After a prayerful and inclusive process, the church has come to decide on the following goals to focus our time, energy and resources. We invite all members and visitors to be included in the process of reaching them.
In order to provide opportunities and avenues where people might strengthen their relationship with Christ, we will:
- Continue offering faith study groups, including but not limited to our Advent and Lenten studies (at least 6 each year)
- conduct 24 hour prayer vigils at various times and events as the Spirit provides the leading. We are thinking that one might take place during Lent of 2017.
- Hold discussions in each small group on the topic, “What strengthens my faith; my relationship with God?” and share those responses with our church in future issues of “The Bellwether” (completed by fall 2017)
- Recruit at least two new individuals to become Lay Servants in 2017
- reinstate Disciple Bible Study – or offer another study of similar depth.
- offer a class on meditation prior to Lent, 2017, and follow up by offering monthly guided meditation experiences for the whole congregation during 2017, and possibly beyond.
In order to strengthen relationships within the community of St. John’s Church, we will increase participation in our “Small Group Ministry” by 25%:
- Raise awareness by communicating through Bellwether articles for each group, beginning in the Feb. ’17 edition
- Personal witness in worship by existing small group members at least 2 times/yr, with the first taking place by June ‘17
- Introduce new/interested people to small group ministries with a handout of groups and contact information available at the “Welcome Center”
- Determine areas of interest for possible new groups by conducting a survey, to be done by June ’17, for new fall starts
- Develop opportunities for training and support for small group leaders
- Increase participation by our whole congregation in small groups by 25% by the end of 2017 – by increasing the number of groups that are offered and/or by increasing the number of participants in each group
And in order to strengthen relationships within the community of St. John’s Church we will offer intentional, intergenerational, varied social activities a minimum of four times per year, beginning by the end of 2017, and carrying forward.
In order to be engaged more deeply in ministry within our communities, we will volunteer with local children, youth and adults to improve their educational outcomes.
- By April, 2017, we will contact local school systems and Dover Adult Learning Center to determine their needs for volunteers.
- By September, 2017, we will be involved in meeting at least four of these stated needs.
We will educate ourselves to the need for affordable housing in our area by talking to city/town planners and developing our response based on identified needs, by September 2017, as a way to be engaged more deeply in ministry within our communities.
To be involved more deeply within our communities, we will strengthen our role in combatting addiction by:
- coordinating at least two events, either at St. John’s or another location in the community, to benefit recovery groups
- provide space and snacks (coffee, soda, etc.) for recovery groups (HA, NA, etc.)
- and hold quarterly drives for supplies (soap, toothpaste, gift cards, etc.) to aid recovery groups that assist people coming out of treatment centers.