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Sustainable Mission Update

By February 15, 2024No Comments

An update from the Sustainable Mission Team Communications sub-committee:

Rena Turnham’s update in the February 1st e-news outlined with broad strokes our Team’s call and progress in the past 9 months. We returned to our core questions in order to develop the next phase.

  • What part(s) of co-creating the Beloved Community is God calling St. John’s and its members to play?
  • How are we uniquely gifted to answer this call?
  • How will we resource ourselves to financially sustain this effort, in a way that is regenerative?

Our experiments were designed to allow learning, facing adaptive challenges as it relates to our listening.  We moved from big, general ideas to specific experimental ideas.  Our goals were to find the smallest experiments that would yield learning and behavior changes with the biggest impact.  We looked for hopeful, inspiring ideas and developed the following four experiments.

1.“Spirit and Supper”. Twenty-five parishioners will meet for dinner, storytelling, and fellowship hosted by a SMT member.

  • The first one is Friday, March 15 at 6pm
  • Food catered from Casa Maria members
  • Child care is provided
  • Table discussions with specific questions provided

Many St. John’s members desire community and sharing.  We want to learn how to facilitate connections over food in a sustainable way.

2. Instant Service Feedback. Using QR codes or paper questionnaires, parishioners will have an opportunity to provide feedback on that Sunday’s service.  To be implemented after Easter. We heard a desire to have a voice in our collective worship and we will explore a simple feedback model.

3. Young adult community building. Through group meetings, young adults from St. John’s will explore what nourishes them and keeps them together. Later this spring. We heard that youth have struggled during and after the pandemic and we want to learn about sustainable connection-building.

4. Family and youth mental health support. Using community and church speakers, St. John’s Community Forums will explore support systems for families and youth.  Sunday, 2/11/2024, a member of NAMI spoke at The Community Forum.  We heard that mental health needs have increased and families have struggled, especially since 2020.  We want to learn if regular community forums that educate and inform are helpful.

These 4 experiments are short-term, inexpensive and designed to provide feedback in the near term.  They are prototypes and are designed to be evaluated and refined.  St. John’s members will be involved in feedback process and we always welcome questions and comments.

— Stacy Walters