Dear Friends in Christ,
I remember as young mother—nineteen years ago now!—fumbling with my glasses in the middle of the night to nurse and change my newborn. If I wasn’t wearing my contacts or glasses, I was pretty much useless. And then, I had the opportunity to have my eyes surgically corrected and for many years, had the extraordinary gift of being able to wake up and see without any hesitation or additional step. What a gift to have vision. With clarity of sight also comes the confidence to step, without fear of accidentally stepping on something!
Last year at this time with our identity as a people ‘Celebrating God’s Love for All, Seeking to Embody Christ in the World’ clear and the just completed Church Assessment Tool results in hand, we were ready to do some strategic work to see what that might mean in action, even as we were in the process of hiring a music director and preparations for the annual meeting were underway. What we could not have prepared for, of course, was a head injury and the lengthy, slow rehabilitation, necessitating an extended pause on moving forward with the parish’s strategic work. Thanks to excellent leadership – lay and ordained – we remained strong, adapting to our current realities; but clearly, we didn’t have the bandwidth to engage in the kind of work we had anticipated.
Now, it’s time to pick up this work in earnest. In light of my part-time capacity and Stephen managing day-to-day operations, we are discerning how best to launch a strategic planning process preparing for Vision 2020. A strategic planning team will be developed and assisted by the talents of an external consultant, with the goal of having clear initiatives, action plans and proposed staffing for our mission by 2020. We’ll be incorporating the music program, the other CAT insights and priorities as well as current realities, into this body of work and will be aided by the insights from our parish participation in the College of Congregational Development. We’ll have more concrete information to share with the parish during this year’s annual meeting on February 10, 2019.
As I said in my sermon Sunday, we are called to gather, be transformed and sent out into the world embodying that boundary-less love of God. Please join in holding our parish and this process in prayer as we learn, discern and grow together into who God is calling us to be and what God is calling us to do in the world.
Your friend in Christ,