The Church of our Saviour Vestry met for its annual retreat on Friday June 15 and Saturday June 16. The retreat was held at one of the houses of the Community of Divine Love.
Friday night included a vestry orientation for all members. This included the role of the vestry, exceptions of vestry leaders and the responsibilities involved with being a lay leader. Next, vestry members participated in a story telling activity as a means of getting to know each other better. The members were provide with topics regarding faith, worship, disappointments, joys and other topics related to seeing God in others. Vestry members were asked to share a story related to the topic they choose. This exercise was awkward at first, but as each vestry member became for comfortable, it became a rich sharing of faith stories. This exercise helped seal a bond of faith, trust and community within the vestry. The evening concluded with Compline with the monks at the Community of Divine Love.
The bulk of Saturday was spent examining our current Strategic Plan. First, each of the initiatives was described for the vestry, as well as a brief history of how these initiatives came into being. A general description of each of the initiatives is listed below.
#1 Develop programs for Children, Youth and Families.
#2A Expand adult formation
#2B Expand parishioner participation in outreach ministries
#2C Expand parishioner participation in fellowship activities
#3 Develop a Welcoming program and Newcomers ministries
#4 Re-Establish and Maintain a communications team
#5 Develop Chinese ministries and integrate it with English speaking congregation
#6 Nurture the Senior Saints
#7 Develop/ Expand an ongoing stewardship program
The vestry then participated in brainstorming exercises to address each of the initiatives in the “things” that a church does as a part of being a faith community. These included: Adult Formation, Children Formation, Fellowship, Worship, Outreach, and Pastoral Care. This became an exercise is seeing where we are doing things to address the initiatives and areas that need some attention. It was wonderful to see the vestry working together on the strategic plan. Following this, vestry liaisons were determined. The vestry liaison will be the link between the work of the groups involved in each of the initiatives and the vestry.
It is important to have a strong, working strategic plan as our parish profile is developed and as we seek a new rector.
The vestry came away from this retreat with a good understanding of the strategic plan. The vestry is also committed to working together as a leadership team to do God’s work in the place that is called the Church of Our Saviour.