The Proposed Covenant, Vision, Mission and Values for GUUF
Why the Word “Radical”?

Hello GUUF Community,

Why the word radical? This question came up often in the discussion among the Shared Ministry Committee that crafted the proposed Covenant and the team working on the proposed Vision and Mission statement. Some were concerned that the use of the word “radical” in “radically inclusive” had a negative connotation that we should avoid. Others thought we needed to push hard on the word ”inclusion” and believed the word “radical” would inspire the congregation to embrace inclusion in a way that has never happened before. One thing we could all agree upon was that the word “radical” gets people’s attention, for better or worse.

The conversation among both groups resulted in “radically inclusive” staying in the proposed statements. In the end, the groups chose to propose the more audacious versions of the statements, even at the risk that some congregants might be uncomfortable with the strong language.

Personally, I’m on the side of audacious and “radical.” In the Vision and Mission information gathering exercises, inclusion and diversity we among the very top of GUUF’s wishes and values. Yet, we don’t see much diversity, aside from theological diversity, in our present congregation. Why is there such a disconnect between our wishes and reality? When I Googled the word “radical,” the first definition that came up was:

relating to or affecting the fundamental nature of something; far-reaching or thorough, such as “a radical overhaul of the existing regulatory framework”

I believe that now is the time for a far-reaching, fundamental change in GUUF’s approach to inclusion. It’s time to get radical.

In faith,

Rev. Chris