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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:


Our Mission:

We are living examples of radical hope and extravagant love, connecting our community with God and with each other.


Our Vision:

We will create opportunities for spiritual growth, build a welcoming community of diverse relationships, serve our neighbors, and work for a just world.


Our Values:

  • 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.


In faith,

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:

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