ALUUC Long Range Planning 2015-2016

Strategic Visions | FINAL Goals (PDF) | Congregational Meeting 11/13 | Sunday Service 10/23 | Planning Goals | Why Participate? | LRP Committee | Planning Concepts & Steps | About Appreciative Inquiry | Cottage Groups | 2005 Plan

Final Report

ALUUC Long Range Planning Final Report 2016 (PDF)
APPENDIX I Detailed Cottage Group Input (Excel spreadsheet)
APPENDIX II Detailed Short Term Goals (PDF) (from board, staff and committees)
Appendix III – Comments During Congregational Meeting – is inline in the report.
APPENDIX IV – Documents

ALUUC Strategic Visions

Download our Strategic Visions as a PDF

The ALUUC Long Range Planning Committee presents five Strategic Visions as statements of our intent for the future of our community. Grounded in our recollections of the best of ALUUC, expressed in these visions is much of what we love about our community. Because they are inspired by our visions of the future, they are aspirations for what ALUUC could become. Stated in the present tense, they inspire us to envision now what we will become and serve as a reminder of our intent and a yardstick for our progress.
Our Strategic Visions will be made real over time by prioritizing and implementing our goals.

#1 Inreach to the congregation

We are an inclusive, diverse Unitarian Universalist community that cares for all members and friends, with loving intent and in covenant of right relations, consistent with our welcoming and accepting beliefs and those of our denomination.

#2 Outreach to the larger community to share our welcoming and accepting beliefs and our pursuit of social justice

We promote and follow Unitarian Universalist beliefs and principles through the practice of an exciting, energetic and well-organized social justice, social action, and environmental mission that engages the passion of our members/friends and attracts others to join us in making the world a better place. As a UU congregation located in Illinois’ seat of government, we take advantage of the opportunity to influence public policy in ways that reflect our mission. Together with other community organizations, we serve as a resource to the wider community on social justice and environmental issues.

We offer an accepting and welcoming home so that others feel free to join us and express the fullness of their gifts and ways of being in the world.

#3 Personal growth through enrichment programming

We provide a provocative and exciting enrichment program for all ages through engaging and thought-provoking experiences for participants. Through these programs, we share our values with the wider central Illinois community.

Our religious education program for children and youth is high-quality and consistently well-attended. It serves as a primary appeal for new families. Our programs educate our children and youth about other cultures, religions and ethical ways of being in the world.

#4 Meaningful, life-affirming and life-changing services

We create meaningful, life-affirming and life-changing services to educate, to provide comfort, and to celebrate life’s transitions, such as Sunday and other worship services, weddings, memorial services, and child dedications. These services, inspired by our beliefs and principles, integrate a wide variety of topics, including social justice, environmental concerns, and personal and spiritual growth.

#5 Stewardship

We are careful stewards of our physical and spiritual assets. We make wise, intentional choices about using our staff / volunteer time and talents, as well as our financial assets and property in ways that support our mission and strategic direction. We preserve and use our assets to maintain our presence for future generations of UUs in central Illinois. Our employment practices are consistent with our values of inherent worth and dignity.

Long Range Planning Committee

Members of the Long Range Planning Committee include Co-Chairs Debby Hagan and Carol Kneedler, and as members: Gwen Childs, Kurt DeWeese, Posy Robertson, Stu Jacobson, and Dianne Roberts. For more information, please email

Special Congregational Meeting – Sunday, November 13, 2016

An ALUUC Special Congregational Meeting will be held Sunday, November 13, 2016, immediately following the service at which we will set the overall direction for the congregation for the next 10 years and prioritize specific goals to be addressed within the next 18 months.

  1. Members will vote to adopt the Strategic Visions developed from the Long Range Planning process.
    Download our Strategic Visions…
    Download the Overview of the LRP Process…
  2. Members will prioritize goals for the next 18 months from the full list of long range (10 year) goals that support the Strategic Visions. Goals not selected for the next 18 months will be retained for future consideration. Download the FINAL Long Range Planning goals…

To be eligible to vote at a Congregation meeting or be counted towards a quorum, a person must be a member for at least ninety (90) days (before August 15, 2016).

Questions? or call Carol (leave a message) or Debby.

Long Range Planning Sunday Service – October 23

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Goals for the Long Range Planning Process

  • Engaging the entire congregation for input and participation,
  • Identifying who we are and what we do well,
  • Articulating our vision for the future,
  • Crafting a plan the entire congregation will support, and
  • Creating an ongoing planning process to support our continued journey toward our vision.

Why plan? Why should you participate?

ALUUC's Long Range Planning Gratitude Tree - 2016Without a shared vision, we risk drifting and being pulled in directions that don’t represent shared goals. This is your opportunity to dream with the congregation.

What are “our” dreams? What is our plan to live our values?

Consultant Thom Thomas said at our first workshop that congregations who have faithfully followed a long range planning process, integrated with intentional capital and stewardship campaigns, have seen giving as much as doubled. He also recommended maintaining a long range planning committee as a standing committee to keep us on track to live our mission.
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Long Range Planning Process Concepts

The planning process we are following has two important concepts:

  • Getting as much input from members and friends of the church as possible, and
  • Building on strengths instead of focusing on weaknesses and negatives.

Planning Steps

There are multiple steps to our process, and we’ll be asking for members’ and friends’ input several times:ALUUC LRP Appreciative Inquiry Process overview

1. Cottage Groups

  • How did you become involved? What keeps you coming back? Sharing stories.
  • Themes and actions. 20-year visions.
  • See below for more information.

2. Long Range Planning Committee

3. Board, committees, staff, congregation

  • The Committee has met with the Board, committee chairs, minister and staff to review the Strategic Visions and to solicit specific goals.
  • The committee is working to merge all goals submitted so far to share with the congregation on October 23.

4. Sunday service October 23: Strategic Vision & invitation to submit additional goals.

  • On Sunday, October 23, the Committee will present ALUUC’s Strategic Visions and solicit additional goals from the congregation. Consultant Steve Mennerick will speak about Long Range Planning. A potluck will follow the service. Download our Strategic Visions… (PDF)
  • After Sunday, the Committee will merge congregation goals with previously gathered goals to create a full list of goals to implement our Strategic Visions for the next 10 years.

5. Congregational Meeting Sunday, November 13, 2016 after service.

  • Vote to adopt our Strategic Visions.
  • Prioritize goals for the next 18 months.
  • Goals not selected for next 18 months will be retained for future consideration.

Over the next several years, the congregation will implement the prioritized goals. Progress on the plans and goals should be evaluated every year, and in the future we may decide to begin to implement some of the remaining goals – or to update our long range plans.

We really want to know what each of you have to say about the future of ALUUC.  We welcome and encourage your input. We are excited to discover where you would have us go together.

ALUUC LRP Appreciative Inquiry Process overview (PDF)
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Cottage Groups – getting initial input from members & friends

The first step, getting input from members and friends, will be done at multiple Cottage Group Meetings with about 10 participants each. The Cottage Group meetings will take place after church and also at various other times and places to include as many members and friends as possible.

Cottage Group Dates & Questions

  • Feb. 2 – 1 group at Debby Hagan’s home; Feb. 14 – 2 groups at ALUUC; Feb. 28 – 4 groups at ALUUC; Mar. 6 – 1 group at ALUUC; Mar. 13 – at ALUUC;
  • Mar. 20 – includes a special session for Senior Youth and Young Adults; Additional CG dates, times and locations will be held, but details are to be determined.

If you are interested in participating in one of the posted groups or at another date and location, please email

The Cottage Group Meetings are structured, with 5 activities.  We also provide food.

  • How did you become involved with ALUUC – what keeps you coming back?
  • Tell a brief story about a moment when you were especially proud of ALUUC or most grateful to be a member. Mention who else was involved.
  • How can we group our stories into themes?
  • From the themes we’ve identified, what are some actions that illustrate each theme? Actions could be initiated by a person, a process, a policy, a group, an organization or a role in the church (committee chair, minister, board.)
  • Take a minute to describe what would you like to hear others say about ALUUC 20 years from now. This is a Genie opportunity, so don’t squander your wishes: dream big, wish for what you would dearly love to see happen, wish what our congregation might make possible. Wishes should be as specific as possible and short. Proceed around the circle, and anyone may pass without forfeiting their next opportunity to wish. Have fun with this.

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The Appreciative Inquiry Planning Process

On appreciative inquiry: The Thin Book of Appreciative Inquiry (link to

Appreciative Inquiry Definitions (link to PDF)

On adaptive leadership:

2005 Long Range Plan

We’re celebrating some high-priority victories based on the 2005 long range plan. How do these past priorities fit into the new plan? We’re presenting them here as ideas we might consider as we continue the process, but they won’t automatically be included in the new plan.
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