This will be emailed to members as well. It is an up-to-date written version of what Elder Christo Rust presented at the Town Hall meeting.
Pastor Pete, Feb 26, 2020
A HUGE thanks to Rob and Audrey for compiling this, and a second MASSIVE gratitude to the participants at CCC who took this seriously and gave it prayer and time and thought and expression. This report is a public one for the congregation to follow the one Christo gave at the Town Hall.
INDICATIONS / VOTES INDICATING PREFERRED VISION
I’ll start with an overall perspective. Christ Community Church has some 77 congregants on record. This includes children and some who are unable to participate due to age or infirmity. Average attendance in our worship services is 44 individuals. Thirty Eight (38) people responded to the survey! For a process in which participation is voluntary, that level of engagement is amazing and encouraging. Also, participants included seniors, young adults, singles, married, members, adherents, regular and occasional attendees — a very good cross section!
Now for a simple numeric summary. I am grateful it was all quite clear.
Regarding the New Vision (developed in a Town Hall and consistory retreat process)
“Where Church and Community Connect and Grow”
21 people indicated the new statement is their strong favourite,
13 indicated they support it and
No one registered a voice against it.
Regarding the Current Vision (adopted in 2004)
“To Know Christ More Fully and To Make Him Known”
8 people indicated this statement as the one they favour most,
21.5 identified they supported it, and
2.5 did not support it at all.
“Stay the course with an orderly winding down”
One person supported this as the best option,
10 said they had support for it, often with qualifiers
23 said that is not an option they want at all.
What you collectively said:
Here is what is abundantly clear,
- The Concluding Vision is not to be considered.
- The Current Vision is “OK” or middle of the road, with some objections, and
- the New Vision is very strongly supported with no opposing opinions at all.
CONSIDERING THE BACKGROUND COMMENTS
People were given space to comment on why they made the choice they did. Below is a very abbreviated general sense of these comments.
Regarding making the New Vision top choice:
Summarizing all comments would be very time consuming, but it feels important to highlight a few things. Several versions of concerns about what I’ll refer to as “watering down” and not mentioning God in the statement were noted. Some comments were positive about the possibilities of this approach. Others named how they saw it was necessary to do this. Tied to that was an awareness that our efforts have been internally focused and need to change. Almost as a counterpoint to the concerns about lack of God language there were a number of comments that pointed out how a vision statement like this is “accessible” and not threatening for non-Christians. In a similar vein, someone wrote of how it is “clear, broad, and easy for everyone to understand and follow.” A couple of comments were along the line of how it has been and might still be challenging for CCC to pull this off.
Regarding making the New Vision a supported choice:
Some of the earlier-mentioned concerns about “watering down” are here as well. One wrote: “This implies Christ in “church” but the body of the church is all about Christ and this vision doesn’t put real emphasis on it.” There was a comment about how the world does not want to commit to Christianity with an implication we should just leave them alone then. Positively, someone liked how the statement was focused externally, and another believes we should be a bigger part of the community.
Regarding making the Current Vision top choice:
Some people saw no difference between the New and the Current. A number liked that this one mentions Christ. One comment pointed out this one covers both our internal and external calling. Someone underscored how “relationship” is really the key.
Regarding the Current Vision a supported choice:
An option to add “in our community” to this one was suggested as an overall solution. It is supported as a good core Biblical, Christ centered vision that just needs better implementation and enthusiasm & urgency. One made it second choice because of the fact it does not mention the community.
Regarding saying “No” to the Current Vision:
Echoing a bit what was written in the category above, one person here noted we have stagnated under this vision, and we need to find something new.
Regarding the Concluding Vision:
Here there were agonizing pleas for CCC not to close. Realists said it is obvious that if we stay the current course this option is our inevitable actual choice. Optimists thought the current hard times are less hard than past ones, and found leadership to be excessively negative. Some implied that if we can’t agree to a common vision and get on with it, Concluding is a valid option. Another said that if we can’t learn to connect Concluding will be the automatic outcome. An Entrepreneur suggested selling the assets and starting afresh in town. And another Realist wanted us to know that we might lose people who would not agree with a new direction but that we should accept that and carry on with those (even if only 2 or 3) who want to.
Regarding the Values input: Reading all the comments is very helpful. There simply is not time to summarize these, so we want you to know that all current Elders and Deacons have read these and will take them into consideration.
Regarding the opportunities responses and other suggestions, I (Pastor Pete) am working to incorporate these into the next steps of our public choices process.