VISIONING AT ST. MARY’S - 2018
Loy McGill, Visioning Facilitator and Chip Myers, Sr. Warden
Recently the Vestry held a visioning retreat to establish annual goals and create a vision and values for the parish. The visioning process was begun five years ago and as a fluid document has served vestries since its inception as a guide for implementing strategies to help St. Mary’s meet its mission to grow spiritually in Christ through worship stewardship, study, service and fellowship. The complete visioning document is available in the church office should you wish to have a personal copy.
When the Vestry began the visioning process this year, it examined a study population around the church within a 3 mile radius and also looked at Watauga County data to determine current trends, community needs and programs. Data suggested that religious program or preferences included: family support and intervention services, community and advocacy programs, community activities and cultural programs and religious/spiritual programs. Supporting these needs, the Vestry reviewed our programs and offerings. Although the parish is in transition, the work of the church continues, and 2018 – 2019 goals are in place to assure membership needs are met and that the community is supported.
Goals were established in seven areas: Worship, Financial Stewardship, Christian Formation – Youth, Christian Formation – Adults, Membership Development and Community Formation, Outreach, and Pastoral Care. Priorities will be given to Membership Development and Community Formation this year, although all areas are being addressed.
Within Membership Development and Community Formation, we hope to expand a membership plan in this centennial year with innovative events to bring folks to the church. A newly established Publicity Committee under the leadership of Lynn Searfoss with support from Marjory Holder and committee members will have a coordinated year-round plan for marketing and public relations. Sterling Hutcheson continues as chair of Friends of Music to promote choral and musical events to attract new members and nourish existing parishioners. And a Special Events Committee will be established to increase fellowship events, continue support groups and create lecture series for the community on timely and on-point topics and books. The feeling is that St. Mary’s has an opportunity to nurture its members, mentor younger members and welcome new members by actively seeking opportunities to engage.
Visioning is an ongoing discernment of God’s mission and vision for St. Mary’s that touches the hearts of church members. Our vision inspires the church to pursue its mission and considers the needs of the community. The vision at St. Mary’s is about how Christ will be known and glorified.
Supporting our mission, the Vestry adopted a VISION statement.
We are a joyful, inclusive, multigenerational family of God, welcoming and serving others to make a difference in lives and the community.