Morristown Unitarian Fellowship

M U F  L I N K S


Strategic Planning

In 2010, the congregation approved a five-year strategic plan, which we continue to update and develop.

In the spring of 2012, we were chosen as a “Threshold Congregation” in the Central East Region of the UUA. The Threshold Program helps congregations focus on the Strategic Planning and Implementation of initiatives that are demonstrated to have a positive impact on growth. We were identified as a congregation the UUA wants to coach through this process because of our demonstrated growth over the last several years. We have grown by 25% in adult membership and 35% in children and youth enrollment since the Fall of 2005.

While congregational size-dynamics can be awkward when adult membership reaches the mid-300s, the UUA thinks we have the potential to maintain our growth and, more than that, to continue growing. That is, if we invest our time and develop the skills to adapt to the opportunities and changes of the size-shift we wish to achieve.

While congregational size-dynamics can be awkward when adult membership reaches the mid-300s, the UUA thinks we have the potential to maintain our growth and, more than that, to continue growing. That is, if we invest our time and develop the skills to adapt to the opportunities and changes of the size-shift we wish to achieve.

The Threshold Team worked with our Regional Staff Coach, Pat Infante, during the 2012-2013 congregational year to define three areas of focus to help us rise to the opportunity before us. The Threshold Plan was shared at the Annual Meeting in June 2013, and below is a quick summary of the three areas:

  • Culture of Welcoming – Create a pathway for newcomers and a plan for meaningful membership engagement.
  • Spiritual Growth – Inspire and equip our fellow congregants to make healing and just changes in our lives and in the world.
  • Year Round Stewardship – Build a culture of generosity to fully fund the mission and vision of our congregation’s ministries.


You can watch a video PowerPoint presentation of the Threshold Goals for 2013-2015 by clicking the following link: "Threshold Goals Presentation June 2013"

When the Strategic Plan was passed in 2010, there was a lot of major planning work to be done around our Facilities. A major cornerstone of the strategic plan was making the choice between “stay and renovate” our existing facilities, or “move and retrofit” another facility, or “move and build from the ground up.” Based on the work of the Sacred Spaces Taskforce in 2010-2012, the congregation voted to focus on staying and renovating.

In 2012-2013, the Gateways Taskforce continued this work and ultimately presented us with a design plan for our facilities and grounds in May 2013. This included badly needed infrastructure repair and improvements (parking lot, drainage, and roof, etc.) and additional space to allow for some growth (Fellowship Hall, modern kitchen, two classrooms, etc.). We also have a sense of what future needs in a later phase might include in order to meet our goals around aesthetics, space, growth and accessibility (new sanctuary, elevators, and more). In June 2013, the congregation voted to approve the general direction of the Facilities Design Plan, and the Board of Trustees is currently doing the prep work to learn how we can launch a successful Capital Campaign.

Click the links below for relevant presentations from the Sacred Spaces Taskforce and the Gateways Taskforce:

Plans Into Action

Putting our Strategic Plan into Action- The five year Strategic Plan developed from a year long process engaging over 200 members is now complete. The key projects for each of the Plan’s six Priority Areas – and the their timelines listed as Year 1, Year 2, and Years 3-5 can be found in the linked power point presentation along with the Spread Sheet entitled Living Our Vision.

It is now time to move from Plan to Action. As you may know, some Year 1 initiatives are already underway. Two examples of this are the reassessment of staffing that brought us our Ministries’ Administrator, Deneise Murad. And the Social Justice Council is currently seeking people interested in designing MUF’s Signature Social Justice Project. To help us live the full vision of our Plan, the Board of Trustees has used the Strategic Plan recommendations along with the input submitted by individual committees to create a timeline and a structure of support to have measurable impactful results. The following is the structure of how we can realize our Vision working together:

  • Priority Area Leaders (PALs) monitor projects, dates, and costs and update Board. These PALs will change as the Priority Areas’ key projects for a given year change.

  • Coaches assist and help in project definition. Karen Dinsmore and Gary Kunz are our Coaches.
  • The Board oversees the Plan and receives updates.
  • COM views the impact on the health of our ministries, and serves as a process resource, helping with concerns, conflict mediation, and right relation tools.
  • Our Minister and our staff are intimately involved.
  • Every one of us is key to living our Vision!


Planning Over the Last 18 Months

The MUF Board of Trustees created a Strategic Planning Task Force in early 2009 to lead a process that would yield a Five Year Strategic Plan for MUF based on the vision and mission of the congregation and provide a structure for moving forward in a purposeful manner.  Furthermore, at the direction of the congregation, the Strategic Plan addressed issues such as Building and Location, Staffing, Financials, Religious Education and Outreach.  Finally, the Plan provided the foundation that will position MUF to introduce a capital campaign to finance the implementation of the Plan. 

The Strategic Planning Task Force would like to thank everyone who participated in the Imagination Sessions and the Congregational Meetings. 

The following attached files are an archive of our Strategic Process journey and may be a useful case study for other congregations embarking on a similar journey:

  • Attachment 1: Summarizes the Imagination Sessions and the 6 Priority Theme Areas identified by the congregation
  • Attachment 2: March 21st, 2010 presentation to the congregation – Vision Statement, Goal Statements and Recommendations for 5 of the priority areas
  • Attachment 3 and 4: April 24 and 26, 2010 presentation to the congregation – Facilities Discussion (6th Priority Area)  
  • Strategic Plan Working Document (revision 10/18/2010) pdf and word versions




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Page last updated May 31, 2014