The UUCVH Board adopted a slightly revised Mission Statement at the November Board meeting. It continues our efforts toward our own health, development of Religious Education, and enhancement of spiritual growth. Rev. Gordon noted that a Mission Statement should be consistent with s strategic plan that goes along with it. Our strategic plan is being developed and revised. How do we translate this into specific actions, noting that we are a voluntary organization with many different individuals? And of course, it includes continuation of our normal activities.
November was a month of an election whose outcome was surprising to many people on the West Coast, but less so for people who reside in Eastern Idaho or West Texas. I think the recommended approach is to keep our eyes on our objectives, and undertake or support actions which manifest those objectives and values. Many of our Congregational objectives and goals are internal, yet some may be external (such as community outreach). A step toward accomplishing our goals is to make them more specific and concrete.
Some recent trends, in the context of election results, evoke recollections of past similar constellations of similar trends and forces. William Shirer’s Rise and Fall of the Third Reich comes to mind. I think it is a good book, and it may seem more timely during this period. And every period has its opportunities for creative engagement and response.
Sociologists have a concept called “memorial space.” Roughly, it is the common or community space allocated to memorials, statues, or monuments. Who owns it and how is it occupied? And who decides? So who do we memorialize in Two Strikes Park? Should there be space for opponents of the Vietnam War, or people that went to Canada? I was disappointed and displeased to see the County work to erase the name of Hindenburg Park from Hindenburg Park, as were many non-anti-Semitic local citizens who felt a shared ethnic and cultural heritage. Should there be a plaque at Verdugo Hills Golf Course to note its role in Japanese internment during WW II? Or anything else dealing with local “memorial space”? Influencing or initiating allocations of community memorial space is one way UUs can manifest and communicate their principles locally.
At UUCVH, R.E is growing, under the leadership of Elizabeth and Rev Gordon, and the future looks bright. Howard is doing well organizing children’s Christmas gifts. I regret that I missed the most recent movie night, and look forward to the next one. UUCVH will continue as a place of change and growth as we continue into the holiday season.
Gary N Clark