Parish Wide Retreat - Strategic Planning

The outline for the strategic plan was further developed at our parish-wide retreat in October 2015 where we looked at the following concepts:

  1. Growing Spiritually

John 15:1-5 (“Abide in me”) If we abide in the true vine of Jesus, we will draw sustenance that bears fruit.  As a community, how can we deepen our dependency upon Jesus and bring forth more fruit?

Abiding in Jesus means….
Being rooted in Christ.
An individual process cultivated through time in scripture, worship, volunteering.
A process of renewal. Hitting the reset button.
A state of being. God in us.
Living with our trust in Jesus.
Coming to church to search for Christ.

The metaphor of the vine and the branches and pruning help us understand that…..
Our growth is guided by Jesus.
We prune to get rid of unnecessary elements.
Pruning spurs growth by letting light in, otherwise we grow into ourselves.
We should display fruits of the spirit.
We are the vine and our fruit is an expression of Jesus in us (actions/behaviors)
Pruning is a process of cutting back to create more growth.

Things that get in the way (individually and collectively)…..
Stress. Ego. Fear. Disagreement. Difficulty. Loss. Trauma. Illness. Poor management of priorities. Lack of readiness to accept differences. Lack of charity.

We can grow spiritually as a community by……
Strengthening our sense of community and sharing our spiritual life with one another.
Fostering depth and commitment by gathering together via small groups, meals, prayer groups, bible studies.

Spiritual Growth conclusions: Rooted. Expectant. Trusting. Believing. Cultivating. Sharing

2. Our Communal Life

John 13:34-35 (“Love one another”) How can we foster a richer culture of kindness and concern for one another at the Cathedral, so that we demonstrate the servant-love Jesus showed his disciples in washing their feet?

As a community of believers we should…..
Speak kindly and give others the benefit of the doubt.
Listen and show respect.
Accept and not pass judgment.
Demonstrate love by listening, caring and noticing each other.
Strive for intimacy in order to connect spiritually.

The Cathedral can show kindness and concern by…..
The lay and clergy exemplifying a culture of caring and concern.
Striving for a spiritual worldview that is strong enough to accept ALL diversity and conflict.
Breaking down barriers within a congregation that is perceived as intimidating.
Recognize that the opposite of love is our indifference and our ignoring of the stranger.

We can support ministries of kindness and concern by…..
Parish wide participation in M and O projects, pastoral care, LIAB, mission lunch.
Recognizing that we connect as a community and grow spiritually by serving Christ.
Believing in the sacredness of relationships, giver and receiver benefit when we meet needs.

Communal Life Conclusions: Kind. Caring. Accessible. Active. Aware. Understanding. Serving. Right Relationships.

3. Coming upon Our Neighbor

Luke 10:2-37 (“Who is my neighbor?”) In a world crowded with victims, how can we remain sensitive and generous in responding to the call to love our neighbor?

Our Neighbor is…..
Volume of need is large and always present.

Are we limited in seeing the needs of others by…..?
Inward church focus and vision.
Caught up in our own problems.
Familiarity. Lack of challenge.

We can be a better neighbor by……
Practicing tolerance.
Sharing more stories and testimonials about our service work both within and outside the church.
Increasing our visibility by talking, sharing and witnessing about personal experience of faith.
Witnessing to our acts of service outside the parish in our places of work and with our friends.
Each parishioner embodying pastoral care role.

Coming Upon our Neighbor Conclusions: Large Need. Outward Focus. Outreach. Sharing our stories. Witnessing. Serving.