Visioning Process Notes

University Baptist Church, Hattiesburg, MS
20 September 2015 – Session 1: UBC’s Identity

Visioning Process Overview. The Finance Committee and Deacons began discussing a “Visioning” Process a year and a half ago and the Deacons presented this idea to the church last spring. After the Congregation met Dr. Larry McSwain in early June, the proposal was discussed and approved by the Congregation. UBC hired Larry of the Center for Healthy Churches to lead the congregation through the Visioning process.  The process includes four key Congregational work sessions – September 20, October 25, November 15, December 13. Larry requested the assistance of UBC members in facilitating the process and the congregation elected the UBC Vision Team to assist Larry. The Vision Team includes John Alcorn, Wendy Carson, Clark Hicks, Joyce Holley/ Documentarian, Sherry Laughlin, Shirley McCraw, Bethany Rigney, Robin Wentworth/Facilitator, and Rosemary Woullard. Pastors Rusty Edwards and Kat Spangler also assist Larry and the Vision Team as needed.

1. About ninety congregants participated in Session 1 on 20 Sep. They divided into eleven groups to work through the questions Larry posed.

2 . Core Values: What are the core values of UBC? The following themes arose from the groups.

a. Welcoming, Inclusive, Open to All
b. Community Minded, Missional, Service Oriented
c. Inquisitive, Deep Thinking, Questioning
d. Loving and Supportive of One Another

3. S Curve of Progress: Where is UBC on the “S Curve” of Progress? The membership was fairly evenly split along three points: downward slope, upward slope, at a crossroads.

4. 2025: What would you hope might be different about UBC in 2025 from its identity today?

a. More diverse and youthful congregation
b. Greater use/impact of technology
c. Elevator
d. Using “upstairs”
e. Facilities for youth
f. Varied services, multiple services

5. Next Work Session: 25 October, 12:00-3:00, “Connecting with Our Community”. The Vision Team will distribute homework/prework/read-ahead assignment around 12 October to help congregants prepare for Session 2. Please contact Cindy Hinton to reserve a spot for lunch (free lunch but we need an approximate headcount, please).

6. Lastly, the UBC Visioning Process is an extended conversation of the congregation, by the congregation and for the congregation. Please participate. Please, please, please participate. If you cannot make a particular work session, please contact a Vision Team member (or Dr. McSwain ) directly with your thoughts, ideas, comments, insights, questions, etcetera. Thank you!

17. The Visioning Process includes four key Congregational work sessions.
September 20 – What is UBC’s Identity
October 25 – Our Mission in Hattiesburg: Connecting with Our Neighbors November 15 – Shaping Our Future Visions: Strategic Options
December 13 – Implementing a Visionary Plan