defining our identity as st. paul's united church


Defining our Identity as St Paul’s United Church

Values are guiding principles by which we make decisions about our actions and our behavior. They are established early in childhood and are influenced by family, society and the culture we live in. Values are important for an organization in order to set priorities and to define their identity.

The list of possible values is lengthy. However, by focusing on a few critical or core values they can help to create a clearly identifiable action plan. From a set of core values, it is possible to choose the most appropriate way to utilize available resources to achieve the future we most passionately desire.

Compassion is an essential value of a Christian life. It represents the passion with which we care for our fellow man, our neighbors and ourselves. It challenges us to demonstrate radical hospitality.

Inclusiveness is critical to achieving a fair and accepting culture. At St Paul’s we have talked about not just accepting others but welcoming and celebrating the diversity they bring. Inclusiveness starts with an open mind and moves us to recognize and then embrace the differences that can lead to a better world. It is essential today as we try to reach true world peace.

Trust moves us to interact positively with those around us. It requires respect, honesty and forgiveness. Trust allows us to create a place where safe constructive dialogue is possible.

Eco-justice for others and for the world around us means more than just economic or legal justice. It requires us to consider our actions and how they impact others. Eco-justice requires us to act in a fair and just way in all we do.

Gratitude is a core value that allows us to recognize that we are privileged to live in God’s world. It requires us to be humble and helps us open our hearts to others and challenge our thinking. We are called upon to love and prayerfully worship as we strive for spiritual growth.

Generosity leads us to share our lives with others. We have been “richly blessed” and out of gratitude we are able to respond generously to others. Our actions need to be directed towards “the common good” for all.

The above 6 values are the ones the Leadership Team identified as core to the presence of St Paul’s United Church in the community. What core values are missing that you would add, based on your experience? Are there values that shouldn’t be included on the list at this time?

Most importantly what do we do to ensure that these values are reflected in our actions as individuals, collectively and as St Paul’s United Church?

Don Atkinson, on behalf of the Leadership Team

September 2017