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Unitarian Universalist Church of Silver Spring

Our Strategic Plan

The 2011-12 Strategic Plan

The Church community completed and approved its second five- year Strategic Plan, entitled, "Deepening Our Roots; Spreading Our Branches; Reaching Toward Justice." It describes and outlines priorities to guide the leadership in the coming years. Read the complete text of the Strategic Plan, or the summary, below.

Five Year Vision Statement:

We are a large and vibrant spiritual community. We are welcoming,
and are continuously enriched as we grow in diversity. We seek
justice, and therefore work with energy and love to transform our
selves, our community and our world. Together, we have amazing

For more than the past decade, UUCSS has been engaged in a transformative process and is now poised to reach several important long-range goals. During our October 2011 All-Congregation Appreciative Inquiry Summit and planning work that followed, we identified five themes within our vision for the next five years. These are to:

These themes reflect our strong desire for continuing the journey we’ve been on, while also deepening our spiritual practices, becoming more connected to and benefiting from the culturally rich community that surrounds us and continuing and expanding our initiatives for justice. Specific goals and outcomes within each of these elements are described throughout the full Strategic Plan 2012-2017 document.

We have a strong foundation from which to build. We are committed to Unitarian Universalist principles and values. We welcome and accept all who come, as they are. Our community supports each individual’s search for truth and wholeness and offers worship and programming that furthers us on our individual and collective journeys. We strive to ensure that all among us feel a deep sense of acceptance, being mindful of the diversity of paths on which we travel, and of our values in maintaining right relations with one another that are expressed in our covenants.

We welcome the positive transformation that occurs from being part of a richly diverse community committed to spiritual seeking and joyful living. We regularly share and celebrate the gifts this diversity brings to our church home.

A central goal for the next five years is to attract new members who share our desire to live life deeply through joyful and spiritually-centered worship, educational programs and fellowship. We seek to continue our growth as a diverse congregation, with the aspiration of increasing our membership by 25- 30% by 017. Our desire is that the composition of our larger and more plural congregation will better reflect the many dimensions of diversity (including racial, cultural, ethnic, spiritual, ability, generational, sexual orientation, political affiliation and socio-economic diversity). Through growing in both numbers and diversity, we will deepen our understanding of the world and ourselves, increase our connection to the web of existence, and share Unitarian Universalist principles and the many gifts our church community has to offer to others seeking a church home. As part of this process of transformation, we will update our church’s standing mission and vision statements to better reflect the changing tapestry and dreams of our congregation.

During the next five years, we will also continue to support our rich worship and lifespan religious education programming, as well as varied opportunities for connecting in fellowship. Our community will continue to be a safe space where all who wish can explore their own spiritual path, experience personal affirmation and put their beliefs into action. We will expand our ability to minister to those in need, both in our church community as well as the community surrounding us.

Finally, we will change our physical space in response to our growing needs and aspirations. We will care for our existing buildings and grounds to maintain them for the future. We will strive to have our physical surroundings support spiritual practice and renewal, exceptional worship, gatherings for fellowship and effective workspace for our staff and volunteers.

Our paid staff and volunteers are essential resources for reaching this vision. We acknowledge the incredible value received from both, and how blessed we are with such talented and committed people who have been so instrumental to our success.

Our goal during the next five years is to continue to support leadership development and the emergence of new leaders within our congregation, as well as opportunities for our paid staff to grow professionally to ensure that high quality programs and worship services are sustained. We will continue our commitment to being a UUA fair compensation employer.

UUCSS has a proud history of social action. Ever mindful that we are part of an interconnected web of existence, over the years we have actively sought opportunities to support peace, justice, and environmental stewardship in our world. All this we have done with open hearts, finding ways to have fun, enjoy fellowship, and make joyful music to relay our message for justice to the world.

Our goal for the next five years is to be actively engaged as a spiritual community in issues of peace, justice and environmental stewardship. We will continue our engagement in issues of priority to our congregation, such as equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning people (LGBTQ) and environmental stewardship, while seeking out new opportunities that support our desire to serve the needs and rights of all on both a global and local scale. We will develop a process for choosing issues of priority that is inclusive and transparent.

We will encourage and offer our many members and friends opportunities for personal and spiritual fulfillment by channeling their unique gifts for social good through volunteerism and charitable giving. We will seek to be ever mindful of both the rewards and the challenges in doing this work, and find new ways to support volunteers in balancing these commitments with other priorities in their lives. We will also continue to be a fair share congregation within the UUA, and seek to expand our participation in the Unitarian Universalist movement and its causes.