As our church leadership prepares to craft a new vision statement, you are invited into our process of prayer and discernment. Each week for four weeks we will supply a scripture passage and questions for contemplation. Please submit your answers by email to PastorCarol@OldSouthUMC.org, or hand write them and place them in the box in front of the chapel.
A vision statement articulates God’s dream for our congregation. It considers who we have been and currently are, and the needs in our community, and names who God is calling us to be in the near future.The best vision statements are memorable, inspirational, clear, and concise.
We’re asking the question, “who is God calling Old South UMC to be in the year 2020?” Our vision statement will take into account the mission statement of all United Methodist Churches – “making disciples for the transformation of the world” – and put it into our particular context.
Week 1: Who Are We?
- Read Psalm 139:
“O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from far away.
You search out my path and my lying down,
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
O Lord, you know it completely.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is so high that I cannot attain it.”
- In prayer, ask God to guide you in an honest assessment of who we are currently (not who we used to be or who we might become). Consider who makes up our congregation, what our habits are, what our distinct characteristics are, our strengths, and our weaknesses.
- In 1-5 sentences, conclude this statement: Old South United Methodist Church is…
- Email your statement to PastorCarol@OldSouthUMC.org or bring in your hand-written answer to worship on Sunday.
Week 2: Who Are They?
- Read Matthew 25:34-40:
“34Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” 37Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” 40And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”
- In prayer, and in conversation with others around our community, identify needs or hurts beyond our church building that cry out for attention. Ask a neighbor, teacher, city official, hospital worker, or food pantry patron what their wish is for Reading. Pray about what is breaking God’s heart in Reading, New England, or the world. Consider the gifts, strengths, and experiences of our congregation. What needs would we already have some of the resources to respond to? What hurts could we get excited about healing?
- Describe a need you have learned about that you could imagine Old South making a difference in:
- Place your statement in the box outside the chapel or email it to PastorCarol@OldSouthUMC.org.