November 14, 2019 Update

For Pastor Rick’s first two years here, he spent a lot of time listening to the congregation. He heard four themes emerge as priorities to consider moving forward. These themes are:

  • Ministry in times of transition (examples include birth of a child, becoming empty nesters, unexpected loss)
  • Be bigger (reach more people) and smaller (support deeper faith formation)
  • Increase benevolent giving to organizations helping people in need by 10% in three years
  • Pay off the mortgage within five years to increase SOTV ministry support in our church and community

705 people participated in the congregational survey, and this is how they ranked these options:

The first choice, Ministry in Times of Transition, was consistently ranked first by all age groups except those in high school, who chose Be Bigger and Smaller.

Because this has come up in several conversations over the past three years, we had already made some staff adjustments to better address Ministry in Times of Transition. Katie Strand, formerly a Youth Ministry Director, has moved to a role that now supports parents, and children aged 0-3. Sarah Olson, a Youth Ministry Director, now focuses on high school students; trying to keep kids engaged after Confirmation (a big transition where many kids fall away from church). Purposeful Retirement is a very successful example of ministry during a major life transition, and we have used this as a model as we consider initiatives tied to people in their 20s (lots of transitions there!). After the holidays, we plan to begin addressing empty nesters, another key life transition for many. We are always considering new support groups that often address major life transitions too like grief, divorce, and job loss.

We already address all of these priorities in some way, and will continue to do so. The survey results help us prioritize staff time, financial resources, and communication efforts.