Ministry Team: Progress on growing into our Mission and Vision

Your Ministry Team met Thursday August 27, 2015 to coordinate the ministries of University United Methodist Church.  Here are the highlights:

Calendaring: I will skip the little action steps we decided on, and tell you what excites me for our activities over the coming months…

LOGOS Sunday School Class begins September 6, with a first-rate speaker each month, with topics of What is  a Methodist?, Gender and the Bible, Christianity in India, and Handel’s Messiah.  What a diverse bunch of topics!  Be there, Gathering at 9:00 AM, Class at 9:15 AM, Sundays.

In worship: This is My Story testimonies in October, Advent: Rewrite the Christmas Story, January: Pop-up Prayers in Worship and in the wild.

Becoming Multi-Cultural: Witnessing Whiteness series with Bais Abraham and YWCA, 11 Sunday evening sessions spread over October through March.

Budgeting:  Kelly Mohr presented the current draft of the budget, answered out questions, and requested each Team Leader to recheck their requests to make sure we have realistic numbers.  [I much appreciate that this task has already been completed as I write.]       This will be a tight year for budget.

Inviting:  We discussed the book Get Their Name, preface and chapter 1.  This book details how personal inviting ministry based on building relationships with others, before the inviting, can work.  The focus of the book is on people who are unconnected to a church or house of faith.  Promoting this form of witnessing / inviting is more of a cultural shift and skill learning for members than a “program” or a dedicated team matter.  We would need to widely educate membership.  More discussion in future meetings.

Focus:  Ministry Team is focusing on the this priority for 2015-16 adopted by Leadership Council:

“Focus on developing disciples, expanding spiritual growth, and understanding how to be multi-cultural and intergenerational”

I broke this down into three areas:

  1. Develop path(s) for growing disciples  We offer help in growth in discipleship for most of the elements.  This project is mostly about being intentional in inviting and “handing off” persons as they are ready to grow in new faith practices.   The book Simple Church offers non-prescriptive advice on how to develop a path in Chapter 9.  Our Missions brochure also offers hints.  Tom will lead the Ministry Team and the teams forward on this project in future meetings and in consultation with the Membership Secretaries and team leaders.

  2. Understanding how to be multi-cultural   This requires careful development of skills and attitudes.  Key resources are two Eric Law books on the topic. Our first step is the Witnessing Whiteness program this Fall and Winter offered with Bais Abraham and the YWCA.  We also await a dialog with Rev. Bill Johnson on how to proceed, after the Fall student kickoffs.

  3. Understanding how to be intergenerational   Being intergenerational needs to be thought of as a cultural shift, not a new program.  We will pursue at the next meeting.

Membership Secretaries Work: Karen Greening described the process of updating membership rolls and membership audit. Karen and Ryan Colvin are working to figure out who is coming, who is not, and why; who is our congregation really (age, race, etc.)?   Some of the fruits of this work will be:

  •     A thorough membership audit,
  •     A church directory update,
  •     Statistics for analysis of trends in congregation, and
  •     Frequent lists of new guests, and persons with increased or decreased attendance patterns for use in our caring and disciple development ministries

Ryan, Karen, and Tom Mitchell will work together on the final two items.  If you are interested in helping with this, let Ryan and Karen know.

Our next meeting is October 8, 2015 at 7 p.m. and is open to all.

-- respectfully submitted by Tom Mitchell, Ministry Team Leader