Monday, June 29, 2015

Visioning Workshop--Exploring Core Identity—Purpose and Values

These are the questions posed and the answers written down at the Visioning Workshop at Grace Church on Saturday, June 27, 2015.  About 25 people were present representing a broad spectrum of members and friends of Grace.  The workshop was facilitated by Michael Davis.   [Comments in brackets are the transcriber’s attempt to clarify.  The transcriber is Ken Lyon.]

1. What is the main purpose of the Grace Church Community?

  • Provide worship experience.
  • To lift people and bring love and healing.
  • Spread good news in many different ways to many different people.
  • We love God by loving His people.
  • To do as Jesus did.
  • Be an example of a diverse community.
  • To teach others how to show love.
  • To nudge people along the path to God.

2. What specific activities are most popular at Grace Church?

  • Community Dinners.
  • Worship/liturgy.
  • Monthly Healing Services (Wednesday and Sunday)
  • Rainbow Band
  • Tai Chi
  • Spirit Band
  • Partner Organizations
  • bread Ministry
  • Nave Space, generations of prayer [in that place]
  • Musicality
  • Gothic Church and flags [the combination speaks volumes]
  • Grace Notes (includes invites and complements)
  • IHN
  • Parolees
  • Prayer Shawl Ministry
  • Lay Eucharistic Visitors
  • Read aloud book club
  • Prayer & Meditation
  • EfM

2A. What values to these activities embody?

  • Traditional form and inclusive welcome.
  • Small group ministry
  • Appeal to traditional sense
  • Intentionally (passionately) inclusive.
  • Beyond inclusive to accepting.
  • Honoring those not like us deliberately.
  • Diversity.

3. What specific activities get the most volunteers?

  • Wednesday Healing
  • Outreach
    • Community Dinner
    • IHN
    • Parolees
  • Worship Services
  • Building work

3A. What values do these activities embody?

4. What are your personal top five values?

  • Life is about relationships with God through people.
  • Perseverance
  • Making a difference.
  • Integrity
  • being God’s presence
  • Serving community
  • Respectful and treating others with dignity
  • Living in a diverse community
  • Love (hands on)
  • Music
  • Working for justice
  • Power of faith and prayer
  • Improving the situation
  • Making things better
  • Education/communication
  • Having a purpose
  • Quiet meditation
  • Relieve suffering of others
  • Listening
  • Show God creatively
  • True to myself
  • Revering, respecting all God’s creatures
  • Tackling difficult issues head-on
  • Spiritual growth
  • Understanding and flexibility

5. What do you believe are the top five values of the Grace Church Community?

  • Serving community
  • Serving God
  • Spiritual Growth
  • Fiscal responsibility/financially viable
  • Numerical growth
  • Honoring all people as children of God (see Grace Church values)
  • God is a healer, we are His agents.

6. Where is there congruence (agreement) between your answers to questions 4 and 5.

  • Serving the community
  • Spiritual growth
  • Serving God
  • Honoring and welcoming all
  • Inviting and opportunity to contribute
  • Feeling welcomed
  • Appreciated
  • Pulling out from desire to be alone
  • Inviting
  • Healing
  • Be in relationship
  • Comfortable to take initiative
  • OUR church—ownership and investment

7. What are the top three, in order of the five values identified in question 5?

  • Serving God and Community.
  • Healing and Spiritual Growth
  • Honoring and Welcoming All.

8. Give three examples of how the church embodies or lives up to these top three values?

  • Good at welcoming and incorporating. (3)
  • Wednesday night community dinner (1,3)
  • Healing services (1,2,3)
  • Parolee program (1)
  • Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN)  (1.2,3)
  • Sunday morning worship (1,2,3)
  • Prayer & Meditation group (2)
  • Partners Program

9. Are there any conflicts between the top five values of the congregation?

  • Lack of Sunday School and child care to learn about God.
  • Verbiage about all 5 of number 8, but little action.
  • A lot of action by a small group.
  • No choir.
  • Prideful ownership [can put off people with new ideas]
  • No directed educational or spiritual program or experiences.
  • Lack of money.
  • Lack of people.
  • [Lack of] clear point of leadership (e.g. clergy)
  • [Not] selling Grace [person-to-person].
  • Ragtag appearance.
  • [Lack of onsite] parking.

10. How are those conflicts (if any) resolved?

  • Engaging experts for short or long terms in areas where we have no experience.
  • Reposition ourselves.
  • Marketing/evangelism.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Grace Church Usher Guide

Thank you for being an usher at Grace Church. Yours is a very important role in making our worship a good experience, especially for newcomers. Think of yourself as the host/hostess for the service.

Before Your Scheduled Day:

If you can't make your scheduled day, make arrangements for a substitute. Make sure the office knows about a change. (You can see a list of ushers on the Grace website.)
Make sure you have a key to the lower Belmont door in case the church isn’t open.

On Your Scheduled Day:

Arrive no later than 20 minutes before the service.
Before people arrive:
In the summer, turn on the big exhaust fan in the hallway behind the altar using the switch just underneath the fan, and open the narthex doors (back/Hamilton Ave. doors) to allow air to flow through the church.
Turn on the ceiling fans using the switch on the wall to the right of the narthex.
Turn on the lights - see check list on switch box near sacristy (through door next to Peace Chapel). Don’t forget the light over the cross on the high altar and the three spotlights in the chancel area.
Make sure the doors are unlocked: the narthex door, the upper Belmont door and the lower Belmont door. (Use the chains on the Belmont doors so people can get in.)
Make sure that the audio is turned on in two places:
    • In the audio room just outside the office. All the switches on the left side of the audio cabinet should be up. If you don’t have a key, there are keys in a locked closet in the office. 
    • In the choir area, turn on the control panel.  Make sure the power strip is turned on and that the unit itself is turned on.
    • Be sure the mikes are in place and working. There are written instructions next to the control panel.

Bulletins and Grace Notes

  • Make sure there are bulletins out on tables at the back of the church (the Hamilton Ave. entrance) and on the table near the Upper Belmont sanctuary entrance.  Usually, there will be an issue of Grace Notes as well. 
  • Neaten up the various tables and throw away outdated stuff.

Books in the Pews

  • Check that all pews have
    • i. Red Prayer Books (Book of Common Prayer – BCP)
    • ii. Blue 1982 Hymnals
    • iii. Green “Wonder Love & Praise” (WLP)
    • iv. Black and red “Lift Every Voice & Sing” (LEVAS)
    • v. Black and White “My Heart Sings Out” (MHSO)
    • vi. “View from the pew” (yellow index cards) and writing instruments on hooks.
As people arrive:
Make sure everyone has a bulletin and a copy of Grace Notes
Greet visitors (everyone that you don’t know) and offer help as appropriate:
    • Point them to the nursery/church school room(s).
    • Offer to have someone sit with them to help with the service.
    • Tell them that everyone is welcome to take communion or receive a blessing.
    • Tell them that Healing Prayers are also offered at the side altar (Peace Chapel) after receiving communion/blessing, as well as after service, if requested.
During the service:
Be alert to people needing help/things needing attention.
Count attendance, as well as those who go for healing, record on attendance slip, and put into offering plate.
Take up offering.   If there are young people present, invite them to help.
Direct people to communion.
After the service:
re: Visitors
Request that visitors complete a Visitor Information Sheet (on the podium at the rear of the church).
Invite visitors to join us for refreshments (when available).
Let visitors know we’re glad they came to worship with us today and that we hope to see them again soon.
re: Housekeeping
Collect leftover bulletins and Grace Notes and put in the office.
Turn off sound system.
Turn off fans.
Turn off lights
Lock doors

8/25/2010 first draft - Ken Lyon
9/16/2010 edited - Judy Handy
7/09/2011 edited - Judy Handy
7/22/2011 edited – Ken Lyon, changed microphone battery instructions.
3/3/2013 edited - Ken Lyon changed disposition of bulletins & Grace Notes
1/24/2015 edited – Ken Lyon did general updates