It seems that Spring came very quickly to a conclusion. Before I left for a few weeks, there was a flurry of activity as we tried to identify goals for the church and staff and set the calendar for the coming year. So many of us participated in this process, which included attending the annual meeting, calendaring meetings, a full church retreat, and other gatherings. As the dust settles and my mind is more at rest, I want to share with you four basic church goals for the next year which have flowed from our conversations and are being actively considered by the Executive Committee and Trustees.
1. Broaden our invitation. As a church, we seek to convey the love of God to all. It is central to our faith for us to engage in the practice of Christian hospitality. This year, we seek to keep taking intentional steps, individually and as a church, to invite others to grow and participate.
2. Build stronger relationships within the church and outside. We affirm the truth that where two or three are gathered in Christ’s name we discover Christ. We discover Christ through the relationships we build with one another. As a church, we want to expand the opportunities and ways in which we can get to know our neighbors and learn their stories.
3. Engage each person more deeply in the work of the church. Each one of us has a gift we can offer by virtue of the Holy Spirit. As a community of faith, it is our aim to help people of all ages find their passion and discover their gifts for ministry. This year, we want to aid this process through intentional relationship building, fellowship opportunities, use of electronic media, and other means.
4. Strengthen the ways we work together. In our church, we enter into a covenant in which we promise to support one another in our work. To uphold our covenant with God and one another, we seek to work transparently and be open to a diversity of opinions, while offering one another a generous amount of forgiveness and the benefit of the doubt.
These goals will continue to be refined and discussed in many settings. As the body of Christ, we are a work in progress! All along the way, we seek to engage children, youth and adults in many different ways as we grow together in faith. Relationship building with God and others is central to our efforts to strengthen Christian education, enrich worship, do justice, offer pastoral care, welcome new people and old friends, and improve our giving. The above goals also offer us guidance as we seek to call an interim Associate Minister, and as staff work on specific projects supporting goals identified in their reviews. As we restructure, we must remember that restructuring is not an end, but a process that helps us more fully embrace the church and live into our calling to do ministry.
Blessings to all of you as we venture forward in faith. May the peace of Christ be with you.