Our Regional Church Council adopted an updated Vision/Values/Initiatives for 2017-2022. This work has been part of our Study and Discernment process as we prepare to make recommendations for organization changes and additions to our ministry team. You can read the full Vision statement here.
Our new Vision becomes the focus of our work together for the next five years. It encourages practices that create an atmosphere for transformation for leaders and congregations. It opens possibilities for new forms of ministry to emerge. It integrates our ministries with children, youth and young adults. It invites participation and inclusion of the fullness of our region. It challenges us to embrace pilgrimage outside our comfort zones to encounter new expressions of God’s community. It calls us to be Pro-Reconciling/Anti-Racist people for the sake of the gospel.
This work is the fruit of conversational gatherings in different areas of our region; a contextual analysis by Rev. Dr. Dick Hamm; a retreat with a diverse group representing Long Range Vision and Planning, Personnel, our Ministry Leadership Team; and feedback and input from our Regional Church Council. (The contextual analysis document is available upon request.) Here is what we learned:
- Yes, we are in decline.
- How we interpret the data, and how we tell the story makes a difference in whether we move forward or not.
- We need a healthy, generative conversation on grief. (And, legacies.)
- We need to celebrate new possibilities for ministry that are emerging.
- Relationships matter—interpersonal, trusting, open.
Connections matter—-to God, each other and our world
- We must return to our faith story for what it tells us for our time.
And, Commit ourselves to study and deep Spiritual renewal in community.
- We will become Outcome focused: Tell us a story of how a life has been changed? Remember it may be yours.
PS: Our next Study & Discernment retreat will be April 21-22. Please pray for the next steps in the process—organization and staffing for Vision.