In 2008—after a long period of discussion, study, planning, and prayer—we completely reorganized ourselves. We tossed out decades’ worth of bylaws, boards, committees, and top-down ways of doing things. In their place, we tried on (it was an experiment, at first) something very different—a structure we hoped and prayed would be empowering, nimble, and responsive, engaging, and serving more people both within and outside the church.
The basic idea is this: The church is here not primarily for itself, but to partner with God in loving, transforming and healing the world—in creating the realm of God here on earth. We want our structures and ways of living together to reflect God’s upside-down values and to love and encourage one another to live out our own callings.
Years later, we’re still not exactly “done” with the structure thing—because the Spirit is never done. We’re continually tweaking and working to improve communications so that we might be more faithful, more relevant to our place and time, and a more effective agent of healing and transformation.
Here’s how it works:
Our structure is based on two spiritual practices and five organizing foundations.
Practice 1: Every Member Ministry
Each of us is a lay minister. We take the gospel message of love and joy into the world. We also minister to each other and participate in ministry through our work within the church. We also encourage one another to develop our interests, talents and callings, and to explore new and different ways of being the body of Christ in the world.
Practice 2: Small Group Ministry
We believe that small group life is integral to our growing as individuals and in our faith. Some groups are organized around a particular spiritual practice; others focus on personal sharing, current issues. Some small groups have existed for a long time; others exist only for a season. Many ministry teams also function as small groups, with members supporting one another in ministry and holding one another in prayer. Anyone can start a new small group at anytime. All small groups are open to anyone. For a listing of some of our existing small groups go here; if you’re interested in joining or starting a small group, speak to Pastor Vicki or someone on the Elected Ministry Team.
Please see 5 Foundations of Our Congregational Culture
Elected Leadership Team (ELT)
The congregation as a whole is the ruling body of the church and makes major decisions in regular congregational meeting. Each year the congregation chooses an Elected Leadership Team to carry out directions set by the congregation. This ELT also has a responsibility to help envision how the church can best live out its mission, and to address major issues and needs in the life of the church. The current members of the ELT are:
Ralph Faulkingham, Clerk
Vicki Kemper, Pastor
Doris Peterson, Treasurer
Marylou Sullivan, Moderator
Please see Ministry Teams