On the last Saturday of January, the Council of Elders gathered together to dream, assess our values as a congregation, ask big questions, grow deeper in relationship with one another, and answer the question of what we hope to accomplish as a congregation this year.
This dedicated group consists of Rob Shank, Mary Gutierrez, Eric Draper, Amber Harbolt, Cindy Scanland, and Carolyn Draper.
To guide our work, we spent a good amount of time identifying our values personally, as a Council of Elders, and as a congregation. From a list of 52, we narrowed down to 6 Core Values (although some were merged together). This does not say we ONLY value these 6, but at the core these are the driving forces for the congregation.
6 Core Values:
- Inclusivity/Diversity: Embracing a wide variety of individuals; for example, people of different nationalities, ethnicities, languages, socioeconomic statuses, sexual orientations and sexuality, and religious backgrounds.
- Hospitality/Serving/Community: Living together with mutual support, interdependence, and fellowship. Helping other and caring for those in need. Being intentionally welcoming, especially of guests and strangers.
- Joyful/Playful: Being lighthearted, spirited and good humored; unlikely to take oneself too seriously.
- Creativity/Innovation: Being willing to explore new ideas and new ways of doing things. Valuing out-of-the-box thinking and problem solving.
- Justice/Activism: Working to reduce human suffering and need; recognizing and responding to inequality, unfairness and partiality.
- Simplicity: Believing less is more; avoiding luxury, pretentiousness or complication.
Using these 6 core values, we then asked the question what do we hope to accomplish in the year 2019. Several big ideas brew out of this:
- A continued and deepened partnership with local ministries/organizations (Cypress Assistance Ministries, Bethesda, Teen Life Center, Holmsley Elementary)
- To identify and partner with a local LGBTQIA+ organization at Lone Star College and local high schools.
- Launch small groups after Easter.
- Launch Pub Theology: This event will occur on the 1st Thursday of every month beginning in April. Pub Theology is a low-key gathering of faith-based conversation while enjoying a pint of beer, wine of glass, or a cup of coffee. We will rotate between various local pubs each month.
- Host Financial Peace University for the community in the Fall.
There are several other exciting things to come out of this retreat. You will continue to hear more about it in the coming weeks.
I am excited about the work that was done last weekend, but even more so about witnessing us come together to live it out as we continue to grow passionate followers of Jesus by:
CARING FOR OTHERS
SERVING THE WORLD
Pastor Ryan Dockery