January 23, 2018
Dear Members and Friends of UUFA,
On behalf of the executive committee we invite you to participate in an exciting initiative in which we’ll put together the story of our fellowship community I n an effort to identify what is best about our organization and to allow that to fully inform our future direction.
Over the next few months you’ll have an opportunity to share your story with others in a small group setting. We will be using a process called appreciative inquiry (AI)
All organizations have significant life forces available in stories and imagination. Appreciate Inquiry as a process allows a group to discover the best and most valuable narratives and qualities of the organization. Participants can construct a new way linking the best of the past and creating hopeful images for the future.
10 Assumptions of Appreciative Inquiry:
- In every organization, some things work well.
- What we focus on becomes our reality.
- Asking questions influences the group.
- People have more confidence into the future when they carry forward parts of the past.
- If we carry parts of the past into the future, they should be what is best about the past.
- It is important to value difference.
- The language we use creates our reality.
- Organizations are heliotropic.
- Outcomes should be useful.
- All steps are collaborative.
*Adapted from the Alban Institute at Duke Divinity School, 2007
We hope you will consider joining in this process as it’s important that all voices be represented. Below is a timeline for the process. We will be seeking facilitators of small groups. If you are a facilitator, you will be working with one other person in a team of two. We especially encourage individuals who have recently begun attending to participate as your perspective is valued. We are also encouraging all to participate in a small group. First we’ll gather in small groups to share stories in a more manageable setting. The next step will be to come together as a large group and share the broad themes that emerge. The large group will also work on identifying a course for the future. Rev. Don Rollins will be guiding our process.