Dear Friends in Christ,
On Sunday, November 17th, worship centered around a time of visioning. During the worship service, I asked people to answer two questions.
The first question was:
“If you were asked to describe Oakland UMC, what would you say?”
Answers included: “A place where all are welcome; family (security, acceptance, belonging); community; unconditional love; caring; support; community outreach; built on a strong foundation of faith from our forefathers and mothers; a willingness to help others; part of a global connection.”
The second question was:
“What have we done as a congregation over the past 18 months?”
Answers included: Sunday worship, choir, Communion, baptisms, weddings, Sunday school, bible study, VBS, missions, funerals, special worship services (Christmas Eve, Holy Week, Easter, All Saints Sunday); youth group, community meals, birthday parties, Koinonia fellowship time, church committees, confirmation, community aid and assistance fund, social media (Facebook), celebrations, banners, food pantry, and community events in our building, and many other things
I then asked the congregation to divide into small groups and write 1-3 vision statements for our congregation for the coming year.
Here are those vision statements:
These visions are what guide us in our ministry and help us fulfill our mission of making disciples for Jesus Christ.
And as I read through these visions, I am encouraged.
I see us as a congregation of people that want to:
As I said in my last newsletter article, changes are coming to the United Methodist Church in 2020 and beyond. Just what those changes will be, what form the UMC will take going forward from General Conference 2020, and how changes in the denomination will affect annual conferences, pastors, and local congregations is unknown. But pastors and congregations that are clear on their mission, their vision, and their core values will be better able to navigate these coming changes. I think that Oakland UMC is one of those congregations. We have a clear sense of our mission, vision, and values that will guide us into the coming year and beyond, whatever changes take place in the United Methodist Church.
I look forward to being your pastor and being in ministry with you as we go forward into the future together, wherever God leads us.
Please continue to pray for our congregation, each other, myself as your pastor, and for our denomination in this uncertain, yet exciting time.
Pastor Kim Dewey