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Planning for Our Future: St. Barnabas Is on It!

By Nancy Nolan, Strategic Planning and Organization Development Ministry Council Leader

While most of you are praying, chatting at coffee hour, or watching our children and youth do amazing things on a Sunday, a team of a few good people is thinking and chatting about what the future will look like for St. Barnabas.

You may have seen Dave Seagram welcoming newcomers by the red doors after the 10 a.m. service, along with Jeff Boyle and the team of greeters. Dave also counts empty parking spaces each week to see how close we are to capacity, and he checks our service attendance records throughout the year to see trends and what we should be happy or concerned about in terms of church growth. You can see the trends chart on the Church Growth bulletin board.

Dave is not alone. Our Strategic Planning and Organization Development (SPOD) team also includes, in addition to myself, Dick Davis, Bill Talbot, and newer members Nick Trelka and Vestry member Brandon Rapp. We met recently to review our newest strategic plan (drafted during the Vestry/Ministry Council Leader retreat in February), to discuss trends inside and outside the church, and to decide ways in which we can work together to guide the church into its best tomorrow. We will be tackling several areas in coming months, including:

  • What is God calling us to do five to 10 years from now?

  • How big do we want to be as a parish?

  • How can we accommodate a larger and diverse parish community while preserving our current culture of friendliness and encouragement?

  • And, perhaps most important, what do you, our members, want to see St. Barnabas doing and being?

To help answer the last question, we will be presenting you with an online, parish-wide survey, scheduled for this fall. It will be easy to complete, take about 10 minutes to do, and your participation will help us gauge our planning into the next year or two. So keep your eyes out for it, and please help us by clicking the link when it arrives in your email box. The survey will also be available on our website and in future Ministry Matters.

Also, Nick Trelka will be convening members of the Families with Children and Youth for an informal but edifying discussion on what St. Barnabas means to you and what you’d like to see in the future. Details will follow, but if you’re in this group, please do your best to participate (I suspect refreshments will be part of the plan!). We will also plan a similar event for our other parishioners.

When we started our planning process last summer, we recommended six areas of focus we thought we should use as our template for programs and services. They are:

  • Strengthen the spiritual growth and health of the parish

  • Enhance programs and services for elder parishioners

  • Engage, empower, and train new leaders

  • Build on children and youth programs

  • Expand our community outreach partnerships

  • Accelerate newcomer growth

The Vestry and Ministry Council leaders developed a robust plan to address these issues, and you’ll hear more about it in coming months. In the meantime, if you have any ideas you’d like to share on any of these topics, please feel free to contact one of the members of the committee. And, if you happen to be a planning guru, let me know—we can always use new, creative members!

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