Early in September the Board of Trustees held their annual retreat – what a retreat it was!
Last year’s retreat work resulted in our mission, vision and purpose statements that we repeat every Sunday. The board then wanted to build on these statements and create a strategic plan for the future of the Center. In the spring, we spent a half day working with Dr. David Goldberg where we honestly looked at our SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities Threats).
At this year’s retreat, we reviewed this work and built upon it. We discussed the merits of the current goal theories. We compared SMART Goals (Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) and DUMB Goals (Dream Driven, Uplifting, Method Friendly, Behavior Driven with triggers). We decided to develop strategic plan objectives and specific goals in four categories: People, Operations, Constituents and Finances.
The most important breakthrough in the People category was the care and nurturing of our Volunteers. We realize that our “product”, the Sunday service, was totally dependent upon our wonderful Volunteers. Whether they are behind the scenes or actually a part of the service, it is their efforts that determine how professional and smooth the Service appears to newcomers and seasoned members alike.
We are planning volunteer appreciation events throughout the year to show how much we care about those volunteers. We plan to recruit more volunteers and give them training and support so that our current volunteers can avoid burnout.
The most concreate of these People changes is the creation of a Volunteer Handbook which the board plans to have competed by November 1. This handbook will have complete instructions for each volunteer position that supports the Sunday Service. Other tasks will be added to the handbook periodically.
This handbook will be used for volunteer recruitment and orientation. Each article will identify the steps and responsibilities of a volunteer task. The task articles can be revised easily as volunteers have suggestions. The Master Volunteer Handbook will be kept on the shelf above the Center computer in the office. This notebook will be the repository for the task articles.
In the Operations category, we realized that we want every service to be professional and to hold the weight of the Divine. Each person who is part of the service is requested to stop at the door and set an intention to be open to the Divine and to perform their task with love and an open consciousness. The practical addition is that a Wednesday reminder is now sent to everyone in service to help them prepare and plan to be at the Center by 9:30 am or earlier.
We emphasized the need for an effective marketing strategy and to continue upgrading the Center. Many of you have already commented on the new open plan for the lobby which was well received.
For the Constituents category, we are working at being more welcoming and open to greeting new visitors. The greeters were instructed to help Rev. Jyoti talk to the first-timers after the service with the hope we can get them into the Celebration Hall for further conversations. Our goal is to get 13 more tithing attendees by Spring of 2018.
We will be holding several new well marketed classes in the winter and spring quarters to attract these new attendees.
For the Financial category, we have a goal to increase our financial income. These new funds will allow us to double the music budget and give us adequate income to allow us to hire an assistant minister by July of 2018.
The dip in the Hot Springs, the chance to grow deeper bonds during meals and snack breaks, just breathing the mountain area, all added to the comradery of the retreat. Next year we are planning to add a day so that we can get a chance to explore the outside space and include some time for inner reflection.
What a wonderful retreat!
Rev. Jyoti DeVernie
Facilitated by Lea Alvarado