2012 and Beyond task force – A year in coming
Many ask: What is the background to this effort? To answer we need to go back a bit.
It starts with a general frustration that our partners were experiencing several years ago regarding repeated hesitations by our leaders when deciding on a number of matters. Why? Because such decisions often close doors on what otherwise might be real opportunities for our church, perhaps opportunities we may not want to exclude.
However, good stewardship requires that we act and not allow ourselves to be paralyzed by potential alternate actions. We weren’t paralyzed . . . yet.
And so, the board of directors of our church announced to the voters assembly in November 2007 to form the 2012 and Beyond task force (then called the 2012 Task Force). The specific mandate from the meeting minutes state:
2012 Task Force- Good Shepherd will celebrate 20 years of ministry and service in 2012. The Board of Directors is planning to appoint a task force for the purpose of developing a future vision to be brought to the voters during 2008. The vision will incorporate future plans for our property, facilities, and programs (i.e. Education, Preschool, Outreach, Inreach, and Ministry).
The task force was formed in January of 2008 to be led by the Vice President. Volunteers from all our program areas were included in this team.
Henry Anderson led this group from January to July. Henry challenged each member of the team to develop their own proposals for the future of their respective program areas. The idea was to examine each of the program proposals to determine where there might be synergies between them. The idea here was to find out what steps our congregation could take that would have the most benefit to all of our programs simultaneously.
When Henry moved to the position of President in July, Eric Toner took leadership of the task force. Eric assembled a sub-group of individuals from this earlier group to develop a greater focus on these proposals. The sub-group looked at the program proposals, read several books that addressed our specific efforts, and determine the things that principally need to be considered for the benefit of our church.
This kind of examination allowed the group to come to a number of straightforward conclusions on a number of issues – in many cases, one option rose up as clearly better than any other. For example, assembling a group to focus on communication will allow us to develop better connections within our membership and with new potential partners.
However, there were some more visible matters to the partners, such as the future of the building and property, where several options seemed equally feasible. In most of these cases, picking either option was superior to leaving room for multiple options open.
It was decided to hold two town hall meetings to get the thoughts of a cross-section of the congregational members, particularly those who were very active and had much experience to share. Forty such members came together and voiced their thoughts. Their input was valuable to deciding upon a number of open issues.
The last remaining matter was that of getting a pulse on the congregation's feelings about a facility improvement. A pole was taken of congregation at a Sunday morning service in October. The results were helpful for determining that the proposed facility changes were in line with the majority of congregants. A few more meetings were held to tie up the loose ends and to make sure we had a comprehensive plan of action.
The task force was now ready to engage the partners of our church. As a first measure, Eric gave a presentation to the partners during the Sunday service on October 26th. Next, a summary report was put together for the congregation and made available on November 16th. That afternoon, a town hall meeting was held open to anyone who had an interest in discussing these findings and to share their thoughts on making our dreams into realities for our church.
It was now time to determine whether the voters would be ready to take our first steps in the direction that the findings pointed. But at the November 23 voters meeting, a few of our members shared a concern that not enough time was available during the evening to continue the discussion and make a well informed vote. And so, it was decided that the vote on the matter would be delayed until the congregation could have a greater discussion on it.
And so, a special voters' meeting was scheduled for this purpose on Sunday, January 18, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m..
And this is the story to date. The task force welcomes you to read the materials presented to date on this web site and to come to the meeting on Sunday. Thank you for taking the time and having an interest in this story so far.