Doing What Matters ~ God’s Work, Our Hands (May 2014; Volume 3, Issue 5)
Shortly after I arrived to serve at the Lutheran Church of Framingham, we embarked, as a congregation, on the journey of a visioning process using a resource offered by the New England Synod, called Doing What Matters.
In November of 2013, we gathered for a Phase I congregational retreat on a Saturday. We talked about LCF’s assets and interests, and where we saw God at work in the church, community, and world. After much hard work, we came up with a Purpose Statement and Guiding Principles.
They are as follows:
God’s purpose for Lutheran Church of Framingham is to be led
by the Holy Spirit to share Jesus’ Gospel of love & forgiveness to all.
Five Guiding Principles:
(1) Be Christ centered
(2) Pray and study God’s Word
(3) Discern and share our gifts
(4) Encourage mutual respect
(5) Serve God’s world
Throughout the Spring of 2014, we embarked on Phase II; we sent out many surveys to neighbors, community groups, local leaders, etc. The goal of this phase is to learn more about the community around us. Some of us live in Framingham and some of us don’t, but regardless, we can lose touch with our surrounding context. When this happens, we get too inwardly focused on ourselves, instead of on the whole of God’s family and creation. Without understanding, being in conversation with, and having a presence out in the community, our ministry falls short – our message falls on deaf ears – we miss an opportunity to shine Christ’s light into the world. So we listened…
Now it is time to hear and analyze the results of that listening. For Phase III, we will gather for another congregational retreat and by the end of the day have a strategic plan for how to live out our purpose statement, guided by our defined principles, in light our community’s assets and needs.
As Bishop Hazelwood says “a church that exists for the sake of the world thrives…a church that exists for the sake of itself dies” (paraphrased).
Please join your fellow LCF members and friends on Saturday, May 17 from 9am-3pm as we look to the future and towards new life, mission, ministry, and doing God’s work with our hands. LCF cannot do it without you!