Why These Words, Why This Mission?

By Jim Sanderson,
President,
Unitarian Universalist
​Fellowship of the Peninsula

Grow in Wonder - Connect in Love -
​Engage in Service - Inspire Generosity

​These are the words we are considering recognizing as our Mission. As such they should embody not only who we are but who we intend to continue to be, and become. I am reminded of the name spoken from the burning bush: “I am who I am becoming.” The Mission embodies those values we have trusted as our beacons and will continue to trust. They assert an ongoing overarching mission. Mission statements tell us how we currently embody, or seek to embody, the Mission.

We will always seek to grow in wonder and as we gain in awareness, our wonder may center on ever newer revelations. We will always be connecting in love, the emphasis on who and how may vary as needs and conditions change. We will always engage in service, but the objects of our service will change as we find new ways to serve and new needs that require service. We will always need to inspire generosity, both in spirit and with resources. Our expression of that generosity will always be finding new outlets.

The beauty of these terms is in their ongoing value, and in the way that they support one another. The more we grow our wonder, the more we will find to value in our universe: The act of valuing will inspire us to connect in love (think of the way that we have discovered the wonders of our planet, leading many of us to hold Earth in our love). As we give our love, so we will be inspired to offer service to that which we love. As we serve, we both express our generosity and are inspired to even more generosity.

As we connect in love, our sense of wonder is excited by that to which we connect. That growth opens further opportunities to engage in service. Engaging in service we find that we connect with those we serve and to others who also serve. Our sense of generosity will be expanded by our new connections. We may even learn to be generous in spirit to those we have not welcomed in the past.

“Engaging in service” similarly connects with the other parts of the mission. Serving opens us up to new objects of wonder. Service points to those we can connect to through love and opens new avenues for generosity. Generosity is a value that supports all the rest of the mission. Generosity points us outside of ourselves. The generous soul appreciates all that is and can be and is full of wonder at all that exists. The generous soul shares love everywhere it can. Service comes naturally to the generous soul.

​UUFP has long served the Mission that these words embody. We will continue to serve this Mission far into the future as it embodies what we see as our duty to ourselves, our congregation, our community, our planet and its inhabitants. We may, and indeed probably will, develop mission statements for different times and circumstances as they emerge, but The Mission We Live will continue to embody those beacons that illuminate how we are (and are to be) in the world.

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