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March 19th "Rediscovering Emmanuel" Recap

Thank you to everyone who joined us this past Sunday for our rediscovering Emmanuel forum. Here is a recap of our conversation.


Coming into this program year, we knew there was some work to do as a community to build engagement in worship and community life as we continue to recover from the pandemic. We also recognized a budget deficit that is not sustainable in the long term.

A few weeks ago, the vestry had our annual retreat, where we set our goals and priorities for the coming year.

Overarching everything else, the Vestry will be targeting two key accountabilities - achieving Financial stability and identifying a sustainable path forward for our Property. These two focus areas are clearly inter-related and will be critical to resolution of our budget deficit.

o Led by our Executive team (Rev. Elizabeth, Polly Ogden, Pat Angell, Lee Stiles, and Sue Stiles) in collaboration with Emmanuel’s Finance Committee and Space Planning Committee.

Three more targeted vestry priorities were established alongside that:

o Caring for Each Other; connecting with members we haven’t seen or those in pastoral need.

o Led by Pat Angell, Christy Kenyon, Jeff Fedele

o Equipping People for Ministry; helping connect folks to opportunities for engagement and volunteering.

o Led by Jeff Zantek, Nick Bohlinger, Rev. Elizabeth

o Improved Communications and Transparency, through our website, directory, and ongoing communications with the congregation (like this one!).

o Led by Polly Ogden, Lee Stiles, and Debbie Wiegand

In Sunday’s discussion, Congregation members raised good points such as:

  • How are we caring and connecting with those who aren’t here? There is concern for families and households that were once here but have fallen away.

  • Where do children and family ministries fit into this?

  • How are we scheduling events in ways that are inclusive to families?

Some ideas were raised as well to brainstorm ways forward -

  • Sharing more volunteer roles and job descriptions for them for folks to more easily participate

  • Hosting more social events and activities, like game nights

  • Offering more opportunities for church formation

  • More dinner church/lunch church

  • Coffee hour on the playground to better support families

We want to capture thoughts of those who couldn’t attend the meetings as well. If you want to share your thoughts, hopes, or wishes, please fill out this form which will go to the vestry: https://emmanuelmi.breezechms.com/form/d78df1

Thank you all for your energy towards this work!

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