In 2017, the United Church of Christ Board voted to affirm five priorities for the work of the National Setting in order to direct their stewardship of time, talent, and resources. The two Strategic Task Forces, through which these five priorities were identified, were asked to resolve one question: if the United Church of Christ is to remain relevant in ten years, what must it look like?
With the Board’s 2017 affirmative vote, the National Setting now reviews and aligns its work by these five benchmarks:
1. Inclusive Excellence. If the UCC cannot adopt behaviors that include all people, it will not be relevant. This includes work around LGBTQ+ inclusion, work to live more fully into our vision of being and becoming a Multiracial and Multicultural church, work around the inclusion of the disabled and mentally ill, and other work as well.
2. Technological Sophistication. The National Setting must discover pathways to enable all churches to extend our extravagant welcome into digital spaces. Failure to miss this will be a factor in our diminished capacity and relevance.
3. Resources for a Just World for All: The National Setting must continue to develop critical resources to equip participation in God’s unfolding shalom. Works like the recently published White Privilege Curriculum and the Sacred Conversations to End Racism are cited as examples of what this looks like. Pilgrim Press is being completely rebuilt.
4. Innovation Cultivation: In a rapidly changing world, innovation leadership is a must. We adapt or we die. Under the impulse of the Holy Spirit, we are living through a sea of paradigm shifts. We must create and cultivate the kind of leadership vision that sets the curve of change consistent with our core values.
5. Resource Alignment: This last priority is a simple directive: align the resources with the vision and execute the priorities. The National Setting is working hard to make sure that our budget reflects our vision, our mission, and our priorities.