Last Saturday, the Parish Profile Committee hosted the second seminar designed to elicit information from parishioners that will ultimately guide the Vestry in the Rector search. The theme of the seminar was What do we do well and beyond? The free-ranging discussions inevitably included areas in which we need to improve.
Approximately 40 parishioners attended the seminar facilitated by Tom Shenk. Everyone was seated at a round table and each table had a facilitator. Tom asked three questions. Each table discussed among themselves and then shared their responses with the entire room.
The three questions asked:
Why do you really come to church?
Who are we (Church of Our Saviour) today?
What do we (Church of Our Saviour) want to be come?
The responses to the questions were many and varied, positive and negative, and mostly optimistic about the future. Some of the responses follow:
Many see the Church of Our Saviour as a place of peace and calm, a place to nurture a relationship with God, a community with positive connections and fellowship.
Many are concerned about the use of the Church’s resources. They see the Church living and providing outreach programs that exceed the Church’s means.
An important question that inspired some introspective reflection and discussion was – what does it mean to be a 21st century church? This conversation will continue in other forums and formats.
There were conversations about growing the congregation and ways to do that. Those conversations, too, will also continue in other forums.
Continuing to find ways to integrate the diverse cultures of the Church community was a topic of the discussion.
Many remembered days in the past where Church of Our Saviour was a “booming” community and they want to see a return to that level of enthusiasm and involvement.
The discussions were lively, honest, and enlightening. After the seminar, many felt that they are now better equipped to fill out the Parish Profile Questionnaire, which has been distributed. All are encouraged to fill it out and return it by August 13, so that the Rector search is able to proceed in a way that truly serves the needs of the Church. Your participation and information are vital to this process.
Next Sunday’s (July 29) Forum, will be dedicated to all who have questions about or would like help filling out the Church of Our Saviour Parish Profile Questionnaire. Join the discussions, be a part of creating the updated Parish Profile which will be a valuable tool in the Rector search.