Recently, the Messiah Church Council met in an afternoon retreat to re-engage with the congregation’s vision, verse, and mission, as well as develop some specific goals upon which to work over the next 18 months.
In addition to re-engaging with work the congregation has previously done, the council assessed some of our current strengths and weaknesses as it made plans for moving forward.
During the retreat, the council broke itself into four small groups. Each group took responsibility for one of our four mission areas. Below is a summary of the specific goals that became most important for each small group.
Embrace: create a culture where everyone feels welcome.
Our priority is to help facilitate a couple of worship services this year that talk with/include marginalized populations. (The staff was already working on one).
We will be doing a PRIDE worship service on June 25. Anne and Janene will engage with the staff and see how we can support this worship service. We are also looking at a service based around people who are differently abled on October 22.
Other ideas that we are thinking about include a “meet one” campaign – encouraging people to find one new person when they are in worship. We also talked about an opportunity to engage the other congregations meeting within Messiah’s building in some kind of activity together.
We were excited to hear that the Engage group is working on that and we have offered to help support.
Engage: develop quality relationships with partners in a changing community.
There were a couple of ideas brought up, including a Pride event at the church.
However, we decided to focus on one event that would hopefully connect Messiah with the other congregations that worship in the building as well as connect Messiah with the local Auburn Community: Host a National Night Out Block Party at Messiah and use the event to connect with other churches and Auburn Community.
Enhance: provide numerous ways to live into God’s call.
1) Provide a class in which Messiah members and friends could explore the practice of “Connecting Faith with Advocacy and Politics”.
2) Create a time and place to work on how to have productive conversations when we don’t have agreement with one another.
3) provide a space for conversation on how our members and friends understand living out their vocation in daily life.
4) create a series of classes on, “How to talk to your kids about…”. We also talked about classes for kids on, “How to talk to your parents about…”.
We believe the above could become a central theme of our Sunday classes, focusing first on how to have conversations about difficult topics. This leads to classes on topics regarding our sense of vocation and call.
Finally, these classes can lead to connecting faith with advocacy and politics. We also saw that Group 4’s top idea connected very well with our three.
Explore: cultivate abundant opportunities to grow in faith.
1) Gather 5 to 6 adults to shepherd a 1st through 6th grade Sunday school beginning in the fall of 2023.
2) Create discussion opportunities for Messiah members to explore current events through the lens of faith.
3) Restart the Messiah Book Club.
4) Begin a series of conversations, led by members and friends, called “Messiah Talks”.