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Making Something Happen at Foothills

Procedures & Guidelines for Lay Leaders & Staff Members at Foothills

  1. You have an idea!
    1. Are you wanting to pursue this idea as a part of an existing group you are a part of? If no, proceed to b.   If yes, do you want to invite people who aren’t already a part of your group? If yes, proceed to b. If no, proceed to 5 (Scheduling).    
    2. First Consider the “Sweet Spot”
      1. Mission: Does this idea fit within our mission?
        1. Our mission: To unleash courageous love in Northern Colorado and beyond by embracing our diversity, growing our faith, and awakening our spirits to the unfolding meaning of this life.  
        2. Is the idea a particularly good manifestation of our congregation’s core purpose in our current time and place – does it serve what we are uniquely poised to do? (i.e. is this same idea being offered in other places in town? If so, maybe the goal is simply to bring together other UUs with this same experience/need.  In that case, it may be that instead of a program, there’s a need for relationship-building opportunities. Also: Is there something specifically Unitarian Universalist about what you are considering? What makes it a fit to be offered at a UU Church – and our UU church specifically?)  
        3. Consider if there are other events/ideas that are already serving this same purpose or intending to reach this same target community.  If there are, rather than creating an additional/competing program, it is likely you should use your energy to help enhance this other program or project.  
      2. Capacity:
        1. Professional Staff: Please note that in a large congregation, almost everything requires a degree of professional staff participation and leadership for it to be successful over the long run.  The more complex the idea, the more coordination it requires, the longer run it intends to continue….all of these up the need for staff participation and leadership. If this is to be staff driven/led, does the staff team have the capacity (time/energy/skills) to execute the idea at a high enough level of excellence that we can maximize mission and impact?
        2. Volunteer Staff: If it is not to be staff driven/led, is there a sufficient enough volunteer pool that can not only initiate the work but sustain it over the needed timeframe you have in mind?
        3. Budget: Do we have the financial resources?  Is there sufficient budget? (If you are unsure about budget, be sure to connect with the staff person responsible for the area of the church for this idea.)
        4. Participants: Consider your target audience and ideal participants.  What is their age, length of time in the congregation, life stage, particular needs and/or longings?  Do they have the time/energy/capacity/interest to show up and make it worth the effort? How do you know? What are the barriers to participation? Do we have the capacity/desire to relieve these?
        5. Timing: Is now the right time? Does the idea match with the church seasons, developmental stage and the energy of the congregation?
          1. Ideal 90 days before go date
        6. Time and Attention: Will this draw away from other commitments we have made? Will it in any way draw these participants from something else that has already been made as a commitment in the congregation? Is this more of a priority?
      3. Impact: What is the probable impact of the idea – number of people, depth of need, duration, secondary gains….is it “worth it”?
        1. AFF framework integration
      4. Will: Does someone actually want to do what will need to be done – is there enthusiasm, passion, excitement, desire? How many people are excited/interested in this, and willing to help make it successful?
    3. There are many many great ideas in a large congregation – so many that we will need to say “no” much more often than we say “yes.”  While the above questions do not generate an automatic formula for which ideas should be “yes” and which ones should be “no,” the hope is that these considerations will lead people in an intentional discernment about whether this idea is the right one to be pursuing at this time.  Considering all of the above, you may find that the answer is a “no.” That does not mean it’s a bad idea, just one that isn’t right for right now, or for the sweet spot. Release it!
    4. If your considerations lead you to still believe that we should pursue this idea, then your next step is to identify what area or areas of the church this idea fits in.  Here are possible areas:
      1. Governance (Board of Trustees, Mission, Vision, Strategic Planning, Endowment, Nominating, Policies)
      2. Ministry (Worship, Lifespan Faith Formation, Belonging and Hospitality, Communication, Pastoral Care, Music, Justice and Service, Leadership Development, Shared Ministries Assessment and Feedback, Campus Ministry, Personnel/Administration, Finance, Stewardship and Fundraising, Buildings and Grounds, UU Connections, Community Partnerships)
    5. Then, identify the staff member(s) responsible for the area your idea fits in.  
  2. Fill out the Making Something Happen at Foothills Form. This will be shared with a staff staff member(s) who will reach out to you for a conversation within 12 day. They will work with you and the idea through the Sweet Spot (1b) conversation as a collaborative partner.  This too may lead you to realize that this is not something to pursue at this time. That’s ok! Release it!
  3. However, if at the end of this conversation you all agree that there remains a YES, then consider if:
    1. Does it require additional budget? If yes, proceed to 4.  If no, go to b.
    2. Will it require significant new volunteer support? If yes, proceed to 4. If no or unsure, go to c.
    3. Will it detract from other existing commitments?If yes, proceed to 4. If no or unsure, go to d.
    4. Does it align with goals for the year? If yes, then proceed to 5 (scheduling).  If no or unsure, go on to 4 (consultation with Senior Minister).
  4. Some ideas require a conversation with the Senior Minister for a final consultation.  Send her your summary of the process/conclusions up until this point. She may engage you in additional conversations that may ultimately lead to a shared decision to either halt or postpone the idea. On the other hand, it may be that at this point the idea is clearly aligned with our sweet spot based on her understanding of the vision/needs for the congregation as outlined in the Board’s Vision of Ministry.  She will likely provide you some feedback about timing and resources, and once this has come to some agreement and understanding, you are free to proceed to scheduling. If she has any question or need for consult in addressing the question, she may also talk with the Executive Committee. If she agrees with the prior conclusions, and addresses items a-d, then you can proceed with item 5, Scheduling.
  5. Scheduling:
    1. Once an idea is OK’s Staff lead will let Admin team know that the idea is approve in the
    2. Consider who your target is for the idea – who is your “ideal” participant.  What is
    3. an ideal time for them to attend/participate?
    4. Based on your ideal timing, is there anything else going on around that same time that would make their participation less likely or detract from an already committed-to event? These sorts of factors may lead you to put this idea on hold.  That’s ok!
    5. Work with our Office Assistant or Administrator to get your event on the calendar using this procedure.  
    6. Authority for room assignments resides with our Administrator but can be delegated to our Office Assistant at her discretion.  
  6. Format:
    1. Considering your target, what is the best format for your idea? Class, workshop, in-person, online, video, some combination?
    2. Work with our Facilities and Office Assistant to secure necessary technology (including sound equipment) and other resources and reserve these as part of the scheduling.
  7. Promotion:
    1. All events that need promotion should use our events promotional request here.  
    2. All information/news that needs to be shared (not an event) should use this request.  
Updated on September 12, 2018

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