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Being & Becoming: Goals for Our Future

Being&Becoming imageInterested parishioners are invited to come together monthly for conversation, planning, and action as we discern how best to move forward on the goals presented at the Annual Parish Meeting in December 2017. Please join us, either in person or in spirit (and definitely in prayer!), as we move forward into our future, where God is already present and waiting for us.

Upcoming Being & Becoming Gatherings

Tuesday, April 10 at 7 p.m.

Being & Becoming Goals

Goal 1:  Being Church

Being Church includes all of the things we usually do as a parish: offering worship, pastoral care, Christian formation, and fellowship; and engaging in mission and outreach. What’s new and, I think, critical is the challenge to be Church to two different groups:

  1. Those currently in our pews: many longtime members, many older folks, those comfortable and familiar with our patterns of worship, life, and ministry.
  2. Those who (mostly) are not in our pews: young adults, families with small children, those who didn’t grow up in the church, those for whom our ways of doing things feel foreign or unhelpful.

Being church to these two groups simultaneously will require flexibility, creativity, careful listening, loving respect, and a willingness to experiment (and, necessarily, fail periodically).

Goal 2:  Offering intentional, authentic relationships with God and others, even across the usual divides

As Christians, our primary relationship is with God through Jesus Christ, in whom we are all part of one Body and by whom we are called to love and serve those inside and outside that Body. God loved and loves us while we are still sinners; we are to offer that same grace to others.

Intentional relationships don’t simply happen; they are created and nurtured when we reach out in love to those who differ from us in age, socio-economic status, race, political belief, or any other category that normally separates us. Authentic relationships acknowledge human brokenness and foibles as well as human achievements and accomplishments; they are made possible as we dare to live and speak with integrity and vulnerability and to offer and receive forgiveness. Authentic relationships, including our relationship with God, have room for doubt and uncertainty, change and growth.

Goal 3:  Re-engaging in our neighborhood

We are so blessed to be in the midst of Hilton Village with its vibrant community life and abundance of families with children—but in general those families with children are not part of St. Andrew’s, although many of them participate in VBS and/or come to us on Halloween. The history of St. Andrew’s Church contains many stories of active engagement in the neighborhood:  door to door visits in the early years to invite people to church; starting a kindergarten to serve the community; creating a library for the community. What would more active engagement in our community look like now?  What needs could we meet? 

Being & Becoming Resources

A note from Anne+  --  The Alban Institute at Duke Divinity School, which has focused for 40 years on congregational growth and transformation, has great resources available. Not everything is relevant to our three goals for St. Andrew's, but many items are. Here are articles from recent editions that I thought might be helpful. I welcome other suggestions of resources to add to this list.

"Human beings will find alternative to meaning and community if real ones aren't given." -- The Most Rev. Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop & Primate of the Episcopal Church

Radical Sending: Go to Love and Serve
This book by Demi Prentiss and Fletcher Lowe was published in 2015. It was written by Episcopalians for Episcopalians in order to empower the laity for their ministries beyond the church doors.

Alban Institute
Now affiliated with Duke University, the Alban Institute helps leaders connect and learn from one another by sharing practical wisdom, stories of thriving congregations and transformational models of ministry.

"Watchfulness"is a better word for leadership than "vision"
The transformation of dead space into sacred space shows us the importance of watchfulness.

Knowing your community, defining your mission
Getting to know the community that your congregation will focus on is a critical step in defining your mission. To start, work on getting answers to several key questions.

New questions for a new day
This is a time for out-of-the box thinking. Old questions keep is in the box. New questions invite us to move outside.

When the mission changes
What if times change so much that the original mission starts to look like a mistake?

We're in the innovation business
How our changing cultural context is reshaping church leadership.

What is innovation?
Innovation doesn't have to be huge to be worthwhile. It can be a small experiment, a risk that won't harm your institution but has the potential for measurable gain.

Amazon, Whole Foods and the future of the brick-and-mortar church
Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods illustrates that innovation isn't always about starting over but about understanding where and how a community gathers.

Kuhnekt Initiative builds relationships among church members
Award-winning ministry pairs members for monthly meetings.

A rural church is bringing people together affected by the opioid epidemic
A small church's campaign is impacting struggling people.

How do we make a lasting impact in a culture of instant gratification?
As communities of faith, what do we do that can endure 500 years?

Five cultural shifts that should affect the way we do church
It's probably good that most churches aren't wrapped up in the latest fads. But there are cultural shifts congregations and church leaders need to track and respond to sensibly.

Evangelism Matters Conference
An innovative gathering, Evangelism Matters 2018 is for those seeking to share, learn, and grow the Church’s capacity and passion for evangelism. Many sessions will be available via livestream and online archive.


Last Published: February 7, 2018 11:15 AM