Transition Team Q&A

What do you like about our congregation?

  • The music–Matt & Susan do a great job! The friendly atmosphere.
  • I most treasure the truly welcoming culture of our community. When I visited, multiple people reached out and said hello, and I feel equally able to do the same now to visitors or other members that I do not know well. I also think it is important that our congregation is actively involved in improving the lives of others through service and social justice programs.
  • There are many things: The membership is welcoming (for ALL) and there are a lot of great friendships and relationships here. We have a rich history and people who truly want to do Gods work–not just attend on Sundays. Our youth are amazing and we have committed staff and lay leaders.
  • It is a place to be in communion and community with one another through shared faith, prayers, worship and ministry.
  • Variety of liturgy, music, strong gospel message, energy, committed, involved people, variety of missions and outreach.
  • I really enjoy our upbeat services. I think that Susan and Matt are God’s gift to our church. I especially enjoy Matt’s piano playing.

What is one thing you would like to see improved in our congregation?

  • Increased participation in SOPHIA, El Salvador, and outreach.
  • Perhaps find ways to personally engage new members over a period of time and not just an initial meeting? It is difficult to go to the current Bible studies with small children who are on a specific nap/sleep schedule and require babysitters. We have started a Mommy and Me play group, which at least is a way to connect with other parents of young children. I think it will be easier to connect or attend Bible study when our children are older and participate in Wednesday night activities.
  • I guess it would be to have increased participation of members who aren’t as active (share the work). But that may change once we have a permanent pastor.
  • We have been an established church within an isolated community of much privilege. For us to thrive as a congregation, I feel we need to courageously look inward at our spirituality through faith formation, prayers, genuine support of those that are silently suffering in our congregation as well as those that celebrate. The second part is to step out of our church to be in community with our neighbors–to be a compassionate, loving presence. I guess the long and short of it is: improve faith formation and discipleship.
  • Children’s programs/parents with young children.
  • I find that most people are friendly and considerate.

How do you feel about worship services? Any praise or suggestions?

  • It doesn’t feel so comfortable since Pastor Stein has been gone, but this is probably expected.
  • I enjoy the varied music genres, liturgies, and talented musicians in our congregation. I am inspired by sermons from our pastors, members, and guests that offer multiple perspectives on the text in varied formats (such as stories, personal anecdotes, theological and historical explanations, connections to local happenings, etc.)
  • Seem to be surface and factual rather than deep and meaningful for our lives. Would like to feel renewed after worship and filled with God’s message.
  • I feel that we are in transition with worship, which is awkward at best. We have strong music and children’s ministry programs and strong lay leaders and new leaders stepping up. I feel that our worship could be much stronger with more lay leadership input and presence. I think it is important that sermons include the message of discipleship–to challenge each of us to reflect on ways that our beliefs and theology leads us to make decisions about how we live our everyday lives.
  • Variety of liturgy/settings. Variety of music. Generally, sermons are strong messages with connections/implications.
  • I hope that our new pastor has all of the good qualities that Pastor Paula shares with us. I really like her.

As a faith community, how are we doing with sharing the good news of Jesus with our neighbors and those in need?

  • I think we try, but the congregation doesn’t respond very good, as far as participating.
  • I believe that the work of SOPHIA and the regularly occurring service events (such as Family Promise and Outreach for Hope events) emphasize the importance of community outreach in our church. I look up to the leaders and members in these groups as role models of how to lead a life of Christ-like service in pursuing social justice.
  • Our church has always done a good job reaching into the community, but lately our resources are thinner and we have become more focused on our day-to-day stability as a congregation. We will need to return to the outreach focus as we emerge from transition.
  • When we care for our neighbors and strive for justice because of our faith and baptismal commitment, we are sharing the gospel–God’s work, our hands. When we truly welcome and invite all people to worship with us, we are sharing the good news. I feel it is about discipleship–not a marketing plan. Ministry in our community (outreach) is my suggestion. For example: I believe I heard from the team from surveys in the community that there are concerns about drug addictions. Let’s explore how we can reach out to families struggling with family members with addiction; i.e. support groups for parents, support of rehab programs, recovery and reentry to the community following incarceration related to drugs/drugs use, prison ministry, rides for people; continued support for Serenity Inns and other programs….It is about awareness and support for the many needs in our community.
  • This is a point of emphasis in our services and programs. We could do even more in the community…we could be even more visible in the Lake Country region.
  • The only improvement I would suggest would either be a senior citizens group or a ladies group that would get together just to get to know each other better. This would not be a Bible study, but some creative activity or social activity. We had a group called the Crafty Ladies at one time and through that I got to know several of the ladies in the church. It could be open to anyone outside the church and maybe through this we might have some new members joining our church. The summer months might be canceled as people get really busy during that time. The group might even plan some social activities.