In the Meantime,
April 15 is tax day, right? We all hate it, even if we get a refund. And all that work! Hating taxes is an American tradition, of course. Gideon Tucker, a mid 19th century lawyer, famously said, “No man’s life, liberty or property are safe while the Legislature is in session.” This was back before federal income tax. But we can thank the conservative ascendancy that was born in 1978 by my reckoning, with the adoption of California’s Prop 13. That has made loathing taxes into policy. Taxes are now not just burdensome but evil.
Why mention this in a church newsletter? Because taxes are not wrong. In a (so-called) democracy they represent our personal investment in that democracy. Taxes are the dues we pay as owners of the nation. In this respect, they are like our pledges to VUU. This institution would not exist without the people and their investment in it. No, you will not see a financial profit from that investment because profit is not our ‘bottom line.’
Well then, what is our ‘bottom line?’ Those things we value most.
And what are they?
On April 25th you will begin to find out. The next step in the transition journey that leads to your next settled minister is surfacing those core values that define your culture as a community. I have already begun this process with leaders in the congregation but the whole community needs to contribute through a method known as Appreciative Inquiry that will be used during worship on April 25. It won’t be like most services, not like ‘worship’ at all. But the word worship literally means ‘shaping worth’ so in a sense it will be the most worshipful event of the year.
Attend that Sunday and you will help shape your worth as a community. A few weeks later the Transition Team and I will share what we have learned from you. Much as in January you learned more about where you came from, so this spring you will learn where you are. With that knowledge you will be able to imagine your future and choose someone about a year from now to accompany you on that journey. I get tingly just thinking about that. – FW –