-Pastor Ray Gilman, Revitalization Team member:
When I arrived in July of 2020, Liverpool First UMC was in a bad position. The church had agreed to begin a long revitalization process, yet a pandemic had closed the building to all activity - including in-person worship. It has been a long year for all of us.
Through it all, the Revitalization Team continued to meet - striving continuously to find ways to live into the Vital Congregations Consultation Report despite any pandemic restrictions. These were not easy discussions in any regard.
Happily, we were able to engage in the work of the Vision Team, review the data collected, and modify an intended retreat into a church meeting. The result of which is our newly adopted vision statement; “Loving all for Jesus. Serving all for God.”
Similarly, the Discipleship Team has begun their discussion of the book “Shift: Helping Congregations Back Into The Game Of Effective Ministry”. This is their primary resource to guide their initial conversations together. The Discipleship Team is working to develop an Intentional Discipleship and Leadership Pathway for the congregation. It is a large and important task and the team gathered is deeply committed to having the conversations that are necessary.
As originally designed, the work of keeping Revitalization moving falls to the pastor of the church. I consult with Reverend Aaron Bouwens frequently on a variety of topics. Together we are creating a modified schedule that takes into account all COVID delays and jumpstarts the process from this point. Soon, we will be announcing a Relational Health Workshop and the formation of a related team that will address interpersonal conflicts within the congregation.
Similarly, a One-Day Retreat will be held to learn about the process of bringing all ministry and activities of the congregation into alignment with the vision and to reinforce the process by which goals are developed and evaluated. Both the retreat and the workshop will be led by an outside resource person chosen in consultation with the Director of Vital Congregations. We have a lot to look forward to!