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To You, With a Word of Thanks

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This last weekend ARC celebrated 10 years of dreaming, 9 years of being in the business, 5 current Board Members, 3 “retired” board members, 5 Principal Associates, 5 Occasional Associates, several “retired associates”, 3 Key Values, 1 “retired” Administer, 1 current Administration Team, a relationship with 3 denominational partners, 1 educational partner and hundreds of clients served.
It was a great event.  We told stories of where we had been, shared dreams of where we are going and with a comedian (Ted Swartz) as our headline act, we laughed together.  Most importantly, we took the time to celebrate our core values, to LOVE, LISTEN AND LEAD.
In January 2013 the ARC team spent time at several of its meetings to think together about what it means to be a part of ARC.  Using the advice and questions of organizational consultant, Patrick Lencioni (see his book, The Advantage, the ARC team asked itself questions regarding its core purpose, values, principles and strategic anchors.  While many portions of this exercise have been helpful to us, it was the articulation of our core values that became life defining for us.  Our core values define who we are, how we relate to one another, how we relate to the people we serve and even how we relate to the people in our homes and families.
Love, listen, lead.
To be a part of ARC is to commit ourselves to love, to loving each person and community as they are for who they are.  Said otherwise and borrowing from the work of Carl Rogers, you could say that we commit ourselves to the practice of “unconditional positive regard.” Our premise is this:  We are transformed because God loves us not in order to win God’s love.  Similarly, the people with whom we live and work are transformed because they are loved not in order to win our love.  And while none of us gets this right all the time, it is our commitment, our goal and our foundation.
To be a part of ARC is also to commit to the daily practice of spiritual disciplines.  Nowhere does this become as critical as when we seek to embody our second value:  To listen.  At ARC, we commit to getting ourselves “out of the way” so that we can listen deeply to each person, to the system with which we are engaging and most importantly, for the voice of the Spirit as it lives and moves in each person and each moment.
And finally, we commit ourselves to Lead – with courage, with honesty, with humility and with grace.  We lead knowing that God’s footprints have already gone before us.  We lead knowing that our skills and strengths depend on tapping into the waters of grace that run more deeply than we can even perceive, both in our spirits and the spirits of those we serve.  We lead with humility because it is an honour to walk with the people whom we serve.  And so beyond courage, honesty, humility and grace, we also lead with thanksgiving and joy.
For the values that define us, for the people we serve, for the team that joins together to be the team that is ARC, for you, the people who support us…  For all these many good things, we give thanks!
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Betty Pries has more than 20 years of experience coaching, mediating, training and consulting in the areas of conflict resolution and change.   Betty's work with churches and church organizations is guided by her desire to enhance their spiritual and organizational health, and strengthen the capacities of leadership to discern a way forward.

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