What "New Beginnings" is NOT:
- It is NOT and evaluation of our past;
- It is NOT instructions for building our future;
- It is NOT a way of engineering any particular change.
What “New Beginnings is:
- It’s a way of gaining insight into what’s going on in our congregation and the world around us;
- It’s a way of getting in touch with feelings about, opinions of, and dreams for this congregation;
- It’s a way of focusing on the future and the present (not the past);
- It’s a way of helping one another make informed decisions together.
What questions have people considered in group meetings?
- What 2 or 3 things is our congregation really good at?
- What distinguishes us from other social clubs or service organizations?
- Is our congregation’s ministry and program compatible with the needs and character of our community?
- Does our building serve or inhibit our ministries?
- What, if anything, might God be calling us as a congregation to let go of?
- What big dreams do we have for this congregation?
Where are we in the “New Beginnings” process?
- We are zeroed in on the big question – What is God calling us as a congregation to do now?
Important answers to “the big question”:
- God is calling us to listen to people in the world all around us in order to better understand what people are looking for and need.
- God is calling us to work at resourcing and enabling people among and around us who have creative ideas and a “passion to serve.”
Projects currently under way:
- Development of a missional relationship through Eastern Farm Workers Association with migrant farm workers in the area. Interested? People in our congregation meet this afternoon at the regional office of Eastern Farm Workers (525 North Salina St. in Syracuse) at 1PM and travel to a workers’ camp.
- Summer Sunday School for young people. Bring your own children. Invite any other children you know. Encourage the families you met in church school during the academic year to join in. Students and teachers leave 10 AM worship for classes after the Children’s Conversation each Sunday from July 10 – August 14. Direct questions or inquiries to Janne Murphy, our Coordinator of Christian Education.
- Vacation Bible School with St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. Tell your neighbors. It’s 9AM – Noon daily, Monday – Friday, July 25 -29, at St. Mark’s (2840 Cold Springs Rd.). Talk with Janne Murphy if you know someone who wants to participate or you’d like to help. The program is for children ages K-5th grade.
Ideas on the list which need only a little commitment from a few people:
- Developing a program of aid for families who have been burned out of their homes.
- Establishing a clothing exchange (especially of warm winter coats).
- Sending a group to help grow food for hungry people through the Matthew 25 farm in Tully.
- Offering classes to local folk on “Cooking Healthy Meals on a Budget.”
- Coordinating local gardners to grow food for food pantries and hungry neighbors.
- Gathering small groups of adults who want to learn and discuss matters of faith, and/or to explore the Bible.
- Planning for some group participation in PCUSA ministries near and far.
It will create a New Beginning for our congregation if and when we all:
- Stay alert to what’s going on in the community and the world around us;
- Stay ready to help one another plan and develop compassionate, hope-filled responses to the people and situations we discover;
- Stay focused on connections between discipleship and planning or developing these responses;
- Stay open to the Spirit and to real growth.