From the Rector: Planning for the Future
Your vestry, Cathy Zappa, and I met after church on Sunday, February 23rd to discern the future direction of our parish. We revisited the goals from a vestry retreat in 2010 that have set our direction over the past four years. Those goals guided us as we initiated the Red Door Festival in 2010; as we improved our building and grounds in 2011 and 2013; and as we invested in our youth ministry, most recently with the hiring of The Rev. Cathy Zappa as our curate for youth ministry and in expanding our overall budget for youth ministry.
First we spent time getting to know each other better. We shared our stories, especially about our spiritual journeys and what is important to us about Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit. We then spent time brainstorming about what was working and not working in the parish; and what our hopes and aspirations are for the future of the parish.
From this work, we have come up with two broad goals with five components that we are committed to exploring over the next year and into the future. We don’t know yet what these goals will become; and we don’t expect to get them all done this year. But we are excited about what could be and we trust in God and in each of you to help us in our discernment as we move forward. Here are the goals:
1. We are committed to growing as a sign of being a faithful and healthy parish.
- We want to grow and retain membership as we share the Good News of God’s love for us in Jesus Christ.
- We want to increase our giving so that we can continue to invest in ministry, especially in the areas of youth ministry and outreach to our community.
- We want to expand ECOHS Preschool so that we can continue offering a special environment for children in our community.
2. We are committed to challenging ourselves to grow in new ways as we discern how we can share God’s love with more people both locally and globally.
- We committed to identifying Spanish language educational options for members of our parish as a first step for expanded ministry among Hispanic people.
- We have a working group of vestry members who will explore how to bring a “Church of the Common Ground” model to Forsyth County.
Another major initiative for our parish in 2014 is the expansion of our current building. The Planning Committee and Vestry agree that expansion (instead of a new building) enables us to build what is needed for the growth of our common life and ministry in the most responsible and cost effective way. We have chosen an architect who will help us take the next steps in our planning for expansion. Expect more and more news in this area throughout this year.
Please keep your vestry, clergy, staff, and other leaders in your prayers as we seek to be faithful to God’s future for us.