Most of the people who read my blog are members of my church, so I'd like your input on some work my leadership team has been doing to come up with a new motto for UPC. And if you don't go to my church, your input would be helpful too - maybe even more so.
First, some background. My team is called the Congregational Life Team. Our charge is to help UPC equip adults for spiritual maturity and create authentic community. One of the things that became apparent in our early meetings was that UPC has tons of good things going on, but that these things are not always connected with each other or aligned with the mission of the church. Many people do not even know what the mission of the church is. We have a long mission statement but we do not often refer to it.
Also, people who are new to the church often do not see a clear path to follow for spiritual growth or know what is expected of them. They may not know where to look to find places of connection and service. We need to do a better job of communicating what we want people to do and what we hope they will experience.
So my team thought that a new motto, or slogan, would be an important first step to help create an atmosphere where people "get" who we are and what we want them to do and experience.
Up until now, our motto has been "Transforming Lives in a Changing World." That's an excellent motto. But we think it does not adequately communicate a process for spiritual growth or tell people who we are. So we came up with two ideas. Each one consists of a headline with three bullet points.
IDEA #1: "UPC - A Community of Grace"
Knowing God...Loving Others...Serving People
IDEA #2: "UPC - A Family of Grace"
Knowing God...Connecting with One Another...Serving the World
Last night, my team hosted a meeting of UPC ministry leaders. We presented these two ideas to the group, and led a time of discussion and brainstorming to get their input. Out of that meeting came
IDEA #3: "UPC - A Community of Grace"
Knowing God...Growing Together...Serving People
Obviously, you can wordsmith forever, and no motto will perfectly say everything that might be said about an organization. But as you look at these ideas, what are your reactions? Which phrases do you like and dislike? Put yourself in the shoes of people new to the church and in the community. Do you see where we're trying to go, and do you think we're on the right track?
If we do come up with a new motto, my team believes it needs to be more than just words on a piece of paper. It needs to be integrated into and used consistently throughout the church. So what ideas do you have about how the motto can become an integral part of the life of UPC?