What Our Members Say about UUFD Values
You may be wondering what values UUFD in particular cherishes, what values are part of who we are, and who we most want to be, as a congregation. Here is the response our congregation recently provided through a survey:
First: Community. Overwhelmingly, our members say that the 'people they encounter and build relationships with here at UUFD' are what they most value and what keeps them coming back to UUFD. Our members say that, at UUFD, they encounter “People [they] respect;” “people who care so deeply about each other, the community, and our world;” and “people willing to listen to others’ ideas.” They say you gain here a Sense of Community and Connection, characterized by empathy, compassion, spiritual and physical support, and the knowledge that we are not alone in our grief and sorrow, nor in our joy.
Second: Diversity. Our members say they value the diversity of the congregation – both the diversity of people’s backgrounds and experiences, and the diversity of religious beliefs – even though that diversity, as we learned from some of the stories we have shared together – does not always make coexistence easy.
Third: The democratic process. Our members say that they value the democratic process at church, as in the wider world, even though it is not easy or neat. There will be disagreement and conflict. But using the democratic process is a way of truly listening to one another and valuing each person’s contributions.
Fourth: Freedom of religious and spiritual exploration. Many of us expressed how much they value the freedom to explore and develop their own beliefs and ideas, to find the truth that is relevant to them as individuals. And at UUFD, you do not have to be alone to do that.
Fifth: Sustainability, both in terms of the environment and the longevity of our own community. We value making sure the church will continue even though individual members will move or pass away, and doing our best to leave the earth healthier than we found it. This includes Frugality: re-purposing and re-using things, such as the old NIU field house bleachers which are now the coat racks out there in the hallway, is good for the earth and good for the financial health of the congregation.
Finally, Sixth: Self-examination and critique. Stories from our members show that we value openness to questioning the way that things have always been done, the things we have always believed or assumed, even when this is very difficult.
*Summary compiled by Beth Schewe