Vision Team

Our Vision Team was formally commissioned and charged by the congregation in late summer of 2020.  The Team meets regularly, collaborating with consultant, the Rev. Dr. Claire Bamberg, church leaders, the congregation, and community members – to engage us in developing a plan for the future mission and ministries of First Church that will include a set of goals and a strategic plan to guide us over the next decade.

The Vision Process at First Church BTV: During 2021 our Vision Team held many “cottage meetings” inviting members and friends of First Church to answer key questions about their First Church experiences and dreams for the future.  Similar meetings were held in the wider community with a broad group of interests and missions represented.


Summer 2022 Vision Process Steps:

Update from the First Church Vision Team: Your votes have been tallied and there are six vision projects that will advance to the next level for study this summer.  We hope that many of you will participate in a Vision Project Team to fully explore and refine a proposal. Please select the Vision Project Team that you would like to work with – by July 6 – earlier if possible.


Previous Steps in the Vision Process:

The Rev. Elissa Johnk’s 2022 Lenten Sermon Series: Discerning a Communal Vision” – March 6 through April 10 lifted up the responses to the four questions from our many Vision Cottage Meetings – and introduced the three books selected for our Lenten Book Stud.  You can find the sermons using this LINK  to our website’s Sermons Online page. 


  • CLICK HERE for responses to Vision Question #1: “What Brought You Here?”
  • CLICK HERE for responses to Vision Question #2: “Why Have You Stayed?”
  • CLICK HERE for responses to Vision Process Question #3: What is your vision for First Church, 3-5 years from now?
  • CLICK HERE for the responses to Vision Question #4: “What do you think it will take to get from where we are today to your vision of our future?”


  • Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help (And How to Reverse It) by Robert D. Lupton, 2011  Toxic Charity shows us how to start serving needy and impoverished members of our communities in a way that will lead to lasting, real-world change.”
  • Praying with Our Feet: Pursuing Justice and Healing on the Streets  by Lindsey Krinks – 2021   “Readers looking for ways to get involved in their communities will find plenty to motivate them in Krinks’s personal testament.”  Publishers Weekly
  • An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz – 2014  “The first history of the United States told from the perspective of indigenous peoples.”

MOVING FORWARD – SPRING 2022:  Please join the Vision Team after worship on April 24, May 1 and May 8 as we explore the next phases of our Visioning process.

  • See below for May 2022 schedule updates that include dates for submitting proposals and for voting on proposals virtually or in person.

The Rev. Dr. Claire Bamberg

SPECIAL PROGRAMS AFTER WORSHIP on April 24, May 1 & May 8: With our Congregation’s Listening Sessions,  Community Listening Sessions, and Lenten Book Study Groups almost completed, it’s time to turn our attention to what we will be asked to reflect upon, and take into account, in crafting proposals for the whole congregation to consider as we seek to make a difference in the world, in God’s name.

The Vision Team will lead worship and the 11:15 information sessions (both at First Church and live streamed on YouTube) on Sundays April 24, May 1 and May 8.

  • All are invited to watch the recording of the Sunday April 24 worship on YouTube using this LINK  – the theme was: “Toxic Charity – What does that even mean?”  Vision Team members Tony Hall and Susan Saunders of our provided key leadership.
  • During the after worship Vision Gathering on April 24 we looked at: An outline of the next steps in the process; what a proposal will look like; and what are the Pivot Points for thinking this all through?
    • The recording of the live stream featuring the Rev. Dr. Claire Bamberg and our Vision Team introducing these next steps can be watched using using this LINK 
  • Sundays May 1 and May 8: We hope to see you in worship at 10am and for the Vision gathering at 11:15.
  • Sunday May 22: Preliminary proposals due – deliver to the Church Office during office hours (Tuesday thru Friday 10 – 3) or email to: [email protected]
  • Friday May 27:  Virtual Voting on Preliminary Proposals closes.
  • Sunday May 29 at 11:15am: In-person voting on Preliminary Proposals



  • CLICK HERE to read the Vision Team’s June 4 update about the Visioning Meetings.
  • To learn more, read the Vision Team’s May 2021 letter HERE.

CLICK HERE to read the Vision Team’s 2021 Report

READ Paul Hobbs letter to the congregation prior to the February 7, 2021 Annual Meeting.

CLICK HERE for the Vision Team’s February 2021 F.A.Q. document

CLICK HERE for the Vision Team’s 2020 Annual Report

CLICK HERE to read the fall 2020 charge to the Vision Team.

See below for video updates from the Vision Team:



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