Commitment to Change

When UUFM chose to recruit a Developmental Minister rather than go through a regular search process for a minister, the Fellowship committed to change. The particular goals you deve- loped were to become more involved in the community, to accept ministerial leadership, and to grow in membership. It’s one thing to say we want change and another to make it happen. If you made New Years resolutions that have already gone by the wayside, then you have an idea of how hard change really is.

Our patterns and habits as individuals get wired into our brains. Popular thinking has it that new habits take twenty- one days to become established. Wrong! Scientific studies say it takes quite a bit longer, at least a couple of months generally, though there’s a lot of variability.

How much more complicated, then, is it for a system like a congregation to make change?

In our Fellowship, we’re experimenting with a lot of things– more music in services, a gathering song to bring people together, expanding involvement and recognition of our role in the community, varying how and whether we do discus- sion in services, adding some options for adult religious edu- cation, and beginning in February, moving coffee hour to the Alsop Room. These small changes shake things up a little so that we quit habits that may be done without awareness. We won’t know if there might be better ways if we keep doing things a particular way only because it’s familiar and comfortable. Change invites reflection about why we do what we do.

Making change requires looking at our environment and practices with new eyes. What would this look and feel like to someone who had never seen it before? Not only does this help us become more hospitable to guests, but it also can improve the experience and ambience for us all.

When change is going on around you, consider taking a new look. You might find you want to rearrange your old habits.

In faith and freedom,

Jonalu

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