Creative Changes Afoot

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At our Central Leadership Team meeting last week (we meet the 3rd Thursday of the month at 9am), we go talking about the creativity that we’ve seen in several corners of our Presbytery. As you know, and are most likely experiencing, the face of the church is changing. The spiritual needs of those who enter our doors have changed even in the past ten years. The median age has changed. And as we face these cultural and spiritual shifts, we are seeing our churches take exciting, and sometimes risky, steps into the future. We’d like to highlight three: 

7256108-For-Sale-Sign-Stock-Vector.jpgCovenant Presbyterian Church has listed their campus with a realtor and is hoping to sell this resource in order to free them to do ministry. Here is the report given by Vice-Moderator Linda Owens at our Presbytery meeting last week:

Last September it was reported to Presbytery in what was then the Administrative Commission’s Minutes that the session of Covenant Church was planning to list their campus for sale, all or in part – a difficult but bold move to create options for the congregation’s future ministry. Thiis was not in an effort to dissolve the congregation, but instead to create the conditions for the congregation to revitalize, being freed for a new season of ministry, as it celebrates its 70th anniversary on Reformation Day, October 31, 2017. In March, the campus was listed for sale (all or in part). In the event that a buyer comes forward, it may be advisable for the presbytery to act in a timely manner. Committing to a sale will require first the approval of the congregation and then the approval of presbytery. In the event that a scheduled meeting of presbytery falls outside the best time frame for the sale approval, the Trustees, under the plan of presbytery, have the authority to act on behalf of the presbytery to approve or reject the terms of the sale, as forwarded by the congregation. To be clear, proceeds from the sale would stay with Covenant Church as the congregation moves into the future.

Let’s join together to pray for the Holy Spirit to continue to guide them.

partnership.jpgNext, we thought we’d highlight the growing relationship between Christ Church and Nueva Vida. These two churches have created a partnership where both will worship in and work from the same campus, 746 Klockner Ave. Their hope is to make use of the whole campus, the sanctuary, its basement, the fellowship hall and the back lot. To that end, Nueva Vida has begun renovations to the fellowship hall building – which will ultimately be their primary worship space.

This partnership enables both churches financial stability and provides room to grow into their future.

Let’s join together to pray for the Holy Spirit to continue to guide them. 

write the vision.jpgLastly, the Urban Working Group has been working diligently to create a vision for our urban ministry, as well as policies and procedures as we move into the future. The report they provided has a substantial section entitled, “Why Urban Ministry?” Here is the opening paragraph of that section:

In 2017, nearly 50 million men, women, and children still endure poverty in the United States, the world’s richest country. Most poor people live in cities—they are low-income African Americans; immigrants in fear of deportation; Latinos and Latinas holding jobs that do not convey financial independence; and white folks residing in urban areas destructively affected by the closure of factories in the wake of globalization. Contrary to a damning stereotype portraying the poor as idle and irresponsible, most poor people work for pay and, perhaps more tellingly, one in five impoverished Americans is a child imperiled by the absence of vital resources. The aged, the disabled, and those on fixed incomes represent yet other vulnerable segments in our society. Those groups must stand at the center of a conscientious and viable urban ministry.

Their report continued and called us to the areas of Connection, Coherence and Courage.

In regards to Connection: A top purpose of a responsible urban ministry should be to create meaningful and consistent bridges between mainstream and vulnerable Americans.

In regards to Coherence: the success of a proactive urban ministry hinges on the capacity for collaboration among and between churches

And in regards to Courage: We cannot envision a coherent, fruitful urban ministry that does not speak truth to power by challenging misdirected goals and exposing failures in service provision.

Click here for the entire Urban Working Group Report

Let’s join together to pray for the Holy Spirit to continue to guide them. 

 

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