Lately there has been a lot of talk at Unity North about the term “stakeholder.” What is a stakeholder and who qualifies as such? This dialogue has come about because our church is about to embark on an exciting two-year initiative that will honor, acknowledge, and empower Unity North stakeholders. I must admit that the energy around the word itself and the subsequent call for a clear definition has been at times equally confusing and enlightening. That said, this is a wonderful opportunity for clarity.
STAKEHOLDER: “A person, group or organization with an interest in a project.” By this definition, and by seeing Unity North as a wonderful spiritual “project,” every one of us is a stakeholder. Every one of us who has invested our time, energy, talent, or treasure in this wonderful community is a stakeholder. Let me start with a great big – THANK YOU!
As with any project or organization there are varying degrees of stakeholders. The visitor who has come more than one time to enjoy our services or classes is a stakeholder. The person who pops in for some good music and a talk and quickly exits out the back door is a stakeholder. The congregants who volunteer and have donated hours of effort and time are stakeholders at a higher level of participation. Those congregants who have long attended UNAC, given generously of their time and financial resources as Consistent Givers and made special financial gifts are stakeholders at an even higher level of participation. Each stakeholder is important to our well being and I am thankful for whatever level of participation is offered to our community.
UNAC is thriving today because of all our stakeholders. The two-year initiative mentioned earlier, entitled “Shift,” is beginning in just a few weeks. Some of you have heard about our first event on May 2nd and asked how we created the guest list. Over the course of the next two years every stakeholder will be honored in some way and invited to events where all contributions will be recognized and applauded. This first gathering is specifically for board members, staff members, finance committee members, and those that have financially given at the highest level to support our church’s vision. This group is just the first to be recognized and brought into the “Shift” Initiative. I invite you to join me in consciously celebrating these people and knowing they will be a big part of celebrating your many contributions to the vision at events in the near future. For now I leave you with an acronym for the word stakeholder and ask you to continue to hold a space of open, honest and loving communication as we all “shift” into higher ways of doing spiritual community. Our best is yet to come!
S – See the good and praise it!
T – Take responsibility for my part.
A – Ask for what I need.
K – Kindness matters.
E – Express myself fully, honestly, and authentically.
H – Heart! Offer my heart and passion to what is mine to do.
O – Open to new possibilities for myself and my community.
L – Love! Love for my fellow stakeholders and spiritual travelers.
D – Dance whenever I get the chance!
E – Encourage others to dance by investing as well!
R – Return to Spirit in prayer…..always!