In performing arts, a solid repertoire can help beginners feel comfortable and ready to execute… It can become a part of their identity until they are ready to explore new spaces, new energies, new larger audiences… Performers with mastery of their own repertoires can pull out punchlines, acting techniques, and ultimately whole shows, starting to achieve new success. and maybe even larger audiences. Having many tools in their repertoire can make them feel comfortable with their audience and with themselves, and maybe be able to perform almost in autopilot mode to manage the “expected” and take some risks here and there….
No artist has ever become successful, or revolutionized their field, or evolved by sticking to their repertoire! Famous artists often share the start of their careers as developments of their own repertoire through failures, successes, redefinitions of their goals, and persistence through many struggles. In our daily lives, teachers, doctors, nurses and other careers need a treasure of skills to create and develop through experience in their fields.
Can then the comfort of a well-mastered repertoire of skills be a parameter to evaluate success? If our repertoire of life skills can be an expression of our identity, how do we reach a point when we feel the need to change it and then grow in our lives or careers? When comes the time to expand the variety of our resources and take risks?
Organizations that define growth and change as part of their visions and missions surely need solid foundations to pursue these goals, but also some definition of timelines, resources, and risk-taking opportunities in order to evolve. About eleven years ago when UUFA launched the search for a new settled minister, the ministerial search committee organized small group meetings with our members and friends to gather information on our history, on our identity at that time and to set our goals to collaborate with our new minister. This process brought up a shared opinion on the necessity of growth and then the urgency to answer these questions:
- Who are we now?
- Where do we see UUFA in one year?
- In five years? and where in ten years?
The compilation of dozens of answers defined our search for a settled minister.
In her first months of work with us, Rev. Eskildsen invited us to analyze the connections between the ideas of growth and change and shared an essential resource to support the pursuit of these goals. UUA suggests five ways congregations can grow: numerical, organic (organizational), associational, incarnational and maturational. In ten years we have seen an increase in the number of members and friends, a restructuring of our congregation (programs, governance and ministry) and a stronger connection with our Athens community.
However, how are we promoting and living our values of social justice in our community? and how are we encouraging and fostering the spiritual maturity of each member? The answer to this last question is the common ground to share in order to grow and change together. The roads not taken to define this common ground are open and the time to take them is now! What is the role of each of us, members and friends, in sharing the journey?