The first meeting to discuss stewardship was reported in the November Church Mouse.
A follow-up meeting was held on February 26th 2017. The attendees considered five specific discussion points from the November meeting and, in particular, looked at ways to improve what we are already doing in these areas, whether there were new ideas to consider for these areas, and what additional resources (e.g. people, time, money, space, equipment) might be required to implement the suggestions.
We want to make it easier for people to contact the church if a member of the congregation (or a family member or friend on their behalf) needs assistance or a visit, or to make funeral arrangements, because of privacy law restrictions. Ongoing invitations to contact the church could be placed in the Church Mouse and the bulletin. The website could have a contact e-mail by which someone could contact the church. Updating the pamphlets in the pews and/or hanging church business cards at the back of the church would provide ‘take-out’ information for contacting the church.
We should look to the surrounding neighbourhoods for possible new members – advertise for new members! Hanging balloons outside for the first Sunday School Sunday or other big events would attract attention. ‘Cold calls’ could be made (to families on the church rolls) to gauge the level of interest of new people for Sunday School or to form a youth and/or confirmation group. There may be government funding available to hire a student who could design and run a Vacation Bible School program. The church could offer a recreational drop-in centre and programming for kids on PD days.
We really like our existing music program; perhaps we could have one service a month that is focused on music. Musical options such as the occasional use of flutes or drums, jazz vespers, or more use of the musical talents of people in our congregation may bring others to the services. Similarly, people from the surrounding neighbourhoods could be invited to join the choir. The choir could try wearing street clothes to present a different look at the front of the church. Growing our connection with the music program at Laurier may bring other opportunities for different musical forms of worship.
CONNECTING WITH THE SURROUNDING COMMUNITY
The surrounding community knows about SJR’s cookie walk – we want the community to know more about us! We could hold an open house. We could connect to neighbourhood associations and user groups. We could visit community centres and find out what other services or support are needed by outside agencies, such as the House of Friendship. Community newspapers such as the Kitchener Post and the Kitchener Citizen provide neighbourhood-based opportunities for coverage of church events, notice of upcoming events, and for advertising, both in print and on their websites. Let’s look at the Mission Statement and identify what other actions we can take.
ENGAGEMENT OF PEOPLE NEW TO OUR CONGREGATION
Family Nights (maybe with movies) would bring all levels of the family unit together, particularly for those families in which the children come with grandparents. At Gather and Gab on Sunday, make a point of chatting with someone you don’t know. Similarly. sit with someone new at the monthly lunches.
Ministry Articulation Profile – M.A.P.
After this discussion, Nelson Griggs provided the group with a brief presentation on a process that is being piloted in the Toronto Conference: Ministry Articulation Profile (M.A.P). The material can be found online at https://torontoconference.ca/ministry-articulation-profile-map/ This process is similar to what we are doing with this stewardship exercise.
The details of this latest discussion will be posted on the bulletin board near the Church Office and on the website for your review and comment. In the meantime, efforts will be made to chat with newer members of our congregation to get their fresh perspectives on the actions that have been identified thus far. It is hoped that we will then have a small group of stewardship-related actions that can be recommended for consideration by the Unified Board before summer.