• Set a schedule of face to face and conference calls. Start with at least 3 meeting dates. Establish a starting and ending time for each meeting. At each session, set aside 5 minutes to establish the agenda for the next meeting and list the action items.
  • Eat. Food is sustenance (even when you buy it at the supermarket in route).
  • Make this a spiritual practice. Light a chalice, sing, read and/share. Model the connections you hope the network you are developing will create.


Vision/Mission Statement

It is crucial to decide why you want to create a religious advocacy network and determine what relationship it is to the UU congregations and other groups in your state. It is important to understand why you exist and why your group would be needed in addition to other religious, interfaith, and secular advocacy groups.

The process of creating a mission and vision should take place as a face to face discussion with as a many members of your planning committee as possible even if it means you need to delay the meeting a few weeks. The discussion may be painful. Words begin to sound like clichés. However, the process is as critical as the final product as it will ground the planning committee in who you are and where you are going. Bring the final statements to all future meetings as they will guide you some of the tough decisions.

Plan of Action

Issue or structure?

How do we get people excited if we do not have an issue? In some cases the planning committee came together because you were already working on an issue. In other cases you came together around the concept.

  • Announce that you in preliminary discussions
    •  Contact the district office (s)- the district may have information about what churches are doing and also contact information for ministers, social action chairs, church administrators, denominational affairs chairs, presidents and newsletter editors.
    • Call, email, send letters and let people know what you are doing.
    • Get endorsements from respected leaders and use those in your communications
  • Develop a time table
  • Set short-term goals.
  • CELEBRATE your progress!!
  • Assess your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis.
  • Define the structure
  • Create a budget
  • Develop a communications plan
  • Identify possible revenue sources
  • Explore options for obtaining staff resources
  • Identify volunteers who will plan, lead, organize, and implement the work of the Network
  • Identify UU, interfaith and secular organizations which can support your work.
  • Keep track of all the people you contact. This is the beginning of your database. Start simple with an Excel file which includes Name, Address, Telephone, email, congregation, role in congregation
  • Think about how you will select issues
  • Mission/vision statement
  • One to three year plan with clear goals
  • Work plan for the Board, committees and staff
  • The first Board of Directors (or other leadership group) meeting scheduled