In thinking about the Revised Vision for Atlanta, I feel prompted to ask myself about the purpose of creating a Vision Statement. Hakim Yamini's statement as an idealized vision of the direction towards which we are endeavoring to move over time is very powerful. I wonder if something that better reflects what we see as feasible to accomplish in the near term might be more appropriate. Or perhaps both are needed: 1. a generalized statement which inspires and 2. a statement of goals for the next 10 years against which progress might be measured and which focuses the near term actions. There is no right answer to which is preferable. As an inspirational statement Yamini's vision statement works provided the date references are removed. As a working vision statement to guide near term action something specific might be more helpful.
If your preference in a vision statement is to make it something that primarily inspires as opposed to providing any detailed guidance, I would try for something as brief as possible.... perhaps something along the following lines:
"We envision Atlanta becoming a community in which the historic barriers between persons and communities of differing religious faiths have been destroyed. Differences in faith traditions will be respected rather than being criticized. Knowledge and understanding will have replaced ignorance and fear. Cooperation will have replaced conflict and competition. Care and justice for minorities and the less fortunate will have replaced marginalization and oppression.
We believe the new Atlanta is possible, if people of every faith truly live out the principles of love and acceptance of others which are shared among all major religious traditions."
Regarding the meeting closing card which we discussed, I would offer the following as a possible suggestion:
"Interfaith Leaders Fellowship Meeting
December 7, 2008
Would you be interested in attending future meetings to share regarding interfaith work in the Greater Atlanta area? Yes No (circle one)
How frequently do you think such meetings would be desirable? (check one)
______Once a year.
______Twice a year.
______Three times a year
______More than three times a year.
Name Preferred contact (Phone # or e-mail address)
Comments or suggestions, if any, please write on back of card."