Midyear 2015 Review
August 27, 2015. Just about one year ago, a retreat was held for church leaders and interested congregants. The purpose was to develop a strategic plan for the church, resulting in updated vision and mission statements and objectives to be accomplished in three to five years. Three areas of church life emerged for attention; these are listed below as objectives. Plans were suggested for action during the first year, 2015. In November, at the annual Congregational Meeting, the Strategic Plan was presented to the congregation, and implementation of the plan was approved. The Congregational Council has received monthly progress reports, and at their August meeting conducted a midyear review.
Through God’s grace, we shall follow Jesus Christ, loving one another and serving all.
Called by God’s grace
and led by the Holy Spirit to proclaim Jesus Christ Savior of all,
we receive the assurance of that grace through Word and Sacrament.
Through worship, learning, and fellowship,
the Spirit empowers us to share God’s love and grow in faith.
We welcome everyone, reach out in witness,
and with compassion serve our community and the world.
Progress toward Our Goals
Objective 1: Foster spiritual depth/belonging. Deepen our relationship with God so that sharing our faith is a comfortable, natural process; foster in all ages a sense of belonging to God and our community with each other; remain a thinking, learning, non-exclusive church.
- The implementation team for this objective developed a proposal for beginning small group ministry. The goals are to form stable groups of six to eight people who would meet regularly for eight weeks to share scripture and prayer and build community. The proposal was approved by Council, and Rev. Tom Lewis is currently training potential group leaders, who will be ready in the fall to serve as facilitators for new groups. Four Centering Prayer/ Contemplative Prayer groups continue to meet weekly, supporting the objective.
Objective 2: Equip ourselves to respond to need. Educate ourselves about the various ministries with those in need; work on breaking the cycle of poverty in the community; partner with community and global organizations to fulfill our mission to serve our community and the world.
- Adult Sunday School classes were offered around this objective: an in-depth look at Matthew 25, a study of Lupton’s book, Toxic Charity, and presentations from three community agencies. A survey of community volunteer activity by our congregation members was completed, and a mission fair will be held in October. Guidelines and strategies for serving those in need were developed and sent to the Council for approval in September. The church hosted a community memorial service following the tragedy at Mother Emmanuel Church in Charleston.
Objective 3: Redirect resources to respond to need. Explore the feasibility of paying off the mortgage so that resources can be redirected for ministry.
- A Capital Campaign Committee was formed to implement this objective. After careful consideration, the group engaged a consultant, Mark Brooks of the Charis Group. His exploratory methods included meeting with individuals and with a focus group, an online questionnaire, and study of church documents. His formal report and recommendations will be presented to Council in September.