Circle Visioning Process
Meeting Agenda: June 3rd

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Distilling Themes

Small group work following initial visioning session:

Teri, Mary, Sara
Tasked with:
Within each theme, what are the bold questions and the key impacts?
What are some solutions we could think of? (want to find questions that we can think of solutions for)

We started our work acknowledging how useful the Peter Block excerpt (10 pp.) that Sean posted in the team drive is, we recommend that everyone on the visioning team read it.
Peter Block notes (here just in case not everyone can read the piece):
We seek conversations that create accountability and commitment
Powerful questions are ambiguous, personal, and stressful
The conversation is not so much about the future for the community, but is the future itself
Questions that are designed to change other people (how do we get people more engaged? How do we get people to buy into our mission?) are the wrong questions (not because they don’t matter, but because they reinforce the problem-solving model and recreate the present). These questions are a response to the wish to create a predictable future. When we take unpredictability out of the future, it is the present projected forward.
Powerful questions are the ones that cause you to become an actor as soon as you answer them.
By answering powerful questions, we become more committed, more accountable and more vulnerable; and when we voice our answers to one another, we grow more intimate and connected
Conversations that produce more than just talk include: Commitment, Gifts, Dissent, Invitation, Possibility, Ownership

Themes arising from circle visioning session:
Spiritual growth
Within ourselves (we found this distinction of within, between/among, and beyond that we used during the church visioning work in 2019 useful in thinking about our themes)
Between people in our community
We noted that this theme was in some ways likely to be an outcome of the spiritual growth and social justice/outreach themes
Social justice/outreach
Beyond Foothills
Process/ Considerations

Potential powerful questions (not all tied directly to one theme; I’m not sure that is going to be the most productive way to do this work):
What is your role in fulfilling the mission of the church? (From a planning perspective: How do we involve everyone in fulfilling the mission?)
How do you know you belong at Foothills?
If Foothills didn’t exist, would it matter to you? to the community? Would you create it? What would it look like?
What possibilities are available to us in this time that make spiritual growth: more acceptable (moving skeptics?), more accessible, and more meaningful?
What makes spiritual growth essential to our faith? (Is it?) How do spiritual practices hold us together as a community? (Do they?)
What is the place that Foothills holds in your life?
What are the practices that distinguish UUs from people who don’t share our faith? What do/should/might we do to encourage these practices?

At this point in the process (this work took a few hours between the three of us already), we feel the need for more collective work around developing powerful questions. We aren’t ready to move into outcomes or solutions, as we don’t feel like we have developed the right questions yet. We would propose that we use our upcoming visioning team session to work more with question development.

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