Faith is a Verb… Musings by Pastor Tony, February 24, 2017

Vitality: the capacity to live and develop.[1]

The United Church of Christ has developed a questionnaire for churches to evaluate their vitality[2] and their capacity to develop and grow. Here are the top 10 questions; how would you rank Arlington Community Church? Ask yourself, “What role do I play in helping this congregation be vital?”

  1. There is excitement about the future here.
  2. There is a clear sense of mission here.
  3. This place has lots of meaningful activities.
  4. This congregation is always ready to try something new.
  5. This place incorporates newcomers into the congregation’s life.
  6. This place seeks out and uses the gifts of members of all ages.
  7. This place helps to build strong, healthy relationships among members.
  8. This place manages disagreements in a healthy respectful manner.
  9. This congregation equips members to share their faith with others.
  • This place interacts with the local community.

With the New Beginnings[3] conversations last year, we began the work of Revitalization, and we discerned that for us to remain vital beyond our next few decades we need to clarify the vision of our life together as congregation to focus more on life-long spiritual formation as well as mission and service to our community.  We divided this work in terms of our values: Making the World a Better Place, Faith (God is in the room), Justice, and Helping (Living Beyond Ourselves). Several people are working on creating a vision, based on those values, for our ministry together; we will be discussing and discerning these as a congregation in the next few months.

I encourage you to think about how we continue to develop the life that is here at Arlington Community Church. How is faith a verb for you? how is Arlington Community Church a verb for you? How are vital?

I look forward to the conversations.  Peace, Pastor Tony

[1] https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vitality retrieved 2-8-17

[2] This report compares vitality to ministerial excellence. The questionnaire on vitality can be found on pages 43-45. http://uccfiles.com/pdf/UCC-Congregational-Vitality-and-Ministerial-Excellence-Report.pdf

[3]  The New Beginnings report can be found here http://acc-ucc.org/new-beginnings-report/  see page 15 for discussion on our current activities and recommended goals.

Leave a Reply