A great strength and opportunity for UCCDG is our well established online presence which was established in 2014 for our homebound members. In March 2020, we successfully transitioned to a completely online format due to the pandemic. This transition was made easier by the fact that we had a professional broadcast system already in place and resulted in welcoming new church members who hadn’t even set foot in our brick and mortar church.
Our reputation in the community as the church that cares is a significant strength for us. UCCDG has been a highly visible, unifying, and active part of our community since our founding. Our central location is an essential strength in serving the elderly, youth, disadvantaged, homeless, and people in need of social services. Our church is walkable and accessible by public transportation.
In 2020, our church had the unique opportunity to purchase property immediately adjacent to our church. We have engaged in formal visioning sessions to determine how we want to use this property in support of mission projects, community outreach, and future needs that align with our church’s vision. There are many possibilities - transitional housing, music, recreation, community gathering space, green space, additional parking.
Pandemic needs prompted us to create a Community Kitchen at the new property to serve those in need of food, clothing, and other necessities. The Community Kitchen was a great success and has fed our collective excitement about possible uses for the new property.
At the end of this visioning process, the key recommendations were:
Focus Your Goals
Clarify your goals being a hybrid congregation including Faith Formation and Mission and Justice. You have communicated excellent music and preaching through online services. Determine how to engage this audience into becoming an active part of your congregation.
Complete Your Search for Your Faith Formation Minister
Complete the search for your Faith Formation Minister and determine how this new staff structure can help you achieve your mission and goals.
Utilize Your Properties to Reach You Goals
While your congregation identifies top priorities as worship, children, youth, and mission/justice ministries, it is unclear which priority should be the focus of the property development. Use focus groups and interviews with your congregation and community partners to further clarify these priorities into specific goals.
Engage Your Congregation & Community
Use your clarified goals to build a plan to increase the number of people who are actively engaged in your mission and ministries. Include discerning how to bring your neighbors and online-only people into the work from where they are. Use your work with community partners, your pastor’s networking and communication skills and the technology and engagement skill of new staff to clearly communicate your mission and goals to the surrounding community. Actively invite them into engagement with your work.