by Nicole Smith
On January 5th , we had our first York XL planning team meeting of the new year! We had many of our Board members in attendance, some yummy breakfast snacks, and minds and hearts that were ready to work. Like any other planning meeting we have our agenda, tasks, objectives, and goals. But one thing that is always in the forefront of our work is how to make the communities in York healthier, happier, and more connected.
Our mission is bringing us together to imagine better communities and to work passionately to create them.
When I think of community, I think of the area directly surrounding where I live. As a York City resident, I could just view the city as my community. If I look at this idea even closer, I could just see my neighbors as my community. Others may see their community based on commonalities such as culture, income, likes or even dislikes. I moved to York 8 years ago and one thing I have always been thankful for is the opportunity to engage with people from different cultures and walks of life. I think that is what drew me to this group.
We have a special opportunity to embrace diversity in York and York XL is doing this in a BIG way. We have planned several projects for 2019 that allow community members to get involved and find those common interests that will spark a conversation, allow people to work together, and expand their community outside of what they previous imagined. Whether we are learning a new language through our Spanish Primers, digging in the dirt and making the Gardens of York beautiful, or sharing our stories in The Living Room- there is something for everyone.
One of our Board members made a comment on Saturday that truly inspired me. She said, “We all speak with different voices...mine happens to be gardens.” I just had this visual of everyone speaking from a place of their individual gifting and talents. What is YOUR voice and how can you use it to be a part of change in your community? We're here to listen! #RiseTogetherChallenge
By Laura Sandmann
How many meetings have you been in where you walked away and felt like it had been, for the most part, a waste of time? Personally, I have been in way too many of that type of meeting. But Saturday morning I attended a meeting that was the perfect end to my 2018.
I've thrown my hat in with a great group of people. We had a magically synergistic experience revising Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws. I know that probably sounds like a boring subject matter, but it most definitely wasn't. My focus of interest has become hyper focused on inclusive community engagement, specifically via the arts, and these guys with York XL are so right up my alley. It's delightfully satisfying.
In the last hour we started tackling the task of revising the Vision and Mission Statements. There was this incredible and spontaneous back and forth that happened which engaged every person in the room. The end result was everything you would want it to be. It was quick, we set aside 20 minutes for hashing over the Mission Statement and at about 10 minutes everyone unanimously agreed that it was a massively successful collaboration of minds.
Here's the revised Mission Statement:
Bringing us together to imagine better communities and work passionately to create them.
Each mind in the room contributed small pieces to this revision. We moved from language like 'we' which may separate us from the reader to 'us'. We simplified wording. We honed the focus and the words used to describe that focus. It was like the ultimate game of table tennis (with 8 players!) where the ball moves so fast it's difficult to keep track of, but each person volleys back in perfect timing and form.
These are the kinds of meetings that feed my soul. I am definitely looking forward to being part of this team over the next couple of years. There is so much potential contained within the movement York XL has been intentionally incubating in our neighborhoods. It's still on the ground level, but definitely will not be for long.
If you are looking for ways to share your love of community, your love of healthy living, your love of beautiful and clean streets, your love of the arts, or your love of social engagement, this is a group that will support you in building on those most beautiful facets of yourself. Please send us a note, let us know what you think of our revised Mission Statement, and consider feeding this fire and getting involved.
We need your help! Let's move onward and upward, together! #RiseTogetherChallenge