from the pastor

from the pastor

From the pastor…

Experiencing God’s grace, Seeking God’s mission, Sharing God’s love…

As you might realize, and I hope you do, this is the mission/vision statement of Grace United Church of Christ. This is how we strive to live as a community of faith. This statement came after discussion of our core values, which are: Love, Leadership, Fun/Joy, Faith, Welcoming community

After dialogue and beginning to live into these core values, we met to contemplate and pray about what our mission/vision statement might be.
Experiencing God’s grace, Seeking God’s mission, Sharing God’s love…
was the outcome. And so, we began to live into this mission/ vision.

It is now time to take a look at this and to evaluate ourselves to see if we are living into it as we would like: are there ways, things we could be stronger in, are there ways, things that we aren’t doing very well, what does this statement actually say about us at Grace UCC.
The congregation was invited to participate in this self- evaluation with a potluck and conversation. This is what we learned…

Experiencing God’s grace… (grace means… love forgiveness, unconditional acceptance, GIFT)
These are things that we are doing: help with rummage sale set up, people just show up to help, playing with kids, helping restore things, funeral meals, working at open communication, Ice cream, music, social media

What we want would like to be doing and need to work on: invitation- inviting in others and learning where they are, being the best version of ourselves, self-evaluation, authentic, permission giving, demonstrating patience, demonstrating unconditional acceptance, questioning, respect of all-even those we don’t agree with, welcoming and opening, introduce and talk to people , comfort

Seeking God’s mission… (mission is a verb and a noun, goal, action, reaching out, playing)
What we are doing: Heifer project, offering more mission opportunities, Maywood mission support, Lancaster/ Fairfield county pride events, shelter meals, music, By- the way clinic, vbs

What would the community lose if we weren’t here?
Radical hospitality, Encouraging questioning, Acceptance of ALL groups of people

What we need to work on: trying new things, trust, changing, why are we doing the things we do

Sharing God’s Love…(Love is all encompassing, agape, unconditional)
What we are doing: Be the church banner, Primrose, bells, fellowship meals, inviting new people, social media, vbs, helping those who are hurt, music, greeting each other, taking care of self, rest

What we need to work on: never ending, helping, celebrating, telling our story with God’s story, uncontrollably sharing things that show God’s love, community work, invitation

These are all thoughts and words shared from a 6-month-old, some children, youth, millennials, adults and older adults. There were long time members, newer members and visitors in attendance for the conversation. I invite you to look at this, and to find something outside of ourselves for you to work at in our mission/vision statement. Let’s continue the conversation and living into what God is calling us to and be!
Blessings, Pastor Mindy