Ministry Focus Teams Report
Youth Focus Group –
Lesley Hatch, Tammy Lydon, Tom Bradley, Patti Kepler, and Linda Reinhard.
To create guidelines on how youth ages 12-18 are integrated into the overall church life and pave the way for youth who will come to SSUMC in the future. What does this mean? We have a great youth program and great youth in it. In the joint leadership meeting, we identified the need for a whole-church approach to supporting our youth.
Ideas Being Explored:
- Determine what it means to offer intentional support.
- How can youth be involved in worship?
- Include a youth on our youth council
- We have been gathering information from youth coaches, youth leaders, confirmand parents, and most importantly from our youth themselves. We have had great responses and look forward to more collaboration.
- Staying up to date on trauma and trauma responses; is something all of our youth are exposed to.
- Hold a meeting with counselors, teachers, and students from a wide variety of schools to explore what is going well and what is difficult for youth currently. How can SSUMC support counselors, teachers, and students?
“NOT YET” Leadership Retreat Focus Group
Edmund Baird, Mike Keppler, Jay Evans, Lorac Lawton, Victoria Bryant, Ruth Porter, Lesley Hatch
Offer new ways to reach people who have not had any experience with St. Stephen’s UMC
The “Not Yet: Group has met several times to brainstorm potential ways to reach people in our community.
To date, we have generated three possibilities to explore further.
Ideas Being Explored
Church used for non-church activities.
One way to reach new people would be to make the church building more available for use by the community.
- Small community groups that may need space for regularly scheduled meetings, such as Toastmasters, Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon
- Other churches that desire a space for worship
- People wishing to hold events, such as meetings, receptions, concerts, recitals
Strengthening connections with groups that are currently meeting at the church.
One excellent opportunity for outreach involves families connected with groups that already meet at the church.
- Boy Scouts
Offering activities in the community to reach people where they are
Expand worship and ministry opportunities to new demographic groups.
We have discussed reaching out to Seniors in our community. Currently, many of our church members have moved to Greensprings. A new senior living center – Woodleigh Chase – as well as an affordable senior living facility, adjacent to the Woodleigh Chase campus, are being constructed a few miles down Braddock Road.
- Host a group from Greensprings to watch our Sunday worship live stream together at Greensprings, provide communion that could be offered along with the congregation, and plan a time of fellowship, with drinks and snacks, following the worship service. This might be a time to build community and reach other residents.
- Take what we have learned and possibly use it at Woodleigh Chase when it opens
- Perhaps expand this to the affordable senior living center
The “NOT YET” group has just begun to explore ways to reach out to our community and introduce them to Saint Stephen’s. When we meet, we feel God’s presence as we brainstorm, think creatively, and expand on each other’s ideas! Your input and suggestions would be welcomed.
Jaraby Camargo, Rebeca Ervin, Roger Hartman, Joe Willmore
To improve communication about the various ministries, opportunities, events, and activities of St. Stephen’s UMC to those who are a part of SSUMC as well as the broader community.
St. Stephen’s offers an impressive number of services, groups, and ministries. However, many of us aren’t aware of the full range of great things happening here. Our surrounding community likely knows even less about what we offer here.
The Communications team here is here to help. We want to receive, reflect and relay information about St. Stephen’s. We’ve been asking ourselves the following questions:
- The “Why”
- Why is this project important and what are we trying to accomplish overall with our communications guidance?
- The “What/When/Who”
- What information are we trying to communicate, and who are the target audiences? When do we want to share this information?
- The “How”
- How can we disseminate this information? What tools do we have/need?
- Develop a Vision Statement for Communications to guide our efforts.
- Better understand the communications needs and challenges of various groups
- Meet with groups to determine the communications challenges they have and how we can address them together
- Assess current communication resources and make recommendations for updating or expanding as needed
- For example, we have a great new website and lots of fresh approaches to church email. But are there additional ways we can convey information to our church community and beyond?
We’re excited about this effort and hope you are too. If you have questions or ideas about how to better receive, reflect and relay information about St. Stephen’s, please reach out to a member of our team.
“Discipleship Pathway” Team
Lorac Lawton, Jaraby Camargo, Linda Reinhart, Vickie Bateman, Lesley Hatch
To develop a clear and intentional discipleship pathway, regardless of age, life stage, or faith journey, so that all who are a part of St. Stephen’s UMC may continue to grow in faith.
- Define a discipleship pathway
- Create a visual discipleship map
- Initiate a Christian education program
Define A discipleship pathway
A plan to guide people in deepening their relationship with God and growing in their faith at all the differing entry points.
Why do we need one?
To connect people to God no matter where they are in life.
Visual Discipleship Map
Example below from St. Stephen’s Children’s Ministry, 2014:
Provide not only children but also adults a guide for their own discipleship journey
Christian Education Program for Intentional Discipleship
Opportunity for all people to grow in their faith; to live the full and abundant life god intends for us.
- Starting Points Class
- Growing Disciples Classes
- Maturing Disciples Classes