When the latest chapter in our history began a few years ago, the most commonly cited goal was to become a warm and welcoming church which had a place for all, with pastor and people sharing the load. We realize that our congregation is only as good as the sum of its parts, with every member having gifts of the Spirit which shouldn’t be left on the bench (Romans 12:4-8). We recognize that a failure to love those we see raises real questions about loving the God we cannot see (1 John 4:20). As a congregation, we seek to practice more regularly what we already know to be true when it comes to love and inclusiveness.
Recently, we have added a Mutual Ministry Committee with the sole function of ensuring our ministry remains a give and take effort that involves everyone. In recognition of ever busier schedules, we’ve adjusted our leadership requirements and meeting schedule to make participation easier and more realistic for those who are still working, raising a family, or some combination of the two. Always beginning our announcements with what’s going on in people’s lives, we’ve also involved more and more people in worship, with the opportunities for involvement continuing to grow.
One important measure of our commitment to sharing the journey is the makeup of our congregational council; the group of twelve lay leaders who oversee our mission and ministry throughout the year. Presently, the group features four parents in the process of raising a family, five who have raised their families, but are still working, and three who are retired. The same group is split evenly between men and women. The same is true with respect to the length of membership, with each era of membership almost perfectly represented. This is not an accident. It is telltale sign of being a congregation which strives to be a place where the journey is shared by all.