Dear Calvary Members and Friends,
The Continuity Team was established by Session earlier this summer and charged with developing information that will enable Session to discern the best way forward after the departure of our Head of Staff John Weems. We have made significant progress in a number of our tasks and would like to provide you with a summary update on our activities:
2011 Mission Study
The Continuity Team was charged with reviewing the Mission Study completed in 2011 and providing input to Session on its relevancy and validity to Calvary today. We have conducted outreach to the congregation and community to solicit input as follows:
- Conducted two independently moderated forums attended by 137 people.
- Received 35 emails from members and friends.
- Reviewed and summarized a number of articles on today’s religious landscape and the factors shaping church formation and growth. These sources will be posted on the Continuity tab of the Church’s website, if you care to review them.
At the October Session meeting, the Continuity Team provided a written summary of comments and feedback received from the forums and via email, along with a suggested action plan. After reviewing and extensive discussion, Session took the following actions:
- Affirmed the 2011 Mission Study as relevant and applicable to the Church today, recognizing that there are differences of opinion among our community as to missions, programs and staffing.
- Scheduled a presentation for members of Session and trustees of the Calvary Foundation by PneuMatrix titled “Facing the Tsunami” on the challenges faced by modern congregations. PneuMatrix is a non-profit consulting team led by Rev. Jim Kitchens and Rev. Deborah Wright that works with congregations around the nation on issues of growth and sustainability.
- Directed the Continuity Team to conduct further outreach to both new members and some long-time members to get additional insight into what attracted them to and has kept them at Calvary. This outreach will commence immediately in the form of personal interviews and group sessions.
- Adopted the following timeline:
- By November 7 Session Meeting: Preliminary report on input from newer members and long-time members
- At the November 7 Session meeting: Hear 45 minute presentation from PneuMatrix
- After November 7 Session meeting: Progress update to congregation
- By December Session meeting: Designate a group to evaluate strategy and recommend which programs/ministries to continue, with considerations of two pastor vs. three pastor model.
- After December meeting: Progress update to congregation
- At or before January 2018 Leadership Retreat: Session decision on two pastors or three pastors; pastoral skills needed to execute selected strategy and missions;
- Finally, the Personnel Mission Team has worked with staff to ensure that workloads are balanced and all tasks are covered in the short term.
We continue to welcome your input either through personal contact with one of our members or by email at email@example.com.
With love in Christ,
Scott Nagelson, Co-chair
Marion Stanton, Co-chair
David Foster, staff
Robin Morjikian, staff