God's Mission in Our Midst

as Articulated by

Columbia United Church of Christ

Columbia United Church of Christ is very intentional about discerning and articulating our mission in God's World.  Our Vision Team consists of representatives from each of our Ministry Teams, and spends time each year evaluating our Mission Statement and our Core Values Statement, determining how we are living into them and how they are informing our actions in God's World.  With the guidance of God's Holy Spirit, these statements are periodically updated to reflect how God is calling us to be active in the world.  This fall, we will be working on a covenant expressing our desire to be Inclusive of all God's Children, which we project to be presented to the congregation in January, 2019.

In 2016, we articulated a 4-year Strategic Plan for the congregation (2016-2020) that has guided us well into a new area of intentional ministry and discernment.   Our Vision Team is currently working on a new 5-year Strategic Plan (2018-2023) to take our ministries to new levels of faithful service, and guide us into the celebration of our Congregational Centennial (2023).  This new 5-year Strategic Plan will be presented to the congregation in October, 2018   

Columbia

United Church of Christ

Mission Statement

CUCC celebrates God’s boundless love by: 

Welcoming all God’s Children;

Nurturing Faith and Spiritual Growth;

Challenging and inspiring everyone with vibrant worship;

Building a supportive church family;

Transforming both the congregation and community

through service and outreach

Columbia

United Church of Christ

Core Values Statement

At CUCC we seek to express God’s boundless love as we value being:

Welcome and inclusive of all people, as all are created in God’s image;

Nurturing and being supportive of people as everyone is God’s precious child;

Willing to extend God’s grace and forgiveness as God extends grace and forgiveness;

Intentionally aware of others as God is intentionally aware of each person.

We seek in our governance values:

Adherence to the Constitution and By-Laws of the church;

Intentional inclusion of diverse perspectives and voices on all decision making bodies;

Willingness to recognize conflict and resolve differences in a caring and respectful manner;

Open and transparent decision-making processes; and

Making decisions by consensus rather than simple majority-rule whenever possible.

 

Columbia United Church of Christ Strategic Plan 2016-2020

 Welcoming All God’s Children:

Columbia United Church of Christ will

·       Develop a hospitality time for visitors

·       Develop a plan for welcoming and integrating new members into the congregation.  This plan may include:

o   Ways that new members will be assigned sponsors

o   A luncheon following their reception

·       Explore the possibility of enhancing fellowship time as part of the Sunday morning schedule.  Ideas to be considered include:

o   When to schedule a fellowship time (10:00=10:30 or after the service)

o   Where to hold a fellowship time (gathering area and modifications to this space)

o   The possibility of a revised Sunday Schedule

·       Seek ways to develop greater visibility for the congregation in the Columbia area by exploring the use of social media, a more significant web presence, better signage, etc.

·       Explore the process to become an Open and Affirming Congregation of the United Church of Christ.

Nurturing Faith and Spiritual Growth

 Columbia United Church of Christ will

·       Develop a process by which the Christian Education program will be evaluated with leadership from the new pastor

·       Develop a process by which the Youth program will be evaluated with leadership from the new pastor

·       Evaluate and re-vision the UCC Student Fellowship Group including:

o   Goals and purposes

o   Format of the program

o   Ways the program might better connect students to Columbia UCC

·       Seek to enhance a Christian Education program for adults of all ages with leadership from the new pastor

o   Expand Sunday morning offerings

o   Explore developing adult education offerings in addition to Sunday mornings

Challenging and Inspiring with Vibrant Worship

Columbia United Church of Christ will:

·       Expect that worship will help people connect scripture and Christian traditions with everyday life and offer practical applications for Christian living

·       Expect that our worship will inspire people and lead them to engage in community service and work to unite the Columbia community for the common good.

·       Utilize more creative forms for worship which our sanctuary invites such as chancel dramas, dance, more visually vibrant chancel decorations, etc.

·       Enhance the music ministry by

o   Using a mix of familiar and new hymns

o   Exploring ways to encourage a greater variety in the types of music used in worship

o   Using a variety of persons and groups to provide music in Sunday worship

o   Including more sung responses as part of worship

·       Explore ways to improve the lighting in the sanctuary

o   Overall lighting

o   Lighting that might allow greater theatrical effects in the chancel area

·       Explore ways to enhance the audio-visual equipment and options in the sanctuary

Building a Supportive Church Family

Columbia United Church of Christ will:

·       Develop and maintain an accurate membership roster

·       Develop a plan to identify members who are becoming inactive and reach out to them

·       Develop a plan to help care for church members who have needs:

o   Develop a process by which the needs of persons are identified through communication with the pastor

o   Develop a process to provide care that responds to members needs when feasible

·       Review the purposes of the Neighborhood Network program and assess if it needs to be modified or replaced by some alternative program

·       Make the congregation aware of existing groups within the church and help members connect with those groups that interest them

·       Help members for new interest groups

Transforming both the Congregation and the Community Through Service and Outreach

Columbia United Church of Christ will:

·       Expect that our worship will inspire people and lead them to engage in community service and work to unite the Columbia community for the common good

·       Be intentional about involving children and youth in outreach and service activities

·       Sustain and increase our financial and volunteer support for mission outreach programs and activities in which we are already involved.  Creating greater awareness of these programs will be important

·       Explore additional organizations or programs through which we might expend our efforts at mission outreach by both financial support and volunteer service.  This might include exploring partnerships with ecumenical or interfaith organizations in the Columbia area.

·       Explore developing a major, hands-on annual project with an outreach emphasis

·       Explore ways that CUCC might serve the community by the use of our land and facilities. Ideas might include:

o   Expansion of the LODO services

o   Exploring with LODO the possibility of creating “green” classrooms that could take advantage of the setting at CUCC

o   Creating a community garden

o   Identifying other ways that we might utilize the land and facilities of our church

Administrative and Institutional

Columbia United Church of Christ will:

·       Form a Search Committee, undertake a search and call a new pastor, and integrate the new pastor into the life of the congregation.

·       Implement the new church constitution and bylaws and, after a year’s experience, review and modify these documents as needed.

·       Develop an action plan:

o   An internal communication plan for membership

o   An external communication plan to present the church to the community

·       Regularly review the congregations decision-making processes including the pastor’s role

·       Develop a comprehensive stewardship program including:

o   Financial Stewardship

o   Use of people’s time and talents

o   Expressing gratitude for people’s stewardship

·       Upgrade the Church’s technology

·       Upgrade the Church’s accounting system

·       Develop a long-term maintenance and renovation plan for the facilities