Saturday, November 29, 2008

December Pastor's Corner

December Pastor's Corner

I was offered a reminder of the desire for each clergy person to provide Goals for ministry. In the ongoing assessment and planning for Ojai UMC these are the goals I have prepared and been working from since July.

My goal for the remainder of this appointment year is to continue to develop the Vision of Ojai UMC with the input of the congregation. I hope that all of this will be bathed in prayer by the members of our congregation, which I will continue to pursue in public and private conversations.
The steps in this process are:
1) Visit with the members of the Congregation to surface their hopes and dreams, as well as the sustaining nature of Ojai UMC. (July-January)
2) Develop an asset awareness of the Congregation through Spiritual Gifts Inventories, and listing of tangible assets of the church - buildings, money, etc. (October - January)
3) Partner the assets of the church with the needs of the community, and the general hopes of the members for an idea of where we would like to go. (October-January)
    A) The Assets of the Congregation are underway as the Spiritual Gifts Inventories come in to the church office.
    B) The Assets of Ojai UMC are in print in our end of month financial statements
    C) The needs of the Community are currently under review as the City Council looks at revitalization
    D) A Percept Study of 93023/93022 raised these areas of interest to our ongoing conversation.
            I. Estimated population in July 2005: 28,000
            II. Median resident age: 42.0 years
            III. Median household income: $44,593 (year 2000)
            IV. Median house value: $272,100 (year 2000)
            V. Primary Industries: Male-Construction, Female-Education
            VI. 2008 Cost of Living index in Ojai: 115.2; U.S. Average is 100.
            VII. higher per capita White, Middle America, Seniors and Boomers, with fewer "Survivors"/"Gen X" and "Millenials"/"Gen Y"
      E) As we consider change within the congregation we ought to review these factors:
            I. Primary concern is Hopes and Dreams
            II. Faith receptivity is gauged at VERY LOW
            III. Likely giving potential is gauged at VERY HIGH
            IV. Preferred overall church style is VERY/SOMEWHAT CONTEMPORARY
4) A series of community roundtable discussions of these, and the current outcomes and realities of Ojai UMC (this may be small 8-10 people dinners, gatherings, or meetings) (January-February)
5) The forming of a coherent and cohesive vision for Ojai UMC. (February-April)

There is a final phase to this process. The conclusion to this process is to evaluate the Vision, and the desired outcomes that we need to see happening to achieve the vision, leading to the Mission Statement, which will include any real change that must occur within the congregation and beyond for the Vision to be met. (April-June ++)

There are a couple of questions we need to raise for ourselves as we enter this conversation in full.
    A) What are the current results of our program?
    B) Where does God want us to be in ministry with the world?
    C) Are we willing to look at church differently than we have ever practiced it, in order to meet the needs of the community and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ which we know to be transformational in our lives and the lives of many throughout history?



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