Twenty of us gathered on Valentine’s Day to discern Whatcoat’s Mission. We also spent a little time revisiting the conversation we had earlier concerning distinctions between spiritual and religious associations in our wider culture. As a religious organization, our goal is not to choose one or the other, but to integrate the two more faithfully and holistically. I like especially the perspective of Matthew 13:52: [Jesus] said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”
Vicki shared the following article by Tara Woodard-Lehman (“When in Doubt, Be Religious”) with me that may be helpful to you in thinking more about our task in a ministry context in which people are hostile to all things religious but open to spirituality.
I had earlier emailed the group a summary of our core values – how they might be arranged into a mission statement, and ways in which they connect with spiritual disciplines and our current leadership structure.
Bob Contino suggested we revisit our earlier (2003) Mission statement: Changing lives through Jesus one heart at a time, as a way of discerning a new or revised Mission statement. This led to a great conversation about who is ultimately responsible for change in our lives or in anyone’s life: Jesus Christ. We also talked about the importance of always growing more deeply into a discipleship relationship with Christ in order to share that invitation with other people.
Near the end of our meeting, Drew Boyce shared with the group a Mission statement he had earlier discerned in prayer: Welcoming all to passionately pursue Jesus and share his love with others. The group felt that this statement reflected the spirit of our conversation and was a good candidate for a renewed Mission statement for Whatcoat UMC. We agreed to prayerfully consider it and make a formal decision on whether or not to adopt it at our next meeting.
Please see the minutes of the meeting here.