Mission and Vision of the North Shore Unitarian Church
Approved at the Annual General Meeting - Sunday, May 24, 2009.
The mission of North Shore Unitarian Church is to empower people to live with greater depth, meaning and purpose. We welcome all to our caring community, foster spiritual growth free of dogma, and inspire actions in the service of life.
In carrying out this mission, we promote our historic values of religious tolerance, freedom of thought and the use of reason. We are rooted in Canadian and world-wide Unitarian Universalism and affirm the following principles:
- The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
- Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations;
- Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
- A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
- The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
- The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
- Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
Vision Statement - What We Aspire to Be in the Years Ahead
Our church congregation--as diverse as society itself--provides a caring community for its members and friends. We are widely recognized for our inspiring ministry, and the enriching programs we offer to all spiritual explorers--young and old. We reach out with actions to help others both at home and around the world.
Expanding the Vision
The congregation is a strong and caring community that meets the spiritual needs of its members, welcomes newcomers, and values diversity.
The congregation is vital and diverse, with new families and individuals finding a warm and welcoming home here. Families with children are attracted by the children’s and youth programs, and whole families soon become active and enthusiastic members. We welcome all who share our values and spiritual quest. Yet the needs and concerns of long time and continuing members are equally attended to, and the wisdom of our elders is heard and appreciated. Though we have grown since 2004, we have lost none of the deep sense of community, friendship and personal closeness with others for which NSUC has long been known.
Services are often deeply moving or profoundly enlightening, with inspirational and thought provoking sermons which touch the heart and engage the mind, and with vital participation by the congregation.
On Sundays and at other times, we provide services that address the needs and interests of our diverse congregation. A variety of services are enjoyed, from traditional, sermon- based services, to alternative, such as services based on environmental, social or other issues or topics, and on forums and discussions. But all services are enhanced by deeply satisfying music as an integral part, and by joyful participation of the congregation.
Our church is a spiritual center for liberal religious seekers; a place for spiritual discovery and development, and also a place of warmth, caring and love.
This is a church with strong professional and lay leadership which meets the spiritual and emotional needs of its members with compassion and caring. We support each other in our spiritual growth, celebrate together joyously and care for each other in times of difficulty or sadness. We celebrate rites of passage together in a way that supports, inspires and moves all who participate.
The NSUC has many services and programs to further spiritual growth and in which to live out our Unitarian values.
The children’s religious education and youth programs are vibrant and appealing. They give our young people a fine introduction to Unitarian values and a host of worthwhile and enjoyable activities to engage them, increase their circle of friends and allow them to practice their Unitarian values. Adult religious education and many other programs and activities exist through which adult members can continue lifelong learning and spiritual growth, and otherwise enrich their lives.
Living our Values
We are actively contributing to the well being of our community and the wider world.
Our members are actively involved in endeavors to further social justice, peace in the world and respect for the environment. We bring together people of different faiths to foster mutual understanding and harmony. We are engaged in “hands-on” social action projects both locally and globally. In our day to day lives, our interactions are respectful and compassionate, and our actions are ethical and environmentally responsible. We promote ethical and sustainable practices in our congregation and in the wider world. We are widely recognized as leaders on the North Shore for our social action work to build a more just and compassionate world.
Building a Legacy
As stewards for the future, the NSUC congregation is creating a legacy for future
generations, and is strengthening its presence as a spiritual home in the community.
The church buildings and grounds are attractive and well suited to support our many activities, with a lovely and serene sanctuary, commodious and cheerful rooms for all other church functions, and ample parking. The building is fully accessible for people with disabilities, and those without cars have easily accessible and affordable means of getting to the church. Church revenues are solid and growing, with more than enough financial resources to meet our needs. People have a sense of ownership and pride in their church, and cheerfully contribute their financial resources, their skills and their time to maintaining the health of the church and congregation. Planned giving occurs regularly
The values and principles of Unitarianism are integrated into NSUC policies, programming and services.
Church administration is smooth and well managed. The Board operates in a responsible and transparent fashion. Staff are motivated and happy, and are treated well. We follow a Covenant of Right Relations in working together as a community. In our relationships with each other, we are respectful: we deal with our differences with integrity and compassion; our communications are open, clear and direct. Volunteers for our many activities are easy to come by, and new and long-standing members are engaged in volunteer opportunities that recognize their passions and their skills.
In short, we have everything we need to keep our beacon of Unitarianism shining brightly for years to come.