as we work towards our goals. You could say we need to set our intentions as a community as much as we need to set goals.
Currently the intentions of BBUUC as a community can be found in our covenant and our mission statement. They can also be found in core values that we identified in the “Know Your Why” workshop in May 2021. Those were love, justice, freedom and growth. I encourage you to consider your intentions when you engage in congregational life. What are the values you most want to live into in your interactions with others in the community? How do you live out those values every day? Every time we attend a meeting, volunteer for a task, attend a worship service or engage with the church in some way, we can set an intention for how we wish to be together. And we can strive to live into that intention in our actions. In this new year, I invite you to consider your goals, and your intentions. May you embody the values you hold most dear in your actions in the world. May we as a community treat one another in ways that allow more justice, love, freedom and growth to flourish in the world.