Envisioning Our Future
The clergy and lay leadership of St. Stephen's Church invite the entire parish to participate in an exciting two-year process called "Envisioning Our Future." St. Stephen's has a history of conducting such self-examination and planning processes, going back to the tenure of the Rev. Raby Edwards.
A steering committee for this project includes two current vestry members, John Bates and Braxton Hill, and former vestry members Becky Boyers, Allison Koschak, and Betsy Tyson. Facilitated by our consultant Susan Wilkes and representatives of the various ministry areas in the parish, we are considering how these ministries:
- increase our appreciation of our rich and complex parish church,
- increase our understanding of the evolution of church and society,
- identify core values of St. Stephen’s, and
- build capacities that enable us to respond effectively to social and cultural change.
Rather than a traditional focused strategic planning process, the project is designed to allow ample room for reflection, learning, and the movement of the Spirit. Guiding questions for each area include the following:
- What is the unique history of this ministry or parish organization?
- What perceived need led to the beginning of this ministry?
- How has this ministry changed over the years – how is it still ministry today?
- What are our enduring values?
- How have changes in society and the world affected this ministry?
- How do you perceive society might change in the future?
- How might this ministry respond?
What is this process all about?
To learn more about this process:
- read an article by Susan Wilkes published in the fall edition of Seasons of the Spirit
- Visit a blog featuring pertinent articles, each with an introduction written by Gary Jones
How can I participate?
- See a list of liaisons for the areas of our common life who are helping facilitate this exploration. Each area will hold discussion sessions to which you are invited; times and dates will be listed here.
- Come to one of the 'Church and Society' events listed below.
- Comment on the blog.
The Future of Church and Society
In October, Gary Jones will speak at three events to which the entire parish has been invited; you decide which one you'd like to attend. You can read the invitation and description here. To sign up for one of the Future of Church and Society events, follow the link for the event you prefer; the registration platform will also ask if you need child care for the event you select.