In the fall of 2017, Ministry Architects facilitated a series of listening sessions at Home Church to gather thoughts and ideas from the congregation about the children’s and youth programs. One aspiration that became clear to consultants was that members longed for an opportunity to be part of a new visioning for the congregation. Pastor Ginny shared this desire with the Board of Elders which endorsed a team of lay members, along with the pastors, to lead the congregation in developing a fresh vision compatible with our mission statement: Fulfilling Christ’s call to love God, live in community and serve our neighbor.
The team knew early in the visioning process that our report to the congregation would not be in the usual format: Vision; Goals; Objectives; Strategies; Tactics, along with the perfunctory funding to accomplish all. Instead, as we listened to the congregation, we heard a desire for building on our legacy, deepening our relationships with one another and our God, being a constructive difference in our community, living optimistically as citizens of this world. This robust way of living into our future comes from our hearts and souls. It is enhanced by the myriad of assets we bring to building relationships and sustaining service. Our report needed to reflect our passion.
The Visioning Team’s report is in the form of a booklet that has
(1) a synopsis of what the visioning team heard and reflected upon (pp. 3-4),
(2) a vision statement and specific recommendations for getting started (pp. 5-6),
(3) ideas gleaned for new ministries, small group ministries and wider community ministries (pp. 8-10),
(4) a description of an action-reflection model (a spiritual practice encouraging self-reflection) which will be embedded in each activity and ministry we undertake,
(5) questions for reflection throughout the booklet.
If you do not yet have a “vision booklet”, please pick one up in the church office or a sanctuary vestibule on Sunday morning or call the church office.
Getting Started (You and I)
As a member of the congregational visioning team, I now understand the boundless possibilities for service and renewal for each of the 1400 + members of Home Moravian Church and the blessings of everyone engaging in this time of service and spiritual formation. The visioning team is hopeful that each member, including children and youth, will embrace this opportunity for spiritual renewal and engagement. The implementation team appointed by the Board of Elders will provide guidance, structure, materials, inspiration and tools; it will be the glue and the bungee cord!
Currently, I am working on a provincial initiative on mental and brain health. This resource will provide education on mental and brain health for congregations and their pastors, working toward issues and needs being addressed openly and comfortably. I am energized by our work with community resources and individual congregations. This ministry is an example of one person’s passion, imagination, initiative. Shegathered others to help and the ministry became a vital reality!
Our job now: get a vision booklet if you don’t have one (read online); consider an activity or a ministry you might initiate individually or with others. What warms your heart that you want to share? What breaks your heart that you want to remedy? If you are homebound, too busy you can’t catch your breath, just not motivated, invite others to be a part of your renewal. No idea or passion is too small.
Now is the time to imagine and engage!
“For God so loved each of us that He gave His one and only son...” (John 3:16)
—Peggy Dodson, “Home Is…” Congregational Visioning Team member