George Floyd Quilt On Display
January 1, 2022 - January 9, 2022
January 9, 2022 - 9 AM Service
Vision and Transition Update
Greetings South Church Friends,
After long weeks of waiting, we celebrated the miraculous birth of the Christ child! Soon the wise ones will arrive, bearing gifts for the child and sharing their visions of what is to come. We, too, have been travelers on a journey, working to discern a vision for South Church. After Carlos accepted his new pastorate in Pelham, Reverend Sean Dunker-Bendigo joined us to shepherd the congregation through the visioning and transition process. We began by sharing stories of our history, then discussed important questions about who we are and who we want to be as a community of faith. Many of you attended one of the small group conversations or shared your thoughts online. Thank you! The Vision and Transition Committee has compiled the notes from these gatherings and surveys, and they are now available for your review. You can read them on the South Church website or pick up a hard copy at church in the side entrance. If you need to have the document mailed to you, simply call the church office to request a copy.
Once we gathered all of your comments, the Committee looked for common threads. We each created lists of action items, needs, values, and identity words based on what you shared with us. Then, we prayerfully used these lists to create statements of our church’s mission, vision, and values. We are very excited to share these with you and hope you see your dreams and aspirations for South Church reflected in these statements:
We are living examples of radical hope and extravagant love, connecting our community with God and with each other.
We will create opportunities for spiritual growth, build a welcoming community of diverse relationships, serve our neighbors, and work for a just world.
Active involvement in our greater community
The need to spark spiritual growth and creativity
Being welcoming and open to all people
Nurturing each person’s faith journey
Advancing social justice issues
Intergenerational worship and activities
Faithful stewardship of our resources in support of our Mission and Vision
So what happens next? In the coming weeks, you can expect to hear more about these statements during worship and in e-Lation. Members of the Vision and Transition team will engage with the various ministries and committees to discuss how these statements fit in with their work. We will discuss them with our young people during youth group meetings and church school. We also invite you to think about what these statements mean to you as a member of our faith community. What actions can we take individually and collectively to put feet to our faith? Watch for opportunities to discuss these statements and their implications in the coming weeks. You can also reach out to any member of the Vision and Transition Committee if you have questions or thoughts about the mission, vision, and values statements. Following this brief period of discussion and discernment, we will have a special congregational meeting on Sunday, February 20, to accept and approve these statements.
We understand that you may be eager to begin the search for a second pastor, but it is essential that we systematically work through each part of this transition process. Once we have agreed on our mission, vision, and values, we can move on to the next step, which is determining our pastoral and staffing needs for the future. As always, we will be asking for your input.
Thank you to everyone who has taken an active role in this process. Together, we are the church, and each voice matters.
The Vision and Transition Committee
Sean Dunker-Bendigo, Peter Imse, Chip Morgan, Jill Smart, Leanne Tigert, Sara Willingham, Pam Young, and Janet Zeller
To read the full summary of the Vision and Transition Discussion Groups, please click the link below:
Thank you, South Church Congregation!
Dear South Church,
Thank you! The Faith in Action Ministry wants you to know that each month when you put money in the offering plate designated for the Monthly Mission or click "pay" on the website, you're part of something important. The total dollars collected this way may not be huge, but they are helpful to the recipients. They are also meaningful as a reminder that we are a church not only in name and place but in action.
So far this year we have forwarded the following amounts to grateful recipients. (The collected amounts are rounded up to an even number using Faith in Action Ministry discretionary funds.)
July and August - a total of $1,100 to the UCC Neighbors in Need fund
September - $500 to the UCC Strengthen the Church
October - $300 to the NH Food Bank
November - $500 to the South Church Relief Society Endowment Fund
December - $900 from discretionary funds to the UCC Christmas Fund (formerly known as "Veterans of the Cross")
In December we also made available "Alternative Christmas Gifts" to three different organizations: Ascentria, which helps with refugee resettlement here in Concord; Danita's Children (formerly Hope for Haiti), which serves orphans and others in storm- and violence- beleaguered Haiti; and Save the Children, which works around the world in the places where it is toughest to be a child. We'll report on that after Christmas. If you gave one of these gifts and have a story to tell about how it was received, email Susan Hatem at email@example.com.
In January, children right here in Concord will benefit from South Church members' generosity as we will be collecting much needed items for the Merrimack Valley Day Care Center. Keep your eyes open in January for the list of most-needed items. Start saving any store coupons you get now to use on needed items such as diapers, tissues, and wipes.
Thank you, South Church.
Peggy Scott, Pauline Simonton, Susan Hatem and Patty Fahey
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