PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE

See, I am doing a new thing! – Isaiah 43:19

This fall we started praying about where we sense God leading us as a church. We met in groups, we listened to one another, we ate and laughed, and most importantly, we dreamt together about the future of Oak Hill United Methodist Church. By sharing our hopes and prayers for Oak Hill, by admitting our shortcomings and naming our spiritual needs, slowly a dream emerged. Over the course of the past few weeks, Church Council has shaped this collective dream into a concrete vision. Today I am excited to share this dream with you.

The timing of this announcement is not without its own significance. This Wednesday, we entered the season of Lent, a 40-day period of preparation for the coming of Easter. It’s a time of rebirth and self-reflection patterned after the forty days Jesus spent in the wilderness in preparation for his ministry. We encourage you to use the next few weeks to pray about the role you can play in helping make the dream described below come alive.

The plan below lays out our revised mission and vision for Oak Hill UMC. The mission describes what we do at Oak Hill UMC. Our vision describes where we’re headed. Our goals describe how we’ll get there.

As I prayed about this plan, I felt drawn to a verse from Ephesians (4:15-16). It is my prayer for this church:

We will lovingly follow the truth at all times—speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly– and so become more and more in every way like Christ who is the Head of his body, the Church. Under his direction, the whole body is fitted together perfectly, and each part in its own special way helps the other parts, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

Accomplishing the vision spelled out in this document will be no small feat. It will take hard work, discipline, and everyone’s use of their unique gifts and talents. Each of you is a vital part of this body of Christ, the church. We have been perfectly knit together and it is only together, when each part in its own special way helps the other parts, that we become the community God dreams of: a diverse community united beyond our differences by the Love of Christ where everyone is welcome, everyone is connected, everyone is growing, and everyone is serving.

Corinne Weisgerber
Chairperson, Church Council

Our
Mission

Why we exist

To help people experience and grow in love of God, others, and themselves.

Our
Vision

What we will look like

A diverse community united beyond our differences by the Love of Christ where everyone is welcome, everyone is connected, everyone is growing, and everyone is serving.

AREAS OF FOCUS
4 Ministry Areas

Our visioning process led us to identify 4 areas we will be focusing on over the course of the next 2-3 years. 

The purpose of our community and relationship building ministry is to nurture a culture of caring and to maintain an environment of authentic connection and kinship with each other through every stage of life.

The purpose of our spiritual formation ministry is to help people grow in their Christian spiritual journey.

The purpose of the service/mission ministries is to provide opportunities for the congregation to participate in and support ministries that serve and care for others.

The purpose of our worship ministry is to provide space for people at every age and stage of life to center their lives on God through music, prayer, fellowship, and messages that energize people to love God and themselves and inspire them to serve others.

 

HOW WE WILL GET THERE

Community & Relationship Building
Ministry Focus

The purpose of our community and relationship building ministry is to nurture a culture of caring and to maintain an environment of authentic connection and kinship with each other through every stage of life.

Goal 1

To create a broad range of small groups (both existing and new) that help everyone have a place where they feel welcome, are known by name, develop strong relationships, and are missed when they are gone.

Goal 2

To implement a system to contact and care for people who are not participating in church ministries or who have experienced a major life event.

Goal 3

To identify, welcome, and connect both guests and new members with the church community.

Goal 4

To host eight large, multi-generational church wide events each year to provide opportunities for people to get to know one another in casual settings.

HOW WE WILL GET THERE

Spiritual Formation
Ministry Focus

The purpose of our spiritual formation ministry is to help people grow in their Christian spiritual journey.

Goal 1

To establish at least 5 new small groups of differing time spans, studying various topics, and designed for people at different places on their spiritual journeys.

Goal 2

To help everyone in the congregation identify and use their spiritual gifts in areas where they are passionate.

Goal 3

To increase awareness within the congregation and wider community about opportunities for both spiritual education and support.

HOW WE WILL GET THERE

Service & Mission
Ministry Focus

The purpose of the service/mission ministries is to provide opportunities for the congregation to participate in and support ministries that serve and care for others.

Goal 1

To provide space and volunteers on our campus for at least five agencies/ministries that serve the community.

Goal 2

To increase participation in service/mission ministries by 50% over the next three years.

Goal 3

To provide time for building relationships and spiritual reflection as part of each mission/service ministry.

Goal 4

To offer monthly opportunities for individuals to share with the congregation how and why they serve, and what it means to them.

HOW WE WILL GET THERE

Worship
Ministry Focus

The purpose of our worship ministry is to provide space for people at every age and stage of life to center their lives on God through music, prayer, fellowship, and messages that energize people to love God and themselves and inspire them to serve others.

Goal 1

To have 3 distinct weekly worship experiences, each with its own musical style and feel.

Goal 2

To have worship leaders (greeters, ushers, liturgists, scripture readers, musicians, etc.) who reflect the diversity of the area we serve (age, sex, ethnicity, stage of life, education, economic status).

Goal 3

To incorporate a variety of rituals (including creeds, kneeling, silent prayer, holding hands, etc.) in ways that resonate with people in the area we serve.

VISIONING PROCESS
Pictures from our Visioning Sessions

This fall, as we came out of a challenging season and welcomed a new clergy team, we felt it the perfect time to pray, discuss, and listen for where God is leading us as a church. We invited Ann Jenkins, a professor of psychology who has led church planning for more than a decade, to lead us through this the visioning process. All members of Oak Hill UMC were invited to participate.

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