"The Community Pulse"
The focus of this vision is to create and maintain a space and environment that nurture and create community. We would achieve this by re-visioning every building in our church grounds as a sanctuary and haven for both our faith community and the community at large. In a world where we are becoming increasingly isolated, our church would be the hub of community activity in the form of collaboration, creativity, activism, spiritual expression and formation, and communal worship.
1) Sanctuary building:
i. Our garden/courtyard by the sanctuary is enhanced with attractive and comfortable sitting spaces, a fountain, and prayer/meditation prompts, making it an inviting place to sit, read, and hold conversations.
ii. The chapel is transformed into a prayer room that is always open and inviting for prayer and reflection; accessible from the courtyard.
iii. A welcome center is built in the entrance of the sanctuary, with information displayed about our church and services, including: information about elements of our worship service, church calendar, lectionary, etc; information about Sunday School classes and locations; ways to get involved in ministries of the church; biographies of ministerial staff; testimonials from church members, etc.
2) Education building:
i. Redesigned into an education and community center building. Rooms are redesigned as flexible meeting spaces with technology available to meet educational needs such as job training, GED classes, computers for online classes, etc. Adult education is made possible through partnerships with local agencies and schools/universities.
ii. Interactive technology in various rooms make it possible to interact with homebound members and/or stream church activities beyond the worship service (i.e., prayer meetings, Sunday School, business meetings, etc).
iii. There are gathering spaces that are comfortable, inviting and that allow for community interaction. We intentionally promote intergenerational interaction/activity.
iv. We develop and maintain programs that bring the community together. Some are spiritually-focused (i.e., faith formation classes) and others are community enhancing (i.e., community theater).
v. Our childcare facilities are used in order to provide short-term childcare (on an hourly basis) for parents/caregivers. It is offered as part of our ministry to folks who are attending adult education classes, etc, while also serving as a paid service to parents/caregivers who would like to pay for a couple of hours of childcare.
vi. An investment in technology allows our church to serve as a data hub for our community (it will be increasingly important for people to access online data to meet daily needs).
vii. We coordinate an intentional outreach to international students who are enrolled in local universities (providing orientation, meals, gathering space, assistance with resources, and relationship).
viii. The playground between the education and Life Center building is enhanced for children’s activities (i.e., splash pad/play fountain or kids labyrinth).
3) Life Center building:
i. We maintain a year-round farmers market integrated with our garden and sojourn house, and with addition of greenhouse. Items are donated by church members and community. Local artisans are also able to sell their items here.
ii. We maintain a year-round goodwill-type store (similar to our rummage sale but year-round). Vouchers can be given to benevolence clients or sojourn house guests.
iii. Our winter relief ministry is expanded and supported with built-in temporary lodging options.
iv. Outdoor events around our garden and farmer’s market provide opportunities for community gatherings (i.e., live music, barbecues, etc).
4) Sojourn House:
i. We integrate our sojourn guests into our ministries and activities such as the community garden, farmer’s market, adult education, ministry store, etc.
ii. A commercial kitchen is used for healthy food preparation and community classes.