Appreciative Inquiry

When more than 400 UUCA congregants offer views on three big issues, the result is at least a thousand points of light. The question is what to make of the light show. That is now the task of our Interim Senior Minister Rev. Terasa and the Ministerial Search Committee as we contemplate the answers to the questions posed in the recent Appreciative Inquiry sessions. The AI process is designed to help the us envision UUCA’s future by building on our strengths.

AI sessions held during worship services on March 10 and in longer gatherings on March 24 and April 6 asked participants how they want to grow spiritually within our community, how we aspire to be together as a church, and how we want to interact with our larger community outside UUCA.

Here’s what people said about how we aspire to build the beloved community here at UUCA. We want to

  • Create a deeply caring and joyful place in which we are all in community with each other
  • Radically welcome all dimensions of diversity, both seen and unseen
  • Improve how we love into conflict
  • Strengthen our democratic processes and ensure transparency in church management, with robust congregational input and engagement
  • Access and deepen our spirituality in diverse and robust ways
  • Promote intergenerational involvement and connections

Here’s what people said about how UUCA can better interact with our larger community.

We want to

  • Strengthen and grow a more vital social justice ministry, creating strong partnerships and allyship in the process
  • Engage in social justice activities that address many different areas of need
  • Be with others in an intentional, vision-driven way
  • Visibly counter the climate of hate, mistrust, and division

At the end of the second and third AI sessions, participants offered one word that best described their feelings about their discussion of the future of UUCA. Hope was the most commonly used word, followed by gratitude, thoughtfulness, reflection, commitment, excitement and appreciation.

The Appreciative Inquiry process and the Beyond Categorical Thinking workshop have provided invaluable information for the Ministerial Search Committee as we prepare to call our new senior minister. We will continue to seek opinions and ideas from the congregation through our survey in May and June and cottage meetings in September.