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SCNC and Local Church Ministries funds $425,000 Church Development Plan

by Gary Roberts

     Have you heard any of these comments around your church?  

• “Our church is declining because it’s a UCC church.  All mainline churches are declining, including the UCC.”
• “The Conference is only interested in developing new churches.”
• “The Conference is so tight for funds they can’t help us.” 

     In the last year the Conference’s Vitality Team, staffed by Gary Roberts, our Associate for Church Development and Renewal, has developed a completely new vision for the Conference mission priority of Church Development, one that continues to start new churches but also offers help to every church in the Conference.  Our vision is summed up as “Every Church a New Church.  New Life at every Church.”  Both the Conference and Local Church Ministries have committed serious funding to implement this vision.  Could there be any better news for this Conference’s churches, including yours?     In January the Board adopted this plan and agreed to commit $225,000 over three years (2010-12) to it.  They agreed with the Vitality Team that (a) church development is for both new   and existing churches and (b) this work remains one of the highest mission priorities of the Conference.  Last mont, Local Church Ministries committed the balance of the funds required, $200,000 over two years beginning July 1, 2010.  

     The plan gives our churches access to some of the best thinking about church development and renewal in the UCC and other mainline denominations.  It focuses on leadership training and development, strategic planning, coaching and, of course, helping a church develop some form of evangelism, all in a way that recognizes the specific context of each individual church in the Conference.  

     The first phase of this plan involves listening to you about what your church needs in order to become a new church.  Members of the Vitality Team will be calling your church in the next few months to start a conversation about how we can offer assistance.  But we hope this is such good news for your church that you won’t wait on us.  Call the Conference office, check out our website or find a member of the Vitality Team at the Annual Gathering.  

Your Church Vitality Team: 

Bruce Jones (Chair), Rachael Cupik-Reed, Sue Gallagher, Gifford Smith, Ernesto Reyes, Gif Smith, David Sigmund, Carlos Perez, Jonathon Edwards, Bill Thomas, Petra Malleis-Sternberg, James McKnight, Sepulona Tanuvasa, Andrew Schweibert, Gary Roberts (Staff)

Every church a new church
New life at every church


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