2012-09-04

How Do You Want to Grow?

For the last year, I’ve been asking the members of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville: "In what ways do you want to grow? What does growing look like for you?"

A couple months ago the Fellowship was invited to take a survey. It asked:
How would you complete this sentence: “I would like my connection with UUFG to help guide, provoke, and facilitate my transformation toward being a person who . . . .”
In other words, what is growing for you? Growing toward what? The survey listed 37 answers that had been submitted by UUFG members over the previous year.

The answer that got the most resonance was:

“...is a better person.”

There is a widespread agreement among us that we want to grow toward being a better person. And what does being a better person look like for us? Other top answers help give a clue.

“...really is as tolerant, open-minded, and accepting as I sometimes assume I am.”

“...is kinder and more compassionate.”

“...has deeper spiritual connections; has learned better ways to deal with my feelings around conflicts; shows and helps others show more love and trust.”

“...embodies compassionate wisdom and equanimity; constantly and continuously at every moment serves justice, peace, and the needs of sentient beings.”

These were some of the top responses of who we said we wanted to be. It’s not who we said we thought we were. It’s what we said we’re here to help each other grow toward.

In the months ahead, we’ll be using these results to suggest a number of options for a mission statement that best expresses our collective sense of the growing we’re here for. We’ll be inviting everyone into more conversation and more suggestions around those possibilities. The process of articulating together how we want to help each other grow is itself what growing looks like.

And if you are having a moment when growing just doesn’t seem possible, give Starr Austin, our new Director of Religious Education, a call. Tell her you’d like to be involved in our Children’s and Youth ministry. Our kids, reliably, will show you how growing is done.

Count on it.

Amen.

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This is part 6 of 6 of "What Growing Looks Like"

Previous: Part 5: "Hiding Behind the Veil of Reason"
Beginning: Part 1: "Growth Amidst Perfection"