A new year is not so much a blank canvas as it is a painting in the making. A new year is an opportunity to look at the direction the project is going, make adjustments and carry out the vision. Our new year at Los Altos United Methodist Church is filled with next steps. We are working on construction plans for our preschool play yard and our lounge and related improvements. We continue to live into a vision of intergenerational ministries and vibrant worship in diverse settings.
We are also looking to take next steps in three primary areas, identified during our “Deepening Your Effectiveness” training. The three focus areas are:
1. “Come and See” worship and special occasions.
e will be exploring how to further develop our existing worship settings so that they offer relevant and memorable experiences for our community and first time worshippers and guests. We will assess our present and potential use of media, sound, lighting, visual design, printed material and the employment of the gifts of God’s people. We will also consider one-time events that provide opportunities for our neighbors to “come and see” who we are.
2. “Hospitality” – How do we welcome?
We will assess how to enhance our welcoming ministries and affirm our guests and first time worshippers. We will consider ways to receive, guide and support our honored guests, including the ease of navigating our facilities and addressing our parking challenges. We will make sure we are prepared for company - from our Greeters and Ushers to those who worship around us, from the friendliness of our worship guide to our follow up on visitors.
3. “Disciple Path” – How do people connect on their faith journey?
he third area seeks to assess the way we connect our guests to our church community and create clear and accessible “next steps” for people to develop their faith walk. This includes both the building of relationships, avenues for spiritual formation, and offering information important to our life and ministry together. The “core affirmations” we have been exploring this Epiphany in our worship are resources for this work.
May our prayers, our wisdom and our continued dedication to our “disciple making” mission, guide us in offering this year to God’s creative endeavor.
Pastor Mark Ulrickson